Jen Gonzalez doesn’t take doody from anyone. She was certified at the Wood Hygienic Institute in Kissimmee, Florida, in 2009 after years of working at an insurance firm. Jen was then mentored by Gil Jacobs and encouraged to become a colon hydrotherapist. Her inspiration for the change came from Cassie Karopkin who had transitioned from insurance to colon hydrotherapy, as well.
SheBOOM sat down with Jen to talk about how her business tactics have paid off, what she did to brand Doody Free Girl into a successful practice, and the people who gave her a kick in the rear end to get started.
How long have you had your business?
I created my blog in 2012, while working in Manhattan as a colon hydrotherapist. It began as a hobby dedicated to my female clients because I noticed a pattern: many of them were chronically constipated due to both unconscious habits and conscious habits (like holding their bowels while on vacation with a new boyfriend).
What inspired you to get into that field?
Reading Natalia Rose’s The Raw Food Detox Diet forced me to think outside the box with regards to health and weight loss. Her book drove home the theory that waste equals weight and that adopting a cleansing diet generates even more waste that has been accumulating inside the body.
How did you fund it?
I am fortunate to have discovered the Brunswick Center through a client of mine who was opening Rush Cycling. The Center was being completely gutted when I first came to see it. After exhausting my savings, I was able to open my business.
Who have you turned to for business advice?
My parents started an insurance agency together from scratch, so they have always been both my moral support as well as my professional mentors. My friend Steve, who founded Stoked Mentoring – an organization I volunteer with – has been an instrumental mentor to me with respects to networking and social media marketing.
Marketing techniques? What’s worked/what hasn’t?
I rely on social media as my primary marketing technique in combination with automated MailChimp newsletters sent directly to my client email list. I leave my “Services” cards all over town and I created tear-off flyers in color that I hang up all over town to create brand recognition. I also make soy bathroom candles complete with my logo that I sell in a popular shop in town called Love Liesel.
Do you have any great social media success stories?
The social media strategy I developed caught the eye of a popular local lifestyle blogger, Hoboken Girl Blog. She ultimately made an appointment for a colonic and then blogged about her experience. I am still receiving calls almost a month later from her blog post!
Any words of advice/inspiration for other women business owners?
My main piece of advice is that having a clear vision of what your end product will look like is critical when opening a business. My other piece of advice is to surround yourself with a strong support system. There will be emotional highs and lows and having people with whom you can celebrate and cry with is crucial to success.