Tuesday, December 28, 2010

News for the New Year and GIVEAWAY

©1976 Rankin/Bass (I think)
2010 has been a very exciting, up-and-down year for me, but 2011 is already looking bright and sparkling with new possibilities and growth. It will be my second full year on Main Street and that alone holds a lot of promise. I've never stayed in a spot much longer than a year, except for working out of my home, and this is a much better option. Thank you, loyal readers and clients, for helping me get to this point.

Changes for 2011, effective January 1:
I've done some soul-searching and analysis, and there are two major changes coming for the next several months, at least until the end of April when I plan to reassess once more.
  • No more Walk-in-Wednesdays.
  • Reduced prices
Walk-ins:  I think, had I started Walk-in Wednesdays in summer when I first had the idea, it would have been more successful.  While it provided me many, many hours to be productive in other ways (time to myself really helps me concentrate on computer projects like spreadsheets and my website) as a money-earning enterprise, it was a fantastic flop, with a grand total of two customers over three months.  So, I will look at my place in the world in a few months and see what I think.  Walk-ins will still be welcome while I'm present at the salon, but there won't be a set time, just a sidewalk sign to say that I'm in.

Winter prices:  As of Saturday, we will officially be in the post-Christmas money slump until April or May when tax refunds start coming in.  I know it's a hard time for everyone, myself included, so to ease everyone's burden for at least that long, I'll be implementing lower seasonal pricing (like camping, but a lot more comfortable and a lot fewer mosquitoes.)   Therefore, my Winter prices will be $50/hour for Therapeutic massage and $70/1.5 hours for Pregnancy/Postpartum.  After my certification goes through, prices for my infant massage course will follow accordingly at $50/series.

Package pricing will be as follows:
  • 2 sessions- Buy one, get one 1/2 off-- $75/105
  • 3 to 10, or 12 sessions-10% off retail
  • 15 sessions-$638/893 (15% off.)
These prices make the first third of the year the best time to make appointments and purchase certificates  and packages.

Do you want to make massage a regular part of your life but find the cost just a bit more than you feel like you can afford, this is the perfect time to enter my New Year Giveaway!  Up for grabs are two great prizes, valid through the end of 2011:
  • First Prize: Free five session package
  • Second Prize: Free three session package
  • Third Prize: One free session
How to Enter
Your initial entry must be to leave a comment with your name, e-mail address, and town/city of residence.  For additional entries...
  • Follow this blog.  Be sure to let me know you're a new follower.
  • Follow me on Twitter. Again, let me know you're new.
  • Like me on Facebook. Same deal, let me know you're new.
  • Post to Twitter or Facebook, sharing the link to this blog post.  Be sure to leave a comment here with a link or links to your sharing, and/or tag me in Tweets.   One entry per site, per day.
  • E-mail me with your name and address to request a set of five business cards to distribute to friends, family, and appropriate local businesses.  I will then mail them or arrange for pick-up/delivery.
Given that this giveaway is for a service which you must be present to receive, I'm afraid I must limit entries to approximately a 55 miles radius due to the logistics of local marketing and winners' ability to redeem their prize.  Contest is open to new and existing clients.  Drawing will be made at 8pm on Friday, January 7th, and the winner will be notified via e-mail.   There's just a week, so spread the word fast!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and may 2011 be bright and prosperous for us all.

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

EDITED: Extended deadline, added third prize and ways to enter.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Out of Town: Merry Christmas!

It's that time of year, time to shut the room down in favor of spending time celebrating Christmas with my family. Hopefully when I return, I'll have a couple new business tools, but if not, I shall manage to survive... somehow. *swoon*  Actually, I got my new Blackberry Torch, so if that's it for business stuff, I'm content. :)

May your holiday be a Holy Day and may it find you sharing love, laughter, and light with the ones you love.

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Is it time to start thinking about Resolutions already? Bother.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

NOTICE: Extended Solstice Savings and Walk-In hours

Source: eHow
I've decided to extend the Solstice Savings sale.  You can take advantage of this great deal any time from Monday, December 20th through Wednesday, December 22nd.  Online purchases must be made before 7 AM on the 23nd so that I can mail the gift certificates that morning before I go out of town to celebrate Christmas with my family.

There will be a $5 discount on Walk-In Wednesday services on the 22nd, and I will be extending my hours that day--12-7 PM--so while you're out shopping downtown (because I know you love to keep it local as much as I do!) stop in for 10 or 20 or 30 minutes.  These short sessions will be running a mere $10 for 10 minutes.  So, bring me your tired feet, you poor aching muscles, your huddled shoulders longing to breathe free.  There may even be a little something special for a holiday treat (like addictively delicious mini meringues or fudge!)  This is an event you do not want to miss!

