Photo: Jonathan Smith
Theresa Sedivy knows her strengths and weaknesses. A trained educator with several certifications and licensures attached to her name, she had the knowledge to help others specifically with assisted stretching.
“I’d been teaching active older adults and other special populations at Mankato Family YMCA since March 2016, but I began to become unhappy with my employment. I’d suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) during grad school for my MSE in exercise science. I’d been unable to work jobs of all kinds since suffering that TBI, due to my mental health, loss of executive function and many other employment assets,” Sedivy reflects. “But, I know exercise science, I believe in the benefits of flexibility training from my own experiences and the wealth of research done on stretching, and I love to help people. A friend of mine from the Y, a snow bird, returned in the spring of 2018 from California, where she’d used a Groupon to try Stretch U, a fancy assisted stretch studio. She told me, “‘You should start one of these here!’”
While well trained in her field, the thought of operating her own business was daunting to her. Fortunately, she found the resources she needed to get started, right in Mankato.
“I looked into what it’d take to franchise Stretch U here. Between leasing a space, being required to fly to California to attend their corporate training, and many other factors, I knew franchising wasn’t for me.” she says. “I discovered the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosts a free startup workshop that I should attend. So, I did in September 2018 and I was on my way.”
She founded Flexibility4All, introducing Mankato to the idea of assisted stretching.
“This is the first assisted stretch service anywhere near Mankato and my best sales technique is to have people feel a stretch, I wanted to get out the word about what I do, show people how an assisted stretch looks through a volunteer demonstration or through a presentation.”
As her business grows, she says she is thankful for all the resources around her.
“I appreciate knowing I’ll be able to ask for help when I need it,” she says. “I love SCORE, SBDC, CEI, DEED, other resources and friends and mentors too numerous to mention. I have found the people of Greater Mankato to be very receptive.”
Facebook: Flexibility4All, LLC