Women in Business

Meet Women in Business Barbara Close

"Meet Women in Business Barbara Close"Meet Women in Business Barbara Close, Founder/CEO Naturopathica

Tell us about your business: Naturopathica is 21st Century Wellness. We empower personal transformation with our Healing Arts Centers & Spas, located in East Hampton and NYC, our products and our services. Aside from our Healing Arts Centers & Spas, you can find our signature treatments, Skin Care and Wise Concoctions product collections featured in over 400 resort and day spas throughout North America, and on our website Naturopathica.com.

As a clinical esthetician and Master herbalist, my goal has always been to provide education and tools for people to take charge of their health and reduce inflammation- the leading cause of premature aging of the skin and chronic health conditions.

When I founded Naturopathica East Hampton in 1995, people were unfamiliar with the tinctures, essential oils, Arnica gel and enzyme peels that lined our shelves. Today, wellness has become mainstream and people understand the connection between what you put in and on your body and overall health. We are your partner in wellness, no matter where you are on your well-being journey.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? I have always seen myself as a creative person more than a business owner. When I founded Naturopathica in 1995 we called ourselves a Healing Arts Center & Spa because our vision was to create a place dedicated to wellness education and provide the best of natural products and services to empower people on their path to personal transformation. It sounds lofty, but I became an entrepreneur because I was passionate about wellness education and that passion is the bedrock that has allowed me to take the risks that are necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why? My interest in wellness dates back to my childhood, when I would visit my Great Aunt in France. She was a student of homeopathy and our daily outings consisted of visits to mineral springs for “water cures” and herbal apothecaries for remedies like a Verveine Tea. It was through these visits that I fell in love with the rituals of self-care, so she remains the greatest influence on my personal and professional path.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? Opening Naturopathica Chelsea, our newest Healing Arts Center & Spa in NYC in December 2015, has been my greatest accomplishment to date. I have always wanted to expand our Healing Arts Center & Spa presence, establishing community centers where people can explore a 360 degree approach to well-being. Naturopathica Chelsea empowers wellness in the 21st Century, bringing traditional healing practices back to the forefront in applications that are relevant for our modern lifestyles.

Guests are invited to savor nourishing tonics and elixirs at our Vitality Bar, recharge in our Sensory and Meditation Lounge, discover unique loose leaf teas and herbal remedies at our Remedy Bar, explore our signature products and experience the benefits of massage and facial treatments in the hands of our world-class therapists and estheticians. We are also introducing guided meditations and educational workshops for our community.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Stay flexible and open-minded. It’s all fine to create a strategic plan but you need to adapt to circumstances especially now in the digital age where change happens rapidly.

What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business? Over the years, Naturopathica has established a strong network of peers and influencers in the wellness industry that help to share our mission. By continuously engaging with them, we’ve built meaningful relationships with these influencers and their communities. We provide value through shared expertise, whether partnering for an event, interview or referral program, and celebrate each other’s victories. Their authentic testimonials help us to acquire quality customers and remain thought leaders in the wellness space.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years? It’s not enough to have a vision. You have to know how to execute that vision while understanding that human beings are complicated, and that there are endless emails to send and circumstances to handle. To make your vision a reality, the devil really is in the details.

Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? A good friend and mentor gave me a copy of Linda Rottenberg’s book, Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags. I think I’ve read it at least a dozen times. Whenever things get really tough, I go re-read my favorite dog-eared pages and I feel sane again about my appetite for risk.

Do you have any new projects or special events coming up? We just celebrated our 20th Anniversary year in 2015. This was a transformative year for Naturopathica, opening the doors of Naturopathica Chelsea in NYC and relaunching our “body care” as Wise Concoctions, a collection of herbal remedies and wellness rituals based on traditional healing practices from around the world. Wise Concoctions includes remedies for muscle & joint health, women’s wellness, stress relief and natural immunity, ranging from aromatherapeutic blends like Chill Aromatic Alchemy to topical gels like Sweet Birch Deep Muscle Rub and Arnica Muscle & Joint Gel. In September, we’ll be adding herbal tinctures, remedy teas and therapeutic honeys to this collection.

What do you do for fun/relaxation? One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my furry friends. My two wirehaired dachshunds, Frankie and Pearl, often join me at the office. I also love horseback riding and I have two horses, a 25-year-old Thoroughbred and a 19 hand Percheron at my home in Orient on the North Fork of Long Island. All of my furry creatures keep me laughing, one of the best wellness practices.

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? My goal for 2016 is to learn all of the lessons that come along with opening a new business, Naturopathica Chelsea, and use those lessons to replicate the Healing Arts Center & Spa experience in other urban centers throughout the U.S.

You want to write a book on _________________…

I am working a book, or rather a “deck” of recipes and rituals that can be used at home to promote overall well-being. Aptly titled the Well-Being Deck, this collection of traditional healing practices draws from my knowledge as an herbalist, aromatherapist, clinical esthetician and massage therapist, with an intent to put the joy back into self-care and encourage people to take charge of their wellness.

Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?

A good friend and mentor gave me a copy of Linda Rottenberg’s book, Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags. I think I’ve read it at least a dozen times. Whenever things get really tough, I go re-read my favorite dog-eared pages and I feel sane again about my appetite for risk.

 

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