Grant Recipient

March 19, 2024

February 2024 Health & Fitness Grant Awarded to Legacy Chiropractic Center

Legacy Chiropractic Center

Woman Entrepreneur:
Dr. Audrey VanPelt

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Vote for her to receive this year's $25,000 grant!

Congratulations to Dr. Audrey VanPelt, Founder of Legacy Chiropractic Center for being the WomensNet $10,000 February Business Specific Grant recipient in the category of Health & Fitness.

Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Marcia Layton Turner sat down with Dr. Audrey for an exclusive interview. You can listen to their conversation and view the transcript below.

Video Transcript

WomensNet: Hello everyone, and welcome to our conversation with our grant winners for February, 2024.

Today we have the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Audrey Van Pelt of Legacy Chiropractic Center, who’s our Business Specific Grant winner.

For anyone who may not have heard, at the end of 2023, WomensNet decided to increase the number of $10,000 grants that we give. So we went from one to three. The Business Specific monthly grant is for a company that operates in that month’s category. For February, it was Health, Fitness, and Wellness.

I’m Marcia Layton Turner. I’m one of several WomensNet Advisory Board members, and I have the great pleasure of speaking with these fabulous women business owners. So thank you all so much for making time to chat with me today.

Let’s start at the beginning and have you tell everybody a little bit about your company and how you came up with the idea.

Audrey: Sure. I’d love to. I used to be a self-employed hair stylist for 30 years…but I ended up deciding to go to chiropractic college and was having thrill with that part of all of it. I named my company Legacy Chiropractic because for me it was about changing not only my family’s legacy, where health and wellness is a concern, but also changing other people’s legacy of health, because that’s really the only thing that we have that we truly can control and be able to pass on the benefits of that to our families and our loved ones.

So that’s kind of where my name came from. And then my goal is to rebrand and moving into upper cervical, brain-based, upper cervical care so that we can really focus on some of the more serious health issues that a lot of people are unaware, one, that chiropractic helps, but two, that stress is such a factor in these, in almost any disease known to man.

And so the brain-based upper cervical is a way to really help de-stress people so that they can heal the way that we’re intended to heal. And this was basically inspired for me because my mother passed on while I was in chiropractic school… of Alzheimer’s. And knowing that there’s something now that will help that is kind of where I’m at right now, my driving force, so to speak.

WomensNet: Fantastic.

So many business owners hear about the importance of writing a business plan when you’re thinking through, you know, what is my company? Who am I gonna market to? How am I gonna market to them? But some people think that you only need them when you go for financing. So I know not all business owners create them. Dr. Audrey, did you put together any kind of written business plan when you got started?

Audrey: Yeah. So, we had one class towards the end of our chiropractic college that literally walked us through how to do a business plan. And when I say walked us through, I use that term really loosely.

So I would say, a piece of advice for anybody looking into trying to build a business plan where you’re looking at, okay, what are my demographics? And, if you have a store, where am I gonna put it in? What kind of money am I gonna need and what’s gonna go into my office? For me, it was all equipment and all of that…. is finding a good mentor. Because it was a process. And the one thing that I really feel that I lacked was a focus on who my patient was gonna be — my ideal patient.

I had people ask me that all the time, but for me, I’m like, okay, anyone with a spine literally needs chiropractic care. So it was very broad based. And so Lisa, when you said you were very clear about who your customer is gonna be, I think that is a huge step forward when you’re building a business plan. Because then you really can kind of narrow down what do I really need and what can I not have to spend money on? So I did get help from the SBDC (Small Business Development Center)…it’s through UGA here in Athens, and it’s a free service. And they have been amazing because they’ll come and meet with you and sit down and kind of walk you through steps. They really have been a godsend.

WomensNet: I’ve heard the small business development centers, they’re generally located on college campuses, they’re free, and they can be a really good starting point for anything from putting together a business plan, to market research if you need that conducted… or help with putting together marketing plans, funding, things like that. Really good resource. Thank you.

So let’s talk about how you’re spreading the word about your company. So now you have it up and running to various degrees based on how long you’ve been in business. What are some of the most effective strategies you’ve found to let other people know about your business? How do you spread the word?

Audrey: So that’s an evolving subject. I think when you’re talking about marketing, it really has to do more with what you are marketing because different things market better in social media and that kind of thing. So, I have a wonderful management group that has been kind of with me from the beginning. They’re called a AMC. And so they have a system, and really for chiropractic, because it is such a personal thing, it’s the personal connections is really where I have gotten the most results.

WomensNet: Wonderful. Well, I’m sure that you could think of a number of things that you’ve learned along the way, but if you had to pick one, what would be one lesson that you’ve learned that you think other women business owners might find useful?

Audrey: The biggest piece of advice I would pass on is to be patient with yourself. And to not be afraid to reach out to various mentors or people that you look up to. Because everybody has a story. Everybody has some knowledge that they can share with you.

So definitely be patient because building a new business is not for sissies.

WomensNet: Well, thank you all so much for giving me your time today and talking about your business. It’s been so fascinating and always fun to hear about our winners. And congratulations again for being our February Health & Fitness grant award winner.

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