Our client Renee Fiser with Cultivate Acupuncture has built her business on a commitment to providing lifelong solutions to maintaining good health. We spoke with the Nashville entrepreneur and health practitioner her on the growth of her clinic and what she's learned along the way.
Tell us about your business. What makes your company unique?
Cultivate is unique because it is a women led business for women-only clients. Its focus is centered on all aspects of women’s health and well-being while inside of a safe and comfortable environment - free of distractions. Cultivate is more than an acupuncture clinic. It is a place where women visit not only to regain internal balance from disease and complaints, but to learn how to “cultivate” a healthy lifestyle after balance is regained from treatments. They are given tools to maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being that they may use for the rest of their lifespan. Each woman is educated on the techniques and foods that are good for her specific constitution and illness patterns - not just given a blanket technique that could not possibly work optimally for everyone.
How was your company founded?
The idea for some sort of healing business began in 2008 but the name and vision for Cultivate evolved as an idea in my head in 2012 which I drew onto a piece of paper as art and that piece of paper is still the final vision for the company! It’s a little drawing that makes sense to me but might look like something a kindergartener drew to someone else. I started from the bottom of that plan laying all of the initial seeds and groundwork for the larger scale and it is slowly working it’s way up to that grand vision. Some of the minor details have and will adapt to the times and demand of certain services but the foundation that the company was built on is stable and right on track with its progression.
What is your main role in the everyday operations of the business?
At the moment I am the only person behind the scenes at Cultivate. I take care of all of the paperwork, patient treatments, recipe creating for nutritional plans, postings on social media, educational workshops, cleaning and community clinics. Cultivate will be looking to expand within the year by adding more practitioners so that I can be freed up from some of these responsibilities and shift focus onto the next phase of expansion to reach more people.
What problems does your company solve for your customers?
Cultivate specializes in women’s wellness such as infertility, hormonal balance, pre/during/postnatal and menopause. Other areas of expertise include allergies, weight loss, migraines, cosmetic concerns, mental health, anxiety, stress, lifestyle changes and general well being. Patients will usually find that there is a strong correlation of their complaints and anxieties with their careers and relationships so there is usually much shift in the clients that might involve changes in these areas and a much happier life overall.
How has your business grown?
I started in Austin renting a room from a massage studio and then expanded to my own office inside of a healing center. This is when it officially became “cultivate.” After returning to my hometown of Nashville and re-opening I began as a one treatment room office inside of the TrackOne building. I have now expanded into a multi-room space on Music Row. In the beginning it was only based on the modalities of acupuncture, herbalism and flower essences but have since expanded to include cupping, facial rejuvenation, auricular therapy and foot soaks. The biggest area of growth for Cultivate has been the activity within the community: workshops, educational seminars, women’s spa nights and community clinics.
If you could speak to your younger self, just starting out, what advice would you give him/her?
Don’t be discouraged by other people’s resistance or skepticism of your dreams just stay on the course and lead by your heart. Those who need you will be drawn to your services so continue to educate where you can while maintaining your personal health to lead by example.
Who inspires you (alive or not) and why?
Every single person I come into contact inspires me in some way. Whether the influence comes from a positive interaction or has an unpleasant tone I generally try to take every experience as a chance to grow both personally and use that as fuel for the things which I feel are important. My clients are the biggest inspiration for me - they are not only my students but they are also my studies. Each complicated case is a chance for me to broaden my scope of practice and deepen my understanding of all of the ways in which human bodies react or maladapt to their environment.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence?
I personally define success as all of these things - the ability to make a difference in the lives of others and within the community, the ability to purchase the things I want such as travel experiences or menu items, and the freedom of creating my own schedule so that I have time to enjoy the things I love such as hiking, cooking, yoga and traveling.
Describe your new office space and location.
The new space is cozy, quaint and a little quirky! When you walk in, there is a comfortable intake room where clients share their concerns, progress and lifestyle patterns. There are two treatment rooms set up with treatment tables and chairs to lean back in while enjoying foot soaks. There is also a private restroom where women can get freshened up before venturing back into the world after a treatment.
Why did you select that neighborhood/area?
It is a central location, in a well known neighborhood, with a great walkable score!