by Jennifer Lavallee
Morinville News Correspondent
A few months ago, on February 14—Valentine’s Day—Kristen Sherwin launched a new labour of love. It was the day in which she officially opened the doors to her new massage therapy business in Morinville called, Body Barn. Fast-forward two months later, and she’s still in love.
“I wasn’t planning on starting a business this early [in my career], but everything kind of fell into place unexpectedly,” she explained in an interview. “One night, I was driving by, and I saw this building was available, and it happened to be right beside a yoga studio; it’s very complementary to what I do. So, I called the building’s owner, and the ball got rolling.”
Sherwin, who is a registered massage therapist, now employs eight staff members. The young entrepreneur is positioning her business as a “one-stop shop” for body wellness services, some of which have not been offered in the Town before.
Obviously, massage is Sherwin’s leading service. That includes relaxation and deep tissue massage, couples and pregnancy massage, and even lymphatic drainage massage (to mention a few options). Appointments are available in 60-minute sessions; however, express (30 minutes) and extended (90 minutes) massages can also be booked.
Starting in May, a few massage therapist students will begin their practicum hours at Body Barn, which means opportunities for discounted massage rates.
In addition to massage, sessions for acupuncture, cupping, body wraps, Reiki (for both adults and children), and body scrubs are all available. Esthetics such as waxing, facials, and pedicures can also be booked.
The studio has boutique space, where organic soaps, glass art, and organic, nut-free, teas are a few of items lining the shelves.
One element Sherwin is hoping will set Body Barn apart, and goes with the idea of “whole-body” wellness, is blood testing. “We have a registered nurse and lab technician here who can take blood samples for a variety of tests,” Sherwin said. Examples of potential tests include pre-employment drug and alcohol testing, paternity testing, and food intolerance testing.
Taking it a step further, Sherwin also has health and safety equipment for purchase at Body Barn, such as custom orthotics, molded ear plugs, prescription safety glasses, and hearing/sound audits. For the most part, Body Barn does direct billing to all major insurance companies.
“I’ve been hearing positive feedback from people, but I’m not surprised about that because people from Morinville seem to always be so supportive,” noted Sherwin, who said running a business has been fun, but at times has also been stressful.
Marketing the business and getting the word out there on everything Body Barn does has been the biggest challenge so far, she said. Despite that, she’s been finding early successes which she credits largely to her staff.
“Our team here is so great; they are passionate, and you can see that they are driven when they’re here. They are excited to be a part of a studio like this, from the ground up,” remarked the business owner.
Body Barn is located on 101 Street, next to My Strength Wellness Studio and is open Mondays through Saturdays (and by appointment for massages on Sundays, as well).