By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
FULTON, Ill. — A new business has popped up in Fulton and it promises to leave guests relaxed and peaceful upon departure.
River City Massage Center owner Kate Johnson opened her doors on July 8 and has been pleased with the reception she has received since her arrival.
"I was a little nervous about trying to open a business here, but people have been really supportive," Johnson said.
Originally from a small town, Johnson transplanted to Chicago four years ago to pursue her career in massage therapy.
After experiencing the fast-paced lifestyle of Chicago, she decided to get back to her roots and move to the small town of Fulton.
"I was just sick of the rat-race out in Chicago," Johnson said.
So, with her boyfriend, who has family in the area, and her dog, she packed up and headed for the river town.
Her decision to open the massage center came from her passion for massage therapy and her natural entrepreneurial attitude.
"I've wanted to be a massage therapist since I was 4 years old but my parents wanted me to go to college," Johnson said. "So, as soon as I graduated college, I went to massage school."
After completing massage school, Johnson became a massage therapist on a cruise ship and began working for a local massage parlor in Normal, Ill., eventually taking over the business.
Now, with more than 10 years of experience, Johnson is taking on the next adventure of her life.
She is currently running the center on her own, but thanks to technology and a savvy website design, she organizes her schedule, appointments and customer requests all with the click of a button.
"Since it is just me, I try to stay really web-oriented so I can stay connected to my clients," Johnson said.
Once the River City Massage Center starts building revenue and growing a large clientele base, Johnson would like to go back to school to study occupational therapy or physical therapy assistance.
For now though, she is happy taking her dog for walks along the river and enjoying the undisturbed, natural beauty of Fulton.
"I feel so blessed to be here. This town is adorable. The only negative thing I've experienced is that my allergies are starting to kick in a little more," Johnson said.