As we approach our one year anniversary of being open, I feel the need to reflect back. For a couple of years I wanted to create a place where athletes could have a one stop wellness shop designed for their specific needs. I always assumed it would be a 5 year out goal as I was working for a local Kalamazoo spa and had a great boss and great coworkers. But then their main location was unexpectedly closed and I found that my hours became fairly limited. I decided this was my kick in the butt to get moving on my vision.
I was expressing my vision to a coworker, and she suggested I talk to Amy Bradley. I remembered Amy from when I was teaching at KCHA, and also I had helped out on a continuing education course on sports massage that she attended. So I called her right away. From the beginning it was clear that we were on the same page with our goals to provide the highest quality massage therapy in the Kalamazoo area combined with other aspects of the grand wellness wheel to support athletes and general public alike. It took us 3 grueling months of searching to find our current locale. Start-up money was minimal, and at the time of opening our place looked bare. But as the year went on, we slowly gave it our unique character touches...as we are most likely touched ourselves. We were able to bring on two additional therapist right away, of which we are down to one. We are still looking for massage therapists for those that are curious.
I think the biggest learning curve for me about opening my own business, is the logistics. Payroll, taxes, record keeping...wow. These things were very overwhelming at first. Even at tax time when we had someone else figuring out everything I messed up, it was still stressful. I gained 15 lbs over the last year as you can tell from the first picture in the slideshow to the last. However now these things are fairly normal, and I even find myself procrastinating, or what my former boss called "waiting for the right time", on my paperwork duties. Now I can focus back on getting myself to a healthy body fat percentage. I think there is a series of KAWBlogs on this endeavor waiting to be written!
Now that the ball is rolling, we hope we start to collect pieces along the way. Our vision is just beginning, someday we will have larger facilities with much more exercise equipment. We'd love to also have a chiropractor and sports psychologist available to our clients. For now though, if we can just focus on providing the best massage therapy, personal training, and nutritional therapy in the Kalamazoo area, I think the rest will follow!
Nicholas Garman, LMT NSCA-CPT
|Kalamazoo Athletic Wellness||
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