Yvonne Vasquez

Cielo Bodywork

How would you describe your business? It’s a massage practice, focusing on a holistic approach—meaning I excel at combining treatment techniques needed for treating particular causes of pain and relaxation techniques that allow the body an opportunity rest and help integrate the deeper treatment modalities of my massage. I use a variety of modalities; deep tissue, Swedish, myofascial release, trigger point. My ideal client is someone who is curious, wants to explore and learn more about the potential causes of their pain or tension and is willing to take an active role in their path to wellness.

When did you first decide you wanted to run your own business?
I moved back to Seattle with the intention of starting my own massage practice after working for a few years for other people.

What’s been a surprise?
That there are people are starting businesses in a recession—I love that there are so many people going through Ventures. right now, when all you hear is how terrible the economy is. Of course, it’s terrible to have such high unemployment, but Ventures shows that ideas and creativity and the love of your idea will keep the economy moving on. And that it’s okay to constantly be reexamining who you are as a business owner. I have a tendency to like to sit back and take in information and take lots of time formulating a plan, but as a small business owner sometimes you need to act quickly, follow your intuition and be willing to shake yourself off when you make a mistake, learn and move on.

What have you found most valuable about your involvement with our program?The incredible sense of community and support for ideas. Also some well-placed skepticism and honest critique when your ideas are not so amazing.

Would you recommend Ventures to other entrepreneurs starting out?
I always do. Ventures lessons are invaluable . . .the more information you have about your business, the more successful you will be. Creating easy to read spreadsheets, knowing what money is flowing in and out of your business, knowing who are your competitors, how to differentiate your business—these are all vital.

What’s been the key to your success so far?
I can better market myself now that I have a clearer picture of what I’m selling – thanks James!

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I would love to create a holistic center, where clients can come in to see various complementary health practitioners h