Sometimes, situations dictate your choices. In Delaney Outlaw’s case, after separating from her husband she needed a job flexible enough for her to finish college with a toddler, while also making sure she earned enough to afford the cost of living on her own.
“Necessity Entrepreneurship” was the only choice for Delaney. Starting out with a cleaning business during the last of her college years at ODU, she then became an elementary school teacher. But in her seventh year of teaching, the lure of business ownership and her passion for ‘Mindfulness’ and ‘Wellness’ led her to start massage school at Fuller Advanced School of Massage. After teaching during the day and going to school at night (and doubling up classes in summer), she finished her training in eight months.
In July 2015 she started making all-natural products in her home, opening her own brick and mortar full-service spa and wellness center called VSB Massage & Wellness on December 1, 2017.
VSB (Vision, Spirit, Balance) Massage & Wellness provides massages and spa treatments such as body wraps, spa facials, waxing, beauty/skin consulting with Mary Kay products and wellness supplements through Total Life Changes. They also provide Reiki Energy Balancing and yoga/meditation classes.
“Massages, yoga, meditation, herbal supplements and other wellness practices led me to peace, joy and balance through some of the roughest times in my life,” Delaney says. “I just wanted to share my knowledge and talents with others so that they too could find the same relief through Mind, Body and Spirit.”
Owning her own business has allowed her freedom, confidence and compassion. “I am free to do what I want, when I want. It also feels good to have the power to help others. If one of my clients is going through a hard time, I have the power to discount their services or make modifications. When you are working for someone else you don’t always have that ability.”
Two of her biggest challenges currently are work/life balance and finding the right team members, both of which she knows are critical to her success and happiness.
Some advice she would give to other business owners is to not underestimate how important marketing is to a business. “I invested so much money in the décor and equipment for the spa that my marketing budget was next to nothing.”
“Also, don’t listen to the critics, do your research and find a business mentor. Research is so important to your business and can be done by investing in yourself, by taking classes, or hiring a consultant/ coach. If you can find a business mentor in your field, that’s cool, but look more for the qualities you wish to possess as a business owner and as an overall person when choosing a business mentor. Once you find someone and they agree to take you on, listen to what they have to say. It may be your vision, but they have the keys to make your vision become a success because they have already done it for themselves.”
Delaney has a clear goal for VSB Spa & Wellness: to be the center of spa, beauty, health and wellness in Hampton Roads. Every day she works towards VSB being synonymous with peace, beauty, health, and wellness.