Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dana Christy, Founder of WellSpring Healing Arts, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I practice shiatsu, massage, and trauma-informed bodywork. I specialize in working with trauma, autoimmune conditions, chronic illness, and the LGBTQIAP+ community.
Tell us about yourself
I began studying embodied trauma-informed healing in 2010 and practicing bodywork in 2017. I have pursued multiple courses of study centered around trauma awareness and trauma healing, including The Breathe Network's trainings in Trauma-Informed Care and Trauma-Informed Yoga. I identify as a survivor of sexual violence, as well as a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I embrace these identities as spaces where I can connect more authentically with my clients. I am committed to furthering equity, accessibility, and inclusion in the healing arts world, and I aim to hold space for all beings on their healing journey, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, body size, age, or ability.
My mission as a practitioner is not to impose any kind of schedule or expectation on my client's healing but instead to hold space for the body's self-healing capacities to take effect in whatever way is most authentic. I have no "goals" for my clients. They have the freedom to dictate exactly what they want to happen in every treatment. Consent is at the core of every interaction. I use all the tools available to me, including movement, visualization, healing touch, and breathwork, to create a fluid, nourishing, and accessible healing environment.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am proud of creating a business that supports a lifestyle conducive to the requirements of managing my chronic illness. I feel grateful that I am in charge of my own schedule and that I can modify when and how much I work based on what my body is able to handle each day. As a chronically ill person, most 9-5 jobs are inaccessible to me, so I'm thankful I'm able to support myself with this self-directed work.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The work never stops! Even on my off days, I'm always hustling for my business. But I'm passionate about it, which makes it worth it!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't be afraid to go out on your own. There's a major learning curve, but with patience and persistence, you can make it work.
- The money will come. Try not to hustle at the expense of your emotional and physical well-being. Building a business takes time - success may not come overnight, but burnout can develop faster than you think.
- It helps if you love what you do - that makes all the work feel worth it!
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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