Ada Kelley is a difficult woman to pin down. When we finally spoke on the phone, I got the impression she had been flitting around doing ten other things at the same time. But maybe that’s what starting and establishing your own business looks like. The owner and operator of Essential Rejuvenation Therapy (ERT), in downtown Chicago, Ada’s typical day involves everything from greeting clients to marketing to attending networking functions.
ERT has been open for five months, but the idea came awhile ago while Ada herself was traveling overseas. Unable to read product labels, or have the luxury of shipping products from the United States, Ada researched and experimented and “discovered a more holistic and organic approach” to skin and hair care. From visiting a local farmer for eggs to use for her skin to blending oils for her hair she “created [her] own little chemistry.” The results she saw in her own personal health and wellness inspired her to take her more organic lifestyle to the general public back home. In fact, a coffee-blend spread she developed while in Japan inspired a skin care treatment offered to clients at the spa today.
An avid vocalist and musician, Ada also has a passion for expressing herself artistically to help get her creative juices flowing. And it must be working, because her passion and creativity are definitely taking her places.
You’ve recently opened your first spa. Tell us about your business.
Essential Rejuvenation Therapy is an organic health and beauty spa that lends organic and holistic options when it comes to health, beauty and wellness. We utilize high grade and organic products and all natural ingredients. We support green alternatives when it comes to what people use in and on their bodies.
When you say organic and holistic, can you describe to your potential clients what that means and how you would explain your services? Holistic for me is that I implement organic services that will impact your entire being. Holistic is your whole self. Switching to a clean lifestyle has not only helped me physically, but it’s also helped me spiritually and emotionally so that’s what I mean by holistic. It encompasses so much more than just the physical. So what I am trying to do is create a platform for individuals who are seeking a green lifestyle, to open them up to knowledge and change their lives in different ways. We utilize dōterra products and they are the most potent and highest grade oils and purest aromas in the world. And I say that because there are no interruptions with the process. They are pure, straight from the earth and they are derived from their indigenous source. We also use naturopathica which is a very great facial line that is 100% organic.
What was your motivation for starting ERT?
I was inspired by the difference I’d witnessed in my life with my own journey exploring green alternatives. I decided to change my life while traveling overseas due to the abundance of organic and natural alternatives I was introduced to when catering to my wellness.
Have you always lived in Chicago? Why did you choose to start your business there?
No I haven’t. I moved here three and a half years ago. I chose to start my business here in Chicago after falling in love with the character of this city. The liveliness and character inspired me to step outside of the box when it comes to business. I’m also enveloped in an untapped market when it comes to our organic and holistic approach to our services.
I recently visited Chicago for the first time and agree, the city’s character is amazing. What is your favorite thing to do in the city?
I’m somewhat of a foodie. Trying new food and restaurants in Chicago.
What else do love doing in your free time?
I love letting go and letting nature inspire my artistic senses. Writing poetry, singing, and performing.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
To never give up. When things get tough, those words have become part of my mantra.
Who’s your role model?
There are too many to name. My personal role model would have to be my grandmother. She is now 101 years old and is as strong as ever. She not only impacts me with her physical strength and resilience, but she does with her incredible spirit that emits through the light in her twinkling blue eyes. Her spirit has always been loving, gentle and understanding. She inspires me everyday to keep doing what I love and working hard at it. Without my grandmother, I wouldn’t be the woman I have become today.
What are some of the challenges and best parts about owning your own business?
Challenges: the process. The process is very stressful. Branding and strengthening that brand is imperative and very challenging. But with that said – things will happen and it’s always important to trust the process. The best part is finding pride in what you’ve built and continue to build.
What advice would you give to women looking to start their own business?
There will be obstacles so it’s important to always see the light at the end of the tunnel.
What are your thoughts on the idea of “having it all”?
Living life with love, happiness and fulfillment in all aspects!
Ada Kelley’s love of green living has helped shape both her personal and professional life. As a new business owner, her goal is to reach out to Chicagoans and help them achieve healthier lifestyles. But her vision doesn’t stop there. She has her sights set on other major metropolises as well!
Photos courtesy of Ada Kelley