Startup Story – Anam Mai Acupuncture
Niamh Muldowney talks to Startups.ie about how an illness led to her setting up her own business!
Company: Anam Mai Acupucture
Founders: Niamh Muldowney
Based: The City North Hotel, Gormanston, Co. Meath & Stamullen Co. Meath
Staff Number:1 (me)
Date started: 22.02.2012
Tell us what your business does?
At Anam Mai Acupuncture we provide safe and effective treatments which result in restoring health using the holistic wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, because your wellbeing matters.
I am a fully qualified Acupuncturist having trained at the Acupuncture Foundation at the Irish Institute of Chinese Medicine in Milltown, Dublin, Ireland. I studied under Professor Jin Huide, Dr. Wu Jidong and Dr. Meng Fanyi. I also completed my post-graduate clinical placement in a Governmental Hospital of Nanjing under the tutelage of Dr. Gu Zhaojun, head of neurology, which results in me being a fully licensed practitioner.
I have also trained in Cosmetic acupuncture and Facial rejuvenation techniques developed by New York based Virginia Doran, Sarah Budd who specialises in Obstetrics (pregnancy and women’s health care) and Julian Scott who specialises in Pediatrics treatments especially for Enuresis and ADHD hyperactivity disorders and also post grad training for infertility & IVF.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
6 years ago I was ill myself with a very bad chest infection that would not clear. I had been prescribed 7 courses of antibiotics along with steroids and no luck in clearing the infection. The company that I worked for at the time, the M.D’s daughter was an acupuncturist so I decided I had tried everything else so I would give this a shot, nothing ventured nothing gained as they say. I attended for about 2 months and could not get over the benefits of acupuncture along with resolving the lung infection so I just had to know more so I signed up with the Acupuncture Foundation Ireland in Milltown Institute and began my life changing studies. I also continued to attend acupuncture treatments once a month for maintenance of my health and still do.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes I always wanted to run my own business I relished the possibilities of being my own boss, flexibility and also working in something that I passionately care about.
What planning did you do before you started up?
I went to the Fingal Leader Partnership for advice and support on setting up and they were very helpful in all aspects. I did up my business plan and set realistic targets and financials and off I went.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
Tracy Donegan – GentleBirth
Lisa Heeney – The Pregnancy Reflexologist
Katie Burton – Flower Remedies
3 fantastic women who can juggle business with family life and make it look so easy.
What challenges have you faced how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I think is educating people on what acupuncture actually is and what it can do. Some people think “acupuncture = needles = I don’t think so, why would I volunteer to have needles?”. So that has been my biggest challenge. How I have overcome this is to educate people as much as I can. I have along with 2 other colleagues(Sabine Le Boulicaut – Shen Dao Acupuncture & Sharon McGinty Acupuncture) written articles in the local Meath Coaster Magazine to educate people in the comfort of their own homes just what acupuncture is all about and how it can benefit you. I have perfected my elevator pitch so I get across as simply as I can what it actually is and what it can do.
How have you promoted your business?
I have promoted my business by publishing articles on the Meath Coaster Magazine. Visiting the local GP’s in Stamullen and letting them know where I am based and also arranging a referral system of patients/Clients. I have posters up around the locality as in the local Centra, St. Patricks GAA, the GP’s surgeries and also all local chemists. I held an Open day in my clinic in the City North Hotel so that people could experience some of the signature treatments that Anam Mai Acupuncture provides.
I have also been on Rick O’Shea’s ‘Hard Sell’ on 2fm promoting Anam Mai Acupuncture. That was fun as you had to answer 3 multiple choice questions and for each question you get right you get 10 seconds to promote your business so thankfully I got all 3 questions correct!
Are you optimistic about the remainder of 2012?
Yes I am very optimistic as Acupuncture is such a fantastic therapy and the fact that insurance companies; Quinn, VHI, Bupa, AVIVA & HSF approve treatments will benefit clients greatly.
Niamh Muldowney Lic. Ac, Cert Nanjing, Dip. Ac, Dip. BM, MAFPA – recognised by VHI, Aviva, Quinn health care, HSF among others.
Locations: The Lavender Suite, City North Hotel, Gormanston, Co. Meath & Stamullen Co. Meath
Tel: 01 8020555 / 087 6307786