Massage Therapy Graduate Puts Education to Work
Published on April 10, 2014 by Tiffany Coleman
(MERIDIAN) The decision to go into business for yourself can be a scary adventure. It takes a solid plan, money, and a lot of talent and skills to juggle multiple things. It also takes a whole lot of knowledge. Stephanie Wheeling is putting all five of these things—and more—to work for herself. The Broadview University massage therapy program graduate is venturing out on her own; putting her entire education to work.
“It is scary and fun—all at the same time,” Wheeling says. “I don’t have to answer to anyone, but it is a lot of pressure!”
Wheeling, who graduated from the Boise campus last September, has steadily worked to achieve her dream of being an independent business owner.
She started small with a handful of clients; gradually building up her clientele. Through her work as a student and eventually referrals, she was able to rent a space in Meridian. Called Mind Body Soul Treasure Valley Massage, Wheeling specializes in deep tissue massage.
“It’s funny because I didn’t like it in school,” she says.
On this day, Wheeling has her very first client on the table. The client chimes in agreeing that deep tissue is Wheeling’s forte.
“She’s very good at it, too,” she says.
One hour at a time, Wheeling works to make sure her customers get the attention they deserve.
“I just feel the body to see what’s needed,” she says. “Then, I do a combination of things.”
Along with her hands-on massage education, Wheeling says the most valuable class she took at Broadview University was called Business Massage.
“I had to create a business plan as part of my coursework,” she said. “I learned how to strategize and plan, how to interact with and find clientele, etc. I learned everything I could so I could open my own storefront.”
“Stephanie’s advantage is having a business plan,” Debra Schmidt, the business program chair at the Boise campus, said. Schmidt is the course’s lead instructor.
“There are a number of small business owners who do not develop a comprehensive plan,” Schmidt says, “and that often leads to failure within the first year. Stephanie will be a successful business developer and owner due to her ability to grasp the developing and evolving elements of her industry.”
While Wheeling continues to live her dream of being a business owner, she keeps the lessons she learned in school at the forefront of her mind. As her business grows, she is continually thinking of ways to keep the trend going.
“One important thing I learned is that I have to give back to the community,” she said. “I will be offering free chair massages to small businesses and attending more local events. I know how important it is to advertise, and I am trying to figure out how to do it wisely. So far, word of mouth seems to be working the best.”
That and Facebook; another thing she learned at school.
“I have a lot of friends in this business who didn’t even take anatomy and physiology in school,” she said. “I not only learned that and more—I learned how to run my own business. I am very happy that I chose Broadview University!”