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Medical & Healthcare


Love Light and Healing Center

Name: Stephanie Barreto

Location: Gilbert, AZ 

Type of Business:
Holistic Wellness Center

What does your business do?
Acupuncture, Aesthetics, Massage, Myopractics Physical Therapy (coming soon)

When and why did you start the biz?
Ever since I can remember, the welfare of others has been my biggest priority. I grew up in a family of 7 and had a natural desire to nurture and love those around me. I was the peacemaker in my home, with my friends and throughout my life. I was a healer, and I didn’t recognize that in myself. Healing is the core of who I am. How do I know this you might be asking yourself? I know this because I tried to remove the healer within. In April 2014, my mom was diagnosed with ALS. By July my mom was no longer able to go up and down the stairs of their house. By August, she was no longer able to dress herself. I live in Arizona; my parents lived in Idaho. I began to feel helpless and it would soon become apparent that my dad would not have the stamina to take care of her on his own. In November, I was hit with the realization that if I could not find anyway to help, I would lose my mom to ALS, and my dad to exhaustion. By Thanksgiving my mom could not do her own hair, brush her teeth, stand up without assistance and was barely able to feed herself. At this time, I invited them to come for the holidays with the intention of talking them into moving in with me, so I could be of more help. By December, they had agreed to live with me, and I would be able to help more efficiently. This took a tole on me. I had to give up service to my church, close the daycare center I had in my home for over 16 years, discontinue my college courses, and stopped having snuggle time with my 6-year-old son and 12- year-old Autistic daughter. I literally had to devote every waking moment to caring for my mom, and my children were forced to sacrifice their much-needed mom time. Then, in March of 2015, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I now had 2 very sick parents that needed constant care. My dad started chemo the first week in April, and I was now running both parents back and forth to specialists sometimes 4 times a week, helping give shots in the stomach to my dad several times a day, sorting and providing everyone’s prescription meds time 4 times a day. By now, mom could no longer do anything on her own. I was providing showers, all hygiene needs, food needs, medicine needs, social needs and the list continued. All this, I did while trying to balance my family. I have 5 children of my own, 4 of which were still living at home and needed my attention. My mom passed away at home in June of 2016, leaving my dad, who still needed much care. He also died at home in May the following year, just 8 weeks after my best friend’s 16-year-old son was laid to rest. I was broken. I was beat down. I was empty. I lost all interest in daily activities. I slept all day. I woke up only if my children were home or awake. My identity was misplaced. My world became a very dark gray, and I could no longer find any color. My music was missing. When I lost my dad, my music stopped. I was so broken, that I wanted to never help anyone, ever again. I never wanted to love someone that way, ever again. Taking care of my parents took everything I had left to give, and I was empty. I loved without boundaries, without exceptions, without judgement. For the next 11 months of my life, I decided I would no longer be the healer and peacemaker that I have always been. I tried to drown out the desire to help others become whole. I could not. I found myself accidentally helping, accidentally healing, and accidentally loving. As soon as I realized what I was doing, I would run. This is when I was introduced to the healing benefits of acupuncture. I discovered that there are no limits to healing one’s self as I had previously accepted. I believe that acupuncture was able to bring my spirit the comfort and solace it so desperately needed. This was how I found myself. My spirit found peace, and with the help of those who love me best, I was able to embrace the fact that I am a natural healer. I discovered that I am a powerful tool in the lives of others and I can not take away those abilities because when I do, I become lost myself. In the quest to find myself, I found healing for my own heart. That healing comes for me when I bless others with the gifts that I never saw in myself. I find my peace when I can offer comfort and light to those who cannot see or feel it. I find my joy in loving others exactly as they are, and I find music in my life as I serve in the capacity of the healer and peacemaker that I truly am. I now own a business that will help others find joy through healing. Love Light and Healing Center has the ability to help heal, not just the body, but the spirit and mind as well. Together, all three are vital ingredients in the long journey we call life. My catch phrase is, "where healing happens" because I have created a space where healing is not just a possibility, but rather, an art form. This is why Love Light and Healing Center has become my passion. This is why I built this business. I can offer a place for people of all ages to come for healing that has long lasting effects. Effects that I have seen and felt in my own life. A place where one can escape the noise of the world, if only for a moment. A place where, I believe, my parents could have both been able to benefit from the natural healing of physical touch, emotional balancing, and spiritual realignments that are offered right here at Love Light and Healing center.

How Many People are in your Company?

Where's your office?
We are currently renting space in an executive suite.

What's the toughest part of running your biz?
From a business perspective, I believe the hardest part of running my business is divided between money and marketing. The reason I believe it is these two things, is because you can not market without money and you can not have a steady flow of patrons without marketing. I think the two are intimately connected.They both feed off of each other. I am in a spot where, if I do not market myself, I will not have the flow of people necessary to stay afloat, but at the same time, I simply do not have the funds to pay for the marketing required to do so.

