1. What got you interested in the field of massage?
This should have been the easiest question to answer but for me, it was the hardest. In short, I would say, a desire to help others get better by addressing the root of their discomfort.
Life is a journey and it is interesting how various elements come together to lead you down a specific path. I am not just in the field of massage... I am continually developing into a holistic therapist and my conscious start on this journey was reading my granny's Back to Eden book. At the time (2009) I was pursuing my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Accounting and I found myself changing my eating habits, using herbal remedies as my first aid and recommending concoctions to my friends. I was always in Jenn’s looking for new herbs and new books to quench my thirst for knowledge. I even inquired about doing a course in herbal medicine but the timing wasn't right and the funds were not available.
At this point I should add that I am a karateka and a fitness enthusiast so naturally massages were a regular occurrence to ease muscle soreness. At karate, we would give each other massages especially after a tough workout series. I even remember one of my teammates, who had never received my massages, simply looking at my hands and proclaiming 'you would give good massages!'. This was around 2001.
Fast forward to 2011, I saw an ad in the paper for the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) massage certificate and I decided to join the class. The joy I felt from being able to help ease someone else's physical discomfort through massage was one of the most satisfying and spiritually uplifting feelings I have ever felt. Since then, this passion has driven me to continually grow in this field and as they say, "the rest is history". Lol.
2. Why the name L'taj?
L'taj is a combination of the initials of the original business partners – Tamacia Lynch and myself. We wanted a name that epitomised two of our key desires for the business:
● the fact that teamwork makes the dream work...hence the combination of initials and
● from the sound of our name alone, you should think professional serenity that just makes you want to relax in your own sanctuary. Now take a deep breath and say... Luh-tahj.
3. When did you start and how has the business evolved over time?
L'taj Massage Sanctuary (L’taj) was born in 2012 and since then it has been continually evolving. It started with the dream of two young professionals who only had a three month SJPP certificate and a desire to help people. Realising that more would be required if we were to offer the quality service we wanted to be synonymous with L'taj, we made the decision to become internationally certified. The PBHC School and Clinic with their ITEC programme was chosen as our training ground. From then to now, we have been able to add exciting treatments such as holistic massage, reflexology, Indian head and seated acupressure massage to our services. Currently we are in process of adding aromatherapy, rehabilitation services and diversifying from the body treatments to beauty modalities such as facials, eye treatments, waxing and manicures and pedicures.
Not only have we expanded in terms of our qualifications, but also in terms of our outreach to the community. L'taj is mobile at heart - we want to meet you in your comfort zone; hence our slogan “We bring the sanctuary to you” . Our first public event was at St Paul's Entrepreneur Fair (2015). It was at this time that Miss Michal Lynch joined the team and she has been integral in co- organizing and staffing other “L'taj in the Community” events such as the Hastings Farmer's Market, Argonauts 246 events, fairs, birthday parties, weddings and even Crop Over band limes with Soca Chippers.
Our area of expertise and interest lies in being holistic and truly helping the individual at the source of their discomfort. Massage and spa therapies are not a luxury item - the ancient civilisations (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Mayans, Amerindians) recognized this and saw it as a part of a healthy lifestyle. With this in mind, we have started connecting with other persons in the preventative health care sector, such as Kurt Clarke of Go Fitness Solutions, and sports clubs such as the QC Karate Club. Our aim is to continually grow in this area, and make L'taj synonymous with holistic healthcare - not just locally, but also regionally.
I have said enough for the moment...stay tuned for what will be coming next!
4. What does it mean to you to call yourself an entrepreneur?
For me, being an entrepreneur is:
- having a vision, keeping it in sight and working towards it
- being in communion with the Creator for guidance
- continually thinking about strategies to grow
- having the courage to put your plans into action, and
- not being too afraid to fail.
We are all entrepreneurs of our lives, you are your own brand. At the end of the day, we will be held accountable for how we have used our talents, time and treasures to the benefit of others.