Closing Our Doors
To our friends, clients, supporters and family,
On behalf of the whole team at Freed Bodyworks, it breaks our hearts to tell you that we will be closing our doors after ten and a half years, on January 16, 2022.
For the last decade, Freed Bodyworks has been a non-judgemental and inclusive environment where we've provided wellness services to over 10,000 clients. In those years, we've overcome some tough small business challenges, including a fire and sudden losses of space. We have also pulled through together as humans, we've picked you up when your migraine forced you to pull your car over, told you not to pay us when you lost your job and taken you into our homes when yours weren't safe. We, as a community, have made it through a lot but 'global pandemic' seems to be the crisis that Freed can't beat. The impact of the pandemic on small businesses like ours has been profound and multifaceted. Because of this, too many fellow small businesses have already shuttered, shout out to Third Root in Brooklyn who has been an inspiration to us since the beginning and will be closing on December 19th, another huge loss to our community.
We've lasted this long because of the generosity of our community and the tireless work of our therapists and staff.
Since March of 2020, we have stayed afloat through nearly $150,000 in PPP money, city grants, crowdfunding and personal loans. At this point, all of the Covid assistance is ending which includes a rent discount from our landlord. Additionally, getting our team back to pre-pandemic size has just not been possible. During this pandemic a lot of people changed careers and moved away from cities. This was true industry-wide. Many bodyworkers realized that hands on practice may not be sustainable for them and moved into other healing work that took them away from centers like ours and cities like ours. Many of you already know, that mental health has moved almost completely online which has had a massive impact on spaces like Freed. In March 2020, we had 20 practitioners, including a robust mental health team, and we will enter 2022 with only 8 (incredible, passionate, giving and talented) bodyworkers. So, though we have more clients than we accommodate, our revenue is less than half of pre-pandemic times. For us to continue operating, we would need to rely on more loans and fundraising to simply break even which is neither sustainable nor a responsible use of community resources.
Luckily, many of the talented bodyworkers at Freed will be establishing new private practices or be joining other practices in the area. We will be helping each of them to thrive in whatever comes next and we will help you to stay connected with them through the practitioner page on our website. This page will be updated as the therapists know more about where they are going next.
Last but not least, we want to celebrate! In August of this year, Freed Bodyworks turned 10 quietly and without much fanfare because of the pandemic. We were busy working our butts off trying to survive so we didn't throw the 10th anniversary party we'd dreamed of. So, please join us in January* to toast an amazing ten+ year run and send us out on a high note. Date, time and location TBA, stay tuned!
It has been an honor and a joy to bring Freed Bodyworks to this community and each of us is deeply honored by the trust you've placed in us.
With love and respect,
Frances & Jessica, Astra, Angela, Aviva, Claudia, Elizabeth, Emilie, J, Jasper, Natasha, Shannon & Vanessa
*(if you are interested in sponsoring any part of this party with goods or cash, please contact us)