She is in her second year of the Women Empowerment Project (WEP). She has two adult children and she has put forth a lot of effort to support them over years – including dedicating herself to be a full time Mom. Once her kids were older, she worked for many years in the medical field, specifically in a laboratory’s quality control area. She has always liked doing something to make people feel good. That experience inspired her to take a course in massage therapy. It was a short and basic course so she did not think she was ready to put it into practice. This lack of experience made her feel that she could not advance.
After a while, a friend introduced her to the Women Empowerment Project and she decided to enroll. After each workshop, she learned more and more about developing her business. Most of all, she learned to have hope in her business and not to give up. Esmeralda was clear that it was important to earn her a diploma from the WEP so she could demonstrate to her clients that she was 100% qualified to do her job.
When she earned the diploma after the first year in the project, she began to give massages where it was most convenient for her clients – in their home. With seed money from the WEP, she was bought her first massage table! This allowed her to start operating out of her home as well as her clients’.
One drawback to operating out of her home was that she could only care for women because she was fearful to care for men alone in her home. On the other hand, she was only attending to female neighbors, so this limited her clientele.
Her business has evolved and improved yet again for the better – she currently works in a clinic with 3 other healthcare professionals. She can now attend both men and women. She has a fixed schedule, from 8am to 5pm, which benefits her more because at her home, clientes were often there and her family could not rest.
She hopes to specialize more to expand the range of services she can offer. The next project she wants to focus on is providing massages to teachers from nearby schools. Esmeralda believes they could benefit from a massage after many stressful situations in their day to day life.
Esmeralda hopes to continue learning more in the program and knows that it is important to put implement what she learns. Esmeralda is grateful for all the help she has received because it has allowed her to grow personally and professionally!