THREE CHEERS ó Hip Hip Hooray!
This column salutes REAP businesses that are
finding ways to increase their success.
Military Injury Leads to a New Career and Business Ownership for this Woman Veteran
Due to a back injury while serving in the military, Keri York finds CranioSacral massage therapy works for her. From her experience with chronic pain, she became interested in learning the skills of a therapist and going into business for herself in the town of Fairbury, Nebraska.
After massage therapy school, Keri rented space for a salon from a chiropractor, and then tried working from home when her husband
Shane was called into military duty to Bosnia. Operating this business from her home just didnít pan out, and Keri took a job 80 miles away.
After about a year driving back and forth to work and trying to take care of her family and household, she was drawn back into the idea of having her own shop for massage therapy. It especially became more of a reality when she found an old building in town with a reasonable purchase price.
So in the fall of 2004, the Yorkís gutted the old building and started making it into a new massage therapy office. Shane and Keri thought they would do most of the renovations themselves. After they got into the work, they learned that Shane would have to go to Iraq in early 2005.
With the help of his military company and friends, they completed the work on the shop with just a week to spare before Shane would leave again for at least a year. Since Therapeutic Dimensions opened the new doors for business, Keri has had only one day off in months!
REAP Womenís Business Center Director Glennis McClure assisted Keri with her business plan, and REAP made a loan to help fix up the building. In April, Keri received one of nine Women and Company Microenterprise Boost Program $1,000 cash equity awards from REAP.
Keri is using part of the equity award to pay for continuing education hours in learning the next level of CranioSacral Therapy. She purchased Massage Office Pro software to help stay organized with client information, appointments, and inventory.
Keri believes her business location is more visible and has helped draw in customers. There arenít many therapists around the area that focus on CranioSacral Therapy, so Keri gets referrals for new customers from her satisfied customers.
Keri hopes to continue to educate her customers to stick with the therapy treatments more regularly. She says her greatest reward is the help and pain relief that some customers experience.
Taking care of their little four-year old Haley and running the business keeps Keri York busy most days. When Shane isnít serving our country overseas, heís a deputy sheriff.
Keri likes to read and was recently asked by the mayor to sit on the LB840 Citizenís Advisory Committee. She volunteers as a massage therapy trainer during the Lincoln Marathon and presents programs for the local hospital wellness program.