Success in business – and in life – comes from hard work, determination, a little luck and a strong support system. All of these factors, in combination, have led to great success for Linda St. Laurent, owner of Le Visage Integrative Massage in Hampden, Massachusetts.
As she celebrates her 25th anniversary, St. Laurent acknowledges her good fortune and credits her supportive network for helping her achieve her professional goals. She extends heartfelt gratitude to her lengthy list of clients, mentors, supporters and colleagues.
Following in her mother’s footsteps, St. Laurent enrolled in the Bancroft School of Massage and graduated in 2000. She landed her first job when Jack Tryba, barber/stylist and owner of Center Styling in Sturbridge, invited her to locate her massage practice within his business. He became one of her first and most enthusiastic supporters and mentors. His guidance, advice and friendship during those early years inspired, educated and nurtured her passion for her chosen profession.
Early in her career, St. Laurent found her specialty area when her mother, Jacqueline St. Laurent, gifted her training sessions with Tom Myers, an expert in KMI structural integration, a technique that restores posture and joint mobility and improves movement efficiency. The training enabled St. Laurent to discern a clear picture of the issues with which her clients present. Using KMI principles, she provides individualized therapy, educates the client on the process and recommends homework to correct old negative patterns.
Twenty-one years after practicing in Sturbridge, St. Laurent reluctantly bid adieu to Tryba as she began a new chapter in Hampden, Massachusetts. When she moved to the western part of the state, Jessica Petit, owner of The Restorative Wellness Center, offered her space within the Center. St. Laurent eagerly accepted the offer and launched Le Visage Integrative Massage.
St. Laurent retained many of her existing clients and continued to grow her practice until 2020 when COVID-19 turned everyday life upside down. The March mandate that year forced her to shutter her doors temporarily.
Undaunted by the unexpected shutdown, St. Laurent quickly pivoted to a virtual relationship with her clients, making weekly calls to offer encouragement, advice and support. With intimate knowledge of each client’s particular problem areas, she was able to address their issues remotely. She suggested at-home, self-care techniques to help clients weather the stress of the pandemic and maintain physical and emotional balance. Four months after she was furloughed, St. Laurent was able to reopen and welcomed back most of her clients.
Throughout the last 25 years, St. Laurent’s practice has attracted loyal clients from Sturbridge, Southbridge and Northampton in Massachusetts and Putnam and Killingly in Connecticut and is currently at full capacity. She is grateful for the support of her clients, many of whom have been with her for ten years or more.
St. Laurent realizes that she does not operate in a “bubble” but depends upon collaboration with several other professionals. So when KMI or other massage techniques don’t adequately address a client’s issues, she does not hesitate to refer them to a qualified professional in another discipline.
For instance, clients with podiatric problems may need to visit a specialist who can offer foot-related solutions. She works closely with podiatrist Dr. Neil Feldman in Worcester for these clients. Her local referral network also includes chiropractors, hair stylists, electrolysis practitioners and restaurant owners. She is grateful for the support she continues to receive from all in her “inner circle.”
Additionally, St. Laurent admits that on the business side her practice could not operate successfully without the assistance of her office associate Sally Anderson and her website designer Dina Sexton.
As she celebrates her 25th anniversary, St. Laurent wants to publicly recognize and thank her supporters, particularly her mother, who have collaborated, encouraged and provided love throughout the last quarter century. She is humbled and grateful for all who have participated in her exciting professional journey.