We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathleen Lisson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathleen, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I am a massage therapist and learned during school that if I was an employee, I would make $16/hr plus tips for giving a $100/hr. massage at a chain but if I was a business owner I would be able to charge that same $100/hr., set my own schedule and keep the net profit. Being in control of my own brand meant I could use all my skills to promote my services and invest in myself.
What should our readers know about your business?
Solace Massage and Mindfulness provides lymphatic massage to clients recovering from abdominoplasty, brazilian butt lift, facelift and liposuction. I bring my training as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist to help my clients with proven strategies that have reduced fibrosis in clients with lymphedema. I am the author of the Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook, a guide that answers most of the questions that my clients have about reducing swelling, fibrosis and take care of their scars. I started on a shoestring, working for a integrative health clinic and offering in home massage on the side. When business picked up, I shared a massage studio with another therapist and then moved into a studio of my own. I cut back my shifts at the integrative health clinic as my business flourished. Now I work about 10-15 hours a week and make more than I did as an busy employee performing up to 6 massages per day. My biggest lesson was figuring out how to encourage plastic surgeons to refer their clients to me for lymphatic massage. After I figured that out, I have had a steady stream of business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take her to our beautiful beaches and enjoy our outdoor lifestyle. We would visit Mission Beach and Pacific Beach and try our hand at SUP yoga on Sail Bay. I love eating lunch at Bahia Mexican restaurant and Juice Bar in PB. We would have a special dinner at Oceana in Pacific Beach. We would do a museum day in Balboa Park and eat at Prado.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My teachers have made a huge difference in helping me go from beginner massage therapist to successful business owner teacher, presenter, KOL and innovator. Klose Training instructors, presenters at the Foldi Clinic, Klose Lymphedema conference, Lymphedema Seminars, NLN and my fellow Lymphedema Therapists, especially Karen Ashforth and Sherri Korsun Scott have enthusiastically supported me and shared their ideas.