Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dani Melella, Owner of A Stone’s Throw Massage Therapy, located in Oakhurst, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My name is Dani, and I own A Stone's Throw Massage Therapy in Oakhurst, California, just a few miles from the south gate of Yosemite National Park. Living in such a unique place allows me to have a core base of local clients as well as tourists from around the world who are here visiting the park.

Tell us about yourself

I always knew a traditional 9-5 career path was not for me, but when I found massage therapy, it felt like everything just clicked and made sense. I spent the first 4 years of my career working in a spa and absorbing as much as I could about everything from techniques to professional etiquette to sanitation procedures. I loved that experience and how it helped shape my professional identity. When I had the opportunity to rent my space, it again felt like everything had just clicked. Starting my studio allowed me to spend more time with my two beautiful daughters and to build something they would be proud of. They are so supportive and motivate me to put 110% in every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I feel like my biggest win as a small business owner has been the growth in my professional confidence. Since starting my Massage studio, I have been asked to speak at local events about my journey as a woman-owned small business. I am on the board of my local Chamber of Commerce and have started my own line of handmade products.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing about owning my own business is learning when to say no. When you're starting out, you want to say yes to every opportunity and pursue every lead, but at a certain point, it can become bad for your mental health. I am still learning how to set healthy boundaries with work and put myself first, and I think that might be something you never stop learning.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do it. Literally, do it right now. It's the scariest, most rewarding experience.
  2. If you don't know how to do something, learn. We live in a time of almost unlimited learning resources in print or online. You can do whatever it is; just learn how!
  3. Be kind to yourself. This is the hardest thing to do as a solo business owner but the most important. You're going to make so many mistakes, and you will learn something every time, and your business will grow and evolve into something amazing or pivot into something totally new; either way, enjoy it!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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