Featured Tin Shingle, Karen Zuckerman
Karen Zuckerman, LMT is the owner of wellbody, a wellness studio in Union Square. As a graduate of the Swedish Institute in New York, Karen's background is based in both Western and Eastern modalities of bodywork including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Shiatsu and Assessment. Karen has worked with a number of conditions including Osteoporosis, Herniated Discs, Sciatica, Scoliosis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, TMJ, Chronic Pain, Repetitive Use Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Stress.
Through a monthly newsletter and daily Facebook posts, Karen also dispenses tips and information for MELT, Essential Oils and general wellness. Learn more about wellbody at its portfolio page here at Tin Shingle.
Karen didn't start out in wellness work. In fact, she was/is a wordsmith, as we learned in our interview with her. Like most Tin Shingles, Karen listened to her gut, lived her life on her terms, recognized what was working and not working, and built a business from there:
What inspired you to get started?
"I was in a completely different career and suddenly realized I wasn’t happy. Going back to school for massage therapy was an epiphany I had. It came to me and all I remember is sitting on my couch with the Yellow Pages looking up massage schools in NYC. It changed my life profoundly on so many levels. From there, it just grew and my vision has evolved over the years."
What was your background? Was it in what you were doing now?
"I was a copywriter in advertising. But I worked for myself, with a partner. It was a sudden decision to quit our jobs and create a company and we made it all up as we went along. It was incredibly challenging and there were a lot of obstacles. But the essence of working for myself, of creating something and figuring it out and evolving it turned out to be who I really was. I had never even thought about it before. It just happened and was right for me - except for the industry and the partner!"
What challenge have you had to face that led to a big growth for your company?
"Getting my first studio after practicing massage less than a year with just a couple of clients that I had been seeing out of my apartment. But the line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come” was exactly right. I gave up working for other companies, (which I did to gain experience) and the money that came with that, to only work for myself and really grow something. Last year, after 9 years, I named my company Wellbody and have been focused on growing it in several areas, beyond massage therapy, MELT and essential oils, while still keeping it really personal with my clients. To really create a studio where you can both receive therapeutic bodywork and learn how to take care of yourself, play a role in your own wellness. So I guess I’m in the next challenge right now that will hopefully lead to big growth for my company!"
What do you have going on in your business right now that you're excited about?
"So much! Three months ago I moved into a new studio that is three times the size of my old one, so I can teach my classes there as well. It is so beautiful, open, bright and serene and I love it. So I’m building my class base, creating some new, exciting classes and collaborating with practitioners in several other areas of wellness to teach their expertise at Wellbody or co-teach with me. And, in addition to the products I already offer (Essential Oils and MELT equipment) I will also be carrying some wonderful new all-natural wellness and personal care products in the Fall."
Where would you love to see your business in 5 years?
"That is a tough one for me! To look so far into the future. My vision has changed so much and what I’ve done with the business has varied over the years, including running a second studio for 3 years, just finding what works for me and my clients. But I’m really happy with the path I’m on and the focus I have for the new studio. I want to create a business that makes me happy first and foremost. To maintain (read: improve) the balance I have with my family and the other aspects of my life! I want to continue to evolve my work as a therapist and teacher, have a variety of teachers bringing all kinds of wonderful classes to Wellbody, collaborate with others, expand my client base and help people get well."
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