We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maria, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Wanting my own business has been the driving force of my career, since I became a massage therapist in 2009. I had always dreamed of a wellness center, and every year I am closer to that goal, I started small, but I keep on striving, climbing and achieving! Like most people, I spent years working for others, and having a boss (frankly I didn’t care much for that!) I observed how businesses were run, how people did things, hands on approaches hands off approaches, you name it! I always thought to myself, ‘I like that, but I would do it like this…’ or ‘I can do that better!’ So I took the leap!
By starting my own business I was able to create something of my own, expand my dreams and my goals, and do it the way I wanted it to be done. I treat my staff the way I would have liked to be treated at a job, compensated in a way that I would have been happy with. As for my clients, I aspire to a high bar and in every interaction I put myself in their shoes, and try to create an experience, that if I were the consumer, I would be happy with.
Having the freedom to tweak, change, expand, grow, solve and be happy with my work? That is why I started my own business.

What should our readers know about your business?
I think what really sets my business apart from others is commitment to client care. Meaning; we listen to you! Our goal is to have client-centered healthcare, your time is valuable – time is a finite commodity, and the time we choose to share with others is extremely important. The goal of my business is to make sure you, the client, feel valued, listened to, cared for and prioritized. The last thing we do is de-value your needs, we understand that when something isn’t right, and your performance is off, you need help overcoming that. So we focus, focus, on you and your needs. No BODY is the same as the next, and your treatment session should never be the same as everyone else’s. I truly believe that our attention to client care, the level of experience and high standards we have in our team is what sets us apart. To us, your time and your session is valuable, we are not going to waste that.

Opening a small business is never a cake walk, its hard, its a constant challenge. But to me it never was hard in a way that made me want to quit. Because everything I did, put me one step closer to my goal, sure I might’ve been working 7 days a week, but I was working for ME! Opening my own business was hard in a good way; it challenged me, pushed me, and made me try harder/do better, learn more!
When I started out it was just me, and I did EVERYTHING! From bookings, marketing, sessions with clients, follow up emails, maintenance everything down to scrubbing toilets. I wore all the hats! Now I have built a team around me, and I continue to wear all the hats, I still clean the bathrooms! Thats the thing about business though, the more you grow the more responsibility you have, I think that’s part of why I love it – there’s never a dull moment!
The most important lesson I learned in business, is that you can’t be a quitter, and you can’t have an “I deserve this” attitude. What makes you think you deserve something more than the next person? Nobody deserves anything! If it’s worth it, you will EARN IT! As a leader and a boss, I would never expect or ask someone to do something that I haven’t done, or couldn’t do. I think that having experience in all facets of your business is imperative to being a good leader, and to growing a good successful team. I love what I do, and I want the people who work for me, with me, to love it too!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston is a food lovers dream!! So we would have to hit up my favorite restaurants: Doris Metropolitan, Travelers Table, Kata Robata, BCN, Badolina Bakery in Rice Village, Common Bond on Westheimer. I would and do drag all my visiting friends to my favorite workout studio Define River Oaks (love, love love!) Hit up some cute boutique shopping in Rice Village, Heights Mercantile, River Oaks shopping center area. For night life; River Oaks District, Permission Whiskey Services in the Heights on White Oak, 8 Row Flint on Yale and 11th, Clarkwood in the new arts district off Waugh and Allen Parkway. Museums, museums, museums! Nasa, Color Factory, grab some bikes and bike around the bayou. Did I mention food?

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My business would not be successful without my clients and friends and all the word of mouth referrals! I wouldn’t be anywhere without people! My clients, my staff, the people I have met along the way that have served to mentor me, and support me, to grow with me. I would like to thank my partner, Uri, for always pushing me to take another chance and to grow more. My best friend/sister, Megan, she always is there for me and has been for over 20 years. MY staff; Diana and Amanda, who trusted me to give them a job and to grow together! All my amazing clients who have been referring people to us, and who have trusted us to care for their health and wellness, there are too many of you to name! Dr. Renee of Mobile Aligned Chiro. Has been a great friend and I am so grateful for everyone she has sent my way. Jennifer Light of Dot Dot Salon in the Heights, has really helped immensely in the success of my business. Henry Richards of Define River Oaks, he is an amazing fitness instructor, friend and a true inspiration to me. Thank you to everyone!

Website: www.elevationmassagehou.com

Instagram: @elevationmassagehou

Linkedin: Maria Anderson

Image Credits
Cindy Robertson

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