Kathryn Butters: Founder, CryoVigor

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Bio:

Kathryn Butters is an entrepreneur and the founder of CryoVigor, one of New York City’s premier Cryotherapy clinics. Offering both whole body and spot cryotherapy treatments through the use of our state-of-the-art equipment, our trained staff offers white glove service to ensure your safety and comfort, and answer any questions you might have about cryotherapy.

How did you get into the industry?

I have always been very conscious of my own health. I read a Time magazine cover article about the dangers posed by chronic inflammation to one’s overall health. I had heard that cryotherapy was an effective way to combat chronic inflammation, so I tried it. I immediately felt the benefits to my overall mood and energy and I was hooked. From there on out I wanted to share the benefits of cryotherapy with others. I have a business background, so I researched what it took to start a cryotherapy business, found a great location, and opened up shop earlier this year.

Any emerging industry trends?

In cryotherapy, there have been great advances in creating specific treatment programs to target conditions. For example, I have clients who come in who are in pain from past surgeries or who come in for relief from Lyme’s Disease. We’ve worked to together to combine whole body cryotherapy with localized treatments for the best effect based on their goals.

More people are using it to enhance performance, not just to recover and heal. I have a client who is a professional martial artist and coming to CryoVigor regularly has boosted the effectiveness of his training sessions.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

As with any alternative health therapy, there will always be challenges with regulation. The FDA issued a report that, in their perspective, showed there is no conclusive evidence to back the benefits of cryotherapy. Well, we all know it takes a lot of money to fund studies that show otherwise. Meanwhile the science behind cryotherapy has been widely accepted in Europe for decades and many world-class athletes, who have access to the very best body enhancement techniques, swear by its benefits. In my experience, anyone who tries it or continues with it on a regular basis has reported a very positive experience.

So, yes, educating the consumer is a challenge.

There are many opportunities in the cryotherapy business. As I mentioned before, clients with ailments are getting relief with drugs or surgery. That alone holds much promise for the industry.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

We are located in the heart of New York City, near Grand Central Station and Bryant Park. It’s one of the highest concentration of stressed out people in the world. In creating CryoVigor, I wanted to establish a retreat for anyone to escape for complete relaxation. They can come here and feel completely rejuvenated, physically and mentally.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

We have been working on partnerships with corporate wellness programs, members of a new app called POPin that allows people to pay for gym glasses on a per minute basis and continuing to cultivate new alliances with health conscious groups.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Customer service is so important. We get referrals from people who have had a good experience here. We do the usual activities that are crucial for any business, making sure you are found online, and we use both paid search and organic search marketing. Actively seeking partnerships and being part of corporate wellness programs as mentioned above.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

The most difficult part of opening was just getting through the first few months when we really needed to get the word out, which is difficult as there are so many options for consumers. There’s a lot of noise out there and in New York City, people are always onto the something new. We learned to persevere, providing great service and results for our customers. Keeping them happy pays off.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

I love it when a client comes out of the chamber and just looks euphoric. There’s a post-treatment expression that cannot be captured through words. Most people feel like they are ready to take on the world after their cryotherapy session. I get “That was amazing” quite often.

How do you motivate others?

It’s the old cliché of leading by example. Being a good listener is so important. When clients come in we really want to cater to their specific needs. I just do what I think is best for my clients, how I would like to be treated, and my team is able to witness how happy they are.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Do the research. Never stop learning. Read. Attend industry fairs. Go see an expert speak. Health and wellness is constantly evolving. The marketplace is fickle. If you stay ahead of trends and know where people are going to be into 3 months down the road, you can adjust your marketing strategy to cater to the shifting desires of customers.

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