This newsletter comes slightly later in the month than usual- I apologize. My life has been crazy these last few weeks, and I'm still in the middle of the craziness!
At the end of August we moved to our new place in Albany, so I am now commuting in every other day. The commute isn't bad, I just put on a podcast or two and find that I actually enjoy the wind down before getting to the office. (The long drive back is a little more difficult but it's only three times a week so it's ok). We are still unpacking and setting up on our days off. On top of all that, my wedding is less than one month away! I'll admit, I feel SO behind in planning but now that I am closer to shopping and have more time off I am able to devote it to all the details I need to take care of, so I am getting there.
Sadly, September starts the majority of everyone's last appointments. I already had a few throughout August but now I have a "last time" multiple times every day. I've done a pretty good job keeping my emotions in check, but it is bittersweet. I've had a lot of people ask about keeping in touch with me on social media and I absolutely welcome that. You can find my personal Facebook here or my personal Instagram here. Feel free to connect with me on there!
Let's talk about the closing process and what to expect if you have outstanding gift cards. Starting October 11th, I will be able to redeem outstanding gift cards via a check. But- you will need to contact me ahead of time to set up a time to do this. This is because if you were to randomly stop in there is a good chance I will be in an appointment and I do not have a receptionist. So please, before you come in, call me or text me at 315-717-6192 to set up a time for us to do this.
Also, if you have a gift card that was purchased in-office you must have the gift card with you in order to redeem it. I have never put people's name on the gift cards when putting them into my system (this is because my software will automatically contact someone if a gift card has been purchased for them and that ruins the surprise for holidays/birthdays/etc) so I likely cannot just look up your name. I have to have the number that is on the gift card. You know if you have a gift card purchased in-office if it came in an envelope and is printed on a cardstock material.
Be wary if you are looking through your email for outstanding online gift cards. You may be able to find an email/number of one that we may have already used it. Online gift cards I can look up much more easily, but I still need that number to make sure everything is correct.
I will be able to redeem gift cards until 5:30pm on Friday, October 21st. That is my last business day and after that I can no longer redeem them, any leftover funds will be turned over to the proper state department.
I cannot redeem gift cards in cash. I can only give a check from my business account.
If you have an outstanding gift card, please do not wait to tell me and ask to set up a time to redeem it in a few weeks.
One last note- Facebook has undergone some major changes when it comes to business accounts and I have missed several messages on there because the notification process is not as straightforward as it used to be. To contact me please refrain from using Facebook. Or, if you do attempt to contact me on there and I don't respond, please try another method. You can call/text me anytime at 315-717-6192 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a wonderful September and a great end to your summer/beginning of autumn!
Summer is rapidly going by, and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I am looking forward to my upcoming life changes, and just basically getting the show on the road. We picked up the keys to our new apartment yesterday and are moving at the end of the month, so for now that's just a waiting game and I'm ready for it to hurry up!
However, the faster time goes the more bittersweet the feeling. I've already had a few people who I have seen for possibly the last time, and I know those good-byes will only become more frequent over the next few weeks.
I have to tell you all, I am so moved by the outpouring of love and support for my new journey. I means the world to me. And I am happy to announce that I have some referrals for you!
My first referral is Shawna Recore at Live Love Relaxation in Marcy. I really connected well with Shawna, and honestly I wish I'd found her sooner! The last few years I've been searching for my own perfect LMT match and if I'd found Shawna before now, she would have been it. I had a wonderful deep tissue massage with her, you can tell she loves massage and cares about her clients. She is well-versed in chronic pain management, as well as pre-natal care, and hot stone therapy.
She can schedule appointments in advance, so I advise everyone to not wait until I close to book with her. Visit her website or give her a call and schedule your fall appointment now. That way there won't be gaps in your treatment!
Live Love Relaxation
9546 River Road
Marcy, NY 13403
My next referral is Peter Schachtler at Mohawk Valley Massage Therapy. I've had a few appointments with Peter, and he can adjust his technique to suit anyone's needs. I've had deep tissue and Swedish sessions with him, and he is knowledgeable about managing chronic pain, and he also utilizes cupping- which is a wonderful treatment many of you can benefit from. If you sign up for his emails, he keeps everyone updated as to weekly openings and cancellations.
