Alumni Highlight: Opening A Thriving Business During COVID |

Sep 22, 2020 1:02:31 PM | alumni highlight Alumni Highlight: Opening A Thriving Business During COVID |

ACHS CAM graduate Jennifer Archie talks about opening her own holistic health center in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jennifer Archie holistic health center

Opening A Thriving Business During COVID-19

Jennifer Archie is an alumni of the Graduate Certificate in Complementary Alternative Medicine program, and the proud owner of The Good Earth Holistic Health Center in Mt. Hope, West Virginia where she offers health consultations, custom mixed aromatherapies, cupping and candling, therapeutic piercings for migraines, and more. "It’s like a dream come true, and I honestly owe it all to ACHS," she says.

Choosing complementary alternative medicine

Jennifer Archie holistic health centerAfter a fifteen-year career as a surgical assistant, Jennifer found herself with the opportunity to go back to school. "I'm very well respected locally and had a great career, but as it went on, I decided there had to be more to life than traditional, mainstream, westernized medicine," she says.

So, she started looking for programs in complementary alternative medicine. Jennifer saw an ad for ACHS, and reached out. "They were so warm and friendly, and really seemed to absorb what I wanted to do with my life, and showed me ways that I could achieve that with the school," Jennifer says. "After that initial contact with the student advisor, admissions advisor, and financial aid person, I just realized this was the place that could help me achieve that dream. It was solely based on staff, and how impressive they were."

Jennifer says that she loved the material in her classes, and even when they were challenging she was always able to get the help she needed. 

The path to opening a business

The Good Earth Holistic Health Center storefrontIn the beginning, Jennifer didn't plan on opening a holistic health center. "At first it never entered my mind to open my own business, because I thought that I could take what I had learned and my licensure and accreditation, and blend into someone’s existing practice around here," she says. 

However, after doing some research, Jennifer discovered that her home state did not have many holistic health businesses and that she could serve the community by opening one of her own.

At first, Jennifer was challenged by the lack of affordable commercial real estate in her hometown. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she wasn't sure if her dream of opening a business would come true.

The solution came when she was driving through Mt. Hope, West Virginia. "I became very disheartened, but one evening I happened to be driving through this beautiful, unique, little town that has so much rich history and so many beautiful buildings. I noticed a lot of empty storefronts," she says. Once she was able to find a beautiful location for her business, things all started to fall into place for Jennifer.

"People are so positive and the business couldn’t be going any better," she says. "If it stays even remotely like this in the coming months, it’s going to be a remarkable success. Not just for me personally, but for the little small town that I set up shop in."

Resurgence of small businesses

Jennifer talks about the experience of starting a new business during a pandemic. " A lot of people might think it’s a crazy thing to open a business in the wake of COVID, but I honestly feel like what’s going to come out of all of this is a brand new appreciation for small mom and pop businesses," she says. "When everything shut down, it made everyone realize that they have their favorite pizzeria, or have their favorite mom and pop owned pharmacy down the street, or whatever the case may be. I feel like it gave America new appreciation for small business," Jennifer says. 

Since opening her business in Mt. Hope, Jennifer says it has drawn interest from other business owners in nearby towns who are also looking for affordable commercial real estate. "A few have actually contacted me and want to move to that town, which is what the town wants! I’ve been invited to the next city hall meeting as a guest speaker, and that’s a big honor," she says. Although Mt. Hope is a small town, it is located midway between two more well-populated cities and also sits right off of the interstate, making it easily accessible.

In addition to increased support for small businesses, Jennifer says that the pandemic has also made people more aware of the importance of staying healthy. "I feel like now, in the wake of COVID-19, people are more aware of staying healthy instead of becoming healthy," Jennifer says. She says that people feel like they don't have a lot of control over traditional medical care, whereas, at a health center such as hers, holistic care is all about the client and reflecting back to them what you're hearing from them.

The Good Earth Holistic Health Center

The Good Earth Holistic Health Center herbal capsules One of the main services that customers seek out from Jennifer is her health consult. As she describes it, it is "based on an open and honest private conversation where the client and I just talk about what bothers them, what they’re currently doing for that, and what alternative options can enhance their current health plan."

Using a service called Fullscript to order high-quality supplements, Jennifer is able to give her clients a discount. "I like being able to save people’s money because people don’t have a lot of it right now," she says.

In addition, Jennifer offers custom aromatherapy mixes, cupping and ear candling, and therapeutic piercings for migraines. The migraine piercing, called a daith, is an ear piercing through the cartilage in a certain spot in the ear. "It just had remarkable results for people who have tried everything else, and some have even been able to wean down off their medications because it works so well," Jennifer says.

ionic foot detox bath by Jennifer ArchieAnother service that she offers is an ionic foot detox. "It actually helps to pull the toxins out of your body. It’s good for so many things: Joint pain, sluggishness, headaches, tiredness. It has many many uses and people absolutely love it. It starts out a beautiful warm, clear, foot bath and at the end of it, it looks like sludge," Jennifer explains. 

She says that at first, she was skeptical about the foot detox, but after trying it herself for several weeks and feeling the difference, she felt comfortable recommending it to clients. "I don't promote things I don't believe in," she says.

This is Jennifer's advice to current ACHS students who are thinking of opening a holistic business:

Do not give up. If one door closes to you, just keep walking until you find that open door. Because it is there. You have to have the mindset that anything is possible- because it is. I’m living proof, and I would love to share that with anybody who would listen. "

New call-to-actionDisclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media coordinator for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. 

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

ACHS Founding President Dorene Petersen with three studentsAmerican College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us. 

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

Gillian Turner

Written By: Gillian Turner

Gillian joined ACHS after graduating from Linfield College with a BA in Mass Communication and a minor in visual studies. She grew up off the grid in rural southern Oregon and spent time exploring the forest surrounding her house and teaching gardening classes to other children in her garden. While at Linfield, Gillian gained valuable experience in public relations, social media management, and digital art. She was awarded a strategic communication scholarship and inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a national college honor society “that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.” When not at work, Gillian can most often be found making art, enjoying nature or drinking coffee with her husband, Preston. Her interests include sustainability, mental wellness, and trying to stay connected to nature while living in the city. She studied abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and has traveled to over ten different countries. Her favorite place that she has visited is the Scottish Highlands, and she hopes to visit many more countries in the future.