We had the good fortune of connecting with Gayle Fowler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gayle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting your own business may be as simple as register your trade name, creating your business cards and start working to get clients. However, there are so many other factors to consider depending on what type of business venture you are pursuing. One must consider the requirements at the city, county, state and sometimes federal levels. Lucky for me, I have my Master of Business Administrations and have been working at a managerial/director level for over 25 years while working in corporate America. Although I have been an on again, off again entrepreneur, starting my own business to replace the salary was not easy. In fact, I am still not generating the income to replace a salary, but I definitely love what I am doing and have a better work life balance. I am a Certified Reiki Master Teacher, Urban Shaman, Medical Intuitive, Empath and Channel. I built my business around my healing gifts and spiritual counseling. I was informed that a new Healing Art Center would be opening soon at a Lutheran Church and that I would be a good fit. I wasn’t quite ready to take the leap of becoming my own boss, so I waited. The following year, I had just been told that my independent contract position would be ending because the project that I was slated to work on was not going to happen. So, there I was, no job and wondering what to do next. As fate would have it, I ran into the Manager of the Healing Art Center again and was told that they now have the offices ready for occupancy and if I was interested. I talked it over with my husband and he asked me, “will you be happy opening up your own business?” I said yes, and the rest is history.
I have my own business called GEAF Gifts, LLC that I started 5 years ago. It includes retail sales and professional services where the products sold, and services offered comes from just me. Initially, I relied on the products that I made to help get my business along until clients started to be a regular occurrence. I realized that I needed to have more exposure in order to draw new customers, so I started until small fairs, eventually vending at larger events in Colorado. As I became a regular at well attended fairs/conferences, I decided that I needed to start focusing on future sales and new clients. I also began offering classes where I provided guidance in, for example, starting up a business in Colorado. My target market was, and still is, those who are offering services and vending in the metaphysical arena. Most are well versed on doing what they do, but do not know the first thing about starting an “official” business and gaining more exposed to draw new clients. I recognized another niche for me. As a part of my need to assist 0thers, I created my own fair where many newbies and well-known establisher readers, healers and vendors would participate, for a nominal fee of course. I would provide the location and promotion of the event, and the participants would do their part to promote the fair. I have 12 fairs so far, with the exception of 2020 of course. Many participants have been successful at growing their own business and started to participate in the larger fairs/conferences. I am so proud of the growth I am seeing of the others. If you ask me what I would tell someone who is interested in starting their own business, I’d tell them the following: First, you will need to understand that it is going to take more time than you think. Next, before you begin, do your homework and research the marketplace to see if there is a need for what you will be offering. Look at the competition or in some case, your fellow businesses, to see how they are doing and what it took for them to start their business in the same or similar field. Finally, recognized that your business model or services offered will change over time, so always pay attention to what is going on in the marketplace, and look for opportunities to help your business to grow and not become stagnant. Due to the pandemic, I have had to change the way I do business, especially when we were in the mandatory lock down. I am still struggling, but business is starting to pick up again with existing clients slowly returning and new clients coming in due to referrals or interaction we may have had at other events. I am now understanding that the shift in the marketplace due to the pandemic requires that I offer both services and classes online and in person. This model will remain for quite some time but has also provided me with exposure outside of Colorado, both nationally and internationally. There is still a lot of work ahead, but I am seeing a very bright future.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Reiki Master Teacher, Urban Shaman, Medical Intuitive, Channel and Empath who happens to have a Master of Business Administration. I create wire wrapped pendants, Native American themed fans, healing salves, oils, and sprays and offer energetic healings. My products and services focus on helping people to heal themselves. I also teach classes that are focused on healing and Spiritual growth. Although my offerings may fall into the woo-woo category, I am a very strong believer in what I do. I have helped so many individuals, partners, and families along the way. This is a very different arena than working as a project director or operations manager in Corporate America. I am a very analytical thinker who finds comfort working from my left side of the brain. Yet I am also creative and love making things that people will love and enjoy. It took me a