Mohawk Valley Massage Therapy
3985 Oneida St
New Hartford, NY 13413
You will be in great hands with either of these LMTs, I would never refer to someone I didn't trust (I care about you guys way too much to do that!).
A few other things for this month- For one thing, my brand new podcast, Evolving Wellness premiered today! Episode One is all about Stress- understanding the stress response, why our stress is so high, and what we can do to properly manage it. Check me out on Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, and more!
One last thing- I think it's time for a wedding planning update. With two months left, I am now right in the middle of crunch time. Check out my progress in the blog here.
I hope you all continue to enjoy your summer, I'll check back in in September!
Since announcing that I would be closing in October, I have had so many ask me what I plan to do next. Of course, this is something that has been on my mind as well. How should I take my 12+ years of experience and put it into something new?
I think I have an answer!
I am starting a podcast!
Evolving Wellness is a health and wellness podcast that aims to help it's listeners achieve a happier and healthier life. Same philosophy I've always had at Evolve, but now I can bring my experience to you.
Each episode focuses on a different health topic. We'll discuss common issues like chronic pain and injury, focus on our mental health, and explore fun subjects like nutrition and different treatment options.
By the end of each information-packed episode, you should have enough insight to make an immediate change to better your life. You deserve to be happy and healthy!
You can find me on Spotify or iHeartRadio, and on a bunch of more obscure platforms, too.
Also, feel free to follow the podcast on Facebook and Instagram.
Episode 1 premieres Friday, August 5th, 2022 with episodes airing every Friday after that.
I hope you enjoy it!
Now to explain what is happening and why.
I've been pretty open about the fact that my fiance has been searching for a full-time position, and earlier this month, he landed one that is absolutely perfect for him and for us. It's in the Guilderland Central School District, which is a little west of Albany, and about 90 minutes away.
We talked about options. We discussed whether making our home somewhere halfway between would work, or if commuting would be possible. But it is quite clear that commuting from that distance is not feasible, and halfway between does not place us in an area I'd prefer (plus we would still each have a very long commute if we did that).
We've also been doing some family planning, with the desire for me to stay home with kids if that's something in the cards for us (which we hope it is). And we can't really make permanent decisions based off the location of my office if we know there's a chance I'd be giving it up soon anyway. We had to really look at our priorities, at the logistics, and at what we hope to accomplish in the future. We made the decision that a relocation would be the best move for us. Along with it, I intend to take a sabbatical from massage, possibly a permanent one.
This is not an easy decision, but it is one we are 100% confident in and fully at peace with. The hardest part about it is the feeling of letting my clients down.
Some of you have been with me since almost day 1- that was over 12 years ago. Many of you moved with me when I took the leap and started Evolve. And even those of you who are "new" (aka only met me after I opened Evolve) have still been with me for a long time. Over all this time you've become not only clients of mine, but also friends, for whom I care deeply.
Seriously- all of you are amazing people and I hope you all know how much you mean to me.
It's why I wanted everyone to know well in advance. So we could talk about it, prepare for it. I have a list of referrals I'm working on, and I'll do my best to try to refer each of you to an LMT that I think would best suit your needs. I want you all to continue massage therapy and continue taking care of yourselves.
Speaking of taking care of oneself- there's another aspect to this that I want to talk about. Because this decision isn't only about my fiance and his job. It's also very much about me.
Over the last year or so, it has become very clear to me that my massage career is winding down. Massage is a tough career path. There aren't many LMTs out there, because it is a difficult job to maintain. It's physically and emotionally demanding, especially when you own your own business. I tell new LMTs to be aware that in order to have a career in massage therapy you will always have to give a little bit more than you get in return, and that can end up draining you much more quickly than some other career paths.
