This week in Entrepreneurship Spotlight, we are highlighting Stacey Patalita, owner of Peace of Mind Wellness Center, to share her experience as an entrepreneur. Stacey is from Fort Wayne and has always been interested in helping people manage stress in a healthy and creative manner, but it wasn’t until this year that she was finally able to channel that passion and start her own business. In August of this year, she opened Peace of Mind Wellness Center on Lake Avenue, just down the street from Parkview Randalia. She and her team provide affordable stress management and wellness services, including massage therapy, yoga, life-coaching and more. Their mission is to provide affordable stress and health management services to everyone.
What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana?
I was already here, but also, I wanted to reach more of the average person. I don’t need to look elsewhere for that, everyone has stress. For people who want to be yogi masters, there are plenty of places that offer that. For the people who are intimidated by that, I wanted to provide something that can help them mentally and physically. People can sign up for one session/class or five. It’s what they want and are comfortable with doing.
Peace of Mind Wellness is more for the average person who isn’t a pro at yoga or meditation, but wants to take care of their mind and body through stress management. We provide a safe, comfortable environment where we can help them do that.
What are some of the challenges you have encountered in starting your business?
We’re doing a lot of trial and error right now with our offerings and the timing, so that’s been a challenge, but we learn as we go.
Getting the word out, too, has been a challenge because we don’t have the budget for marketing. Facebook has been huge, though, a lot of people commenting and sharing their experiences. That’s been super helpful.
What person has helped you the most in your journey?
We had a meeting with Rhonda Ladig, from Start Fort Wayne at the Atrium and she was awesome. She gave us some really great ideas and potential connections, and recommended we participate in 1 million cups. We haven’t participated yet, but I’m working on it.
What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community?
Really, the local community. Through Facebook, the people interacting with us, sharing, commenting, it’s helped us a lot. I did a few free classes at Lakeside Park before opening and the people who came really enjoyed it and reached out to us on Facebook to let us know. A lot of people were excited about us opening up Peace of Mind Wellness Center, so the response from the community was great and really key to our success so far.
Another way the response from the community has been helpful is with our team. Almost all of our employees came to us based on their own interests from hearing about us on Facebook or coming to our events. They would tell me they really liked that idea that I wanted to give back to the community by offering discounts to people in high-stress jobs that are important to the community, like teachers, nurses, social workers. It was great that the right people were brought to me and came to me that way, and worked out perfectly because they knew and understood my mission and wanted to be a part of it.
Another great resource has been The Atrium. It’s really nice to work in a space with other entrepreneurs and bounce ideas off of them, or just use it to work if you don’t need a space full-time.
What is some advice you would have for new or aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would say start with your passion, not with what’s popular or what will make you the most money, because none of that will matter if you’re not doing something you’re passionate about.
Browse our website for a complete listing of past “Entrepreneurship Spotlights.” If you are an entrepreneur in the area who would like to share your story like Stacey Patalita did, connect with us today!