Check Her Out: Paulette Simonetta of Holistic Lakewood

What exactly is your business?
My business, Holistic Lakewood, is a holistic health business. What exactly that is continues to expand and change over the years. Our biggest focus is on massage therapy and various kinds of bodywork but we also offer things such as energy healing, manual lymph drainage, essential oil therapies, ionic detox foot baths, and more.

How did you come up with your business idea?
Maybe it isn’t what other aspiring business owners want to hear, but it sort of found me. I bought (a version of) my business from another woman who was a Naturopath and was trying to make a go of it. After two years she had enough and I stepped in and took over her business but made it my own. I’ve now owned it for 4 years and it has changed and grown a lot.

What has been your biggest accomplishment with your business so far?
After I went through the Aviatra course, I decided it was time to try to expand.  I went from zero employees and 2 independent contractors in 2016 to 4 independent contractors and 4 employees today.  That has been a challenge, but it’s been worth it.

What was the most valuable thing you gained from your experience with Aviatra?
Hearing people tell me that I could do it.  And meeting people who had been in my shoes and knew what I was going through.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?
Learning a lot, very quickly.  And it was a LOT.  It was overwhelming for the first two years, at least.  But someone once told me to invest in the help I need and that changed things for me.  Once I did that, I could breathe again.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
This is a hard one for me.  Part of me is a planner and part of me likes to let things unfold as they are meant to unfold.  I guess those two things can go hand in hand.  I’d like to continue to grow my business (or maybe start another, gasp!) and eventually sell to someone else.

Any advice for future Aviatras?
Two things:  1) I’ll give you the advice I mentioned above:  Invest in the help you need… whether that is staff, or a piece of equipment or maybe just someone to clean your house. 2) Trust yourself and your vision.