Founders : Parks + Greenspace

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Mary Beth Knight, Get Your Back on Track

How did you come up the idea for your business?
For the last two years, I have worked with many people suffering from back pain, some for a short time, others for years, even decades. Over time, I realized that many of these clients’ pain was coming from, or made worse by, some of the same tight, weak and aggravated muscles. Once the proper muscle length and strength were restored in the body, the pain ceased altogether.

I was so thrilled that the steps to recovery worked that I couldn’t wait to share the program with everyone in pain. Because there are only so many hours in a day, I decided to create a program that could be done at home to alleviate back pain and prevent recurrence. The Get Your Back on Track program began in February 2012 and launched in April 2012.  

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
I am very lucky that Dr. John Tew of the Mayfield Clinic trusted me with his patients for whom surgery wasn’t an option. He knows the importance of flexibility, mobility and core strength, and sent me a number of his clients whose lives were defined by back pain.

Dr. Tew encouraged me to study, learn and implement a program for low backs. Without his trust and encouragement, I never would’ve taken this professional leap. He also encouraged me to create an at-home program because he had more patients to send, but my schedule was full.  

I have some amazing success stories, such as a client who couldn’t play golf for a decade due to back pain who now plays 18 holes, no problem. I have a lovely 83-year-old client whose back hurt so badly that she hadn’t slept through the night in 5 years; and now she does! The smiles I see -- and the tears of joy and gratitude from my clients who now can live life without restriction and the weight of pain -- are phenomenal! I’m thankful to have worked with them.

What inspires you?    
My clients inspire me. I cannot stand it when someone is in pain or is unable to travel, play sports, exercise or play with their kids or grandkids because of pain or other physical problems. When they come to me unable to live the life they intended, I feel it’s my duty to return them to a place of strength, balance and happiness.

I had back problems years ago, including sciatica and a back injury from a car accident I was in.  I was in a body that worked against me, but someone taught me how to make it work for me, and now that is my job, which I love! This is the gift that I was given, it’s my mission to pass it on.  I am inspired by people’s willingness, trust, hope and success!

What’s next for you and your company?
The Get Your Back on Track program needs exposure. That is our next step. I am thrilled with the opportunity to be in SkyMall magazine October through December, and I am thinking through and researching avenues such as the Home Shopping Network and perhaps even an infomercial.

Interview by Robin Donovan

Questions with Mary Beth Knight, Get Your Back on Track

Company:

Ken O'Dea of Place Workshop

How did you start your business?  
I was employed at Vivian Llambi & Associates for more than 12 years. I finally realized I wanted to try something new. With the support from my family, I resigned from my positions and started Place Workshop.

How did you come up the idea for your business?
I have thought about this endeavor for a long time. I wanted to create a “design first” company that strives to make unique and memorable places using all of our knowledge.

Sometimes, landscape architects can focus too much on planting design. While plants and trees are a very important part of what makes a place, planting design is only one of many tools that can be used to create a dynamic environment. We leverage our urban design skills to look at spatial form, color, functionality, lighting, color and ambiance.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Springboard was a big help. We needed to create a smart business plan and they helped us get it going. The collaboration with the other entrepreneurs was priceless – it was a big help and a big ego boost to talk to people taking the same leap into business ownership.

Your business is very, very new.  How have the first few weeks been?
It’s been exciting. People told me it wouldn’t be 8-hour days, and they were right.  Right now, I wear a lot of hats – creating marketing material, setting up appointments to talk with clients and more.  Today, I’m putting together our office furniture; I’ve got my arms around the whole company at this point.

What’s next for you and your company?  
I would like to hire one or two new designers within the next year and open a Kentucky location.

Interview by Robin Donovan

Questions with Ken O'Dea of Place Workshop

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