Keep your body, mind, and soul in harmony.
This is something Rosa Maria Brooks takes to heart when running her business, Rosa Maria’s Wellness Spirit Of Healing And Astrology Center, LLC.
More than just a day spa, the mission of the business is “to help people create and maintain an optimal lifestyle, supporting, inspiring, and encouraging through therapeutic massage and other tools, safely and easily, with the use of noninvasive technology.”
“When someone walks into my business, they can feel the spirit and the mind relax,” said Rosa Maria.
Her business is located in Hastings, Nebraska, a town she’s called home since 2009. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Rosa Maria says she’s always wanted to help people.
“From an early age, in my native Colombia, I became interested in the sciences that contribute to the mental, spiritual, and physical welfare of human beings,” she said. “I sensed that these three aspects are the key to happiness and success at any stage of life.”
After graduating from college in Colombia, Rosa Maria opened her first massage therapy business in 1990. Upon moving to Hastings, she learned English in one year. She then became certified as a massage therapist by the Board of Licensure for Massage Therapy (BMT), as well as a member of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) after attending the Universal College of Healing Arts in Omaha.
She said it was then that she decided to start her own business, one similar to what she had in Colombia.
“I had the desire to have more direct contact with people, so I wanted to open a center of holistic well-being where I could integrate nutrition services; balance body, mind, and spirit; provide spiritual counseling; and also offer online astrological advice services,” said Rosa Maria.
She found a storefront to house her business, but it needed remodeling. One of her clients mentioned the Center for Rural Affairs might be able to help her.
“I was scared because of my English, because my first language is Spanish, but my experience with the Center has been wonderful,” said Rosa Maria. “I was given directions on how to open a business in the U.S., as well as how to build a client base. I’m very grateful to have gotten to work with Griselda [Rendon].”
Griselda Rendon, Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Latino loan assistant, guided Rosa Maria through the process of obtaining a loan from REAP to renovate her commercial building.
“Rosa Maria is very outgoing and always willing to try new things to grow her business,” said Griselda. “It has been an honor to work with her. She really loves what she does, and you can tell. Her passion and desire to help others is enormous.”
Rosa Maria has continued to work with the Center through training opportunities. She has attended the Women’s Entrepreneur Conference for three consecutive years, and received one-on-one technical assistance on becoming a limited liability company (LLC). She also became certified through the Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program.
“I plan to attend more training courses in the future,” said Rosa Maria. “REAP has become an important part of how I’ve been able to grow my business in the last several years, and I’m very thankful for that.”
Rosa Maria’s Wellness Center serves Hastings, York, Grand Island, Kearney, and nearby areas.