I preach knowing your limitations, I say it to my clients like a broken record, so it is something I am painfully aware are beginning to show for me. Physically, emotionally, mentally, I don't have much longer left as an LMT. I still have it- but I know for a fact that even if it weren't due to the job, or the move, or the family planning, we would be having this exact conversation in a year or two, and at that point it would be because I simply can't do it any more. And I don't want to wait until I am totally burned out to make this decision. I want to leave on high note, while I still have the energy to give my clients my all until that last day.
The average career span for a massage therapist is 7 years (seriously, that's it!). By the time my doors close on October 21st I will have made it over 12 1/2. I think that's pretty good.
One last thing- to anyone I've seen over the last few days, I apologize for not telling you in person. I tried to, I really did. This past Saturday (5/28) was supposed to be the day I started telling everyone. But I totally chickened out, I just couldn't bring myself to drop bombshell news on all of you after your sessions. So I decided to keep it completely quiet until this email was sent out, figuring we could talk about it in person during your next appointment.
More info will come soon, for now if you have any questions I am a 100% open and honest book.
See you soon!
I am obsessed with chocolate. Particularly I am obsessed with hot cocoa and finding the perfect mix of sweetness, richness, and creaminess. Over the last several years, I have been perfecting my own hot cocoa recipe, which I'm proud to say is pretty darn exceptional.
But then Ethereal Confections came into my life and delivered me the most amazingly perfect cup of hot cocoa.
Remember earlier this year when I discontinued the teas? I had many ask me what I was going to do next. My answer was somewhat vague, but I would always say that I had some ideas. Specifically, my idea was hot cocoa. But finding a company that offered exactly what I was looking for proved to be more difficult than anticipated.
So what was I looking for?
First, I wanted a small business. While the teas I offered last year were wonderful, they were from a very large company. The problem when you work with a huge company is that they don't value the little guys. An office like mine where I'm placing a small order every few months really means nothing to them. If I offered products, I wanted it to be from a company who appreciated my business.
Second, I wanted a company that made their own product from scratch. Anyone, including myself, and buy premade cocoa powder or chocolate and mix it together to make something. And while that may still end up being delicious, it just misses a quality mark for me. High quality chocolate just hits different.
Third, if I was to be working with a chocolate company, it needed to use responsibly sourced cacao. These industries can be ripe with humanitarian issues, and it feels wrong to indulge in such a beautiful thing, like chocolate, when it comes from a source that treats it's product and workers unfairly.
I searched for months for a company that met these 3 standards and came up empty handed.
Then one day, I randomly got an email from Ethereal, who is expanding their wholesale market. They saw my website and reached out. Unbeknownst to them, they were exactly what I was looking for.
Ethereal builds relationships with their farmers, located in Central and South America, and regularly visit them to ensure high-quality product that is up to their standards. After receiving the beans they sort, roast, grind, age, temper, and mold the chocolate themselves!
This results in an exceptionally luxurious chocolate. Precisely what I was looking for all along.
So on your next visit, pick up a package of delicious and indulgent hot cocoa and chocolate- you deserve it!
Spring has sprung, and it's time for something new!
Introducing 2 new Yomassage themes that capture all the elements that make spring special- from the vibrant tulips and daffodils to the moody storms and chilly days.
Before I get to those, a little Yomassage announcement- we now have some Saturday classes! The times of these may vary, but I plan to offer them around 11/11:30, so just make sure to check the time on your reminders. Sign up online here or give me a call to schedule.
On to the themes (I'm so excited about these!):
#1: Rainy Spring Day: Is there anything better than that cool, muddy smell on a rainy spring day? (Fun fact: that smell is called petrichor) For this meditation, you'll wrap yourself up in a cozy blanket, grab a cup of tea, and spend a lazy afternoon enjoying the gentle, soothing sounds of a spring storm.
