Zensations Massage opened in New York in 2o15 and provides therapeutic massage, life coaching and wellness products. Zenspiration Boxes is a new monthly subscription box that teaches women to value themselves by letting go of what doesn’t serve them.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have been an entrepreneur since I was 15 years old. My very first earnings came from selling the macrame’ jewelry I made. Fast forward to the present, I opened Zensations Massage 2005, and the idea for the Zenspiration Boxes was born last October 2017. I am married to my best friend, Enzo and we have 2 daughters, Jessica and Kelsey.
What does your business do?
Zensations Massage provides the community with therapeutic massage, life coaching and wellness products. Zenspiration Boxes is a monthly subscription box that teaches women to value themselves by letting go of what doesn’t serve them.
Who is your target audience or market?
Women ages 30-63
What year did you start your business?
Zensations Massage Therapy 2005/ Zenspiration Boxes 2017
What were you doing before starting your business?
I was working in my family’s restaurant for 25 years, teaching group instruction at our YMCA and raising my family.
Where is your business located? Do you have a dedicated workspace?
Rome, New York
What would you say your biggest success has been? What was the key action that led to this success?
Transforming into a wholehearted life coach has given me new eyes and ears, shifting my perspective to allow simple, joyful and easy into my daily life and that allows me to work from a place of servitude with gratitude.
What would you say your biggest failure has been?
Not making more time for my family as I grew my business.
What did you learn from this failure and how have you changed things to prevent this from happening again?
My husband actually said to me, “April, you give all your good stuff away. There’s nothing left for us.” I cried. I had no idea. I always felt my family filled my heart to overflowing and I had enough to go around. That clearly was not the case. I made changes, and at that time in my life, it wasn’t enough. I was over worked and over whelmed.
What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
Getting pricing of our services ‘right’. Customers are aligned with a service fee that allows me and the team to work at highest level. Money. Always money.
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? If so, why?
Many times. Burn out. Overwhelm. Fear. All the usual suspects come in to play here.
What do you love MOST about being an entrepreneur?
What I Iove most of all is the excitement and satisfaction of seeing your dream become reality. On a daily basis, I try to remind myself- ‘look what you created!’ Because the daily activities of running a business and working in that business can feel like a job, work even.
What do you love LEAST about being an entrepreneur?
It’s all up to you, on your shoulders. That doesn’t have to be heavy every day, you learn to plan and delegate and schedule needed time off, but in the end, it’s your show.
How have you funded your business? How long has it taken you to see a profit?
Bootstrapping…make a few dollars, reinvest. Initially, my practice was profitable in the first 2 years. After expanding and taking on employees, it has taken 5 plus years to get cash flow comfortable. In a service based business, if people don’t show, your paycheck suffers. The Zenspiration Box is in launch stage, so there’s no real data yet.
Did you always see yourself owning a business? If so, is this the business that you thought you would be owning? If not, what did you think you’d be doing?
I think I did. When I was young, it was easy to work for others, if I liked the job. But I grew more and more restless, my head always full of ideas just waiting to burst into reality. 25 years in a bar and restaurant taught me all I needed to know about customer service, and was beginning to weigh on me, feeling toxic and me becoming cynical. I sat at the bar one night with a friend and had a serious conversation about the next step in my life, because I was sure staying where I was would lead to dissatisfaction. She is the one that suggested massage therapy. I never mentioned I have an art side, loving the 3 dimensional, hands on pottery, sculpture, sewing and mixed media. Massage therapy, science and art sculpting the human form. A natural fit for me.
Where do you see your business in the next 3 to 5 years?
I see my massage practice running itself with my guidance, and my coaching practice growing as I step into a new pair shoes as a Women’s Retreat Leader, and creative director for the Zenspiration Box biz.
What advice would you give to other women that are interested in starting their own business?
When you dream of that thing that really lights you up and really shine your truth, make it your life’s work. Yes you can have financial abundance doing work that you love. And yes, you need to do the homework as well, visit your Women’s Business Association for guidance and support. There are lots of no cost resources available when you look for them.
What is one program, tool or app that you can’t live without for your business? (If you have more than one, please feel free to share more!)
I use VagaroPro salon software for the massage practice, that is simple and cost effective. I use Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat is just plain FUN, and how I have lived with out for so long I don’t know, Cortana. I just downloaded to my phone and seriously, the reminders are fab for keeping the details in reach!
What does your day to day in your business look like?
I love a relaxed coffee, journal and meditation time in the morning. That happens almost every day with some hula hoop/yoga/core workout then to the office for massage & coaching clients, and administrative obligations. I try to plan out my FB and Instagram posts so the intention is set and its easy and takes less time. There are some days when this all goes to hell and have you put a few fires. Remember, you are smart, creative and resourceful and you will figure it out!
As a business owner it can often be hard to find time for ourselves. What are your favorite hobbies and what do you like to do when you are not working?
I love to relax over wine and dinner with family and friends, I’m a voracious reader, seeking escape and adventure in the books I read. Confession: I also am usually reading numerous periodicals and non fiction books daily. I love to paint with watercolor, and adult coloring books really settle my mind down and allow me to process the day. Traveling is adventure and I look forward to more of that.