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Hidden Gems: Meet Amber Lynch Gowan of Elite Bodywork, Urban Herbals, and SoulShine Elixirs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Lynch Gowan. 

Hi Amber, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My name is Amber Lynch Gowan. I’m a licensed and board-certified massage therapist, herbalist, and holistic nutrition consultant. Healthy living and a natural approach to wellness were a big part of how I grew up. I think these roots are part of how I got to where I am today! My passion for learning, my varied interests and hobbies, my love of helping others, and my desire to explore are all a part of who I am and how I’ve shaped my career(s) as a whole. Being a self-employed small business owner has been both challenging and rewarding. It has afforded me the ability and the freedom to shift and shape the way I work and live and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

It started in Chicago, my hometown. I was bartending in my early twenties and desired a change. It was time to figure out my true path and make plans for the future. My interest in health and holistic approaches to wellness brought me to the world of massage therapy. I loved learning about the human body and honing my skills. After obtaining my license and board certification, I was lucky to join a team of wellness practitioners in the northwest suburbs. Working alongside chiropractors, doctors, and holistic nutritionists taught me a lot early on in my career. Working in that environment allowed me to serve a broad clientele ranging from professional athletes to quadriplegics. This kind of clinical work helped to shape me as a massage therapist and piqued my interest in learning more about natural health. Almost 15 years later, I’m still learning as much as I can and continuing to perfect my craft. 

While working at this wellness center, I started experiencing some health issues of my own which is part of what drove me to further my education and pursue a degree in holistic nutrition and herbal medicine. I wanted to share how much this approach helped me with others. So, after making the decision to shift gears slightly and go back to school, the question was where? Chicago winters were starting to ware on me and I was eager for a big change. With that in mind, I found a school in Tempe AZ (Southwest Institute of Healing Arts), sent in my application, and started packing my bags. 

My husband (back then we were still just dating), myself, our dog, and cat set out for a new and exciting adventure in the southwestern desert! We were ready for a fresh start, and better weather. 

In Arizona, I continued working alongside chiropractors and doctors as a clinical massage therapist. My clientele began to expand in Arizona and I soon had a solid client base. I love this work and I love my clients! I’ve had the joy of working with some of these clients for 10+ years. This kind of loyalty from my extensive client base is what gave me the confidence to branch out on my own and start my mobile massage therapy business, Elite Bodywork LLC. Mobile therapy has been the best decision I could have made for my massage therapy career. When I say mobile, I mean mobile. I currently work in both Arizona (Scottsdale, Phoenix, and surrounding areas) and California (San Diego and Orange County). I’ve even had the opportunity to travel to other places around the country to provide therapy for my clients. 

Getting to meet amazing people, help them feel better in their bodies, and help improve their functionality while also enjoying all kinds of workspaces has been both rewarding and exciting. 

As time moved along, our Arizona life was rocking and rolling. This new life offered many adventures and the most unforgettable educational experience I’ve had thus far. Studying herbalism changed my life. Knowing how much this kind of medicine helped me personally, I wanted to learn as much as I could and share what I learned with others! Already having my foot in the door of the natural health world from my years as a massage therapist, it was a natural progression to start integrating everything I had learned thus far. My focus moving forward would be helping and educating people on whole-body health while providing them with quality, all-natural products they knew they could trust. This is how my company, Urban Herbals, came to be. We offer all-natural, small-batch botanical products that you know you can trust and that actually work! 

As my massage therapy career continued to take off and my new herbal business was just beginning to bloom, my husband got a job opportunity in Southern California that he couldn’t pass up. So, after over 6 years in the desert, we found ourselves suddenly moving again, this time to the beach. I decided I would maintain my business in Arizona while starting fresh in California. Like I said before, mobile massage therapist means mobile massage therapist! 

Our new life in Southern California brought me a whole new client base. One of my clients encouraged me to meet with Angela Sinnett of Magnolia Wellness in Orange County to see what her wellness center was all about. Needless to say, that meeting went well. Now, not only do I work with the Magnolia clientele as a massage therapist, my relationship with Angela blossomed into a business partnership and a new herbal medicine company. Together we created SoulShine Elixirs, born out of a need to stay connected to our community and offer wellness support during the height of the recent pandemic. 

