• Tim Ervin

A Stunning Plan!

Updated: Mar 28


TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN -- Beverley Fryer learned how to massage at age ten when her mother was pregnant with her youngest brother. She would accompany her mom to a professional massage therapist and apply what she had observed, leading to a full-term delivery of a healthy brother. Today, the inspiration of young Fryer helping

her mother manage pain is paying off for people in the Traverse City region seeking professional massage therapy for a more complete, pain-free life.

Twelve years after Fryer’s help with her mother’s pregnancy, she is sole owner of her massage therapy business -- Elemental Compass – specializing in Deep Tissue Swedish massage with a focus on neuromuscular techniques to restore balance.

Now, the company and Fryer are on an amazing upward trajectory with a growth strategy that would be the envy of corporations of all types and size.

Part of that success lies in financing secured by Fryer with Venture North Funding and Development to furnish a new facility that will triple the size of the business. Fryer provides training, education and guidance through an innovative Mentorship Program she designed for three apprentices. They are expected to complete their massage therapy education and training, secure their license from the State of Michigan and begin full time work this year for Elemental Compass. An Open House at the new facility located at 812 S. Garfield, Traverse City, is set for April 7 from 3 to 7 p.m., April 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and April 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 pm.

“My passion is simple,” says Fryer. “I want to help people remove pain. Thanks to the help of Venture North, we can fully equip our facility to triple our capacity and help people of all ages and needs.” Fryer said their new space includes four fully equipped massage rooms, and waiting and reception space. The massage rooms are painted in colors reflecting some of the 12 elements of nature: fire, water, earth and air with gold, copper and black hues. There are new massage tables, chairs, cupping sets, pillows and dressers – providing a relaxing, stress-free escape to a healing environment.

“The plan invented by Bev to grow her business is stunning,” said Venture North president Laura Galbraith. “She constructed a way to cultivate the skills and abilities of colleagues who are eager to learn with shared passion and values about massage therapy and how it changes the lives of people for the better. In doing so, she is proactive about resolving challenges that have dealt a blow to many employers involving employee development, capacity and compensation. This is a brilliant example of a best practice occurring right here, in Traverse City.”

“My concern and challenge in expanding our business boiled down to one simple question,” Fryer said. “How can I find people like me who will bring the same sense of compassion and dedication to helping people?”

Fryer developed the Mentorship Program with the philanthropic support of some devoted clients to cover the cost of a one-year massage therapy education and training program with the Traverse City Mind Body Institute. Through 600 hours of class training, apprentices learn how to evaluate and assess the condition and goals of clients and then use a menu of massage therapy and neuromuscular techniques to improve client well-being.

Using the donated funds, Elemental Compass covered the expense of the year-long training and State massage therapy licensure with the condition that apprentices return to work for the company for at least one full year. Fryer will compensate the incoming apprentices at a rate of $50 per hour until they are able to support their earnings through a full-time practice that will include 20 to 25 massage therapy treatments each week. She expects each massage therapist will be at a self-sustaining workload in a year or less.

“A lot of a people come here to eliminate pain, avoid surgery as well as pain medications,” Fryer says. “We always set our course based on client objectives and expectations and do our very best to deliver.”

While Fryer’s modesty dampens her recollections of client success, she did recall a couple that reflect the skills and passion she brings to her business.

Like one of her very first cases with a man who had fallen and had scar tissue that painfully pressed on his sciatic nerve making mobility nearly impossible. Rather than take the surgical option, he participated in twice weekly massage therapy sessions that reduced scar tissues from the size of a golf ball to the size of a pea, restoring pain free movement and a return to traveling, boating and hiking.

Or like the woman client who could not conceive because of Stage 4 endometriosis, a disease of the female reproductive system. After eight months of massage therapy every other week with a focus on abdominal cupping, she was able to conceive and carry a healthy, full-term pregnancy, a miracle of sorts borne out of severe pain and anxiety that the pregnancy would not succeed.

Fryer gives immense credit to family, including her spouse Edward Byrne, who offer unflagging support and encouragement for the budding business.

Fryer welcomes everyone to join in the April 7, 8 and 9 Open House to meet the team and see the sparkling new facilities that await. There will be free chair massages, raffles of self-care items, appetizers and NA beverages.

“We will make it fun for everyone,” said Fryer. “We want folks to look at us and our new quarters as an extension of their home and lives – a friendly place centered on health and restoration.”

For more information, contact:

Beverley Fryer, Owner/Operator, Elemental Compass

Phone: 231-392-9559


Laura Galbraith, President, Venture North

Phone: 231-995-1700


15 views0 comments