A magic touch goes a long way: How expecting mothers can now experience the benefits of day spa pampering, such as pregnancy massages, specifically for mothers-to-be.
Pregnancy. A time of joy, glowing health and a blooming figure. Not to mention cankles, backache, heartburn, piles and, at times, a less than serene temper. It’s a life event that has always fascinated Amy Mitchell, from when she was at high school and guessed there was a pregnant girl in her class, weeks before anyone knew. “I can pick a pregnant woman a mile away,” she says. “It’s something I’ve always been tuned in to. I don’t enjoy being pregnant myself, but I love helping women through it. You never have that time again that you have with your first baby. It’s such a precious thing.”
Amy studied massage therapy after leaving school, completing a business unit as part of her course. “That was a real light bulb moment,” she says. “Marketing and business development are my thing; I have idea after idea.” She started work as a therapist at the age of 19, and particularly enjoyed working with expectant mothers. “I’d get all warm knowing that there was a baby in the room, benefiting from the massage, too.”
But it was only while pregnant with her first child that she spotted that elusive gap in the market. “I felt so sick in my first few weeks, and all I wanted was a good massage, but every spa I approached refused to treat me because they didn’t touch anyone who was less that 12 weeks pregnant.”
I’d get all warm knowing that there was a baby in the room, benefiting from the massage, too.”
After the birth of her daughter Macy, Amy started talking seriously with her husband, Dan, about establishing a pregnancy spa. Taking a leap of faith, they sold their house and the proceeds – their life savings – went towards establishing the first Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Day Spa in Leederville in September 2010. The day the family moved out of their house Amy realised she was pregnant again, with son Fraser, now two. “I know my brain turns to mush at six months so I worked incredibly hard to establish the spa in the first few months. Luckily, we got busy really quickly.”
Since then the business has steadily expanded, with the original spa followed by ones in Woodvale and Kalgoorlie in 2012. “I only ever planned to have one, but the opportunities have just fallen into my lap. I’m now thinking of a franchise across Australia,” she says.
Taking a leap of faith, they sold their house and the proceeds – their life savings – went towards establishing the first Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Day Spa in Leederville in September 2010.
Like many self-employed mothers, Amy has mastered the art of working in short bursts, and switching from work to parenting as required, with a bit of paid childcare thrown in. “Being my own boss means I’ve been able to find the right work-life balance. It hasn’t always been like this, I’ve had to learn along the way. I once sent out 30,000 flyers with the wrong telephone number on them, and that was when I realised I couldn’t do both mum and work at once, so about a year ago we found some part-time childcare for the kids. I generally do a couple of hours a day and have two full days when the kids are at day care. I have a very short attention span so it happens in spurts, and then the rest of the time I’m just Mummy.’
She’s also highly appreciative of her husband, who provides both practical support and a patient sounding board for her endless business ideas. “He’ll take the kids to the park if I need to get something out fast. And he’s the polar opposite of me, more of a details person. I’ll come up with an idea and he’ll say, ‘So how are you going to do it?’ He’s been an awesome support, I couldn’t do it without him.’
“Being my own boss means I’ve been able to find the right work-life balance. It hasn’t always been like this, I’ve had to learn along the way.
And her number one tip for success?
“Prioritise. My To-Do lists are huge, but I have to be content with what I can realistically achieve – I do absolute essentials, and just try and take a couple of steps forward each day so I am constantly moving forward.”