“It’s scary, but I did it,” she said.
Ponsavanh initially worked as a hairstylist and massage therapist in Thailand. She was sponsored to work in Minnesota and sent money home, intending to move back until she met her future husband. She said when she first arrived, she couldn’t count to ten in English. Now she wants to encourage other entrepreneurs.
“Just do it, even if you’re scared,” she said. “Be confident, believe in yourself.”
Vida Bodywork opened in 2013 at the Uptown Wellness Center on Bryant Avenue, and moved to a new space at 611 W. Lake St. four months ago. Ponsavanh said she’s enjoyed the chance to hire employees and treat them well, giving everyone a chance to rest their hands and work reasonable hours.
Vida offers walk-in appointments for foot massage, fully-clothed Shiatsu style massage, deep tissue and sports massage. Thai massage combines yoga-like stretching with massage of the muscles, tendons and pressure points.
“We fix people’s problems,” she said. “People come in and get exactly what they need.”