Clare Walters Healing
Quick diversification for a holistic therapy business launched in lockdown.
Introduction to business
A qualified holistic therapist, reflexologist and a reiki practitioner, Clare Walters launched her business Clare Walters Healing in Swansea in March 2020, offering life coaching and specialist holistic therapy online and in person.
What challenges did you face during the Coronavirus outbreak?
I was only starting to find my feet before the outbreak: I was building my online presence through social media, using Facebook live, etc., but my main client base was going to be local, with customers coming to a yoga and wellness studio in a church community hall in Clydach.
I had invested in a business mentorship programme through Facebook to help with my success and forward planning, too.
When the virus happened, it made me a bit wobbly. I was planning to deliver a workshop where I was going to teach my energy healing, but this had to be cancelled. A couple of people who had paid deposits wanted a refund, which forced me to take out a new credit card so I can afford to pay them back. Additionally, I had family members who fell ill with Coronavirus, adding a huge worry. Thankfully, they have fully recovered!
However, my business was on the back burner because I was responsible for shopping and collecting medications for family members who were either at risk or actually unwell with the virus. People were also worried about money, so I had no bookings in the first month. I have to be honest, my mind set was all over the place and I had a few dark days feeling sorry for myself.
What measures have you implemented to tackle the pandemic?
Now though, things are starting to look up. Following the closure of the church hall due the lockdown restrictions, I started offering one-to-one sessions and group classes online, which enabled me to continue working and engaging with my clients during this difficult time.
I am slowly receiving more bookings online and I am currently creating support systems such as an email list through Mailer Light. I am also looking into creating ‘opt in’ and ‘thank you’ pages as well as a website, depending on finance.
This is all to promote and build up my new virtual guild where people will pay a set monthly fee over 4 months starting in July (I am giving myself 6 weeks to get my head around the tech side of creating, promoting and selling).
How has the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service helped?
Clare got in touch with Business Wales when she decided to set up her own healing business, using Pellowah Therapy. She tried and tested the business concept on friends and family, whose positive feedback provided an indication that there is a need for her service.
Having found suitable premises in Clydach, Swansea, Clare worked with Business Wales’s start-up adviser, Hywel Bassett, on her business plan and all issues related to starting a business, including legal requirements, tax, HMRC considerations and bookkeeping, amongst others.
Following the support, Clare was able to set up Clare Walters Healing in March 2020, where she now works full-time.
If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.