March 18, 2011
The privatization of health promotion within the health care industry “also known as the wellness revolution,” has continued to take deep roots. These days health has become known as ‘a resource for living’, – placed in the context of everyday life empowerment.*
So who’s driving the growth of an industry touted at $200 billion? Baby boomers of course, alongside workplace wellness programs and U.S. insurance companies that offer discounted wellness services. More now than ever, people are seeking out ways to enhance their health, prevent disease and promote healthy aging.
The wellness industry shows no signs of slowing down either. Preventative health care due to lean wallets, alongside a growing mistrust in the pharmaceutical industry coupled with the fact that people are living longer are just a few signs that ‘wellness’ is good for business.
In 2002, she gave birth to her son and a few years later, Latham Thomas gave birth to a holistic women’s wellness business with staying power. Learn how a vision, $1,500 in startup cash, a valuable social network landed Thomas on Dr. Oz (more than once) and yielded tremendous opportunities.
Company: Tender Shoots Wellness
Founder, Age: Latham Thomas, 30
Location: New York, NY
Startup Year: 2006
Startup Costs: $1,500
How I Got Started: The inspiration for my company was sparked by the birth of my son. And the vision took root in my living room. When I became pregnant with my son in 2002, I noticed there weren’t any prenatal wellness businesses that addressed the needs of busy moms.
I had a degree from Columbia University and was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. So with my background in plant physiology, food for healing and yoga; I began to pursue a career in women’s wellness. After attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for nutrition counseling theory, I launched Tender Shoots Wellness: a boutique holistic lifestyle practice for women in their childbearing years.
We offer green culinary services, nutrition coaching, yoga, and birth doula services. It wasn’t long before my client roster was predominantly pregnant women from the fashion and entertainment industry. My partnerships grew to include: Vogue Magazine, Destination Maternity, Jurlique and Equinox Fitness.
While I was building a name for myself, I started writing, contributing to blogs and getting my information out there to build my brand. I’m passionate about plants, food, the environment, and birth. I’m helping to green the planet one belly at a time.
Best Success Story: I’ve had many successes that I’m proud of. I’ve been featured as an expert nutritionist on the Dr. Oz Show twice, which was a major accomplishment for me. I have a lot of high net worth clients from a wide variety of industries and excellent client retention. But what I am most happy about is that I shaped a career for myself that allows me to spend quality time with my 7-year-old son, while serving other women who need this valuable methodology.
Working with clients so closely and attending their births is also a very rewarding part of my work. The most recent collaboration is an active-wear line I’ve designed for women. It’s currently in development and will launch Spring 2012 in select stores.
Biggest Startup Challenge: I think the biggest challenge is time management. I’m a single mom on top of being a successful entrepreneur and would find myself always trying to squeeze 30 hours into a day that only has 24. It took a little while but, I’ve learned how to juggle my home life, commitments to clients, and self-care almost seamlessly.
#1 Tips for Newbies: Anyone who wants to start a business should recognize the value of their social networks as a big marketing tool. I have never advertised and don’t have a publicist but, I have been featured on Fox News Live, ABC News, CBS News, The Dr. Oz Show and in a plethora of magazines.
My other tip is “court your customer.” You don’t have their loyalty until you have repeat business. So dazzle with the features and benefits of your product or service and deliver with charm and in a timely manner. Find ways to make your interaction with your customers personal so you stand out in their minds.
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* Source: Oxford Journal