Entrepreneur: Mary Kathryn Rodrigue and Katie Fetzer

After spending five years working as a hospital clinician, Mary Kathryn Rodrigue decided the time was right for something new.

“I think for any clinician, to have a private practice is the dream job,” Rodrigue tells Business Report in its latest Entrepreneur feature on her and business partner Katie Fetzer.

So after much research into the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Northshore area markets, Rodrigue set out to create a counseling center that felt intriguing and inviting, with aesthetics playing a large role.

She opened The Wellness Studio in Baton Rouge in January 2013, and in summer 2013 she met Fetzer, who became co-owner of the business by the end of the year. This meeting of kindred spirits turned into a business partnership, with both women proactively trying to change the face of mental health and therapy because of the negative stigma associated with it.

In their 13 years of combined experience as wellness counselors, Rodrigue says her favorite feedback they’ve received from a client is that they left feeling a little bit lighter.

“We can’t change life,” Fetzer says. “But it is about teaching people the skills they need to empower them to handle life’s crises.”

Fetzer believes counseling can empower people to flip their glass-half-empty mindset to a glass-half-full outlook. The duo is dedicated to learning constantly and researching strides being made in mental health not only locally, but internationally. In May, Fetzer and Rodrigue will travel to Europe visiting professors, teaching and attending conferences to bring back information about how the arena is changing globally and how the community can be part of that change.

“It is part of a worldwide effort to help globalize the idea of therapy,” Fetzer says.

Read the full feature. Send your comments to editors@businessreport.com.

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