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Life and Work with Así Texeira

Today we’d like to introduce you to Así Texeira.

Así, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Mahina Massage Studio was established in 2010. I started my private practice inside of Samara Yoga Studio in Davis Square. My yoga teacher Nicoline Valkenberg was taking over the yoga space and asked me if I wanted to have an office there. I wasn’t thinking of starting a business at the time but there was no way I could say no to an opportunity like this. I kept my other massage job while getting my business off the ground. My office remained inside Samara Yoga Studio for five years until I moved across the hall into my own space in 2015. That’s when I went full throttle and took all the risks. I figured that if my business was really going to work, I had to quit my other job and have both feet in with all my energy to back it up. I am an Independent Parent a.k.a. (Single Mom) which added to the weight of my fears. As scary as quitting my other job was, I knew that it was crucial to the evolution of my life and my business. It was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it has not been a smooth road but I don’t think it is for any small business owner. I didn’t know what it meant to run or start a business. I was a bodyworker, not a business person. I literally bought two books and went from there. I had to figure out how to be both. Everything that I needed I would try and do myself as a way to save money. That wasn’t always the best route but it didn’t matter. My business oozed the mistakes and triumphs of me. No matter what, I was the stamp on everything even if it was terrible and I had to be okay with it.

Essentially, that’s how I learned everything by going through it all. The truth is I’m still learning and letting my business grow organically with me. I knew if the business got too big too quick I wouldn’t be able to go through the phases with it. The biggest struggle was honestly believing in myself and overcoming doubt and fear. Everything is energy and nothing good comes from stress and worry. My advice to people is, “where your thoughts go energy flows”-pay attention to where you are putting your energy. I also think it’s important to get a handle on being okay with your mistakes, it ultimately leads you to the answers. The better you are at making mistakes while moving forward the better off you are.

Keep your ideas, wishes, hopes, and dreams close to your heart but write, draw, and speak of them often. Manifest.

Please tell us about Mahina Massage Studio.
Massage and Bodywork both exist as an umbrella with numerous modalities that fall under it. It is hard to set yourself apart from all the others. My work is a fusion of muscular therapy that is laced with energy work. When my work shifted towards Women and particularly Pregnancy is when my business unfolded more clearly. Being specialized in Prenatal Massage was more than a niche for me, it was a calling. When I answered this call is when my business started to flourish. I really believe when you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, a path will open for you. A huge part of my business now is helping expectant Parents onset their labor to avoid medical induction. I’ve been developing my style with this technique for five years. The good news is I’ve had great success being a catalyst for labor and this is what I’m best known for. The thing I’m most proud of in my business is the way I run it. It doesn’t fit a linear construct. I really wanted to run a business that was aligned with my soul. Usually, people don’t run their businesses with feelings. When people have to cancel because they had their baby, instead of asking for my fee, I just say congratulations. That’s a privilege of being in my own in private practice. It may not be the best business model but it feels right for me.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
It’s hard for me to say what the biggest barriers are today to this industry when it comes to female leadership because I feel that my field is dominated by females when it comes to the physical work of massaging people. I can more speak to the challenges that I’ve experienced running a private practice as a female. Sometimes, people don’t take me seriously when I tell them I’m a Massage Therapist and that I work for myself. It’s like a concept that they can’t wrap their head around. Most people think or would assume I automatically work for someone else whether it’s under a male or female. I also feel that people think of massage as relaxation in a spa type environment, and don’t consider it to be a real tool to experience a deeper level of healing. I find it challenging when people don’t see me as an actual Therapist that can help aid and clear a path to one’s overall well being. The most difficult thing that I’ve faced as being a woman in this industry and working for myself is getting disturbing inquiries from men. It is something unfortunately that I’ve experienced more than I like to admit. I’m well trained and I’ve been in this field for such a long time that I can see the red flags from a mile away and they never cross the threshold of my office. Even though they don’t come close to me it is unsettling that I even have to weed these men out.

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