Pura Vida

By Malia Durbano

After four years in private practice, Naturopathic Doctor, Nicola St. Mary, decided it was time to pursue her dream of building a cooperative natural healthcare practice. With the vision in mind, she began assembling practitioners to join her and the search for a building.

Dr. Nicola contacted Joe Keck to “totally understand the resources that were available.” After talking with Joe and his assistant, Lynn Asano, Dr. Nicola was referred to the advisors who specialized in the areas of expertise she needed.

Terryl Peterson helped develop the strategic plan to form the cooperative and Advisor, Joe Bishop consulted with her regarding the ramifications of buying vs. renting a building. He also helped her structure the coop.

Bart Mitchell coached her on Quick Books after she took the class by Bethany McManus offered through the SBDC. Advisor and CPA Sidney Zink assisted with the Financial Planning. “They all understand women in business. I took advantage of all of it – the general advice, the support, classes, time with individual advisors and the Women’s Conference. I believe it is why I am successful,” she shared.

Dr. Nicola, “Knew if I came across something I couldn’t navigate I had a team there to help me figure it out.” The assistance she received in the financial aspects of the business built her confidence. She now understands the true value in Strategic Planning, Financial Projections and gains a realistic perspective on how the business is doing based on her Profit and Loss statement.

In the business model established, the practitioners in the Coop that includes Acupuncture, Cranio Sacral Therapy, an Herbalist, Reiki, Holistic Therapy and Intuitive Massage pull their resources and contribute to the marketing, administrative services and rent.

Another aspect of Dr. Nicola’s vision was achieved through the extended SBDC network. She was connected with the Northwest SBDC center and attended the Worksite Wellness Conference in August. She met with representatives of Health Links Colorado and will bring them down here to do free wellness assessments at worksites. The PuraVida team will then continue to make the assessments and treatments available in Durango.

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