Two best friends from Strabane have combined their knowledge and passion for alternative therapies by joining forces to launch their own wellness business, thanks to support from the Go For It programme in association with Derry City and Strabane District Council.
This project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014- 2020) Programme.
Co. Tyrone mumpreneurs, Joanne Gallagher and Stephanie Rice, launched Good Vibes in their hometown of Strabane in June 2019, after identifying a gap in the market for alternative and holistic treatments in the town.
Joanne said: “I felt the benefits of alternative and holistic treatments personally and wanted to know more, so after much research I trained to become a Meditation Coach, Reiki Master and NLP Practitioner. I have always been passionate about wellness and in recent years have practised privately, offering holistic treatments such as reiki and meditation to clients who experience symptoms including anxiety, stress, aches and pains, among other things.
“I feel passionately about the benefits of alternative therapy and since Stephanie, my best friend from secondary school also practised within the field, it just made sense for us to join forces.”
Joanne and Stephanie offer a variety of alternative therapies, including reflexology, massage, meditation and yoga in a safe and friendly environment that allows clients to explore which practice works best for them.
Joanne and Stephanie welcome a wide range of clients to their studio, from alternative therapy veterans to those who are new to holistic healing techniques.
Stephanie who is a Reflexologist, Indian Head Masseuse and Aromatherapy Specialist and plans to train as a yoga teacher in the spring said: “Helping others is something I have always loved doing. I am passionate about alternative therapies and have experienced first-hand the effect these, combined with the power of positivity, can have.
“Opening my own business was something I had always dreamed of and with Joanne also working within the industry, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to partner up to bring the dream to life.”
Joanne and Stephanie turned their idea for a business into a reality after taking part in the Go For It Programme, which is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies.
The Go For It Programme, provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn people’s ideas for a business into a commercial enterprise.
Stephanie commented: “We had the passion for health and wellbeing, but beyond our qualifications and training we didn’t know how to put it all together into a sustainable business model. That’s where the Go For It Programme came in and really helped us.
“The programme helped us with everything from marketing strategies to financial planning. The Business Advisors were very attentive and explained everything to us in great detail, and we both felt really informed and supported throughout the whole process. With the help of the programme, we were really supported to set up the business.”
Orla McNulty, Business Advisor with Strabane Enterprise Agency on behalf of Derry City and Strabane District Council added: “It was a pleasure to assist Joanne and Stephanie in the start-up stage of their business. They have a real passion for health and wellbeing and that passion for helping others really underpins their business ethos.
“I sat down with Joanne and Stephanie and together we planned a clear strategy for their business start-up. A business plan was developed with detailed financial forecasts, marketing strategies and addressed legal issues. I’m delighted to see that the business is thriving for the ladies, with so many people availing of the fantastic services they are now providing in Strabane town centre. With their passion for health and wellbeing, their vast experience in alternative therapies and their specialist qualifications, Joanne and Stephanie are well positioned within the marketplace and have a bright future ahead of them.”
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business contact the Go For It team on 0800 027 0639 or visit: www.goforitni.com.