Aviatra of the Week: Shannon Villalba of HIME Wellness!

What exactly is your business?

HIME Wellness is a social enterprise company comprised of holistic health and wellness practitioners. The company’s objectives are two-fold: HIME Wellness is designed to assist holistic practitioners with their businesses and to connect them to people seeking holistic therapy solutions.  HIME provides a community for the practitioners to connect with and work alongside each other in ways that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, and through our non-profit, HIME Foundation Inc., we give back to the community with our outreach programs.

How did you come up with your business idea?

I had small cell cervical cancer at an advanced stage in 2016 and used holistic therapies alongside traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments. As a holistic practitioner myself, I knew what holistic therapies to use or who to ask for referrals. I realized that many practitioners are scattered about, and there isn’t a trusted resource to find them. In addition, I noticed that many of them are small businesses who could use some support. Thus, HIME Wellness was born with the intention of creating a community of trusted vetted holistic practitioners who could also benefit with business advice.

How did you find out about Aviatra?

Through Jackie Neville of Your Stylist LLC who went through Aviatra. We sponsor her radio show.

What is your inspiration?

My biggest inspirations come from the holistic communities who are able to work together to create a sustainable community to live in, and the guys from AirBnB. Those holistic communities are like puzzles where each piece fits perfectly alongside other pieces, and people are empowered through building their own community. The AirBnB guys took a crazy idea and honed it down for years before it took off and created a disruptor company that now supplies cottage industries, creating more jobs. I would love for HIME Wellness to do the same as those communities and AirBnB.

What has been your biggest accomplishment with your business so far?

I consider HIME Wellness a success when someone comes up to me and says that because of our community or our outreach programs he or she was able to receive the help needed from HIME as a trusted resource.  On the flip side, we have several practitioners who otherwise would not know each other or be working together without HIME. The community we have built with the practitioners we have is amazing. It’s beautiful to see us all together, working together and believing in this higher mission. I’m excited to see it grow with intention and purpose and add more high-quality practitioners.

What was the most valuable thing you gained from your experience with Aviatra?

As a business and intellectual property attorney, I know the legal side of running a business. With Aviatra, I’ve been exposed to other strategies that can make a business viable, even with things such as my voice when I speak about my business, or the content we put out on social media, or the brand we want to build. I feel like I am better equipped to put this company together with the advice I’ve been given through Aviatra.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?

HIME Wellness is such a unique business and there isn’t any precedent out there. I’ve had to cull ideas and strategies from other types of businesses and try them out. It’s taken me, along with my advisory board, a few years to hone down exactly the parts and pieces that HIME can offer to both the practitioners and the community we serve. We don’t have just one target market and we have high standards regarding the practitioners we invite into the company, so those also create distinct challenges.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 

My goal is to have a duplicatable sustainable community in at least three other states. People are seeking out holistic therapies more than ever and healthcare costs are skyrocketing, so we’re in a perfect position to help those exemplary practitioners be more visible in multiple markets.

Any advice for future Aviatras?

Believe in yourself and your business and ask for help from others who also believe in you and your business. Find a way to step back from it every now and again to gain a different perspective. It’s easy to become mired in it and miss out on some elements that may help you move forward.

Where can we keep up with you?

Our website is www.himewellness.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/holistichealthandwellnessresources/

Instagram – @hime_wellness

Our hashtags are #himewellness and #wearehime