Rachel Davis - Remedy Pilates

ownerRachael is the proprietor of Remedy Pilates & Rehabilitation Clinic at the Southern Cross in Bray. Having suffered from back pain since her teenage years she developed a keen interest in health and fitness. She is now dedicated to keeping herself actively well. She is a member of the Irish and British Association of Sports Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRaT) and has an honours degree in Rehabilitation.She continued her interest in health specialising in Pilates, and in 2003 had research published on Pilates and the management of back pain. She has over 12 years experience in health, wellness and fitness and has run group and private Pilates classes in Ireland, the UK and Australia.

What led you to starting your business? Along with my professional and personal interest in the human condition I felt there was a need for positive intervention in our busy lifestyles. It is our current lifestyles that can lead to pain and discomfort as well as being generally unhealthy. By taking a pro-active ‘hands on’ approach we offer musculo-skeletal therapy as well as Pilates to ensure that all possible rehabilitation and fitness needs are met.

How did you raise the start-up funds you needed? I am working in this industry 12 years and over that period had built up a very loyal client base. I had savings from working full time. My husband is a builder and I am very fortunate that he did all the renovations we needed with the materials at cost price.

What was the most significant lesson you learned in starting your business? I was nervous starting out but with my family and husband’s support I learned that you have to take risks to become successful. Also realising that I had the support of my clients gave me the confidence to go out on my own.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read, business or non-business? None come to mind…I usually read anatomy or exercise books!

Who is the entrepreneur you admire the most? I like Norah Casey from Dragons Den.

What have been the biggest challenges in your business to date? Being pregnant and the decision to set up my business and get it up and running before heading off on maternity leave, and having a career and a fabulous job I love to come back to!

What has been the proudest moment in your business so far? There are many: From a 74 year old women who never exercised in her life and now after doing Pilates for 4 years has got through a very successful hip replacement faster than you can say hot cakes! She is fitter and more agile than she has ever been. Katie Taylor our local Bray boxer is also a client at Remedy. After she qualified for the Olympics she thanked me and said she could not have done it without me. She has a fantastic team around her including her coaches and her parents so it is always a team effort.

What was the best piece of business advice you ever got? Having seen business close down around me where the directors had staff running every part from mentoring to cleaning and not doing any of the work themselves my new mantra is ‘you have to be at work to make your business work’

Can you recommend a good time management technique for other entrepreneurs out there? No, but I am dying to find one!

What magazine do you never miss each month? I read anything to do with health and fitness, changing magazines all the time… If I get time to read them. Irish Tattler owned by Norah Casey is always informative as well as supporting anything Irish. I also love anything to do with food! If you want to eat you have to exercise!

What is your favourite film? Anything with Julia Roberts, I loved Erin Brockovich. She plays very strong female characters.

What is your favourite ad? Ads with babies always catch my attention….because I have one!

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business? Business is very tough at the moment, it always has been tough but now people are spending their money on necessities not luxuries. In my opinion a new business has to be about something people need and researching the market and population. At present we have an aging population and a baby boom.

What do you like to do when you’re not running your business? I used to run marathons but now with a baby and being at work I like to spend all my spare time making his food and looking after him! Running marathons was easier!

Have you found the self-employed formula for a work/life balance? I suppose I am just starting to figure that out. I fell into my business by default out of a love for health and happiness and I love being at work. I also love spending lots of time playing with my son so now I work 4 days a week and take 6 weeks holidays a year. I do paperwork at home on my days off all the same. One has to! After working 6 days a week for years I have realised what is important but working those 6 days for all that time has got me my business I have today.

What’s your website?http://www.remedypilates.ie/

Do you have a Facebook page?www.facebook.com/remedy.pilates

Are you on Twitter? No, I would not have a clue how to even work it!

How has Wicklow CEB helped you and/or your business? It is great to have their support and it is always free advertising. Mainly to know that there are other working mums out there juggling their family and running a business at the same time. Other people’s stories are always inspiration to.

If you could start up all over again, would you do anything differently? I would make my treatment room smaller and my studio a little bigger! I am happy with everything else.