When and why did you join PWN?
I joined PWN in October 2014. I wanted to become a member because I was searching for an organization/community of like minded professional women to help bring support to one another. I enjoyed the luncheons, was impressed with the leadership and PWN just felt like the right fit.
What is your current occupation?
I am a Certified Massage Therapist and Bodyworker who provides wellness treatments in downtown San Francisco.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always worn many hats in my previous lines of work. Also, I enjoy seeing the whole picture versus being pigeon held in one position. I am not a “yes or no” person. I am more of a “how and why” person. Being an entrepreneur allows for me to function in a way that feels natural. I am lucky I actually get to do this with something I am so passionate about.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I am fascinated by human bodies and the minds & spirits that drive them. I enjoy working with people, giving them a space to heal and an opportunity to learn how to function in a way that best serves them. I love that I can be creative and think out of the box in healthcare. It allows me to produce unique treatments to better suit my clients and myself.
What role has networking played in your business?
Networking has played a huge role in running a private practice. I no longer feel like an island. I now have a trusted referral group of other independent health practitioners which thoroughly helps my clients. Also, I have connected with many entrepreneurs and small businesses who have become valuable resources and support for me professionally and personally. Its a win win!
What’s your favorite tip for success with networking?
I always like to know “how and why” someone does what they do. It opens the door for some real connection. I’ve made many valuable and long lasting contacts just by being curious and open to learning about them.
How do you think being a woman in your profession has been more or less challenging than your male counterparts?
There are many more female therapist than male therapists in the field of Massage & Bodywork. However, male therapists tend to dominate the profession in terms of income and leadership. The challenge for me has been learning how to marry my nurturing/care giving instincts with my money making business savviness. Women typically have a harder time putting a price tag on healthcare services. I found out years ago, I was not an exception.
Can you describe the strangest situation you faced in your work, and how your resolved it?
Intimacy is a big part of my work. I always try to create a safe and trusted space for my clients to release pain, emotions, bodily noises, etc. People new to this can feel uncomfortable at first but, I always approach it with humor and normalcy.
What do you do for fun?
Dance Dance Dance.
What is something PWN members don’t know about you?
I earned a Master Degree in Tourism Management in Brussels, Belgium. My focus was on accessible travel people with disabilities. To this day I love to travel the world and discover how other cultures deal with social inclusion issues.
What is your favorite lunch entree?
Denise is a Certified Massage Therapist and a Morales Method™ Core Integration Therapist who provides treatments for disabled and able bodies. Visit her website.