“It had always been my vision to have an integrated wellness center that offers counseling and therapy services, yoga, nutrition, and more. All the things that holistically make up the concept of ‘wellness’,” says Jamie Nichols, MA, LPC, CCHt, RYT.
She’s the founder, owner, and clinical director of F.L.O.W. Wellness Center (F.L.O.W. stands for ‘For the Love Of Wellness’), which provides comprehensive services to a roster of more than 500 clients in suburban Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Here’s how an SBA Microloan is helping Jamie achieve her vision and serve a growing clientele.
A journey into integrated wellness
Jamie’s interest in health that integrates longstanding Eastern traditions with Western practices began with her journey into yoga. As an undergraduate, she completed her yoga-teacher certification while studying special education and psychology.
She then completed her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, with training in specializations that include mindfulness, addiction recovery, trauma treatment, and grief counseling. More recently, she added clinical hypnotherapy to her offerings.
She opened her clinical practice in 2018.
Formalizing F.L.O.W. and expanding services
“When I started my clinical practice, I wanted to offer a more integrated approach to wellness. Mental-health counseling is essential and for many clients, a more comprehensive approach can even better meet their needs,” she says.
A challenge she found was that many clients couldn’t get the help they needed, for reasons that included a shortage of available counselors and healthcare practitioners, a lack of insurance, or a lack of time and resources needed to visit several different practitioners.
“My dream is that someone can get just about every aspect of wellness-centered services that they need under one roof,” she explains.
Jamie formalized F.L.O.W. in 2019. She says, “That’s when things really clicked. Today, we have four full-time staff members with three more about to become full-time, as well as more than a dozen independent contractors who work with us under the F.L.O.W. umbrella.”
In addition, and of great importance to many of F.L.O.W.’s clients, they have a clinical internship program that provides accessible services for clients who might not otherwise have access to care.
An SBA Microloan enables F.L.O.W. to grow
“There’s so much need in mental health care,” says Jamie, “and it’s constantly evolving. For example, our fastest-growing population of clientele is children. We don’t want to turn people away and I’d been exploring ways to grow within our space so that we can serve more people.”
She realized that if she reconfigured the existing space, F.L.O.W. could create more private offices, which would mean serving more clients.
Jamie needed a loan to help with the renovations, so she contacted Pursuit VP and Senior Business Development Officer, Angel Rosario, who she had met when she was receiving business assistance from her local Women’s Business Development Center.
“Angel is awesome and we had a great connection from the start, so when I needed funding for construction, I didn’t hesitate to contact him. He recommended an SBA Microloan and helped me through the entire process, which made it so much easier,” Jamie says.
F.L.O.W. received a $20,000 SBA Microloan and immediately completed the construction, which is already having a positive impact.
Pursuit and the SBA Microloan: Much more than funding
SBA Microloan recipients receive more than simply funds, too, as Jamie explains. She’s working with Malini Krishna, a senior consultant on Pursuit’s Business Advisory Services team, and other professional consultants in marketing and business finance.
“In addition to the loan, which was terrific in itself, I also now have access to expert consultants to help me develop marketing plans and financial management skills. Everyone at Pursuit has been great and it’s making such a difference in how I operate the business and how we’re able to reach and serve our clients,” she says.
F.L.O.W. continues to expand its services
Jamie says, “Almost every day, we hear from clients who’ve reached out for help but either got put on unreasonably long waitlists or didn’t receive calls back until they found F.L.O.W. We have little-to-no waitlist and make every effort to support each client that walks through our doors. We’re now serving 6-10 new clients every week, which is phenomenal growth, as well as a sign of just how much need is out there. Until the day comes that there’s no more unmet need, it will be my goal to expand our reach.”
In addition to the primary wellness center in Abingdon, PA, Jamie has opened a satellite site in Newton, PA, near the New Jersey border. “It’s smaller scale and we offer several core services, as well as massage, shiatsu, and nutrition,” she says. To keep the business on track, Jamie now spends most of her time on operations and staffing, as well as on her clinical hypnotherapy practice.
Pursuit has more than 15 loan options for small businesses
“This loan is helping me achieve my goals while helping people in need, which is everything I envisioned coming to fruition,” Jamie says. Take a look at our small business loan options, from $10,000 to more than $5.5 million, then contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your dreams, too.