Chronic pain sufferer launches start-up business to help others

In July 2015, growing increasingly dissatisfied with her 9-5 lifestyle and the hour and twenty minute commute to work, Jody Dennett wanted a change. She left her full-time job as an Account Manager in an advertising agency and decided to combine her two passions of marketing and sports massage to establish her own business; Flex Therapy.

Jody’s desire to start Flex Therapy stems from suffering with chronic back pain from the age of 18 for several years. The back pain was crippling and restricted her lifestyle hugely. Following several years of unsuccessful treatments, she stumbled across sports massage. The treatment, combined with a strengthening and conditioning programme cured her back pain.

Having experienced firsthand how effective the treatment can be, she wanted to share her passion and help others in similar situations. Flex Therapy therefore specialises in sports and deep tissue massage, offering a range of different treatments to suit individual needs. It is a highly effective treatment for many common ailments, including, sporting injuries, muscle strains, backache, neck pain, knee pain or general muscle tension.

With a £5,000 Virgin StartUp loan to launch the clinic, Jody opened Flex Therapy at home in Bude, Cornwall. Having grown up in Highampton, a small village near Bude, she moved back home from London after struggling  to find  consistent work. She enrolled on the sports massage course whilst in full-time employment which shows her dedication and desire to run her own business. Jody is now certified in both VTCT Level 3 and 4 in Sports Massage Therapy with a CYQ Level 2 in Gym and Fitness Instructing.

It was a simple Google search which led Jody to the Business West website. She then signed up for the Start & Grow programme, which allowed her to gain the support she needed to start her venture.

"The support from Business West has been brilliant. My application was approved quickly and I received my funding almost immediately. The support of my two mentors has been invaluable. The programme has surpassed my expectations. They provide ideas to ensure the business keeps growing, as well as helping me to keep on track with my goals and targets.”

Jody Dennett, Flex Therapy

As well as gaining initial support from the Business West Start & Grow team, Jody has also received a year’s free membership to the Business West Chamber of Commerce which will ensure her business is constantly supported and networked with the relevant support services. She will also receive two further years of mentoring from Business West which gives clients the opportunity to engage in quarterly webinars covering legal, finance and marketing topics.

Flex Therapy is less about the ambition of making money for Jody, but instead helping to change other people's lives like it changed hers. The future looks bright; Jody has partnered with Lorraine Cutts, who will offer 1-1 Pilates, weight management and nutrition courses from Flex Therapy. She is also a Forever Living Aloe Vera stockist and highly recommends the products to complement a healthy lifestyle. There will also be a launch of 'Flex Fit', Flex Therapy’s branded fitness clothing and accessories. The past 3 months have seen the business grow greatly and Jody is thrilled with the success and the support received from the local community. The Business West Start & Grow team will be on hand to help Jody every step of the way with all of the issues she faces.

Discover more about Flex Therapy

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