And now, an impassioned plea...
As I mentioned, I plan on doing this sale seasonally, so please help me make it a success this season.  I love my work, I love helping people feel better, and I really want to share that love with our community but I need to make a living at it, too.  If you live in or near Sebastopol, spread the word about this event on to your friends and family.  New Year, too, is a great time to make massage part of your life.  Healing touch is important.

I know bodywork is expensive in a down economy, and it seems like a luxury in an age of OTC pain relievers and machines from Brookstone, or a waste of money to pay more when Massage Envy in 20 minutes away.  I'm doing the best I can to make and promote massage as a viable health maintenance/recovery option that doesn't break the bank, but I'm also a highly trained, highly talented, and experienced professional and my work is 100% worth the price.  That's not arrogance, that is confidence and it's backed up by virtually every person who has ever gotten off my table.  25% off, $53 for an hour of therapeutic massage, is phenomenal; $158 for a three hour package is fantastic.

I can't pay for large advertising campaigns right now like a chain or a more established location.  Right now, I can't even pay for a small one.  Pardon the personal detail, but the second half of this year has been brutal on my business, financially.  I depend on the Word of Mouth of my clients and neighbors.  Tell people you know me.  Tell them I'm a great massage therapist, that I'm Certified by the State, that I've been practicing for almost seven years, that I blend many styles of massage for a custom tailored experience for the person on the table, and that my clients leave relaxed, happy, and relieved.  Send them my way this season.  Send yourself my way.

My skills are a supply for your want.  Your patronage is a supply for mine.  Help my business live up to its name, and may great abundance be upon us, come 2011.

Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas.

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to find Abundance Massage

Being that the salon is tucked back off the street, and I'm in the far back of the salon, I thought a nice instructional video on how to find my location was in order. Enjoy!

I may redo this later with a voice over, but for now, it's silent.

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Monday, December 13, 2010

Solstice Savings: 25% off appointments and gift certificates

Solstice is next Tuesday, which is cool enough, but this year the longest night of the year will be graced by a full moon throughout. How awesome is that!

In celebration of the official changing of the season, I will be starting a new tradition. From now on, I will give a 25% discount off full-price on all appointments made for a Solstice or Equinox, as well as all gift certificates and packages purchased that day. So, the really smart massage shopper will purchase the three-session package, and have a monthly massage for the whole season!

  • 1 session - Therapeutic: $53   Pregnancy: $68
  • 3 sessions - Therapeutic: $158   Pregnancy: $203
  • 5 sessions - Therapeutic: $263   Pregnancy: $338
  • 10 sessions - Therapeutic: $525   Pregnancy: $675
  • 15 sessions - Therapeutic: $789   Pregnancy: $1,013
Don't miss your chance to take advantage of this deal for Solstice, Christmas, or to get a jump on making massage a regular part of your life in 2011.  Remember, I do take Visa and Mastercard on-site, as well as PayPal online, so keep an eye on this page next Tuesday.

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

A Covenant for Honoring Children

Source: OSU Human Development & Family Sciences
I was flipping through my infant massage workbook last night in preparation for teaching this morning and all the way at the back, I found this wonderful excerpt from a document called "A Covenant for Honoring Children" by famed children's musician, Raffi.
We find these joys to be self evident: That all children are created whole, endowed with innate intelligence, with dignity and wonder, worthy of respect. The embodiment of life, liberty and happiness, children are original blessings, here to learn their own song. Every girl and boy is entitled to love, to dream and belong to a loving “village.” And to pursue a life of purpose.
We affirm our duty to nourish and nurture the young, to honour their caring ideals as the heart of being human. To recognize the early years as the foundation of life, and to cherish the contribution of young children to human evolution.
We commit ourselves to peaceful ways and vow to keep from harm or neglect these, our most vulnerable citizens. As guardians of their prosperity we honour the bountiful Earth whose diversity sustains us. Thus we pledge our love for generations to come.
-----Source: RaffiNews.com
This is only the preamble of the document; it is followed by nine Child Honouring Principles, which are: Respectful Love, Diversity, Caring Community, Conscious Parenting, Emotional Intelligence, Nonviolence, Safe Environments, Sustainability, and Ethical Commerce.  To read more about what each of these principles mean, please click here to go to the full document.  You can also download the entire document in PDF form.

That's all I have to say for now.  Read.  Go forth.  Love, and conquer!

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Friday, December 10, 2010

Square: The little card reader than can!

Almost a month ago, my friend and manicurist, Mandy (over at Mane Event in Gravenstein Station, she's fabulous at what she does, highly recommend her) had a couple new flyers up at her station, advertising gift certificates and the fact that she now takes credit cards. I asked her about it, and she asked if I'd ever heard about Square.
Shirt at zazzle.com
Square? What was she babbling about?

