Timing can be everything when it comes to pursuing your passion and succeeding at it. That’s what Emily Bauer, owner of Blue Skies Massage & Wellness, discovered while working for someone else. Frustrated with how customers were being treated and knowing she wanted to change that for the better, as well as earn a living doing what she loved, Emily decided to follow her heart and develop a business she would be proud to own and patronize.
Within a day after choosing to start her own business in 2008, Emily got a call from a stranger who was referred to her by two longtime clients. After receiving a massage, this new customer confessed she was looking to retire from massage after 18 years and had been searching the last year and a half for someone to take on her clients. After that, “everything else fell into place” for Emily including finding a new location to hiring like-minded staff.
Colorado Enterprise Fund involvement
To open the doors of her new business, Emily first went to her local bank for a loan. “They were unable to help me, as I was a new startup business with no history,” Emily recalls. “Even though I had many years of experience, it was a new business and seemed like a risky investment.” So when she got her loan from Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) in 2013, Emily was able to create the business she wanted complete with all the extra touches that set her business apart from others. “Without the loan from CEF,” Emily remarked, “I would more than likely not be in business today."
Emily continues to be successful in finding resources to grow her small business including being an enthusiastic member of the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce, co-branding her services with neighboring businesses that serve a similar clientele (Active Family Chiropractic), and and getting help with accounting from CEF’s Business Acceleration Services team. As a result, her business has received Longmont’s Best Deep Tissue and Sports Massage awards three years in a row (2013, 2014, and 2015).
Emily has grown to understand the needs of her clients by offering free assessments and tailoring therapy sessions to their expectations. She says CEF approaches the needs of small business in a similar way. “CEF funds our dreams and takes that calculated risk with us. They also offer classes and individualized guidance to those of us that aren't naturals in the business world but are passionate about our skills." Emily concludes, "CEF has helped empower us to live the lives we dreamed about.”