Jennifer Phillips saw a gap and filled it.

She introduced to the market a mind/body massage therapy, which produces an “overall sense of well-being.”

Spa treatments can be superficial and sports therapy too clinical, according to Ms. Phillips. She differs by delivering some sports technique, optional aromatherapy and reflexology, but also deeper modalities than a beauty therapist would provide.

Her private studio, which is located in a garden setting, incorporates a heated table, music, different techniques to suit specific complaints and essential oils to assist her clients’ feel-good experience.

“I’ve got a huge cross-section [of clients] … an equal amount of men as well as women,” Ms. Phillips said.

The 31-year-old Bermudian always wanted to be a massage therapist. She took a roundabout route to get there, however. After studying International Business at the American University in Paris, she worked at the English Sports Shop as buyer.

Her passion for massage pre-dated her retail work, but the transition to it came on a whim.

“The wheels just started turning, and I ended up at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics,” Ms. Phillips said.

She did a 750-hour course over six-months and came away with a Natural Therapeutic Specialist diploma. She then went on to earn her Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) designation from the American National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work.

This last isn’t required in Bermuda, but should Ms. Phillips decide to work elsewhere, she is fully qualified to do so.

She has, as a consequence, also just completed a course in myofascial release. This is a slow, sustained technique that releases the fascia, or connective tissue.

Core synchronism is another of her specialties.

“The body knows how it should be optimally functioning,” she explained, “so if something is out of sync, we can remind the body to correct it with our intervention.”

Ms. Phillips provides her clients with a handout that refers to core synchronism as “a gentle palpatory treatment to assist nature in establishing healing and harmony via the vital force and the cerebrospinal fluid.”

Before getting serious in pursuing her career, Ms. Phillips was involved in the performing arts. A former student of the Jackson School of Dance and member of Suzette Harvey’s Bermuda Dance Company, she toured Malaysia and performed in the U.S. before quitting the troupe.

“I was getting too old, had too many injuries,” she explained.

Ms. Phillips used personal savings to start-up what initially was a mobile service, has the support of her parents, whose studio she now uses, the independence to be creative and make all her own decisions and the satisfaction and fulfilment that her own business provides her.

Learning administrative self-discipline was a challenge, she admits. Even so, she is possibly the only small businessperson who could claim: “Now that I’m self-employed, I can honestly say that I am stress-free.”

Her short-term goal is to reach the 100 per cent client capacity she is close to realizing. Long-term expansion is a possibility she won’t dismiss.