We had the good fortune of connecting with Beverly Kennedy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Beverly, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Hands down best choice I ever made in business, and my personal life, was to be as authentic and vulnerable as possible with my clientele and online audience. I asked myself, “what is my mission statement and am I living up to it?” This question and my continuously shifting answer propels the momentum of my business, bringing me into greater alignment and into genuine collaboration with other brands that mesh well. My perspective is always community based. How can I care for myself first, in order to best serve my community? Setting boundaries is so important. As well as foundations of personal health. If you are not well then you can not be at your best. Outside of myself, I consider each person that comes to my massage table as a divine occurrence. Something intangible led them to me and I take a deeply sacred vow to serve them to the best of my ability and make health recommendations foremost on their best interest, not my financials. Finally, I always keep a very tangible heartbeat on the lives and interactions of individuals and locally owned businesses. I show I care by showing up, remembering significant encounters, and offering freely of my heart whenever anybody comes to ask my aid. When clients see you genuinely care, they become loyal fans and friends.
PS I also recommend all massage therapists to shift their practice to be client-centered versus treatment menu centered. And to remove gratuity from your establishment if you are independently operating. Encourage regular appointments over that measly $20 icing. The gesture can relieve clients of tip anxiety and establish yourself as a health professional verses another set of hands for the hour.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Bodywork Babe Your babe for mind, body, soul.
My wellness journey and my wellness practice are intermingled. After 3 years as a licensed massage therapist, energyworker, and sound healer, I was still mostly working for someone else and taking just a few clients on the side as they so happened. Usually for absurdly cheap rates both for housecalls and in compensation as an employee or independent contractor. Which, if you are not in control of negotiating your worth, is basically the same thing and below sufficient compensation for the education and labor of professionals in our industry. Not to knock anyone’s professional decisions, some enjoy the comfort and freedom of working for someone else’s establishment. I know I sincerely loved it for so many years. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. From generic massage chain to five star spa to colonic clinics, I broke my teeth on experiencing the range of my industry on the east and west coast. Then I moved back home and established Bodywork Babe.
After two years I have become one of the top thriving massage practices in the beautiful sandy shores of Santa Rosa Beach, Fl. My brand was built on international and local housecalls as well as many, many lovely collaborations. Next month I will open doors to my very own clinic which will be a wellness co-op offering affordable rental space to local practitioners. In the coming years, I hope to have land where I can educate the next generation of massage therapists, host retreats, and provide a space of healing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If coming to the emerald coastline portion of Florida, I’d highly recommend the state parks. They are beautiful and well kept. You can experience both forest walks and quartz beaches for a day of swimming. Many of the restaurants are local so you can expect high quality from almost every establishment.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out my mentor, Joel Mitchell aka Renegade Bodywork. After my massage teacher, Calvin, died a few years back, I was without a mentor. Funny enough, he used to say “the best therapist to train is a new one, ’cause they don’t have to unlearn all the sh*t their last teachers taught them.” I loved Calvin like a father, but these words actually applied to him. Joel taught me so much in the span of the last couple years. Not just techniques or business operations, which were invaluable lessons he imparted, but life lessons too. How to balance who I am inside and outside my practice. How to draw healthy boundaries on my energy, time, and money. How to be more deeply connected to myself, my family, and my community. He gave me power on so many levels that I can never fully express my gratitude upon. I love him as my teacher, the truest teacher I have ever been blessed to receive wisdom from. I believe in him and his work and his family lifestyle so very deeply. You can find out more about his work on instagram at @renegadebodywork and online at renegadebodywork.org