We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Gabrielle Chambers. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Gabrielle below.
Alright, Gabrielle thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Getting that first client is always an exciting milestone. Can you talk to us about how you got your first customer who wasn’t a friend, family, or acquaintance?
I was newly licensed and was looking for consistent employment as a massage therapist but interview after interview, nobody hired me until I connected with a massage therapist who had his own massage establishment. Shout out to Ray who helped guide me and polish up my skills. That was an on call deal so I decided to also find a job around massage therapists and network until I got hired as one. So I went to work at a well known massage school in their student clinic as a receptionist. After being there several months, one of the clients who came regularly to the student clinic overheard me talking to one of the students about me being a massage therapist. He contacted me that week and asked if I take private clientele. I said yes excitedly. It was great too because he already had his own massage table and set up at home. All I did was walk in with my oils and give the best massage I could. And here I am 15 years later and he’s still one of my regular clients.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Since I was a child, I wanted to do something to help others whether it was teaching, serving or just to encourage them. I have always enjoyed music, nature, and body movement and massage therapy embodies all of that. Little did I know that certain experiences in my early life along with my personality would lead me to this work that I connected with so naturally. I went to MDC for massage therapy and graduated in 2006. During my schooling, I volunteered at events providing massages to gain experience, exposure, and network. After I finished massage school, I started working at a well-known massage school as a receptionist and at a privately owned massage establishment where the owner took his time to help polish up some of my skills. Then, about a year later, I left both places and went on to work at the Fontainebleau in Lapis Spa where for 7 years, where I learned new techniques, made connections and evolved professionally. However, I wanted to do more and wanted to have more flexibility. So, I resigned from Lapis and started working occasionally at a boutique spa part-time while building my own practice. Fast forward some months later and I went completely working on my own. In the last 5+years, I have built a massage business built mainly on referrals and I travel to my clients. I work with mainly families and business owners/entrepreneurs. I find out what my client’s concerns and needs are and work from there to help improve their quality of life through intentional touch. I also create handmade body products on the side for those who ask and but most recently i’m diving into mentoring other massage therapists who are also caretakers/moms etc to find more balance, flow and sustainable growth in their business. There are not many spaces yet for massagereneurs who are “double” nurturers and caretakers to be guided or just reminded of how to get back to their “why” but I’ve been doing the work on myself (through a mentor and therapy etc) so that now I can assist others. I am grateful and proud of my growth which I can attribute to my support system and clients.
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
The simple things. Being professional, reliable, willing to listen to each client’s individual needs, working with good intent and just being me. I care about my work and clients and I think when one does it shows and it attracts the right people. And with that many clients refer me other clients and that’s where growth really happens.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
Referrals through word of mouth. I work mainly with an established client base who regularly refer their friends, family and colleagues. When you take care of your clients, they truly take care of you. It is an amazing exchange and I’m grateful for each of my clients.