“I’m from “The Golden State” South Central Los Angeles to be exact. I began my career after receiving my B.S. degree in Health & Wellness in 2007 from Lincoln University of Missouri. In 2007 the economy took a downward spin. I couldn’t find a job anywhere. I knew that I had to find a different way to bring in a steady income. So, I started looking at other schools for Physical Therapy. After, receiving my physical therapy aide degree it led me in the direction of Massage Therapy.”
Brenda Austin is a certified massage therapist and the owner of Now & Zen Body Works. We had the pleasure of meeting Brenda a few years back and have been a huge fan of her work and what she does for the community. For Brenda, massage started as a way to relieve her muscle soreness and tension in her body. She then realized how important massage was for the body to heal. “I found a sense of peace by receiving massages, practicing mediation, fitness, yoga and Zen. While practicing a better way of living Zen became a way of life, it became my lifestyle. I started to see my body and mind shift in a way I never thought was possible. My hope is that my experiences will help you find a little piece of Zen within yourself,” she says. Being inspired by Erik Dalton’s Myoskeletal Alignment Technique Brenda makes it a purpose to continue to learn more and help people through massages and her non-profit. Check out our interview below with Brenda Austin to see why we #COSIGN this amazing, intelligent, and super-talented individual.
Growing up what were you into and when did you know you wanted to become a massage therapist?
Growing up I was into so many things I was the ultimate ‘TOMBOY” I was the girl climbing trees, yelling from the roof tops, playing sports, doing everything that didn’t have to do with girl stuff. At the age of 10 years old I started running Track & Field. My natural talent and running abilities; landed me a track & field scholarship to Lincoln University of Missouri. As I reached my 20’s I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, let alone that I wanted to become a Massage Therapist.
What was the path that you took that lead you to being a massage therapist?
In 2007 graduating from college was a huge accomplishment for myself and my family. However I could not find a job with my degree. I thought the best thing for me to do was to pursue another degree which I applied to attend Linn State University. The school had a number of things they required H.S. transcripts, recommendations letter from professors, a letter from me etc. I sent in everything before the deadline. I was so excited to start my new journey, but there was a setback. The paperwork never reached to the school on time which led me re-apply for the next year. I took a statistics class that summer to stay ahead of the game. I resubmitted all my paperwork for the following year, I waited a whole year to receive a NO again you didn’t get in this semester. Now, I needed answers to my questions of not getting into the school the second year. I called and emailed the physical therapy department head until ring ring ring she called me back. She loved that I was adamant about getting into the program. She left me with some tips, she recommended that I take Anatomy and Physiology I & II and Statistics before I reapply. While searching for the recommended courses I came across Metro Business College which had the two classes and was in the town I lived in. Metro Business College is where I applied to obtain my Massage Therapy Certification.
Did you have a “leap of faith” moment? If so, how did you decide to make the leap and what were the circumstances around it?
My “leap of faith” moment was back in 2011 when I closed down my first massage therapy business in Missouri I packed up my house rented a U-Haul and drove to Dallas, Texas by myself. It took me over 10 hours to get here. The circumstances were a new life and a job at Massage Envy where I was employed for almost 2 years.
What makes your brand unique compared to others in your field/industry?
Now and Zen Bodyworks brand is unique first starting with the brand colors. I choose the colors Freedom Black and Sunrise Gold because I wanted to stand out from the other massage therapy companies. The known spa colors are green and blue and said to be relaxing to the eye. I wanted to create a brand that made a statement and that’s how I came up with Freedom Black and Sunrise Gold. The “ZEN” in Now and Zen Bodyworks came from me wanting to approach the massage therapy industry with an overall well-being of complete relaxation and positivity. Zen has become a way of life. Massage therapy is not just a luxury it is essential to our mental and physical well-being.
How does your business or brand improve the industry you’re currently in?
Now and Zen Bodyworks is a driven and forward focus company catering to the millennials and baby boomers. Our mission is to educate our clients on the importance of relieving stress from their muscles. We are in the age of technology which has changed the location of muscle tension and stress. Previously we were conditioned to think muscle tension comes from physical work. However an office worker can also experience problems. As a massage therapist, I attained certifications in every modality I could master from, Sports Massage Therapy, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Corporate Chair Massages, Spa Parties, Advanced Stretching Techniques just to name a few. Being certified in these modalities has opened the doors for Now and Zen Bodyworks to make credible partnerships.
How has social media improved your business or brand?
Social media has improved my business enormously by allowing me to reach a broader audience via Facebook targeted audiences and the famous Instagram hashtags. Clients can now by the touch of their fingers, easily find my events, promotions and e-flyers. I receive a huge response that leads to future clients reaching out, booking a massage service or a spa party.
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment was being a fairly new massage company and was given the opportunity to massage some players that are with the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets. Which my personal passion is Sports Massage therapy being that I am a formal athlete. I have also massage national known Comedians and local celebrity artists in the last four years.
How do you deal with adversity?
I deal with adversity just like anyone else. Adversity gives my life meaning, gives my life value. Adversity allows me to be the very best version of myself. That wouldn’t have been possible without all the mishaps. Adversity to what I call FEAR I kick and punch FEAR out of my way which allows me to vibrant high to my greatest achievements.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In the next five years I see myself hiring employees (that leads to building an empire), buying a store front and repeat clientele that continuously rebook and refer their friends and family members to Now and Zen Bodyworks. Also, I will start a non-profit and open a massage therapy school.
What does success mean to you?
To me success is not defined by the dollar, the amount of money you spend or how much money you’re worth. Everyone’s success is different. To me success is failing getting back up and continuously moving forward towards those dreams, and turning those dreams into a reality.
When it’s all said and done what do you want your legacy to be?
When it’s all said and done I want my legacy to be left that Now and Zen Bodyworks has been franchised in the states and internationally. I want my Non-profit to open door ways for the less fortunate people. I want my life to be known that it’s worth living for all over again.
We #COSIGN Brenda for her passion to help others through massage therapy and beyond.
Who does Brenda #COSIGN?
Stephanie D @Divinetreasure
Lex M @texasmovement
Jewel foundation @t8kenachance