We had the good fortune of connecting with Cara Thurman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cara, what do you attribute your success to?
Our success comes from hard work and truly caring for our clients and our employees. I believe in adding kindness to the world and meeting people where they are. People are doing the best they can and when they show up to a Wellness Center many of them are looking for help to feel better in their bodies and minds. We genuinely want to help people and are grateful for each client including the hospitals that contract with us throughout the metro Atlanta area. We are grateful that they are willing to take a chance on a small locally owned business and we go above and beyond to make sure they know they came to the right place.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My mission is two fold, to provide the best customer experience, truly making the client feel special and cared for while at the same time elevating the the massage therapy profession and helping to integrate massage into healthcare. In addition to that, I strive to provide a sustainable long term place for massage therapists to practice. This is a hard profession to be in right now, as a profession we have never been able to create a nationwide standard of education and training and because of that it has been very hard to uphold a standard of practice. At Vinings Massage and Wellness we believe that if our culture is one of support and positivity this will show in the way our clients are served. Our team is extremely professional, reliable and competent. We know that building a team of high performers will attract more high performers to our team. This elevates the the quality of service we are able to consistently provide. We do not just hire to have warm bodies, we are not a turn and burn type of place. We only hire and cultivate high caliber massage therapists. We provide a safe, nurturing and supportive place for massage therapists to thrive and both of these things set us apart and show in our reviews.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a hard question to answer after the last year of quarantine. Now that things are starting to open up again and feel a little safer, I love to get out and be in nature. Going to Sweetwater Creek State Park with my husband, son and 2 puppies is one of our favorite outings right now. We love to stop by Tacos La Villa and grab some of the most delicious Mexican food (to go) on our side of the city. We have tried to support as many of our local restaurants and businesses as we can over the last year, some of our favorite places for take out are, Minato Sushi, Maru Sushi, Porch Light Latin Kitchen, Mint Leaf Indian and Marlow’s Tavern. I also love working with Kara at Village Green Flowers in Smyrna, she makes beautiful arrangements for my office and I enjoy stopping by to order flowers for friends and family on special occasions. It smells so beautiful and refreshing in her shop, it is a wonderful place to visit. I love playing in the yard with my son and 2 puppies, working in my garden and cooking. One of my favorite things to do for a “special occasion” pre-covid was to take a cooking class at Cook’s Warehouse or just walk across the street to the Smyrna Market Village during one of the many festivals that happen throughout the year. As you can tell I am a homebody, so springtime in Atlanta is such a great time to just be outside and hang out with family and friends……..

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Patrick Thurman, who supports me with a lot of behind the scenes detail and structural work to keep our business working day to day as well as helping us moving forward.

My friend/co-worker and former manager Tori King LMT. She was our first employee who quickly grew into a friend and trusted confidant. She managed our the business through some of our quickest growing years as well as through some of our largest changes. She has supported me and the business for almost 10 years and I know we would not be where we are today without her. She has stepped down from her management role but is still a huge part of both our oncology massage team and our wellness center team. She is amazing!

I also want to thank Carolyn Helmer who is our leader at The Chapman Family Cancer Wellness Center. She is the director at CCW and she took a chance on me many years ago. She brought me in to work with patients in treatment who visited us through CCW. When we stated the program I was the only MT working one 4 hour shift per week and that has grown over the years to four days per week and a team of 5 MT’s specializing in oncology massage. She has supported us in working inside the infusion centers with patients receiving their chemo to expanding the program to the Piedmont Fayetteville Campus. I know we would not be where we are today without a champions like Carolyn fighting for us inside the hospital system.

Website: www.viningsmassage.com

Instagram: @vinings_massage

Facebook: viningsmassage

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