Markham-Based Massage Therapy Centre Pivots to Provide Support Online
Solace Massage Therapy Centre has been healing its clients' bodies, minds, and spirits for over 20 years. This Markham-based health care centre provides the golden touch to help improve mental and physical well-being through services such as massage therapy, reflexology, cupping therapy, and reiki – to name a few. Owxner Michelle McDermott-Brady has been pursuing natural healing for decades, working in various settings including Chiropractic, spas, Physiotherapy, sporting events, trade shows and clinics. She teaches infant massage to mothers, fathers and caregivers, and a couple's massage course for the town of Markham.
“My business is 20 years old. We are a community player in Markham Village from volunteering in main street events and donating to many community causes. We are the place where all are welcome, and everyone genuinely cares about the clients,” she said. McDermott-Brady goes above and beyond to ensure her clients are nurtured in human spirit along with physical healing.
“We have clients who are babies and some close to 100 years old. Massage is part of their health care plan, not a luxury,” she said. “We are there listening to people plan weddings, expecting their first grandchild, through the loss of a loved one, through the pain of divorce, job loss to the joys of 50th anniversaries and retirement. We listen, we are there for these moments, we connect with the human.”
Michelle was forced to temporarily close her business in March 2020. She saw the DMS Future Proof program as an opportunity to become more digitally savvy and help her business thrive in the new economy. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in having a negative impact on Canadians' mental health, she knew that her business could provide healing assistance for many– but needed assistance herself in improving her online presence. “The [Business Transformation Plan] evolved over the six weeks into something great and tangible. I learned things I never thought I would learn about in tech. I wasn't scared. I felt very empowered,” she said.
With the help of Future Proof's Business Transformation Team, Solace Massage Therapy Centre underwent a website re-design and was given resources and content to improve its social media strategy. The website now includes a blog section, updated branding and copy, an events calendar, and an e-commerce feature, allowing audiences to order luxurious skincare products online, including the Seaflora Potent Seaweed Serum.
“My website is seamless, clean and crisp. Easy to navigate for myself and clients. I like the changes made to the website and tips for social media and SEO,” she said. Since going through the DMS Future Proof program, Michelle will use the skills she learned to improve her business's digital footprint for years to come.
“I feel more confident in owning my business; being able to control the website is a big deal for me. I can keep it current and up-to-date with all our activities and announcements. I feel more like a manager,” she said.
Written by Liana Mallia
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.