She pulled out this little white cube and plugged it into her Droid and told me how this tiny box allowed her to take credit and debit cards at a lower rate than most banks (only 2.75%+15¢ per swipe), that they sent her the reader for free, and all you needed was a smart phone with an audio jack.
Courtesy of Square Up
She had my attention.  I had wanted to accept cards for a while, but had never gotten on the salon machine.  This hadn't been a big problem, but I did feel like not taking cards held me back from reaching as many people as possible.  I went home and looked up their website and started exploring.

I found out I'd need either an iPhone or an Android phone (because of the audio jack thing; why more phones don't have them is beyond me.  Come on, Blackberry, get with the program!) or an iPod Touch, 2nd Gen or later.  Basically, you need a 3G or wi-fi connection in order to make it work, obviously.  I knew I could pick up wi-fi from one of my neighbors, so I got an iPod Touch, which I was planning to do anyway.  And while I knew this could revolutionize my business experience, I love that it can also be used by non-business people, too!  Having a garage sale?  Selling your couch?  Babysitting?  Anyone who needs to take money can use Square.

The company is new--less than two years old--and based in San Francisco (with a beautifully light, open space in downtown) and they are "focused on bringing immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the world of payments." Source  If you know me, you know how much I like to "go local", so the fact that I could drive down to the city to pick up my reader rather than having it mailed was a plus for me.  The convenience and integration into my own life and massage practice, not having to pay for bulky equipment, and the sheer compact size pretty much sealed the deal for me.

Using the reader takes a little getting used to because it's so small, and it requires a slow, steady, straight swipe, but with a little practice and finessing, I'm looking forward to having this adorable little cube for years to come.
Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not being compensated to write this blog.  I genuinely like this product and I'm writing this on my own.  Given my enthusiasm for it (and as a function of following Square on Twitter so I caught the call) starting in January I will be part of their Inner Square program to help promote the company and product, for which I will not be monetarily compensated (at least there's been no mention of it.)  I will be able to distribute Squares to interested parties, so if you're local and you want a Square, I'm your girl.  Just make sure you have an iOS or Android phone, download the app, verify and activate your account, and you'll be ready to go with your new reader!  Simple as that.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mama Lovin' Health: Rose essential oil

A couple of months ago, I started a blog post about two that I never finished due to life's distractions and information overload! I started out looking for the answer to a question about today's topic, and it blossomed into a massive amount of research.An old friend emailed me yesterday asking about essential oils for birth and it reminded me that I still hadn't published my conglomeration of information. This also marks a new blog feature: Mama Lovin' Health, information, tips, and tricks on health before, during, and after pregnancy.

Before I go forward, I feel obligated to remind the reader that I am not an Aromatherapist.  I am years of study shy of that title, and everything below--unless I decide to editorialize--is garnered from published books, (reasonably?) reliable websites, and lecture notes.  I've cited as specifically as I can.  Essential oils are very potent concentrates and should be only be used with knowledge, wisdom, and respect.  If you're in serious doubt, find and consult with an expert.  Now that you surely feel as safe and secure in my ability to convey accurate information as is humanly possible, let's get on with it!

Source: roseabsolute.net

Rose Essential Oil - Rosa damascena
One of the most expensive and ancient essential oils in the world, Rose is perhaps the best tonics for feminine issues, and a precious companion for fertility, pregnancy and birth.

  • Two types: rose otto (steam distilled) and rose absolute (solvent extracted, a little less expensive, thick with natural oils, better for perfumery) 
  • Very non-toxic, water-soluble
  • Appropriate for all skin types, including sun-damaged
  • Treats asthma, nausea, women's issues, esp. irregular menses due to congested circulation.
  • Some studies suggest it count boost sperm count in men
  • Strongly antiseptic, fights infection
  • "Opens" the heart, alleviates depression and lack of confidence, inspires love, comforts, supports during crisis1a
  • Uterine relaxant
  • Softens ligaments to allow pelvis to expand and regain shape after birth
  • Mild analgesic2
  • Combines with oils of nutmeg, bois de rose, frankincense, and lemon to provide a postnatal lift, applied topically or diffused2a
  • Combines with clary sage and bergamot to alleviate PMS2b
  • Add a few drops to a tepid or mildly warm bath for a pleasant relaxing experience3
  • All around excellent pre-, peri-, and postnatally, for massage or diffusion2c, 3
  • Side note: When I first started researching rose oil, I was seeking clarification on something I'd heard from two other Young Living reps: that rose oil is dangerous before 38 weeks because its "opening" energy can encourage the cervix to ripen early.  I couldn't find any reference to such a problem in any of the books I currently own, nor in any online literature, even from Young Living.  I will try to track down a reference on the matter, but given the otherwise overwhelming support for its safety in pregnancy, I'm inclined to say that it wouldn't be a problem.  However, as I mentioned above, use any essential oils with wisdom and respect.  Pay close attention to your body's reaction to the aroma and energy and if you feel it wouldn't be good for you, don't use it.
    This list will be added to in the future as I expand my knowledge and library.

