Holly Smee

Holly Smee uses her natural empathy and compassion to assist her clients at Hollytree Wellness

Holly Smee

Holly Smee is continually working to improve herself and her business. — Photo courtesy Holly Smee

Holly Smee owns Hollytree Wellness Centre in Castlegar, and she’s made it her mission to continually grow and improve herself and her business. She regularly attends workshops and pursues other educational opportunities in order to offer the most updated skills and expertise to her clientele. Her empathy and passion for helping others has made her an inspiration to everyone around her.

How did you come to choose this line of work?

I chose this line of work for various reasons but the biggest reason is because I understand human suffering and I love to help. In my lineage there has been a long line of mental illness compounded by trauma. Tending to and understanding others' emotional needs is one of my oldest roles and a skill I developed at a young age. We are all the walking wounded and there is no shame or stigma in experiencing the full spectrum of our emotional world - including the good, the bad and the ugly. As a society we need to depathologize what it means to grow through the human experience. A good therapist teaches what they have had to learn and practises on a daily basis what they teach.

What is it about your work that has you excited to get out of bed in the morning?

I am in love with what I do for a living. Every day I am blessed with the opportunity to make a difference in the world by helping human life through the healing power of relationship. I am passionate about learning and I am constantly studying new therapeutic approaches which I then get to share with my clients. Every client I am blessed to work with makes me better as a therapist. Individually we stand alone but collectively we have power.

Where do you like to spend your downtime in the Kootenays? 

I love to spend my downtime in the Kootenays outdoors in nature with animals or at a local coffee shop with family. Walking my dog is also a most favourite pastime and more recently I've even learned to ride my own motorcycle.

What has motivated you throughout your entrepreneurial/business journey?

What has motivated me the most in my business is my clients. Even if I am feeling tired, seeing my clients transform before me gives me the energy to work harder, help more people and learn new skills. This motivation was the driver in my decision to expand services in Castlegar by creating a wellness Centre with multiple practitioners on site so that effective support is readily available in this area.

What makes the Kootenays attractive to an entrepreneur?

The Kootenays is a beautiful place to start a business. We have four thriving seasons which provide for a varied lifestyle, economic living costs which allow for a balanced lifestyle, breath-taking scenery, and some of the kindest, genuine and most caring people I've met on the face of this planet.

What trends have you observed in your community that might impact the local economy in the next five years?

Trends I've noticed impacting our economy include a relocation of families and individuals from large cities and other countries to the Kootenays, looking for a place to flourish and establish strong roots. I've also noticed an influx of Nelson area residents who are migrating towards Castlegar for more affordable housing. As a result, I believe Castlegar is a great place to invest and that we will see a boom over the next five years here as the business, housing and student population expand further. City Council in Castlegar has also been very welcoming and supportive of new ideas and businesses here, establishing an eye towards future growth and hopefully a revitalization of the downtown core.

Danielle Cameron

Danielle Cameron is a writer and web editor for several publications and has been practising as a Certified Herbal Practitioner since 2005. View all of Danielle Cameron’s articles

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