March 8th is International Women’s Day. The purpose of International Women’s Day is to recognize the achievements of women all around the world. This global day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
We invite you to celebrate this International Women’s Day by learning about a few of the talented women who are franchisees of our newest LaVida Massage centers in Georgia.
Owner TiAnn Walker (LaVida Massage of Grayson, GA)
I was born in Gary, IN, and raised in Marion, IN. I attended Indiana State University with a major in psychology and criminology. I’ve been a resident of Georgia for 25 years. I’m the mother of twin daughters, Gabrielle and Arianna, who are currently seniors at Duluth HS in Georgia.
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My passions are gardening, travel, and some occasional bird watching from my back patio. My all-time favorites are watching basketball and football with my husband, Michael. My favorite favorites are Lebron James, Michael Jordan, and Michael Vick. And last but not least, my 5-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix, Trixie. I am pretty active in my community being a part of Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Loganville Rotary Club, and Duluth PTA.
The reason why I chose to partner with LaVida Massage is one word – wellness, wellness, wellness! As a health and wellness coach, holistic wellness is a priority for me, and LaVida Massage “just sat right with my soul,” as the old folks used to say.
Owner Bekah Harrison (LaVida Massage of Cartersville & Lost Mountain, GA)
I grew up in Arlington Heights, IL, a suburb northwest of Chicago. Both my parents were from the area and all our family lived nearby. We moved to Georgia when I was a teenager due to how fast Georgia was growing in the 1990s and there were more opportunities for my parents and their careers. My two brothers, my sister, and I immediately fell in love with Georgia. What’s not to love, the weather, the people and the new cultures were all so amazing. My husband and I were married in 2001 and we have 2 girls ages 11 and 13.
I worked in finance for many years and went back to school in 2006 receiving a degree in dental hygiene. I specialized in periodontal treatments and loved what I did. I helped patients achieve oral health as well as overall systemic health through education, procedures, and care.
My mother became very ill in 2017, which took me away from my profession and led me to question my future concerning retirement and potential care if I were to need it in my older years. My husband and I started looking into investing. We thought of opening a massage center on our own where I could use my knowledge in business and finance as well as my love for patient care and health. After researching all the different massage franchises we went with LaVida. And we are so happy we did!!!
My daughters both play travel tournament softball. I am very involved with them. Once the season starts in February we are either at practice, pitching lessons, catching lessons, hitting lessons, scrimmages, or tournaments every day of the week. I played softball for over 20 years and being at the ballpark watching my girls is my favorite thing to do.
Owner Charlene Holder (LaVida Massage of Rome, GA)
I grew up in Dallas, Georgia. After a stressful career in healthcare interior design, I decided that I needed a stress-free job. I had been a Reiki Master Teacher since 2002, and my passion was (and still is) healing, but I never felt comfortable charging folks, so I rarely did. I wanted a healing career with which I could financially support myself, so I signed up for the Therapeutic Massage program at Phoenix College in Phoenix Arizona while living with Alan at the time. I remember my massage program director warning us that massage was put in the same governmental classification of strenuous occupations as NFL players, and I thought, “Oh no, I think I’ve made a horrible mistake!” What I discovered was that even though massage is very tough on the therapist’s body, while I am massaging, I feel no pain whatsoever. Massage takes the therapist to a higher and better place.
I have a passion for traveling and love driving. My fantasy job would be a professional race car driver. I also have a passion for learning new things, which folds into my love of travel, and I’ve had a library room in nearly every home I’ve lived in.
I began massaging for LaVida five years ago and loved the atmosphere, the benefits, the professionalism, the flexibility of schedule, all of it. It wasn’t long before I began trying to figure out a way to own my own. Luckily, Alan was just as excited about the idea of ownership but wasn’t quite ready to commit to it, or to me. Then after 9 years of dating, he shocked me last year by proposing. We were married in May 2021, and he announced on our honeymoon that he was buying me a franchise to run.
I enjoy the great people, great work environment, and family atmosphere LaVida Massage provides. Knowing that we are sending each person back out into the world more healthy and happy than when they first walked in, and when one person is healthier and happier, the entire world is healthier and happier. I feel there is no more important work than that.
The inspirational women of today, the women who are going further, doing more, breaking through barriers, and giving people courage – we celebrate you.