Annie and Abi founded Chew Valley Wellbeing after working in the natural health world as a qualified massage therapist and qualified yoga teacher respectively. To see more about their qualifications and experience visit the Meet the Team page.
To hear more about their journey into the holistic therapy world and how they first met, read on....
Abi and Annie first met midway through a decade of fast paced marketing and PR careers, working with some of Bristol's biggest and most loved events, festivals and venues. It was during a wine fuelled post work meeting that Abi and Annie dreamed up the concept of Chew Valley Wellbeing. Five years, two children, two dogs and a lot of soul searching later and the dream finally became reality; in the shape of a studio, treatment area and healing garden nestled in the beautiful rolling fields of Chew Valley.
In their own words, here's the story of how Chew Valley Wellbeing came to be....
During my early 20's I worked in a wonderful natural beauty PR agency in London, which sparked my interest into the importance of what we put onto and into our bodies. London however, was simply too crazy and busy for me, so I left my job to backpack around Thailand. It was here I fell in love with massage.
I spent the last few weeks of my travels learning Thai massage, gaining a level 1 diploma in Thai Massage with people from around the world, in the northern city of Chiang Mai, and returned thinking this was how I was going to earn a living. Seven years, three marketing jobs and two children later, I decided it was now or never. I retrained gaining the higher level 4 Holistic Massage Therapy diploma through the Bristol College of Massage & Bodywork while juggling work, a baby and a toddler and even though this was the busiest period in my life so far, the regular massages, yoga and meditation meant I coped much better with daily life. Following this I took part in the world renowned Well Mother pregnancy massage course, gaining a diploma in Pregnancy Massage.
Abi and I often met up at various yoga classes in different venues around Bristol and would discuss what a shame it was there weren't more places that combined classes with treatments. We said we really must do something about it, but life kept getting in the way.
It was while working at Clifton based Bristol Massage Therapy, specialising in both massage therapy and pregnancy massage, that Abi suggested a yoga and coffee meeting as she had some exciting news and wanted to know if I was interested. We had been talking for less than 5 minutes when I said 'Yes, yes yes yes I absolutely want to be involved!' Abi had found the perfect premises which could combine treatments, classes and courses, and most importantly for me had a south facing walled garden, where we would focus on growing herbs, healing plants and give people the chance to rest for a while with tea and fruit smoothies after their sessions.
With Spring finally starting, I couldn't think of a better time to open a wellbeing centre.