About Melissa (Short Version)
I’m many things… And have always struggled with wearing just one hat.
I trained as an OT and after practicing for several years in both pediatrics and women's health, I hung up my clinical hat to pursue a journey in coaching, consulting and entrepreneurship.
I now work with therapists around the world, supporting them to overcome their mindset challenges and be successful in the health and wellness industry.
I'm Canadian and my homebase is in British Columbia, though I will always be an islander at heart and my other *home* is Prince Edward Island (on the East Coast).
I'm passionate about an integrative approach to women's health.
I'm also an advocate for pelvic health and improved access to holistic, trauma-informed services.
I'm a HUGE advocate for women's health as an emerging area of practicing in occupational therapy.
I talk with my hands and when I'm really excited about something, I have a bit of a potty mouth (I'll blame that on my Irish descendents).
I value knowledge, leadership, connection, community and family.
If you'd like to know more about my story, you're welcome to peruse the longer version!
I started my career as a paediatric O.T. working in early intervention.
My areas of interest were in sensory processing, neuroscience, developmental trauma and mental health.
It was during this time that I started a side gig of working as a consultant and project manager. Have I mentioned yet that I’ve always enjoying wearing several hats?!
Being pregnant and transitioning into motherhood was life-changing, to say the least. Like many therapists, I soon discovered that there was a huge gap in perinatal health services.
Using my professional knowledge, I became my own therapist so-to-speak, researching my treatment options and coming up with my own rehab plan. There were many highs, many lows and many feelings of isolation.
When Max was still an infant, I was inspired to take the plunge and do things differently. I resigned from my early intervention job and went on a personal sabbatical of sorts, furthering my training in prenatal/postnatal health. I had big ideas! I had a vision! I was inspired! I also had no savings, no venture capital and no business experience. I’ve always loved a challenge…
This was the year that I officially opened Strong Beginnings, a part-time brick & mortar therapy practice where I integrated maternal health & wellness with pediatric OT. Sleep deprivation, a sensory sensitive child, debilitating chronic pain and mental health challenges were all prominent themes in my life. There were many sacrifices and growing pains. But I held a vision in my heart and I was confident that this was the path I was meant to be on…
Being a mompreneur with a baby underfoot is by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! As my business grew, I continued to be creative in how I could work from home (or the road) with Max by my side. This led me down the path of online products and services. After many months of planning, I finally created my first online product, a 6-month course for occupational therapists in prenatal/postnatal health. That was a huge achievement!
As I ventured further down the path of women’s health, professional growth and personal development, I was introduced to advanced level training in restorative exercise, pelvic health and functional movement. I made some important changes to my activities of daily living and stacking more movement into my life. I ditched my shoes whenever possible. I embraced sitting on the floor. I started hanging from monkey bars. I took advantage of online technology for more professional development opportunities, connecting with kindred spirits from around the world. I took my training to the next level - and learned to embrace my quirky ways in the process. This was the year I truly embraced my role as women's health therapist!
Women’s health is so much more than pelvic health! And re-wiring our thoughts and beliefs to create healthier habits is HARD WORK.
These were my epiphanies for this year. I was going further down the path of lifestyle redesign. I took my training to the next level as a women's health coach and a wellness consultant. I did more shadow work into my family of origin and my own healing journey. I was learning how to grow my team and think like the boss. I was finally embracing my role as social entrepreneur and moving forward with confidence!
In 2017, I realized I was spreading myself too thin. I was essentially trying to grow two separate businesses -- a small town brick + mortar and an online consulting company with a focus on therapy education and clinical support. Something had to give.
In July of 2017, while on vacation with my family, the wildfires would hit our region of British Columbia, forcing everyone in our community to evacuate. We embraced our minimalist lifestyle and left our home (and my brick + mortar practice) for over 60 days.
This was a huge hit to my business but also a sign from the universe for me to put on my big girl pants and follow my heart. I made the tough decision to let go of my brick + mortar practice and re-brand under my own name. I was going all in on my coaching and consulting.
It was another tough year of personal growth and transition. Life throws the craziest curveballs at the most unexpected times. But I dug deep as a mom, an online entrepreneur, a women’s health advocate, a mindset coach and a community leader.
Over the course of the year, I was able to reduce my overhead expenses and successfully transition over to my online revenue stream as my primary form of income.
By th end of the year, my business was location independent and I was helping OTs around the world with a special interest in women's health, to navigate the world of business and online marketing with confidence.
It's been anything but easy but I’ve surrounded myself with mentors, teachers and supports that truly see me for who I am: Someone that's a work in progress and trying to follow my heart, showing up in this crazy world as an authentic version of myself. I'm learning to see my imbalances and quirks as strengths, as I blaze a trail for therapists in women's health and entrepreneurship.
And I'd love for you to join me on this journey!