Misana Harris: I was inspired to help people
A natural health care specialist intends to bring healing and care to her clients through the power of her hands and the use of plants, herbs and seeds to create all-natural skin care products.
Misana Harris specializes in Massage Therapy and owns Nature's Touch Body Therapy and Wellness Services/Spa. She offers many therapeutic treatments such as reflexology, lymphatic drainage massage, deep tissue, detoxing herbal body wraps, vagacials, men's facials, and many more.
Her desire to use Dominica's remedial properties and follow in her dad's footsteps, who manufactures Moringa powder, led to many products and a skincare line with the island's many plants.
Misana told The Sun her interest in this field stemmed from her childhood.
"When I was younger, and my grandmother was alive, her friends would come over. I would do their hair and nails and make them feel good," Misana reminisced. "I decided this is something I was passionate about because I was able to help people."
Harris's passion led her to pursue a degree in natural health care, where she became a professional massage therapist and an esthetician. She also went on to do advanced training at the Dermal Institute of Florida.
"When doing my training at FCNH, a visitor – who had her skincare line - came to speak to us. She inspired me because she was doing well financially, helping clients with her products that work, and was able to hire people. So, I figured I wanted to do this when I came back to Dominica," she said.
Misana opened her business in 2003 and realized it took work to get the Dominican community on board with the idea of wellness therapy being viewed as a luxury instead of a need. This did not deter her, and she did what was necessary to ensure her enterprise succeeded.
"Initially, the flow of clients was slow, and I realized I needed to educate the public; go on radio and television and explain, so individuals could understand the business and its benefits, especially because it was something new and uncommon," she said. "Now, we have many people coming in."
Harris also uses social media to her advantage and can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
This massage therapist describes the twenty-year journey as rewarding and one she looks forward to embarking on every day.
"I have been an employee before, and things are stricter regards working hours. Having your own business and being your boss, there is a bit of leeway to make your schedule. Also, being an entrepreneur allows you to be very creative; I can do what I love to do while having fun," Harris said.
Though flexible and artistic in her work, Misana cautions potential entrepreneurs that discipline is vital in reaping success.
"Be responsible for opening on time and offering services in a professional manner," she said. "The most challenging part is being disciplined."
Another challenge is that of financing. Misana joins the growing chorus of voices calling for financial aid for proprietors of grassroots businesses.
"As an entrepreneur or having a small business, you may not have collateral to ask for a loan," Harris said. "It would be lovely if more institutions like NDFD give encouragement along with financial and business support."
Her advice to those contemplating entering the world of entrepreneurship is, "Go for it because it is very rewarding. Sometimes you may have to create your market, be patient, be responsible and professional in whatever field you choose."
As for the future of Misana and Nature's Touch Body Therapy and Wellness Services/Spa, she looks forward to growing her Spa and products line.
"Support from family, friends, and clients has been instrumental in Nature's Touch making a lasting impression," she said. "Our premium, luxury skincare line is used in some of Dominica's major hotels. It is also available at Nature's Touch Spa in Pointe Michel and on Jolly's online store."