Origins of On the Spot Wellness Wagon
In 2010 I was in school studying for massage. During this time I found out about the amazing idea of mobile massage. I knew that I wanted to be a mobile massage therapist. I mean why force a client who is in pain and just wants to relax deal with the headache of driving down the road, and trying to find a parking spot at a small office. This makes no sense! The idea of being mobile was born!
I graduated in August and obtained my massage license through the state of Tennessee in October. In 2011 I started working for a small clinic, which taught me everything NOT to do in a massage practice. Which eventually forced me to leave, and start my mobile practice. Excited I went online ordered business cards, and set up a small website. I posted online that I was offering mobile massage services. "Relax in your own home!" one ad said. I got a few calls here and there and started taking my massage table house to house. Then I seen the issue of mobile massage! There is about 5 minutes of finding and making sure I am at the right house, 5 minutes of getting the massage table out of my SUV and into the clients home, 10 Minutes of setting up the massage table and putting sheets on it. Then the intake and finding a bathroom to use to wash my hands and hide in while the client undresses and gets on the table. Now I have to do the massage and repeat to get the massage table back into my SUV and head to the next client! AAAHHH!!!
Now this table is 35 pounds, and is about 30 inches wide, and 72 inches long! When it isn't fold up. (its only 36 inches wide folded.) But I had to fit myself and this big awkward table through the door plus my bag that had my sheets, client intake forms and my bottle of oil.
This was no easy feat! I often bumped into walls, and pushed the door into the walls. Sometimes I had to not only fit between the front door but then I had to walk up stairs to the second story of the house. I knew there had to be a better way.
Then in 2012 I went back to a moment in massage school where I had a thought of converting a used ambulance into a mobile office. The business name was Muscle Medic. Providing stressectomies and pain relief. So a stressectomy is the removal of stress ectomy in medical lingo is the removal of. After doing some research I couldn't find anyone doing mobile massage in a vehicle this way and so I thought maybe I am just crazy! Friends all thought I was a genius but I wasn't so sure! Then later on that year as the food truck frenzy took off I found it! A lady had converted a airstream into a massage office! So my passion reignited!
Now came the search for the right vehicle! Rv, travel trailer, ambulance, bus, cargo trailer. Then where would I get the money to start such a crazy endeavor!
Then at the end of 2013 when my license with the state was coming up for renewal, I knew I hadn't been able to take all my required continuing education needed to maintain the license and keep practicing massage. So I did what I felt I should do. I retired my license and my dream of being able to provide mobile massage therapy to my clients died! After 2 years of being retired from massage I found a new small massage clinic, and enjoyed receiving massage at the location. My passion for massage had rekindled, and my finances had turned around where I knew I would be able to maintain my continuing education and I would be able to build my clientele. Little did I know this would not be the place for me either! When I left that practice I went to a chain. I didn't really want to go to a chain but I felt it would be a good Idea. So I started offering chair massage at the airport with Massage Bar in 2015. Now I really enjoy working at massage bar but I really wanted to open my own business. So back to the drawing board! I watched one youtube video after the other! Then I made my decision a school bus was the way to go! easy to buy, easy to drive, easy to convert!
I found my bus in IL (not the best place to find a bus!) but I bought it and brought it home! With excitement I started grinding out the bolts that held the seats in place! That excitement quickly wore out! It seemed like it took days to get all the bolts out and then some I couldn't get the bolts myself so I had to recruit help! and you know how hard it is to find help to move. Its even harder to find friends who are willing to help you disassemble a school bus! (I know from experience!)
Finally all the seats were cut out and my excitement had started to come back about this journey I had started!
I had started making plans, on where the table would go, the sink and the toilet. How I was going to finish the Inside. I started making phone calls to get help from friends and family. I was lining everyone up, but one after the other they just started avoiding me! Like I had the plague! So the bus sat with nothing going on, for 2 months! I was starting to feel defeat, I was getting depressed, this dream I have been dreaming is right before me, But where do I start in converting it by myself! I don't know the first thing when it comes to carpentry. Then while talking to my mom she said to ask my stepdad! So I did. He helped me get the electrical lines ran, the walls up and windows framed in. The bad part was this was in June!
By September the bus waWho knew having a bus that looked like this on the inside would be thrilling! It was I was relieved, I was excited again, This dream was getting closer to a reality! All I gotta do now is paint the walls, Lay the floor down, and set up the table. That's not that much! or so I thought!
Now remember me telling you that I bought the bus in Illinois? I said that wasn't that great of an idea. Well while the bus was at my mom's house. I had to replace the fuel pump. Ugh What an ordeal! Again I reached out to family who had mechanical knowledge and yet again I was disappointed by that same ol avoid like the plague syndrome! So I had to switch modes from carpenter to auto mechanic. We dropped the the fuel tank and beat the rust off the ring that holds the fuel pump in place. Now lets try to find a fuel pump for a 2006 Chevy collins school bus! This should be easy right? while we are looking for this fuel pump lets find two new hangers for the fuel tank. At least the fuel tank won't fall off while I am driving down the road! Finally we get the fuel pump replaced new fuel tank hangers installed and it is time to drive the bus back home to finish the last bit. Painting, flooring, decorating, ETC.
It was about 7 or 8 pm when I pulled out of my mom's driveway. She lives in the absolute middle of no where! It's dark and the road is very very narrow. I made it to the end of the road and was just about to pull out onto the main highway that would lead into town. All of a sudden it was pitch black! Darkness all around. Luckily we didn't disassemble the amber student lights on the bus. Because those were the only lights I had that were working at the time. I turn around and pull back into my moms driveway. Boom Lights head lights back on and I am confused as to what just happened. Lets try this again. I make it to the end of the drive way before the lights shut off again, and I know taking the bus back home isn't going to be possible. So back to youtube to find ways of fixing this new issue. It was just a relay switch which is a big fuse, I replaced it and haven't noticed a problem. (Yet!)
Finally the end of the year is approaching and my goal of starting my business went from May, to June, to August, to October after October I was wondering if I was ever going to get my business open.
I applied for my massage establishment license on December 4th, It was approved and mailed to me on December 7th and I received it on December 14th. Finally the bus is ready to go! My dream is here! I can share my passion of massage therapy and I can help my clients alleviate pain, and find a deeper state of relaxation and help to increase their sense of well-being! The lesson from this whole process is to not give up. At any moment I could have given up. When everyone was avoiding me, to when issues started to arise with the mechanics of the bus. It would have been easy to just give up, dust off my hands and focus on something else. Each life is unique and no one has the same experience at the same thing. Enjoy this life and take it slow, one day at a time. Keep your dreams alive and push forward through the barriers.
I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have had writing it and recollecting the events that lead me to where I am today! See you in the new year when more posts will be coming! Massage, Herbs, Self-care, Essential oils. It will all be here! I can't wait to share the greatness of natural healing with you! Until then, Peace!