Trevia Walker leads an intriguing life as a Massage Therapist and Arvigo Treatment practitioner helping women love and honor themselves by providing treatment and support for abdominal, uterine and pelvic health. (Arvigo is a massage technique specifically designed for the abdomen and uterus.) Her interview inspires us to turn off our Facebook notifications while we work and to prioritize growing our email list.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
Naturally I am a teacher and a nurturer. I thrive when I am in a position to support others on their journey. So teaching people through lessons I have learned through my own struggles as well as passing on amazing knowledge that I learn through peers and clients really fires me up and lets me know I am on the right path.
Tell us about your business or practice.
My business name is Belly Adore which is all about helping women love and honor themselves just as they are right now and offering treatments and techniques which support abdominal, uterine and pelvic health. The most “hated” body part on most women is our bellies and I really want to change that!
What is your current business model?
Currently, I do 1:1 treatments sessions with clients. I also have an online newsletter where I share my journey of living a life of travel and trying to find a balance with self-care and helping others including my family. I am looking to expand into offering workshops, e-course or online support and publishing a book in the near future.
What has been one of your favorite moments as a business owner thus far?
After learning Arvigo (ATMAT), I received in one week three different emails from clients. Their testimonials and gratitude touched me so much that I cried while reading them. It’s this kind of response that helps me realize that I am on the right path to help women and myself.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business or practice?
One challenge I face is the sensitive nature of my work. At first I thought being sensitive to local Saudi culture would be the trickiest thing to deal with. However I was surprised to find it was the western culture mindset and taboos about our menstrual cycles has been for me the hardest thing to work through to be able to help other women learn and honor their bodies.
How have you overcome those challenges?
I just keep putting the message out there but toned down a little. Then when someone comes in for a session, I find they often feel more comfortable sharing and willing to experiment in this area of women’s health. I also sent out a Google doc questionnaire about what are women looking for in this specific area and I am using that to direct my outreach.
How do you find new clients?
Most of my clients are purely word of mouth clients. I live on a small compound where most people know me. I do have a Facebook page and a website women can access to learn more without having to talk to me straightaway.
What have you found to be most effective in securing new clients to sign up for your services?
Clients sign up usually because they are hurting or pregnant. It’s amazing what women will do for their baby that they won’t do for themselves. I am still trying to figure out how to support women more after they give birth. It’s important to educate women (and men) the health benefits of massage, body work and self-care after the baby comes. Often I find women again put their care and needs in the back seat but they are the ones driving the car so to speak. (Well maybe not in Saudi so much). For postnatal care, any thing self care the new mother is doing is also helping the baby but it’s just not common knowledge how important it is.
What do you do to keep your existing clients engaged in the long term?
Arvigo Treatments by nature are not ongoing. There is a treatment plan and once the goals or plan is reached then clients are empowered to do the self-care at home to maintain the progress made during the sessions. However, I always encourage my clients to use our communities’ yoga classes and other body workers services.
As your own boss, what is your best strategy for staying focused and productive during your workday?
Well, I need to turn off ALL notifications to Facebook, Email, etc. I can get so much more done if I am not getting pinged all day long. I find Facebook really sucks me in, and 20 minutes later I am scrolling through my feed wondering how I even started doing that. Another strategy I have is having online booking. This saves me so much time and energy. Of course there are always a few clients who don’t like it, but I think most enjoy being able to look at what appointments are offered and cancel whenever they want.
If you could start your business over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?
I would have started a true mailing list from day one and keep better track of my expenses. I was able to run my business off of my Facebook page and online booking page. Since the rules have changed on Facebook, that strategy just doesn’t work as I was not reaching my clients any longer. I would encourage people just starting out to put up a quick landing page and set up a newsletter right away.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
Please, practice what you preach. Don’t NOT get the treatments you give to others. It will catch up with you at some point. I had to leave my bodywork career for 5 years because of wrist pain and now can only do it part-time. Your body is your biggest assets. The healthier and more mobile it is the clearer your thinking and the more enjoyment you will get out of your work.
What are the top three business tools or resources you couldn’t live without?
At this moment, My Bookedin.net scheduler, Wave online software for accounting help keep my expenses and scheduling in order. Other thing that keeps me growing and enjoying my work is the ability to continue to learn even online. I live in a remote place that doesn’t have many local education opportunities so online or telecourses really help keep me challenged and helping women in even more ways every year.
What has been your most effective method for growing your business?
I would have to say consistency in my own self-care, honesty and TRULY caring about my clients.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever for done for your business?
One crazy night in Denver, CO I did chair massages in a bar for a fundraiser our friend was hosting with his band. It was AWESOME and a completely wild experience.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Signing up for continuing education in places like London, Zimbabwe & Israel. Combining solo travel with learning is my heaven.
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
Well, the street food in China takes the cake! My favorite were quail eggs that were cooked on a stick.
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Recently, my husband and I did some trekking in the Ethiopian Highlands above Lalibela. We couldn’t finish the trek and had to stay (unplanned) with a local family on their farm. I didn’t sleep a wink because I was shaking from the cold all night, but wouldn’t change the experience if I could.
Last book you read?
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
Really, you are going to make me choose between Indian and Mexican food? I just can’t do it!
What is your go-to breakfast?
2 eggs, sautéed veggies like beet greens and potatoes cooked in a cast iron skillet.
What do you find most fascinating about the human body?
I find it so fascinating how amazing it is in adapting to what we do for better or worse. This is why I am such an advocate of natural movement and of self love. If I can’t touch my toes there is a reason for it and understanding that reason in a non-judgmental way is so empowering.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
The best thing about having my own business is level integrity and honesty is from my heart. I don’t have to bend what I truly believe in to reflect a boss or co-worker views in order to provide for my family and do what I love.
Trevia Walker is a Certified Massage Therapist and Arvigo Treatment Practiononer based out of Ras Tanura, Eastern Provence, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as Boulder, Colorado. You can find out more about her and her practice, Belly Adore, at www. bellyadore.com.