Ashley Marie Hall was ready to complete her classes and sit for her licensure test to become a massage therapist when COVID-19 hit and delayed the whole process by shutting down in-person training.
“It was frustrating,” she said. “I was ready to open.”
Once the process resumed on Zoom, Hall — who is known to visitors of the Tarboro 27886 Facebook page as “Ashley Marie” — completed her studies at The Healing Arts in Raleigh and The Massage School in Cornelius.
“Once COVID-19 hit, we went straight to Zoom and never missed a beat,” she said.
And just because classes were conducted on a virtual platform and not face-to-face, Hall said there was no drop in the intensity level.
“I had to learn all the bones and muscles in the body and how everything ties together and interacts,” she said.
In all, she had over 650 hours of study before taking and passing her state boards in February. In addition, while in Charlotte, she participated in sports clinics and worked with what she called a “very prestigious private school.”
Overall, she said the training and licensure process she went through was intense and challenging, and when she completed her studies and passed her boards in February, she was ready to go.
In March, she opened A Serendipity Massage & Bodyworks LLC at 403 St James St., Suite 5. It’s the white building located next to the Tarboro Primitive Baptist Church and her entrance is on the side facing the church.
“When I started my work (to get licensed), I had someone tell me that I’d never be able to open a massage therapy business,” she said. “That’s where the name of my business came from — here I am.”
Hall said she believes in a holistic approach to taking care of oneself.
“You take one medicine to help this and then you need another medicine to help that and you have all the interactions,” she said.
Hall said that she is certified in cupping and that the practice is her personal favorite. In addition, she does pre-natal massage and lymphatic massage.
“The most popular thing people want is cupping and hot stones,” she said.
She also does reflexology and essential oils and said peppermint is her favorite scent.
She also does couples massages and said that offering is very popular at her Greenville location.
“I’m blown away at how well I’ve been received,” she said. “I’ve been open six months and my slots were completely sold out in two of them.”
Hall said her husband, Marshall, and friend Kelly Spivey have been her biggest supporters and have always been there for her.
Hall said she wants to continue to learn and expand.
“I want to be a sponge and learn everything I can and bring it here so that people don’t have to travel to find whatever it is,” she said.
Hall is a proponent of all things local and shopping local businesses and is a regular on Facebook, where she pitches local businesses, activities and events.
“I want to push local. We’re only here for a time and I want to make an impact (on the community) and help (people),” she said.
Hall said her massage therapy studio is generally open four to five days a week and she sees between two and five clients a day, depending on appointments.
Appointments can be made online at www.aserendipitymassage.com under the “appointments” tab. She accepts cash, credit cards and gift cards and gift certificates are also available.
For more information, contact Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-883-4637.