Classes with this theme will be Saturday, April 2nd at 11:30am and Thursday, May 26th at 5:30pm
#2: Tranquil Garden: A chance to remind ourselves of the natural beauty all around us. Explore a blossoming spring garden, appreciating the sounds, the smells, and the abundance of new life created within. (Inspired by my trip last year to Garvan Woodland Gardens in Arkansas)
Classes with this theme will be Saturday, May 14th at 11am and Saturday, June 11th at 11am
Speaking of gardens- our friends at the Ilion Community Garden need your help! Recently they were able to take their project to the next level with a great open space. They even now offer the opportunity to have your own garden beds and will help get you started! They need donations but they also need volunteers for hands-on work. Gardens may grow themselves but they don't plant/weed/water themselves!
If you want to get involved, there is an orientation TOMORROW (4/2) which you can find here: ICG Orientation or check out their facebook page/website and consider a donation.
So much has changed over the last few years, from my availability to demand for massage. With the beginning of 2022, it is time for me to update my cancellation policy.
Let's get candid about cancellations for a sec.
2022 will mark my 12th year as a massage therapist, as well as my fourth year with Evolve. During that time, I have very rarely had issues with cancellations. And if they do happen, it is not usually a problem to fill an open spot, especially if I know a few days in advance.
I am also quite lenient about cancellations. I always have been because for the most part my clients are respectful of my time. And I completely understand that sometimes things happen that are outside of our control. Illnesses, accidents, unexpected responsibilities, etc. But... these haven't been majority of last minute cancellations- and is why I have taken note. Many of my last minute openings have been because of reasons that have been known for a while (such as vacations, appointment conflicts, work schedules, etc) and could have been taken care of weeks earlier.
But over the last 2 or 3 months, I have started to feel like my leniency has been taken for granted at times. Most everyone knows that I work alone and do not have a receptionist, so if a last minute cancellation comes in, it is almost impossible for me to fill (I can't be massaging one person and be on the phone with another, after all!). Considering I book out about 3 months, this means there are new clients or people in pain who are unable to schedule, who otherwise would have been able to! It is not fun to turn away someone who is in need, especially if I could have scheduled them if I'd known about an open spot sooner.
Therefore, I am updating my cancellation policy to the following:
-Cancellations are required 48 hours in advance: Everyone receives a reminder text 48 hours before their appointment. This is not something I do manually- my software automatically sends texts (and indicates to me that they've been received). This is the point where a cancellation needs to take place. This will give me plenty of time to go through my waiting list and contact someone who is trying to get in.
-Cancellation Fees: Since opening Evolve I have, technically, had a cancellation fee in place- but honestly, I have only used it on ONE occasion (and that was when it affected someone working for me, not just me). Going forward, cancellations less than 48 hours in advance with be subject to half the charge of the scheduled appointment, which will be added on to the next appointment.
No shows will result in a charge of the entire appointment cost, which also will need to be paid before scheduling the next appointment. Repeat no-shows an frequent cancellations may result in a credit card needing to be on file in order to schedule.
Please let me be clear- I DO NOT want to charge cancellation fees. And I also do not want to require cards in order to book. But I also recognize that I am quite a pushover when it comes to last minute cancellations and there is a need to put my foot down (even if I don't want to!). I am hoping that going forward, these new policies will clear up any cancellation issues I have been experiencing and we won't have to go on to the next steps. I don't anticipate having to do that, considering this is the first time in 12 years I have felt the need to update these policies.
One more suggestion from me as to how to avoid these unwanted and last minute changes- before leaving my office put your scheduled appointments in your phone or planner. Many times, we rely on the reminder texts. But if we rely on only those, that sets us up to overbook ourselves and then have to cancel last minute. Plan ahead, and don't rely on the text!
If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me any time!
Happy New Year- I look forward to seeing all your faces (hopefully soon unmasked) in 2022!
I've been teasing everyone for a month and now I can reveal ALL my holiday goodies for 2021- including a Gift Card Special!
Before we delve into the exciting stuff I have an important update: I will be CLOSED the entire week before Christmas. But I will be OPEN on Christmas Eve from 10am to 1pm. You will still be able to call or email me during that week so I can get gifts ready and arrange pick up times or online orders. Don't worry! I just won't be available for in-office pick ups until Christmas Eve.
