Mother-Daughter Team Open Medical Spa

Billings Gazette, Mont.

There isn't much you can do about aging.

The clock just keeps ticking.

The best you can hope for is to age gracefully -- "from the inside out," say Janine Griffin and Ali Mitchell, the mother-daughter team who own Central Wellness in Billings.

Their clinic offers a range of spa services, everything from massage therapy to facials.

But, they also have medical professionals on staff for services such as hormone therapy, skin resurfacing, vein treatments and other procedures.

"We wanted to do something in the medical spa industry and serve women in our community," said Mitchell, the daughter in the partnership.

"Women today wear multiple hats, and we have so many things on our plate, so much is expected of us. We wanted a place where women (and men) could come and relax, be pampered, and enrich their well-being with the anti-aging services we provide."

Central Wellness is at 1010 Central Ave., No. 2 and may be reached at 869-1066, [email protected], or through its website: www.mtmedspa.com.

Here's what else the partners had to say about starting a business and working with family:

Where did startup funding come from?

Janine: "My husband and I have many businesses that we have invested in. We looked at the business plan for Central Wellness and felt investing in a family business was a good choice."

How long have you been in business?

Ali: "We celebrated our one-year anniversary in November.

Your biggest challenge?

Janine: "Our biggest challenge has been overcoming the way medical services have traditionally been offered and the way people think about them. Our goal is to provide medical expertise with the aesthetic services. When you come to Central Wellness, you will have a medical provider doing injections or lasers with the touch and feel of a spa."

What was done to overcome those challenges?

Ali: "The key is to never lose sight of your vision. When we keep the focus on our overall goal, we don't get bogged down in the little things. We keep growing and moving toward our vision of what a medical spa can offer."

What is being done to expand the business?

Janine: "Other than marketing our services, were not doing anything to expand, the business has expanded faster than we had anticipated."

Your best business decisions?

Janine: The staff we have hired. We have a fantastic staff, from the girls at the front desk to our medical providers. We are very blessed to have a great team."

Your worst business mistake?

Ali: "It's definitely been a learning process. Every decision, good or bad, has led us to grow and improve in a positive direction."

What advice do you have for someone running a business?

Janine: "Choose your passion. If you are passionate about what you do, when the bumps in the road come, your passion and drive will get you through."

Number of workers?

Janine: "Right now there are 10."

What's your five-year plan for the business?

Ali: "Our vision for this business is always evolving. We are blessed to be able to evolve and grow with it. We hope to continue to be a positive place in the community where women and men love to come. Our long-term plan includes building a new facility and expanding our spa and aesthetic services."

A question you would ask other entrepreneurs?

Janine: "Building a business takes time and patience; I would ask how do you contain your vision? I get so enthusiastic that I want it all at once."

What is it like starting and running a business as mother and daughter?

Janine: "I get to be with my family every day. We don't always see eye to eye but we value each other's opinion and together we cultivate good ideas."

Ali: "Growing up, my parents always talked business at the dinner table. Both my parents have run successful businesses my whole life. As an adult, it seems natural to be a part of the family business and it's an honor to run Central Wellness alongside my mom."

If you weren't doing what you are now, what would be your dream job?

Janine: "This is my dream job, this is exactly where I want to be."

Ali: "If I wasn't at Central Wellness, I would be a stay-a-home mom. But I love being here, maybe someday my daughter will run the business with me."

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