When reflecting on the different paths that all lead me to where I am today, it is pretty wild to see my dreams actually coming to fruition. I never felt comfortable in the standard 9-5 style of working, and I’ve always been interested in a broad variety of things. Honoring my wild nature and trusting my gut, I took a leap of faith and followed my dreams and I’ve never looked back. I continue to dream big, work hard, and go for it as life continues on. For me, I can’t imagine life any other way! I get to combine all of my interests, help others, and live the life I’ve dreamed of. Life is good and I’m grateful for it every day. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Most good things come with their own set of obstacles and challenges! My road has definitely had its twists and turns along the way. Life has to have uncomfortable moments for us to truly appreciate the good stuff. 

Leaving home can be scary. Starting your own business and deciding to be self-employed can be terrifying. But every challenge in life comes with a good lesson or a well-earned reward. From financial hardships to second-guessing my choices, I’ve definitely had days where I’m wondering what the heck I’m doing. Sometimes a formula just doesn’t come together as planned, sometimes I have a handful of clients cancel causing me a mini freak-out, but really gifting me some free time. Some days it feels like nothing is going right, and I want to throw in the towel…but I know I need to just take a moment and breathe. There is no easy button in life. And if there was, that would make life so boring. 

There have been all kinds of bumps in my road along the way and most likely I’ll encounter a few others in the future. The hope is that I’ve learned, and will continue to learn, from these obstacles and while doing so I’ll put some new skills and observations in my life’s toolbox. Challenges and changes help us grow and learn. All of the challenges life has thrown my way have shaped me into the person I am today and help me maneuver the world of business ownership with a little more ease and humility. 

We’ve been impressed with Elite Bodywork, Urban Herbals, and SoulShine Elixirs, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Elite Bodywork, LLC – I am the owner and operator of this business. As a clinical massage therapist trained in medical massage and a variety of other modalities, I strive to offer my clients the best care they need tailored to their personal health goals. Each session is customized to the clients’ specific needs at that time. I specialize in structural work, deep tissue, sports massage, pregnancy massage, youth, and geriatric treatments, specific injury work, pre, and post-op treatments, cupping, IASTM, and of course relaxation. I am mobile, offering my services in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas as well as Southern California and occasionally other areas throughout the country. 

Urban Herbals – I am the owner, operator, formulator, and medicine maker. I am in charge of marketing, accounting, social media, etc…I’m a one-woman shop here. 

Urban Herbals offers a wide range of botanical-based products. From lip balm and diaper rash salve to soaking salts and herbal teas, we strive to offer the community products they can trust and rely on. We offer real products made with real ingredients. Nothing synthetic. Only natural. 

SoulShine Elixirs – I am the co-owner, co-formulator, and master medicine maker of all products in this company. 

SoulShine Elixirs offers a source for the purest, natural herbal medicines. We have harnessed the power of the earth and combined it with the intelligence of plant medicine to bring you the purest remedies for your body, mind, and soul. So, you can shine. 

We are known for our herbal tinctures. 

I take pride in all of my business ventures! They are all of equal importance to me, and I do my best to give each business an equal amount of time and energy. 

Each business is unique and each offers its own avenue for helping others live a healthy lifestyle. All formulas are made in small batches to ensure optimum quality and freshness. I source my materials from reputable and respected sources, always remembering to give gratitude to the earth and the medicine it provides. Medicine making is a sacred art and I am honored to share these medicines with the world. 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
The field of massage therapy is constantly growing and shifting, gaining more respect amongst the masses. I have seen a shift from individuals seeing massage therapy as a luxury to now understanding the necessity of bodywork to help maintain a healthy and happy body. I also believe as we’ve transitioned into a more digital age, and people have gotten used to working behind screens and working solo from home, there will be a growing need for human connection and human touch. We will also see a tremendous need for support with our physical structures, as our bodies were not meant to live stagnant lifestyles which require too much sitting and not enough movement. 

I see this too in the natural health world. More and more people are seeking out other ways of maintaining their health, yearning for more proactive and preventative options rather than reactive options. There is a growing desire and need for natural health products and education about these topics amongst the global community. We are seeing a need to shift the way people take care of themselves on a daily basis. We are seeing a shift in how we view healthcare. 

Herbal medicine is becoming more popular around the world, as these modalities gain momentum in the world of health and healthy living, it will be even more crucial for people to know which brands they can rely on and trust. 

Pricing:

  • Massage Therapy-starting at $150/hr
  • Urban Herbals – products starting at $4 and up
  • SoulShine Elixirs – starting at $22 and up

Contact Info:

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