    Due to the expense of rose oil, you may be tempted to settle for a cheaper brand.  Don't do it.  The loss in quality isn't worth the savings, and you can't know what's really in it and what it's cut with.  True rose oil will usually come in amounts like 1, 2, or 5ml and cost enough to make you wonder if it's made of gold.  The two companies I would personally trust (I'm certain there are many other fine distillers and distributers, these are the two I know very well) are Young Living (5ml) in Utah, and Simplers (1ml, though I can buy 2ml and 5ml with my wholesale account) here in Sebastopol.

    If the straight oil is (understandably) cost prohibitive, I have 6% diluted rose oil in jojoba oil available in small 1/8th ounce vials for $10.  This can be used to add to larger amounts of carrier oil for massage or perfume, or in a room diffuser.

    Rose is a marvelous companion for women of all ages, for health and for beauty.  It works and plays well with many other oils, and its benefits during pregnancy and labor as a beautiful and safe tool for wellness can be make it worth the expense.

    Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage


    1. Keville, Kathi and Green, Mindy.  Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art 2008. Berkeley: The Crossing Press.  206-207

    2. Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy 1991. Novato, CA: New World Library. 219
           Note: In the Amazon reviews of this book, there are some claims with regards to safety in the animal care section, specifically to do with cats.  If you look this book up, maybe don't use that section. -J
       2a: 223
       2b: 231
       2c: 221

    3. Tisserand, Maggie.  Aromatherapy for Women: A Practical Guide to Essential Oils for Health and Beauty  1996.  Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press. 103

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Cleaning house: Jewelry liquidaton

     To everything there is a season, and my season for trying to make jewelry sales an active part of my money-earning/spending has past. Right now, I really need to liquidate some of the pieces I have left and get them into some loving homes.

    Everything below is marked 60% off retail, which is about my cost for the materials, and free shipping or hand delivery if you're local.

    Please browse and seriously consider if you know anyone (including yourself!) who'd like a lovely piece of heritage-quality natural stone and precious metal jewelry. Thanks!

    Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    More important things

    Earlier this week, as mentioned in the previous post, I was diagnosed by my family doctor with a case of norovirus, which is a nasty gut bug that can have everything coming out of everywhere. (I'll leave it at that.) Even though I was already feeling worlds better, this significantly derailed my plans for the week due to a continued quarantine, and as you might imagine, I was kind of annoyed by the setback.

    I was looking through an old box of scrapbooking supplies when I found a homemade bookmark I'd received at church over a decade ago.  It was one of three handouts from the lesson in question, the third being long ago lost to time, but its sister having spent many years taped to my bathroom wall.  The one on my wall read, "Happiness is a grateful heart," and this rediscovered treasure quoted part of a scripture: "Always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive." (Alma 7:23)  I had been feeling decidedly ungrateful that day, due to my isolation and the fact I couldn't get the new cell phone I've been waiting almost a year to upgrade to and suddenly found I couldn't afford.  Nor could I afford to buy the folded business cards with the list of "10 great reasons why Moms need massage" to hand out at work.  Nor had I sold any gift certificates over the Black Friday weekend in spite of numerous tweets, Facebook posts, and ads on both Facebook and Google, which cost me over $50 that could have gone to rent.  Nor could I... nor could I... you get the picture.

    Finding that bookmark woke me up, though.  Spreading a highly contagious bug just so I can go to work?  Bad idea.  Quarantine?  Good idea.  Folded business cards?  I can (and did, last night) print those up at home on an as-needed basis.  New cell phone?  Mine is still chugging along, it does not need immediate replacement; I have time to earn the money.  (Both Christmas and my birthday are coming up, too, so who knows.)  Expensive (to me) advertising?  I got my business out there again, and people were clicking the ads and seeing my site, even if no money immediately came of it.  That many more people are aware that Abundance Massage exists, and what I do.  That has to be worthwhile on some level.

    I live in one of the wealthiest, freest countries on Earth.  My family is fairly upper middle class.  I have a comfortable, heated home, and clothes on my back.  My life is full of opportunity, and I am grateful.  A lot of people would do anything to have my "problems".  They get to me sometimes, but ultimately, I am blessed, and I have more important things to think about than exactly what I don't have.

    Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage