Paula Liberty made a drastic career change a few years back after spending years in finance and the home mortgage business before deciding to go an entirely different route.
Now the owner and operator of Healing Hands Massage Therapy inside an existing hair salon business at 203 S.W. Jefferson Street, Liberty has since the first week in November offered up skills she first cultivated at WellSpring School of Allied Health in south Kansas City for nine months and later put into practical use for little more than a year at an area chiropractors office.
Liberty talked with the Journal Dec. 18 about her career change, her new business and her ability to relate to customers that keeps them coming back.
What made you jump out on the ledge and start your own business?
I think thats every therapists goal; to have their own business. Its just getting their clientele together. I was at that point and I thought I could. So, I stepped out on a limb and did it.
What were you doing before opening your business?
I was (a massage therapist) at a chiropractors office for over a year-and-a-half.
Was massage therapy something you wanted to do as a career?
I kind of fell into it. Ive been in finance since high school and my last position I handled foreclosures for a mortgage company and I got laid off (in 2010). I was interested in doing something less stressful. I looked at different things, but I liked getting massages and so when I looked into (attending WellSpring), I walked into it and just the atmosphere was pretty nice.
Once you finished at WellSpring, what was the process to get your business jumpstarted?
Just to get the experience, I was hired on immediately at a chiropractors office. I learned a lot from him helping people with their issues. Thats what I wanted to do; help people. Thats mainly what I do. Its less relaxation and more helping people with their problems and the issues that their bodies have.
How did you find this unique office space (in a converted upstairs bedroom inside a hair salon transformed from a house)?
Isnt it beautiful? A client knew the owner here and she knew that I was thinking of opening my own business and she said, you now I have the perfect person and she got us together. So, it was just knowing the right people, I guess.