I’ve been a licensed NYC based acupuncturist for 9 years. I’m originally from Kentucky, and have been living in Brooklyn for 15 years. I’ve had a lifelong interest in natural medicine. That intensified after losing my parents to cancer and heart disease. I saw their struggles receiving adequate support outside of conventional medical care, and their ability to pay for it in the midst of devastating illnesses. I knew then that I wanted to be part of a support system for those who needed more tools to manage chronic health issues without financial stress.
Quality of life matters. Options like acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage and yoga can be pivotal for people to regain a sense of health and empowerment when managing chronic problems. But cost also matters, and many of those options can be financially out of reach for the average person.
I’m passionate about community centered care, and have seen my current collaborative practice, Worksong Acupuncture, grow to serve a large and loyal community at an affordable cost. It’s my commitment to expand this to other parts of NYC, starting with Bed-Stuy. It’s desperately needed to help a largely underserved population have access, to safe, gentle, low cost preventative and complementary health care. I’ve been seeing an average of 260 patients a month for several years, and am currently at the limit of people I can see in the practice that I work in as an independent contractor. But with more space, a massage therapist, herbalist and a yoga teacher, I could help many more people to benefit from all of these methods of natural healthcare.
I have experience with an efficient, low overhead model to start from. All I need are the start up funds to secure a brick and mortar home base. If this business grows the way I project, this model could be tried in other NYC neighborhoods to further expand acupuncture and natural medicine. Darrin De Feo, LMT from Worksong will be joining me as a partner. He will be building his massage practice, and generously sharing many skills from his former life in the world of finance. I’m lucky and grateful to have him.
After being part of the success of Worksong Acupuncture in Greenpoint, I decided that I wanted to take that basic model of low overhead, accessible care and a high volume of efficiently managed appointments, and expand it to include other practitioners offering different types of care. I also plan to accept insurance from patients that have coverage, in addition to offering an affordable cash rate to patients who don’t.
On a typical day I could see an expectant mother for back pain, a kid with a sprained ankle, a woman with perimenopausal hot flashes, an elderly person with osteoarthritis, and absolutely everyone for seasonal allergies and cold symptoms. These are just a few examples, but give you the idea of how much we can help with. My patients are all over the map in terms of age and income – some come because it’s what they can afford, others come because it’s in the neighborhood. Some could afford higher priced boutique style treatment, but they prefer to come to us because we are friendly, skilled, and make it easy for them to schedule online the same day. Our patients are a diverse mix of races and backgrounds, reflecting the demographics of the community that we serve.
My plan is to be the Bed-Stuy neighborhood nexus of natural medicine. Patients can call ahead, book online or simply walk in to be treated in our open community clinic for acupuncture. Customers seeking common herbal remedies for things like allergies, colds, muscle pain, women’s health and more can look through our herbal retail and find something affordable and effective with our guidance. Weekly yoga classes support patients dealing with stress, tension and pain.
We plan on offering special events each month centered on wellness to allow people to get to know us and check out the space. I would be proud to serve the community in this way, and think that not only is it the right thing to do, but that it also makes great business sense to cater to the needs of as many local people as possible.
Our biggest challenge is finding the right space and having the money up front to secure it. We don’t require much build out, furniture or supplies. But first and last month’s rent and deposit are my biggest stumbling block for starting up.
Having this loan will enable me to move forward with a business plan that I’ve been working on for the last few years, and make it a reality. This will allow me to eventually reach a wider audience, offer the outreach and care that I think is crucial to supporting community health, and give me a chance at true financial independence.
This loan will be put toward first and last month’s rent and deposit, treatment tables and supplies, office furniture, & retail inventory. Having my own space and the basics to open will allow me to move on from paying rental fees to other clinics for the use of their space, and move toward expanding my practice and being financially independent.
rent and deposit ($9000)
treatment tables and supplies ($800)
office furniture ($400)
retail inventory ($1700)