Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Downing, Founder of Lime Green Lotus, located in Savannah, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Sarah Downing, LMT, and I am the owner of the five-star-rated Lime Green Lotus, a boutique bodywork studio in Savannah, GA. I specialize in customized bodywork composed of a variety of unique modalities to provide effective and lasting results. From deep relaxation to rehabilitation to an increase in range of motion to the improvement of chronic pain – this is what you can look forward to after an appointment at Lime Green Lotus. I've worked on clients with many different conditions and goals, from teenage athletes to paraplegics to geriatric clients to the overworked who simply need to make regular relaxation a part of their lives.
I've helped clients alleviate conditions such as tight hamstrings and quads, sore low backs and hips, fibromyalgia, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, tense shoulders, headaches, reduced range of motion, stress and anxiety, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and many more. I encourage my clients to make a regular commitment to improving their wellness. I recommend a minimum of one massage a month for maintenance. Many clients benefit from coming in every week or every two weeks.
Tell us about yourself
I was inspired to become a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) after experiencing years of chronic illness and pain. Through my own healing journey, I realized the importance of a holistic approach to healthcare and was moved to help others in the role of a "wounded healer." Having seen first-hand the impact of stress-related illness, I know how vital massage and the nurturing power of touch are for alleviating this. I believe that heartfelt intention is a huge part of healing and her treatments also incorporate my natural intuition, enabling me to customize them to my individual client's wishes and needs. I specialize in deep tissue, therapeutic/medical massage, sports massage, cupping, Thai massage ("assisted yoga," an energizing clothed massage), shiatsu, lomilomi, and I am a Reiki Master Teacher. As a 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Trapeze® teacher, I am excited to use my knowledge of the mind-body connection and healthy alignment to enhance my bodywork services. Outside of the treatment room, I am a professional writer, poet, translator, and ghost tour guide and have been blessed to experience life in three different countries (England, Germany, and the US), which has opened my eyes and broadened my horizons.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
After successfully battling hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, and adrenal fatigue, I literally went from being so sick that I couldn't get out of bed to learning from and being inspired by the practitioners who helped me restore my health to becoming someone who helps others restore their health. I've taken a multitude of classes, far exceeding what I need to renew my license, enabling me to create a unique brand of massage that has helped people improve their lives and regain their energy. So many clients have told me they've never experienced a massage like mine, and I get a plethora of compliments on my unique name and logo.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a sole proprietor, I am a jack of all trades. I'm a Licensed Massage Therapist, front desk manager, and marketing pro all rolled into one (in this case, I'm lucky to be a professional copywriter, so I get to write all my copy myself). Another thing that can be quite tough when you are self-employed is the lack of certainty when it comes to a steady income. I moved to Savannah in June of 2021 and am still in the process of establishing myself and gaining regular clients. I have found that, in this case, it helps to have multiple streams of income (I'm also a translator/copywriter and ghost tour guide). This definitely makes for some interesting variety!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't be afraid to delegate so that you can spend time and energy on what you do best. This not also helps prevent burnout but also ensures more effective results. For example, a homemade website or business cards are fine, but clients pay attention to first impressions, so make sure you have a professional corporate image - in some cases, this means hiring a graphic designer or webmaster.
- It takes time to grow a business. Celebrate each step of progress, and don't give up. Employ various marketing channels to increase your brand recognition because potential client often needs to see your business multiple times before you convert them to actual client. Also, don't underestimate word-of-mouth recommendations - they have been HUGE for my business.
- Set healthy boundaries, and take time for yourself. If you don't fill your own cup first, you will not be able to continue giving to others. For healthcare providers, pay attention to your own physical and mental health, including exercise, diet, and spending time with people who fill your cup and not deplete it. Being a bodyworker takes a lot of physical and mental energy, so I make sure I surround myself with friends with whom I resonate and with whom I feel safe to be myself.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
This quote might be useful: "Heartfelt intention is a huge part of healing, and my treatments also incorporate my natural intuition, enabling me to customize them to my individual client's wishes and needs. I draw from a large toolbox of unique modalities, and no two massages are the same. My massages are both a treat and a treatment. As a Certified Yoga Teacher, I am a big believer in the importance of the mind-body connection, which is why I love to incorporate breathwork and stretching in my sessions."
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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