Tell us about Michelle Ball Yoga and why you started it. I decided to pursue a yoga certification during the height of the pandemic. After completing my certification, I wanted to share this practice with others knowing how much it had helped me, both physically and mentally. Once we were able to connect socially again, a friend of the family approached because she had heard I taught yoga. That was the beginning! A few of us began to meet outdoors at beaches and parks in Marblehead and it became a consistent weekly meet up.
After sharing this practice with both adults and kids, I see the positive effect it has on people after they finish a class. I think some people may be intimidated or hesitant to take a class due to being unfamiliar with poses and challenging movements and the stillness behind it. My goal in starting Michelle Ball Yoga was, and still is, to make yoga accessible for all by giving modifications and adjustments to meet yourself exactly where you are. The benefits are endless for building strength, flexibility, and calm; while creating mindful movement.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? The best business advice I’ve received is “Fake it till you make it” (I’m joking!). It’s important to find your niche and be the authentic best version of yourself. The people who need what you have to offer will come your way.
What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? I have many, but my favorite spot in Marblehead is Preston Beach. We moved here 7 years ago, and Preston has so many memories for me whether it has been family walks throughout the year, special time with our dog, or just enjoying a wonderful summer day on the beach. This has and continues to be a special spot where I teach yoga too!
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Something people would be surprised to learn about me is that I was a professional dancer/performer for twelve years prior to having my children. Both my husband and I have traveled around the world performing. I still teach dance on a weekly basis, at a studio in the Northshore area, to all ages. Dance is still a large part of my life.
Tell us about The Power of Speech and why you started it. The Power of Speech provides speech and language therapy to children of all ages and abilities. We have a welcoming therapy space right at my house in Marblehead, as well as a backyard that is designed with my clients in mind. Connecting with each child, building their confidence, and growing their ability to effectively communicate in a way that works best for them are a few things I am passionate about. I started my private practice in 2016 after working at two other therapy clinics. I was excited to take what I learned from those experiences and transform it into my own vision. I am so thankful to be able to say that I truly love what I do!
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? The best piece of advice I have been given is to “focus on the experience”. I want each child to come to therapy and know that learning can be fun. After that, it’s important to me that parents and caregivers feel comfortable with the therapy plan I have set in place. Ongoing collaboration is encouraged between families, teachers, and other therapists. From start to finish, I want the experience at The Power of Speech to feel comfortable, individualized, and empowering.
What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? Forest River Conservation is a favorite spot for our whole family (dogs and kids included). We always see something new while exploring the trails during the different seasons.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? People might be surprised to learn that I received therapy from a speech and language pathologist until I was 8 years old, because some sounds were just hard for me to say. I remember wondering if I would ever be able to say the word “world”. Turns out…speech and language pathologists know how to help with that sort of thing!
The Power of Speech
Owner: Jessica Brown M.S. CCC-SLP [email protected]
Tell us about Red Agate Design and why you started it. I started Red Agate to share my love of design with others. When I retired, I found that I was craving a creative outlet in my life. To fill that need, I started quilling which involves rolling, shaping, and gluing strips of paper together to create art pieces. From there, I ventured into working with wire and beads and turning those pieces into necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other jewelry pieces. It’s been a fun and creative journey for me, and I hope my pieces make others feel special. You can view my jewelry collection on my Instagram page, which is @redagatedesign. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you would like to see any of my pieces.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? One of my favorite pieces of advice that I once received was, “There will always be ups and downs, so don’t get discouraged. Trust yourself.”
What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? There are so many wonderful places in Marblehead, that it’s hard to choose just one. I really enjoy spending time in the garden at the Hooper Mansion. It’s a delightful hidden gem where you can enjoy your morning coffee.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? People might be surprised to know that I was Geppetto in a ballet adaptation of Pinocchio.
Red Agate Design
Owner: Ellen Harrington Instagram: @redagatedesign [email protected]
Tell us about Holly Shuman Acupuncture and why you started it. Holly Shuman Acupuncture is a boutique style practice that focuses on Women’s Health with a particular interest in fertility. I started as a general practitioner treating a variety of conditions ~ like pain, insomnia & digestive health for instance ~ but the demand for fertility support was so great I decided to specialize in helping families from preconception to postpartum. I adore Marblehead and was thrilled to relocate my Boston practice closer to home. As the pandemic continued on longer than anticipated, it was the perfect time to introduce myself to a new community.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?My mentor encouraged me to “bring my whole, most authentic self” to my work. She also told me to listen without judgment and remain approachable to foster connections with patients. With clinical experience, I witness the best results with patients who feel my genuine compassion for them.
What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? I have a few but I really love to sit by the water at Little Harbor. It’s the sweetest little inlet with gorgeous lighting on a late summer afternoon. It’s even better with a lobster roll!
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?Prior to practicing acupuncture, I co-created, owned & operated award winning restaurants in Brookline and Natick. After 24 years in the food business, I was ready for a new lifetime pathway.
Holly Shuman Acupuncture
Owner: Holly Shuman 118 Pleasant St, Suite 22A
The following is an interview with The Preppy Stitch owner, Gabrielle Rogers
Tell us about The Preppy Stitch and why you started it. The Preppy Stitch is a boutique monogram and embroidery shop focused on elevating the everyday and honoring the tradition of the monogram. We’re located in Marblehead and we provide embroidery services for many items for your home, weddings, and travel. We love helping our clients create a personal gift for a friend or a special monogram to help their personality shine through. Recently we launched Gabrielle Bettacchi Bespoke, our line of personally designed crests. These crests are perfect for weddings, families or new babies. The reason I started the Preppy Stitch was because I love all things monogrammed, celebrating the everyday and finding small ways to turn moments into memories!
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is, “find your niche”. As a business owner, it’s important to find your niche so you’re not trying to be everything for everyone.
What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? Aren’t we just so lucky to live here? It’s hard to pick just one spot, so I would say, anywhere that is right on the water! That’s what makes Marblehead so special!
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I really want to be in a flash mob. Sadly, I think that trend has passed. But it would have been so much fun to participate in one!