Anthony Edwards / Staff Photos
A lounge area complete with massage chairs is seen inside the Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center in downtown Rutland on Friday.
William Kelley opened the Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center located at 120 Merchants Row in Rutland seven years ago. And despite doubts from some that such a business could make it in Rutland, it has flourished and expanded, employing 11 and contracting with over 40 instructors and practitioners. Here Kelley discusses the details of his business.
What is the nature of Pyramid’s business?
We are an educational and healing center focusing on holistic wellness and fitness, ranging from traditional things like massage therapy and mental health counseling to non-traditional things like hypnosis, energy healing and tarot readings.
How/why did the company begin? What was the inspiration, the story behind its beginning?
It started from me asking “how can I do something that will be meaningful and helpful?” and received a vision of the Pyramid treatment rooms. I knew that it was a place where people could come together to address wellness on a physical, emotional, social, spiritual and occupational level. The right people and right resources showed up at just the right time to make everything come together.
How did you get to where you are today with the business (if it has changed focus, grown, down-sized, etc.)?
We started relatively small and each piece came along in its time. I am passionate about bringing products and services to this area that would not otherwise be available, at an affordable price.
What makes your company unique? What is the most interesting aspect of your company?
I think the creation story of this business is pretty unusual: I did not open the Pyramid with the intentions of making money. My main focus is making a difference in our community, and having a career that feels rewarding and helpful to the world. The offerings and affordability are also unique: the first Himalayan Salt Cave in North America, the only Halotherapy Room in the U.S., the only public Oxygen Bar in Vermont, the only place I know where you can get a $6 yoga class, etc. I appreciate the collaboration between instructors and practitioners, even other health clubs, to provide customers an integrated treatment package, as well as the business model where anyone who meets our minimum requirements can teach a class or offer a workshop.
When I was working at Green Mountain College, I realized that Rutland County is considered to be the least healthy county in Vermont. And although there were already some amazing instructors and practitioners in this area, I didn’t see anything that assembled the offerings the way I felt drawn to do. I truly believe there is no such thing as competition, everyone has something valuable to offer, and we all need to work together in this economy.
As a business-owner, what is the most important lesson you have learned?
Listen to your heart and your inner guidance. There have been naysayers along the way at every juncture of the Pyramid’s establishment and growth, and we have been confronted with many situations that have made it hard, such as the flood of 2008. People said to me “why don’t you just give up?” But I just feel like I am on a mission and I cannot give it up. This area needs the Pyramid, and the Pyramid needs this area. I know that in my heart, and so every decision I make now involves how the Pyramid will best survive. The lesson can be expanded: to believe in yourself, to trust, to stay focused. And accept help. Let go of criticism that takes you away from your mission. To work hard but also play.
For more information call 775-8080, visit www.pyramidvt.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a locally-owned Rutland area small business or sole-proprietorship and would like to be featured in A Business Story, please contact email@example.com.
Joanna Tebbs Young is a Writer and Writing Workshop Facilitator living in Rutland. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, wisdomwithinink.com, facebook.com/TheWritersRoomatAllenHouse or on Twitter at @jtebbsyoung.
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