2021 Holiday Gift Card Special:
I am so excited to announce my very first Yomassage special! After these past two crazy, hectic, chaotic years, we are so in need of stress-management, relaxation, and time for ourselves. Yomassage is a perfect combination of yoga, massage, and meditation, creating the ultimate relaxation experience.
This year's gift card special is a private Yomassage session for 2. A great gift for mom & dad, your bestie, or your S.O. Private sessions are normally $100, but this gift card is available for only $75!
There are no purchase limits, they are available for new and existing clients, and this special is available in-office only until 12/31.
Online Gift Card Information:
I had hoped to open up my gift cards to everyone this holiday season but with my schedule the way it is I just cannot do that! However, gift cards are available for existing clients. To purchase, just give me a call or send an email, I will verify that your loved one is a current client, and then I will either send you the gift card link or arrange a pick-up time for you.
(Please note that the Yomassage gift card special is available to everyone, including new clients!)
Last month I announced that Busy Bobbin had her Christmas craft items at the office. Though the collection has thinned out quite a bit, there are still a few things available such as: Adult Santa Gloves and Boot Cuffs, Wine Bottle Holders, and Felt Gift Bags.
Holiday Teas from TeaForte are now available in their mini samplers (and we do have a coaster set of 4 from Busy Bobbin!). Perfect flavors for an indulgent winter cup!
And last but not least, our Heat Wraps are back! All of our designs are in stock, from the Neck and Shoulder design, to the sets of Mini Handwarmers. These make perfect gifts for that person on your list who is difficult to buy for ;)
Feel free to contact me any time with questions, gift card inquiries, or to hold or pick up items.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Earlier in 2021 I had to stop offering gift cards because my schedule was so full I could not get new clients in! I had hoped to re-open them to the public during the holidays but with the way my schedule is going, that just isn't possible.
However, gift cards are available to existing clients! If you would like to purchase a gift card for your loved one, simply contact me via phone or email. I will verify that they are, indeed, a current client of mine. After that I will either set up a time for you to come pick it up, or I will send you the link to my online gift cards.
*Please also note that for the 2021 Holiday Season, Evolve will be closed the week before Christmas but will be open Christmas Eve from 10am-1pm for gift card pick ups.
Feel free to call me at 315-717-6192 or send me an email at email@example.com for more details or to purchase. Happy Holidays!
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Or at least, it is my favorite time of the year. The energy in the atmosphere is so exciting, it's an excuse to have fun parties, make delicious food, put up cute decorations, and just enjoy being in the moment.
I am most excited to reveal all my holiday products from Busy Bobbin. Most of you are familiar with Terri, our favorite local crafter (and also, my mom). Many of our beloved area craft shows have been cancelled once again, so I will have several of her holiday craft items available throughout the season, including:
-Crocheted Holiday Gloves
-Crocheted Holiday Boot Cuffs
-Christmas Wine Bottle Holders
-Decorative Holiday Coasters
-Holiday Felt Gift Bags
This also means that HEAT WRAPS ARE BACK! I have several new ones available in all sizes, including the popular Neck and Shoulder design. Supply is limited, if you'd like to purchase one you may want to reach out to me sooner rather than later! You can check out more designs by visiting Busy Bobbin's Facebook page.
I also have an important announcement regarding gift certificates. If you've kept up with me on social media or via my newsletters you may know that several months ago I closed my gift cards to the public. I had hoped to reopen them during the holiday season but unfortunately I am not going to be able to do that. Considering that right now I am still unable to take new clients, I cannot in good conscience allow people to purchase gift cards if I can't guarantee that the recipients will be able to use them in a timely fashion.
However, gift cards will be available for existing clients. If you would like to purchase a gift card, simply give me a call or send me a message and I will confirm that the recipient is an existing client and send you the link for the online gift cards, or provide you with the times I am available so you can come pick one up.
I will have a special gift card offer involving Yomassage will begin in December!! But--- you'll have to wait until next month to find out the details on that. In the meantime, enjoy the beginning of the holiday season and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.