Call it karma, but Strabane women Stephanie Rice and Joanne Gallagher have defied all the odds and enjoyed a successful first year in business despite opening just months before the global pandemic knocked us all for six. The secret of their success? The support of local people and fellow businesses in Strabane alongside their own creativity and positivity.
We offer meditation, mindfulness, yoga, pilates and different workshops in the open space at the front of the premises while in behind there are three relaxing and private treatment rooms where we and Kelly Devine offer reiki, reflexology and all types of massage including Indian head massage.
There’s nowhere else like this around here offering all that we do in the one location. We collaborate with different influencers and have workshops on a Saturday morning that can focus on different issues such as anxiety or nutrition. We also do crystal healing, anything holistic.
Our retail range really saved us during the restrictions of the lockdowns imposed during 2020. Stephanie has developed an extensive range of aromatherapy products, including candles, bath bombs and soaps, which she makes herself, while Joanne has introduced a mindful clothing range which she has worked on with Strabane designer, Chloe McColgan of In_chlomo.
We also stock products from others including Calum Best’s crystal jewellery, incense, crystals and salt lamps and we do our best to support other local creatives and businesses – we have in stock a mindful book by Strabane man, Stephen Mc Garvey and a spiritual book by local woman Sinead Anne Lynch.
Having to close the centre to classes meant we had to look at alternatives and we’ve ended up employing a part-time member of staff to look after administration and our website, Ciara Houston. The three of us were in the same form class at Our Lady of Mercy and now we’ve ended up coming back together to work. It’s nearly like being back at school!
Stephanie does reflexology for everyone from children to end of life, we want the wellness centre to be a place where everyone feels welcome and leaves feeling relaxed. It was really starting to take off before COVID when we had to close due to the restrictions. During this time we have updated the website and people that didn’t know we were here were coming in to buy candles and then they’re seeing more of what we offer.
At a time like this when so many are anxious or stressed, it’s good for people to know that a place like this exists and that aromatherapy and mindfulness is available to give them a lift.
There was definitely a gap in the market before we opened, there is nowhere else like this that has everything together, when we’re fully open. At the start, we had some people who were so bad with anxiety, they would be shaking when they came in, but to see the change in them now, they are like different people, it’s so heartwarming. It’s a great feeling to know you are doing something to help and when we see them out and about, they give us big waves so we know we are doing something right.
The best thing about being in Strabane is that everyone is very supportive, even the other local businesses. It’s good to see everybody’s business is continuing to keep going.
Stephanie, who is self-taught, loves making all her products, she’s so proud that they are doing so well and that people are enjoying them and getting the benefits they provide.
Joanne has been continuing her Mindful classes via Zoom, which has been great because everyone can do it from the comfort and safety of their own home.
As far as the future’s concerned, we’re trying to get the place back to normal as soon as restrictions are lifted and that it’s safe so we can resume all our classes. It’s just such a lovely atmosphere when we’re all in together, every individual add something special or when an unexpected discussion begins when someone mentions something in passing – the craic is always good too! No matter what people come here for, they always leave in high spirits, it will be nice to have all that back.
Good Vibes Wellness is currently closed due to Covid restrictions but you can keep up to date with their offerings via Facebook & Instagram. You can also shop their products online at https://www.goodvibeswellness.co.uk/