Holistic Therapies Training is one of the amazing training academies in The Source. We have asked owner Karen Ashton a little bit about the business…
Tell us about yourself and how the business started –
I’m Karen Ashton, the founder of Holistic Therapies Training.
I wanted a business that could support me and my family financially and to be able to work around looking after my two boys. To earn an income, while at home looking after my boys, doing something I loved.
As I’ve always had a passion for aromatherapy, in 2003 I enrolled on an aromatherapy course. Which then lead to setting up an eBay shop selling essential oils. I created my ‘aromatherapy lab’ in my utility room and loved it.
To follow, I then added other therapies to my skillset. This includes reflexology and other therapies, setting up my therapy business at the same time.
In 2007, I qualified as a further education teacher. This is where my own accredited training school ‘Holistic Therapies Training’ was created. Here I could pass my knowledge and passion onto others.
The school later became a VTCT approved exam centre in 2011. From day 1, growing from just me to a wonderful team of 8 tutors. A 2nd VTCT approved centre and 3 other locations.
What / Who are your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration, is watching my students grow and flourish in their field. Watching those ‘light bulb moments’ and passion develop. It takes me back to when I started, and now I enjoy being a part of their time to grow. My passion and biggest inspiration, is Aromatherapy. I’m also currently working on building my ‘The Aromatherapy Geek’ digital product suite. Helping aromatherapists, whether qualified or currently studying towards and aromatherapy qualification, to build their knowledge and skills in aromatherapy. With online courses, workshops, masterclasses and downloadable digital content, as well as publishing my second book.
How would you describe your brands core values?
Our business ethos and values are our ‘Holistic approach to learning.’ Where we can offer a variety of qualification options, flexible learning to fit around the students busy life and business. Full support & mentoring which goes beyond their training. Our door is always open. Our support also reaches out to those with learning difficulties as well as mental health, supporting anxieties and personal pressures.
Tell us some more about your business –
With over 200 course options to choose from & 1000+ students enrolled within the past three years, the business has grown from strength to strength. This expansion in combination with our multi-award-winning school status has enabled us to proudly add ‘Academy’ to our business name. Training should never be dull and we work hard to make our training environment engaging, fun and friendly. This warm atmosphere helps our students develop their confidence and skills. We have a welcoming, safe space and our experienced tutors nurture each learner encouraging them to grow & blossom.
We are constantly evolving the business to bring new courses to the table and in turn, offering our students a greater choice of subjects for study. Our courses are wide-ranging and include beauty, nails, and massage as well as complementary therapies, sports therapies, and fitness. We have diversified as we have grown an also offer courses in business management and finance, customer services, first aid, teacher training, assessing and more. New courses coming soon including – dry needling, radio frequency and microneedling, as well as an array of masterclasses and workshops in aromatherapy.
Can you tell us a bit about the tutors?
Holistic Therapies Training Academy tutors pride themselves in offering a unique and personalised training experience to each student. We recognise when it comes to teaching that a one hat fits all approach is not in our students’ best interests. As a brand we understand everyone has their own learning methodology and we embrace this, so tailoring our courses to meet those needs. We are dedicated to all our students and we support them through the entirety of their learning journey with us. Here at Holistic Therapies we offer additional training where needed so each student who learns with us can finish their course & enter the public sphere confident in their knowledge and abilities.
All our tutors are self-employed therapists with a wealth of knowledge on setting up and running a business in the therapy industry. Because of this, valuable experience is passed on to our students, equipping them with a sound knowledge base to kickstart business in their own chosen line of work.
We would love to hear about what your students go on to do?
Some of our students are new to the fields we teach, just starting out on their learning journeys and business ventures. However others are experienced therapists who are already in business and are seeking to diversify their skillset. We also have students who train with us and then go on to work in other areas. These include:
· Local rugby clubs
· North Devon Hospice (& other hospices within the South West)
· Hotels & spas
· The travel industry and abroad
· Setting up their own beauty salons, spas, & retreats
· Becoming tutors and setting up training schools of their own
Our learners come from diverse backgrounds & include among others:
· Qualified therapists adding to their skills
· Health care professionals including nurses / midwifes / doulas
· Mums with young families wanting to get back to work with flexible hours to suit their family life
· Fitness instructors / personal trainers
· Animal therapists
· Career change
In essence, the variety of courses we offer, the relatability of our tutors and the quality of the teaching we provide, makes our business an easy, cost-effective way for people to further themselves professionally. They can learn new skills, jazz up old ones and embrace (or re-embrace!) the therapy industry with confidence. We love the impact our courses have for our students both locally and nationally. We also love researching and developing fresh content, & seeing our students flourish: it’s what really makes us tick.
You can learn more about Holistic Therapies Training HERE