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  • Writer's pictureKara M. Zone

Diary of a Startup Goddess: Carrie Dunham, Owner of BodyWorks Massage Therapy

Originally published July 20, 2020

“Success” is a word that has countless meanings and exerts an individualized emotive. More often than not, success in the business world is part of the machismo culture. However, when a woman steps into that world, she defies expectation, overcomes obstacles, and shatters the patriarchy.

For a woman, the struggles of creating her own business may seem amplified and tiresome, inducing a sense of hopelessness. ink.mdc created this blog series, “Diary of a Startup Goddess”, because just one story can uplift any woman from such disillusionment. We’ve invited businesswomen, who have broken the glass ceiling who have redefined entrepreneurship, to tell their story because we want to encourage other women to pursue their passions. Join us each month for one of these incredible stories!

Carrie Dunham, the owner of BodyWorks Massage Therapy, has been a massage therapist for over six years. Before owning her business, she worked as an independent contractor for another location. Carrie loved the work she did, but she wanted a different setup. “I just thought it might be nice to have my own set of rules, schedule, and setup,” Carrie explains. Not sure where to start, Carrie reached out to a friend who owns a marketing business. She directed Carrie to check out Ohio’s website, where they provide information about the legalities of starting a business and the types of companies (corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship).

It took Carrie about six months to prepare to leap owning a business. She weighed many pros and cons, continually wondering, “If I go out on a limb and do this, are people going to come to it, and am I going to have the money to start it?” Relying heavily on her experience working as an independent contractor, which allowed her to observe the running of a massage therapy business, she opened BodyWorks Massage Therapy’s doors in 2015.

While Carrie is a successful entrepreneur and business is booming, like most entrepreneurs, she did experience some difficulties in the first three years. “The hardest thing was recruiting other therapists,” says Carrie. She struggled to find people that wanted to work the way she did. “You get some people who don’t have a good work ethic and just want to have a paycheck,” she says. So she got creative and used the network of students she went to school with, as well as the Internet, to find the right candidates. Now, she considers the employees she hired to be a team.

Carrie’s story is not unlike those of many other female entrepreneurs. The decision to leave behind what’s comfortable and leap of faith in owning a business is not an easy one. Society has deterred females from taking leadership for decades, but Carrie is the perfect example of what can happen when you take the initiative. Her advice to anyone thinking about starting a business: “It can be stressful . . . you think about it on the weekends, and you think about it even on the days that you’re not working. But the benefits far outweigh because you have control of your schedule.”

Carrie received her massage therapy training and certificate from Tri State College of Massotherapy and Raphael's school of massage. She was licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio in 2010. She received her prenatal certification in 2012 from Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy. Continuing education courses include Stress & Anxiety, Pelvic Pain Dysfunction, Myofascial Mapping.

Carrie has chosen massage therapy as her profession because she has a passion for health and nutrition and knows how beneficial massage is to maintain good health. She has a mindful, nurturing touch and a relaxed, professional presence that allows her to work well with a variety of clients. Carrie has experience working with clients who are recovering from accidents, injuries, and chronic pain. She has also treated clients with depression, post-polio syndrome, and fibromyalgia. She finds it rewarding to de-stress an expecting mother or help an individual function without pain.

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Brooke German is a graduate of Youngstown State University, and she holds a bachelor's degree in professional and technical writing.

Brooke is ink.'s editor-in-chief. Not only does she love editing, she has the experience to back it! Her editing projects include articles, websites, brochures, books, and more.

In her spare time, you can find Brooke reading—usually two books at one time.

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