What's the most fun part?
I simply love the people!! I am healer at heart and the people make every day worth it for me. My favorite thing in the world to watch is the change. I get to see firsthand, this beautiful transformation as it unfolds right in my office. Here is a perfect example: A woman comes in for a one-hour massage, and she is frazzled to the core. She is late because she was unable to find our building. She called to get directions, but I was checking out another client and was unable to take her call. When she finally arrived, you could not only see her stress, but you could feel it. She was very vocal about her distaste for the situation. When she entered the room for her massage, she was agitated and angry and everyone around her could feel those emotions. Her bucket was empty. Fast forward to her exit. The moment her massage was over and she came out of the room, she was a different person. She had peace. She had rest. She had revived. She was able to unwind, and she just needed a moment where she could relax and let go. In that one-hour, our massage therapist was able to fill her bucket. She may not know this, but when she left, she was lighter. You could see in her a light that was missing when she came in. Her aura was beautiful. I have an amazing team of caring people who have a passion for helping others. My therapist was able to share her passion with this woman who so desperately needed someone to just fill her bucket with love and renewed energy that was free of judgement and filled with understanding. This is just one example out of the many and I get to see this every single day. Every one of my team members has a gift and I am privileged to see those gifts as they are freely given to all who bless our business with their presence.

Anything you would have done differently?
The one thing I would change in the setting up of my company would be the way I chose to invest the small amount of money I started with. I would have started with a better marketing strategy, paid for someone to build my website, and spent less on the product that I was hoping would be a big seller. I would have done more to get my name out here first and invested in the inventory after the demand was there. This would have given me so much more flexibility with my budget.

What's next on the horizon for your biz?
My dream is big. As I grow into what I have started here, I believe I will be able to open another center closer to home. I will have my daughter run my Gilbert location, so that I can start the second phase in Queen Creek. As the two continue to grow, I hope to be able to purchase a building that will become the permanent home of Love Light and Healing Center. Once I have the business where it can stand on both feet securely, with the help of my acupuncturist, Love Light and Healing Center will open several days a month where we give back to the Veterans who served our country and have needs that have not been met. This company will model the change that we want to see in others as we offer this service to our Vets at no charge to them.

What advice do you have for others?
This might sound crazy, but my advice would be this: If you have a dream, know that it will never become a reality if you dream sitting down. One step at a time! As you keep stepping, there will come a point where you look back and see that the road less traveled has your footprints all over it! Take that dream and walk that road. As you do, you'll discover that the hills get easier to climb and that the walk was worth every moment spent on your feet.

How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
Wow!! Idea Cafe is a site that is literally jam packed with information!! I only wish I had know about you months ago. There is so much information to read and that is pertinent to building a business, that I will find myself busy reading articles that will help me as I grow. My sanity has definitely been saved just with the information that I have obtained already. So, I use it to inform and educate. You've saved me hours of time trying to find this information on my own by putting it all in one spot. I also love that it is easy to read and follow.

School (where, still in school, degree)?
The Bryman School where I received a License in Radiology

Prior jobs or business?
Owner of: Stephanie's Sitting Service

Favorite Food?
Jelly beans, chocolate, and hot apple crisp. That counts as food right??

What are your pets' names?
Daisy Dog and Hope Girl

Do any of these pets help with your biz?
Because neither of my dogs are service animals, they can not come to work with me. Their hobbies include sneaking my work towels and chewing them up so that I need to replace them. If this can count as help, then yes. And they love every minute of it. (I know because I have seen their tails wagging the whole time. )

Is there any one person or event in your life that led you to go into business for yourself?
When my dad passed away, I inherited a small amount of money. My dad worked hard his whole life and did without for many years so that we would not have to take care of him when he was older. I did not want to waste the money he worked so hard to attain. One of the things I loved most about my dad was his ability to support what ever dream I was working on. He always told me to go for it, and not quit. One thing my dad did not do, was raise a quitter. He was always my biggest supporter, so I decided to open a business of my own with his money because I know I can build something he would have been proud of.

Anyone you publicly want to thank?
I would just like to recognize my family, some of whom were not born into my craziness but earned their place because they loved me without judgments or boundaries. My kids have given up much for me to be who I am, and I love them for that. I would like to thank my two best friends Wendy and Kirby, for showing me the truth in a way that I had to find it myself, and for seeing in me that which I could not see in myself. And, of coarse my sweet husband, for not running when he could have and for supporting my dream even though he has to give more than he signed up to give.

Contact Info:
Stephanie Barreto
3303 E. Baseline Rd. Building 5 Suite 10
Gilbert, AZ 85234



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