I am 36. I was born in Italy to an Italian father and American mother and was raised between both countries. This is my second time living in Barcelona after being in the US for seven years. I’ll have been here two years this August.
I am a manual therapist specialized in Rolf Structural Integration. It is a bodywork technique (i.e. massage) that improves posture and relieves many symptoms related to weaknesses or imbalances in body structure.
Where did the original idea come from?
Rolf Structural Integration was discovered by an American Doctor called Ida Rolf. I received a series of Structural Integration (SI) sessions when I was living in the US. The experience changed my life: my body felt great and I felt like a different person because of it. Eventually, I went to Boulder, Colorado to do the training.
How long did it take to get your business off the ground?
Two years and counting! My Barcelona practice is building slowly and steadily. I also travel to the US once a year to work with clients over there.
What do you wish you’d known when you started?
Patience and marketing! When I trained I wasn’t thinking about the business aspect of being a bodyworker. Now I know that apart from doing good work, you have to be really creative as far as finding channels through which to access and educate potential clients about the type of service you have to offer.
How easy was it to get the financing for your business?
I have been working with my own resources on a small budget.
Did you find the paperwork diffícult?
I hate paperwork! Since I have no employees, it’s easy to keep things simple. I have an accountant who takes care of paperwork for me.
Did you get help from any particular official organisations or associations (e.g. Chambers of Commerce)? If so, please describe:
Nope, I’ve been networking with friends that are in the complementary health field.
What is your business experience / background / qualifications?
I studies painting at the fine arts academy in Venice (Italy). Learning the business aspect of being self-employed has been a real challenge for me.
What are the positive aspects about having a business here?
That you get to live here and do a job you love.
And the negative aspects?
That you earn less money compared to other countries.
Are there any other useful contacts, tips or information you think would be useful to other foreign entrepreneurs in Barcelona? Please describe:
Metropolitan is a great starting point. I have been networking with other people who like me are creative and entrepreneurs. I think that’s how you get stuff done here.