Before beginning her journey at MaKami College, Kristen was working in the oil industry. Unfortunately, she found her work unsatisfying and was ready for a change.
“Once I heard about MaKami College I booked myself in for a campus tour to see if the massage therapy program was right for me,” Kristen says. “It turns out the school was exactly the change I was looking for and at just the right time.” Eager to start as soon as she could, Kristen enrolled for the next possible start date, which was only two weeks away.
The idea of owning her own business was something Kristen always wanted to pursue, but without any business education or guidance at the time, she didn’t think it was possible. “While I was in school, I came up with an idea for my very own business,” she says. Starting with a business plan, Kristen created Body Barn, her own clinic and wellness studio.
“Body Barn is a place for people to come and escape from the busy hustle of everyday life,” she explains. “It’s a place to get away from it all.”
Kristen was able to find her passion and mix business with massage therapy. When Body Barn first opened, she had two employees working for her. Within two years, she expanded her business, and now has double the space she initially started with.
From two employees, she grew to ten. Since then, Kristen has incorporated many new additions to her business, such as a yoga studio and running workshops and classes from her clinic.
“I have much more freedom now, both time-wise and financially,” she says. “I’m an adventurous person, I love to travel, go hiking, visit the mountains and stay active, and this career allows me to do all of that.”
Some of the places on her travel checklist include London, Rome, Thailand, Europe, Asia, South America and the United States. Next on her to-do list is a trip to Nashville as she is a big country music fan.
Her love for nature is reflected in the rustic, down-to-earth design of her clinic. Wanting to give back, she decided to donate a portion of her income to the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation.
In the future, Kristen plans to keep expanding her clinic as her business keeps growing.
Her advice for others weighing the option of switching careers or starting their own business? “Just go with it,” she says. “Trust in yourself and have confidence! Have no doubts and just trust in the process of it all.”