Are you staying in town for vacation this summer? Are you feeling sore after summer league sports events? We’d like to promote one of our clients to you. Body Wisdom in Saint Elmo specializes in the art and science of massage therapy. They opened in 2008, in a building which used to house the Incline Drug and Surgical Company back in the 1960’s. They’re located right near the Incline where there’s lots of parking available and Body Wisdom will reimburse your parking fee.
Owner WynneD (pronounced “Wendy”) gave us an interview in their serene setting. Do not try this yourself - you may fall asleep!
What prompted you to start your own company?
I got my B.S. in Exercise Physiology, then attended nursing school but decided that wasn’t for me. A friend of the family introduced me to massage therapy. Quite honestly, I had never planned to own my own business. My entire career began at Memorial Hospital where I worked for nearly ten years, giving therapeutic massage to physical therapy patients and chronic pain clients. The off-campus facility I worked at changed management and shut down the wellness programs, which then forced me to work elsewhere. At the time, this old, historic building was up for sale. The time just seemed right so I went for it. It was great that clientele followed me more than I expected.
What do you like best about doing business in Chattanooga?
I moved here almost twenty years ago from Tampa, Florida, not knowing a single thing about Chattanooga. Having a business in Saint Elmo is the very best. In fact, I wouldn’t open a business anywhere else. There is a real sense of community that makes it feel like its own island within Chattanooga. It’s an unusually tight-knit neighborhood like you might have seen decades ago. We’re a supportive, friendly, and artsy community and Body Wisdom fits right in!
What piece of advice would you like to share with other entrepreneurs or start-ups?
What I have learned is best for me is to strengthen my strengths and hire my weaknesses. You simply can’t do it all yourself. My focus and knowledge belongs to the art and science of massage. I surround myself with others who have much more knowledge in areas I’m not so strong in, such as marketing and finances.
How has our company helped you in your success?
Someone recommended Lynn Talbott to me and when I met her I realized I had already taken one of her classes.
You all have helped me tremendously in getting my finances organized and with Body Wisdom marketing ideas. Kim Costa has been really helpful. It is a significant relief to know that there is a part of my business I don’t have to think much about, which allows for more time and energy to do what I love – therapeutic massage and bodywork.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about Body Wisdom?
Unlike national chains, we make a point of developing relationships with our clients. Trust is an important part of what we do. We talk with them about goals for their sessions and what type of service is needed. We want them to feel like they’re the only client we have.
Sometimes people are self-conscious about body image. We're able to reassure them that for us our focus is on what we can't see. Our concern is what's on the inside, so knowing this helps our clients relax.
One of my favorite things about coming to work is that people want to see us. They’re so pleased to leave stress behind when they come in. And we’re good at what we do. Our clients come in and tell us about where they’re feeling pain which is typically not where the pain originates and we’re able to educate them. The best results come from ongoing visits.
Well, I know where I’m going the next time I need an oasis in my day. See you there!
To learn more about Body Wisdom, check out their website or look for them on Facebook and Twitter.
Lynn Talbott, MBA, PHR, has over 20 years’ experience consulting with entrepreneurs of small to mid-sized businesses in the HR and office management capacity. Her specialty is Office/Human Resource Manager coaching and training and finding practical solutions for bookkeeping errors and HR blunders. Lynn has helped manage over 50 business start-ups and many of those companies continue to rely on her expertise today as they continue to grow.