couple of years to stand tall and proud and tell people I meant that I am an Urban Shaman. I try to say it with a straight face but end up chuckling when I see the odd look on people’s faces. I start to explain what I do and share some of my insights about them which generally wins them over. I was born and raised in Hawaii and had the gift of healing and sight since I was very young. I could sense spirits, portals, vortexes, and other energies. I thought that everyone experienced this, so I never saw myself as different, that is until, I started school. I began to notice that I was looked at differently, in fact my Mom says “you were always the weird one” with love of course. So, I started to hide my gifts so that I could fit in. Time goes by, I graduated for high school and completed my undergraduate degree earning my Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii. Hawaii has many superstitions with its blended culture, but there still remained the feeling of being judged, therefore I continued to work hard to “prove myself”. I would say that I grew up in an upper-lower class home, especially when my father left us, and my Mom had to raise us on her own. My Mom told me, when we were looking at my grades in Middle School, that I needed to be satisfied with what I achieved, and that I did not have to fear her judgement because she barely made through high school with a “C” average. From that point on, I have been an over achiever because I always set the benchmark high for myself, but not others. My husband and I left Hawaii to find a better place to raise our family, the cost of living was too much for us. We ended up in Colorado with no family to support us. I had been so used to having the support of my family that it was a bit scary to venture out to a new life. I did my research, found a place to live that was close to my husband’s job and ended up getting a job myself. With my strong worth ethics, I have always been able to start in one job, and eventually move into a management position. Understanding about business operations, workflow and staff management has been the key to my success. Moving away from the Hawaii had forced me to strengthen my resolve that in order to succeed, not just survive, I had to stand on my own two feet. I made things happen, but never at the expense of others. There were many challenges along the way, but I viewed them as another item that we would overcome. Living in Colorado has exposed me to the Metaphysical Community. It was something that I hid for so long, but now it was, or rather, I was being accepted. The biggest lesson that I learned moving into a field that most people don’t understand is that it’s okay if initially others may not “get it.” When they get to know me better and understand that I too am still a big skeptic, they start to lower their guard. I had to release the fear of being judged and move into standing tall and proud that I have been able to help hundreds of people heal themselves along the way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, since nothing is “normal” due to the pandemic, I would make sure that what every my friend loves to do or wants to see is open to the public. That being said, I would let him or her, get used to the altitude change, living in Colorado, that is one of the biggest problems visitors face. Drink lots of water and get lots of rest for the first couple of days. I’d plan trips to visit Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, visiting several hot springs, shopping and of course eating at some of my favorite restaurants. I would definitely show them my office and the Healing Art Center located at the Lutheran Church. That is something that most people can’t believe, so it’s always fun to give them a tour and the background of how it came to be. I’d schedule time for us to attend some classes, have personal sessions with my fellow healers and time for me to work on them. If they wanted to visit other spots in Colorado, we’d could do over nighters to places like Glenwood Springs, Grandby or Grand Lake or much more. If the visit is during the early spring, we could rent a cabin and take boat rides at Shadow Mountain and Grand Lake. If its the winter, we could go skiing, or at least they could, I’d be sitting next to the fireplace at the lodge. Lots of outdoor activities and adventures are available here in Colorado.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I had several great mentors along the way, but I will focus on those who are in the Metaphysical arena. Of course, a big shout out goes to Janine Bolon who has always been there to assist me with my new business ventures and as a sounding board for new ideas. She also continues to provide encouragement along the way. I also want to give a shout out to Marnie Vincolisi, Tami Harms, Sally Beckett McCollum, Dr. Joy Grey (aka Granddaughter Crow, and Garrett Duncan. They have helped me to gain more confidence in what I do now and have been there to encourage me to continue to grow and to see myself as the student who is now the “teacher/mentor.” There has been someone who has supported me throughout my business growth, and her name is Amy Metz. Not only does she physically help me during my numerous events and classes, but she is also the voice of reason to bring me back to focusing on my business and its future growth. Last, but not least, I want to send a big shout out to my husband Paul Fowler, my sons Erik and Kody, who have stood by me at the start of this business venture. I relied so much on them at the beginning of business venture, I am so glad that they continue to stand by me today.
All images were taken by me or friends.