The interview today is with Emma King from Empathy Holistics, thank you to Emma for taking the time to answer our questions and we hope you enjoy reading our latest interview in our spring interview series .
Tell us a little bit about you and your business. When did you start and what made you decide to start your own business?
Hi, my name is Emma King I have always had an interest in complementary therapies since I was ten years of age. I was given a book by Danielle Ryman about Aromatherapy this then jump started my passion and interest in the subject. I attended the university of Salford in 2001 were I obtained a BSc (Hons) Complementary Medicine and counselling Studies. As part of the degree I was lucky enough to gain a diploma in Aromatherapy this is when my interest in essential oils started to grow. After university I got a job as a mail order assistant at Neal’s Yard Remedies. I was able to sometimes work in the shop front, I got inspired by their products and how they blended their products. In 2006 I decided to launch Empathy Holistics; a mobile holistic therapy business. Last year when I was expecting our first child I decided to develop and create my own handmade products including oil blends and creams.
Where in the UK are you based?
I am based in Bolton, Lancashire. I live in a very inspirational part of the country with rolling hills and gorgeous landscapes.
What did you do before starting your business?
I used to work for Neal’s Yard remedies and in local nurseries as a nursery assistant. This helped me to spark an interest in trying to offer holistic therapies to the wider community. I then went off on maternity leave a couple of years ago. I am now back to work enabling me to create more products and new treatments for everyone!!!
What started your interest in holistic therapies, aromatherapy and relaxation?
I have always wanted to help people, I was going to study midwifery at university, but decided to go down the holistic route. I was given a book by Danielle Ryman from a family member one Christmas when I was very young this then sparked an interest into wanting to know more about Aromatherapy and other complementary therapies.
Robert Tisserand was a name I came across regularly when researching for university assignments. He had a vision to bring aromatherapy based products into everyone’s home. As that is what he has done; he has also written extensive literature in relation to essential oils. He has inspired me greatly in my own work.
How did you feel when you had just launched your business?
I felt excited, but nervous at the prospect of stepping out on my own as a self-employed therapist, who owns her own business. I was fortunate to get support from family members and I was in the right age bracket to get some financial backing from the Prince’s Trust and with that came a brilliant business mentor. This gave me encouragement and confidence to go out there and sell my products and services.
What were the main challenges or most important things to learn when you first started?
When I first started out I was unemployed and didn’t really have a direction, I was also accepted onto the New Entrepreneurial Scheme which helped me to learn and practice the skills needed for running my own business. They helped me to know how to tackle marketing and how to promote my products and services.
The most challenging aspect was that I had never run a business before so I didn’t really know what to expect. I felt as though I had started a journey but didn’t know where the destination would be.
Did you get lots of support from family and friends when you first told them of your plans to start a business?
All my family and friends were very supportive. It was a big undertaking and still is. I think having a caring and encourage support network is so important.
Once you had started how long did it take for you to feel that it was an established business? Or if you’re still building your business at what point/milestone will you feel like you’ve established a successful business?
I feel like I am still growing and developing the business day by day. I think as long as I have happy, loyal customers then I know I have achieved a successful business.
What treatments and products do you offer and what conditions can they help with?
Empathy Holistics is a therapy and product business based in Bolton, Lancashire. I am an experienced therapist of 8 years and I have been working with a variety of people including pregnant ladies, people with additional support needs and a variety of organisations over the past few years for example: Manchester Carers Forum, the University of Salford.
Empathy Holistics has recently created a gorgeous range of hand-blended aromatherapy products to suit your individual needs; for example lotions and potions.
Complementary therapies can be used alongside conventional medicine to boost our emotional, mental and physical well-being. Empathy Holistics provides a wide range of holistic treatments including the use of aromatherapy oils and massage to relieve stress and other medical conditions. We also offers hopi ear treatments, holistic massage, pregnancy massage, infant massage and is an instructor of peer massage in schools (MISA) and group workshops.
What are the best things about running your own business?
I would have to say the flexibility, as I can work around family commitments. I have also managed to take our son along to sessions which I have been running locally for example my baby and toddler workshops. It’s not every job you can take your children to work with you; plus this reduces childcare costs.
I also enjoy the social aspect of networking with other business owners; this is a great way to learn new skills and a way of experiencing new ideas for your own business.
I like the fact that it allows me to become creative and that my own personality can shine through the business as well.
What do you feel has been your greatest achievement so far?
Becoming a shop owner online as you need to make sure you are always coming up with new products to keep your customers interest.
I think becoming more mobile, as I learnt to drive over the past couple of years. This was a bit of a challenge as I had a new born to deal with as well as learning to deal with challenges through the business and on the road.
If you weren’t running your own business what do you think you would be doing?
I think I would still be a note taker for students at university with additional support needs, or working in a childcare setting!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. Going for walks in new places and experiencing new places. I also like to go on the odd spa day; I think of this as doing research and gathering inspiration for my own products and services, it’s a hard life!!
What advice would you give to other mums thinking about starting up their own business?
The advice I would give other mummies looking to embark on a new business enterprise is think of it as an experience, a journey with excitements, tribulations and challenges along the way. A little bit like when you become a mummy for the first time. You never stop learning and developing your own skills.
Speak to lots of other people in a similar situation to yourself and keep networking; I strongly believe that word of mouth really works.
Do you think running your own business has had a positive effect on your children and how they view you as a working mum?
I would like to think it has and still is having a positive effect on our son. I hope that he sees how determined his mummy is in life and sees me as a positive role model in everything I do.
I also think the interaction he gets throughout the sessions with other children of a similar age to himself and allowing him to build relationships with other adults as well as his mummy.
What plans do you have for your business in the future?
I have a few plans for Empathy Holistics, I would love to offer online workshops to mums and dads who can’t get out the house with their little ones due to medical reasons. I would also like to extend my services to people with additional support needs for example onsite massage and relaxation sessions.
I really want to learn how to make cold-pressed soaps, another exciting new passion of mine and a way of extending my product range.
Much more is still to come from Empathy Holistics………………
Where can we find out more about Empathy Holistics?
You can find out about all of Empathy Holistic’s up and coming events and all my treatments and products on: www.empathyholistics.co.uk and also through Folksy: www.folksy.com by typing in Empathy Holistics. And also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/empathyholistics
07913 708 419
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