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

Hi Carrie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I seem to be somewhat fearless when it comes to risk taking and I have learned to slow down over the years. In the past, I had a habit of diving into new and exciting situations without fully assessing what risks may be involved. This has gotten me into a lot of interesting situations! I have had a variety of rich life experiences and I thrive on learning through getting my hands dirty, so I cherish what I have gone through with no regrets. That being said, a lot of what I learned is to slow down, listen, pay attention, and calculate risk in a much more deliberate manner. I still approach rather fearlessly, but this is due to what I have learned from throwing myself into experiences, and now I take more time to understand what I am getting into and make sure the potential consequences are definitely worth the risk I am taking. Every decision has consequences.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When I was 14, I told my mom I wanted to run a massage therapy practice that doubled as an art gallery where I could display and sell artwork about bodies. That is exactly what I am doing today. It has been absurdly difficult at times, but absolutely worth it. I sustained a severe back injury that I thought would end my career before it even got started, but my teachers in massage school were able to help me heal in a time where I could not afford expensive and invasive surgeries or shots. I learned the modalities that helped me and over the past 10 years, my practice has grown into something far more beautiful that I imagined. We get to help people every day! In June 2019, I got serious about the business side of the practice and established a partnership with my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach, Daniel Hunt. It has felt like simultaneously having a full time job as CEO, part time job as Massage Therapist, and full time business school all at once! I also went through Start:ME, a small business accelerator program through Emory’s Goizueta business school. The biggest lesson I have learned is to keep asking questions, keep learning, and listen to people that are more experienced than me. I am surrounded by mentors, consultants, and entrepreneurs of many disciplines and backgrounds. The learning never stops and I am always open to improving my practice.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first thing I would do with a friend in town is a bicycle tour of murals around the city! I adore how colorful and vibrant Atlanta has become! We would start with a Beltline tour, stopping at Ponce City Market for lunch and a drink, and continue all the way through the south side and West End, finishing our tour at Cultured South, a unique Kombucha taproom that features local artists! Other spots on the top of my list are a Saturday night in East Atlanta Village for food, games, and art at Argosy, and music at The Earl or 529. We would have to check out Little 5 Points for more amazing art, Psycho Sisters, The Porter, Junkman’s Daughter, and more music at Variety Playhouse. I adore this city and one week would not be enough to showcase all that Atlanta has to offer.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Kirkwood Business Owners’ Association (KBOA) has been an excellent resource and avenue for networking over the past year! I joined KBOA in March 2019 after volunteering with Kirkwood Cares one rainy afternoon and meeting a bunch of other helpful people! Jennifer Ohme, our Community Development Consultant, runs a few business associations around Atlanta and I admire her organizational skills. I was elected onto the board and am proud to serve in a community filled with smart, genuine people working hard to improve themselves and each other. Our KBOA president, Sam Mugavaro, referred me to Start:ME, a free small business accelerator program through Emory’s Goizueta Business School, which was exactly what I needed to jumpstart my business to the next level. I am extraordinarily grateful every day for the people in this community that have held my hand through this difficult process.

Website: http://www.blankcanvasmassage.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blankcanvasmassage/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carrie-padgett-90918421/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blankcanvasmassage
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1kuGZSzj9Q&t=6s

Image Credits
Stephanie Howard Photography
Killshot Media https://www.killshotmedia.com/about