Anchor Light Therapy Collective Business Story

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It’s the perfect time to take a proactive role in managing mental health. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an increasing number of U.S. adult have experienced anxiety and depression in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. Discover how a seasoned therapist, along with her partner, are expanding their business in order to take on more patients.

The SmartBiz team had the pleasure to assist the co-owners Anchor light Therapy Collective(r), in obtaining a low cost, 10-year term Small Business Administration loan.

The business is located in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood and offers multidisciplinary counseling for mental health. It also has a therapy center. In response to the pandemic they have shifted to remote operations with therapists in the office seeing clients virtually. They are patient-focused and offer online, in-office, or early appointments.

Travis DeMott, Laura Richer and their co-owners are proof that working as a couple is a “win”.

Demott has recently left corporate America where he was a regional sales manager and sales engineer for aerospace, technology, and military customers. He is now the business manager of Anchor Light Therapy Collective, managing its day-to-day activities. He works with an external CPA on payroll and other financial issues.

Richer worked in the corporate world in insurance and telecom. In 2011, she faced burnout and turned her attention to hypnotherapy. A LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor), she was in an excellent position to launch Seattle Healing Arts®, an LLC (Limited Liability Company). After a successful run, she rebranded to Anchor Light Therapy Collective.

A vessel at anchor will display an anchor light at night. The couple chose the name because they love boating. Richer grew the business by adding three more therapists. DeMott, Richer and their team created a plan of action together. They made business a priority.

Laura never hesitated to seek outside capital in order to achieve her growth goals. Early in 2020, the company received a $100,000 SBA Loan from a SmartBiz(r), network bank to help it scale.

DeMott, in his reflections on the challenges of business ownership, reports that staffing poses the greatest challenge. There is a huge demand for qualified, good therapists. We’ve been able, with the extra funding, to hire five full-time therapists, as well as two contractors, one part-time therapist and interns. We are looking to the future and hope to have 10 therapists working for us by 2022.

The couple signed a two-year lease to accommodate their anticipated growth. They also wanted a suite that had a view of Seattle’s Space Needle. The space will be built to their specifications.

As the business expands, a portion of the proceeds from the SBA loan will be used to fund marketing. They are also concentrating on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), in addition to improving the website. DeMott says: “We work closely with a local SEO company that has done an excellent job for us over the past 13 to 15 month.” We are leveraging our position in order to solidify our branding and capture key demographics such as the LGBTQ+ community, and children.”

Richer says that the SmartBiz Loans process was very good. Hayden was able to help us out with insurance issues. He was very responsive and helpful. She says that feedback is important and that he always responded quickly.

Hayden Payne from Loan Ops in SmartBiz Loans guided the company through the application.

He says, “I have had the pleasure to work with Laura the co-owner in 2019 on obtaining their first SBA loan. I’ve watched the business thrive and grow over the past two years.” Laura checked in regularly to assess and plan additional funding, resulting in the 2nd SBA Loan that we recently closed. Anchor Light Therapy’s involvement in the mental-health community and their continued success as a small business is what we at SmartBiz are most passionate about.”

DeMott’s plan for growth is solid, and the low-cost financing has helped. “The upfront capital allowed us to scale efficiently, and we intend to continue staffing up in order to justify new locations for years to come. Laura and I have always wanted to gross $5M a year. We are working hard to achieve that goal .”

The couple also has their wedding date for 3rd July 2022 set. The couple plans to marry on an equestrian family farm in New York.

Anchor Light Therapy Collective is featured in many news articles, TV interviews and appearances. For more information, please visit their press and media section on their website.

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