By Nicole Aguiniga
In the spotlight this week is Ellen Hamilton, co-owner of Signature Massage located at 3450 NE Ralph Powell Road in Lee’s Summit. They officer a number of different massage services, from a 15-minute chair massage to a hot stone massage. Ellen received her massage therapy training from the Arizona School of Integrative Studies (ASIS) at the Sedona/Clarkdale Campus.
Before becoming a massage therapist, Ellen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Truman State (once Northeast Missouri State University). After she finished school, she worked with nonprofit organizations, “I did PR/Marketing and fund development for nonprofit organizations in Tulsa and the Kansas City area. In Kansas City, I worked with Health Midwest specifically Research Mental Health Services (now known as ReDiscover) and Sertoma International.”
After Ellen started her pool company, Olympic Pool, and managed over 40 pools and 160 employees. After 20 years of running Olympic Pool and working hard during the summer months, Ellen decided she needed a career change. In 2013, Ellen had thought of all kinds of career ideas, including dental hygiene and hairstyling. It was Ellen’s sister that talked to her about massage therapy, and to Arizona, Ellen went.
Signature Massage opened up officially in November 2014. The office has two main massage rooms and offers a variety of services. Ellen’s business partner, Christina Kartsonis-WoltKamp, is a certified Educator of Infant Massage. Ellen and Christina started their business journey together after Christina’s brother introduced them.
Both worked at Olympic Pool. Christina handled all the personnel and clientele base with the country clubs while Ellen handled everything else. When talking about their business and how well they work together, Ellen said, “Christina and I complement each other in business. Her strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. We are great sounding boards off of each other. Everybody needs a ‘Christina’ in their life!”
Ellen also understands the importance of giving back to her community, “Volunteerism was instilled in me as a young child. My mom was a Brownie leader and Sunday school teacher; she was naturally a nurturing person. In anything I have done, I always tried to emulate those traits and to support programs that give back to the community in some way.”
While with Olympic Pool, Ellen created a scholarship program for the lifeguards. At Signature Massage Ellen and Christina created the Nominate a Caregiver program that is dedicated to Christina’s mother, Stella. Ellen said, “Stella lovingly cared for her husband Ernie who was bedridden the last 10 plus years of his life.”
Ellen’s mission statement is simple, “My practice is focused on facilitating balance in my clients’ lives: physically, emotionally and energetically. When in balance, your life’s potential is endless.” As human beings we need touch to survive, even if it’s a brush of a hand on a shoulder or hugs.
Christina talked about the importance of infant massage and touch in general, “One of the most fundamental ways to connect with a newborn is through touch. It’s the first sense developed in utero, and the last to leave us at the time of death.” Christina said, “Touch is a simple thing.” Ellen added when we are in pain a simple hand holding in surgery has possible benefits to health and anxiety levels.
Ellen has created a business that she loves, “I love coming to work.” when asked about any exciting future projects she is working on, “I’m in the process of writing a children’s book series called, “Butterflies in My Tummy.” Ellen’s inspiration came from being in massage therapy training, when she realized that she never took an anatomy class in high school or college. She wants children to understand more about their bodies. The series will feature the human anatomy, the five senses and human emotions.
“As I have been sharing my story with some of my clients, everyone wonders if this is all there is [to life], but there is more. You just have to find your journey and go for it. Sometimes it’s not exactly what you thought it was going to be,” Ellen said.
If you are pregnant, wanting to learn more about infant massage, overstressed, or seeking an emotional journey through touch, schedule a massage today at 816-525-7171. For more information check out Signature Massage’s website SignatureMassagekcmo.com.
Look for this weekly column showcasing the successful women of Lee's Summit. To recognize women who have dug in their high heels and are making an impact contact firstname.lastname@example.org