Mom to Mom a New Interview Series
There are so many amazing women out there, starting their own businesses and gaining all sorts of knowledge. I wanted to find a way to share a variety of these experiences on the blog, so today marks the first in a new interview series that I am hoping will appear a few times a month.
Angela DiMare-Messier of Simply Sacred Apothecary and Wellness
Angela DiMare-Messier is a massage therapist and herbalist with an extensive background in energy work, aromatherapy, meditation, journeying, and self care based in New Hampshire. You can find out more about her work at her website Simply Sacred.
Describe your business?
I consider myself a holistic wellness provider, in that I have a variety of skill sets and services that help women bring more balanced wellness into their lives. Massage, Reiki, herbal healing, wellness consultations, and doula work are the key points, but the best parts of my job are when I connect with women one on one to learn how to balance their busy lives from a holistic perspective.
How long have you been doing this work?
It varies depending on the service, but overall, I’ve been in business about a year and a half. I’ve been living holistically and helping others to do so for most of my life though
How did you get started?
It’s funny; I never considered holistic health a career path for me until my husband and I got chair massages one day. He turned to me and said “You could totally do this, you know.” And I thought about it, and enrolled in massage school, and that was it!
How do you work around your child/children and their schedule?
My daughter is almost a year and a half, and I stay home with her during the day, so I usually schedule time for working on my business after bedtime. Sometimes I work during nap time, but sometimes I nap as well – being a mom, business owner, and juggling other creative projects gets overwhelming, so self care is so important! As for seeing clients, I usually book on the weekends or weeknights, or the odd day my husband has off from work. It’s stressful, but I love being able to stay home with my daughter, so its worth it.
Why have you chosen to do this work?
I won’t lie, the ability to make my own schedule was key, because I knew one day we would have a child and I would want to be home with her. But I love having the freedom to make my own business decisions, start my own projects, and I love wearing all the different hats in a business. Plus I honestly love massage and wellness! Hearing how I made a client feel good gives me a high for DAYS.
Does it help you financially or creatively or both?
Right now, I’m still barely self sustaining, but I’ve only recently been able to devote more time to creation, promotion, and marketing. I look forward to the day when I’m actively contributing to my family’s income, but that takes time with any new business. It’s definitely a creative outlet, but mostly it helps keep me accountable for my own health, which is beautiful.
What are the tools that you use to do this business?
My hands and my heart are my most important tools. Sure, I use massage tools like a table, oils, and linens, and herbs, and technology (website, email, social media, etc), but ultimately, my hands are doing the healing and my heart does the listening and accepting. People come to wellness at different points in their lives and for different reasons, and each story is unique and valid. Not every technique will work for everyone, so it’s really important to know the client and understand their situation and goals.
What are your goals for the future?
I’m constantly setting goals, large and small, and I think that helps you on track and moving as a mom and business owner! My big, long term goal right now is to open a physical wellness clinic and store front. I want it to be successful enough that we can be open for set tones, not only by appointment. I envision a safe, modern, healing space that women can walk into off the street and know they will be welcome. I see a tea bar, lending library, retail shelves, local art on display, with bodywork and classes and meetups. I suppose my goal is less to create a space, and more to create an open community. It’s something I’ve craved my whole life, and I want to offer it to others if I can.
What is your greatest challenge?
Financial challenges are huge. That’s always the way, right? I’m busy trying to build my brand, client base, and community one step at a time, and trust it will happen when it’s meant to. My other big challenge is time, primarily because of my daughter. I love being home with her during the day, but she makes it very difficult to get any work done, since it’s just me and her. I’m basically waiting not-so-patiently for the day she can occupy herself in her room for long periods of time!
What has been your biggest win?
Oh gosh, this is a tough question – tougher than it should be! We’re always so quick to focus on the negatives but forget to celebrate the positives. I think my biggest win, so far, had been the connections I’ve made with other women. Whether it’s a business connection, a client relationship, or just a new friend, this business has really forced me to get out and meet people, and I’m meeting since incredible souls!
Would you suggest that other mothers do this type of business?
If you’re interested in bodywork, holistic health, and don’t mind going back to school for an associates degree, then yes! But I won’t lie, it’s tough, it’s time and money consuming, and its a constant process of learning to stay ahead of the curve and up to date. It really has to be a passion, but if it is, it is SO rewarding.
How hard is it to break into this business?
It depends on your area. Specifically with massage, it’s a balance of saturation and education. It seems that either an area is filled with massage day spas that undercut private prices or filed with people who don’t understand the value and health benefits of bodywork. You really have to be dedicated and provide a unique service, and market market market!
What kind of education do you need?
For massage, it’s a 2 year associates degree (or equivalent from a dedicated massage school), and then you have to apply for the national exam and, if you pass, your license in your state. Reiki can be learned either in a class setting or from a mentor. Herbalists aren’t as highly regulated, at least in New Hampshire, and there’s no nationally certifying body – yet. But there are plenty of programs and apprenticeships; it’s so important to study from a reputable source with herbalism, because herbs can be dangerous if used casually or without nutritional or medical background or guidance. I’ve been collecting skills for years to be able to offer the services I do. It’s a lifelong learning process!
What tips would you give to someone who want to be in this business?
Do your research. Know your state regulations before signing up for a program, sketch out your year, 3 year, and 5 year education plans, and know your brand! It takes a LOT of work to build a business from scratch, so take a couple business classes and have all your ducks in a row before marketing to the public. I jumped right in after massage school and I’m still working on framework, so make sure you have all that done first!
Holistic health is important in its alternative, whole body approach and its accessibility to the public. It’s SO important that people know there are ways to take care of their body and their health beyond the yearly check up. I constantly strive to educate people, and I encourage them to do homework too. I think it’s fantastic that you’re featuring this on your blog for others to learn from!