Lauren Benson: The Five Question Interview

Lauren Benson, owner of Brigid’s Blessings Massage Therapy is trained in Swedish, sports, deep tissue, hot stone massage, aromatherapy, and other modalities.  Her interest in women’s health prompted her to begin her current training as a Postpartum Doula with Birthing Advocacy.

Lauren is passionate about organic gardening, horseback riding, and sustainable living and lives on a homestead outside of Elgin with her family and their dog, horses, and chickens.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

My husband and I moved to Elgin five and a half years ago after years of suburban living down the road in Hutto. I started gardening at our house there and that progressed to me bugging him for years about moving to a house with more land. In 2015 we made the decision to begin actively looking for acreage and our little log cabin on 5 acres here in Elgin was the first and only one we looked at before taking the plunge! I didn’t know much about Elgin prior to moving here, except that I passed through it on the way to Houston, but we have felt so welcomed by like minded folks we have met and hope to help the community grow and keep that small town feel as it grows. 

2. What compelled you to create a business in Elgin?

I have wanted to create a business of some sort in our town since moving here to offer something back to the town, but at the time was dependent on my salary from my day job. After starting our family and staying home, I began toying with different ideas and kept coming back to my training in massage therapy. After discussing my goals with my husband we decided that we could add a studio space here on our property and Brigid’s Blessings Massage Therapy was born in February 2021 (the studio was completed in May!). I hope to grow my business to include doula and child birth education services (I am training for my postpartum doula certification at the moment!) and expanding my massage modality trainings to offer a variety of healing and support services to our area. I’ve always wanted to be the wise woman in the woods from old fairy tales, so I just like to think I am in my early stage of that! 

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

I have learned SO much in the past five years, but to narrow them down to three would be:

1) how much resilience and hard work living in the country takes – between caring for animals, caring for a little one, and caring for the land breaks are rare! The winter storm this past February really hammered this one home.

2) how to become a better horsewoman – I dreamed of having horses my whole life and purchased my first ones two months after moving to our land, there is so much to learn and you can always do better with them!

3) how truly hard and rewarding parenthood is – one of the reasons I am drawn to postpartum doula work is because the postpartum period is such a hard and under-discussed period in a family’s life and I want to help make that transition smoother for people. It has been so exhausting to have a kiddo, but a big hug or hearing a happy giggle really brings you back to the rewards. 

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Oh this is hard! I’m currently reading textbooks for my doula training, so I am in the middle of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. I am not big on podcasts, so if I am listening to anything while I’m working in the yard or in the car its usually a local Austin band I love, Shane Smith & The Saints, or Turnpike Troubadours. 

5. Cake or Pie?

Pie (even though this one was tough!) 


bridgidsbessingsmassage.com


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Martina (Sunnie) Gonzales: The FIVE QUESTION INTERVIEW

Sunnie is the proud owner of Twelve Star Massage and active member of the Chamber of Commerce.  She opened her own practice in the fall of 2017 in her hometown of Elgin, Texas. Healing is one of her passions and she loves to learn different modalities and to educate herself in holistic healing.  She dreams to travel to different countries like Thailand and Peru to learn new massage techniques and energy work.  In her spare time she likes to do yoga, hula hoop, snorkel, and explore the different state parks here in Texas and hike.

1. Why did you choose to live in Elgin?  

I think it would be easier to say I’m just from here! I chose Elgin because I already had a clientele built from working at Heavenly Hair from 2010-2013.

2. What compelled you to create a business in Elgin? 

I had been a licensed massage therapist since 2009. In 2017 I decided I wanted to have my own massage company, with Austin being saturated with massage it was an easy choice when picking a location for 12 Star Massage. 

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

  1. Everything really does happen for a reason.
  2. If they wanted to, they would.
  3. Be humble and grateful and believe in the process.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

I have a few embroidery projects on working on. Also I’m reading a book about scared smoke and smudging to prepare for my vision quest in April. 

5. Cake or Pie?

I love pie! Key lime is my favorite! Pecan, pumpkin and blueberry are a close second. 

www.12starmassage.com


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Janine Feminella : THE FIVE QUESTION INTERVIEW

Janine Feminella is creator and owner of Sreang. She creates hand crafted powerful jewelry with hammered brass, electro-formed copper, raw copper, natural gemstones, healing crystals, gold and sterling silver. She lives in Smithville, Texas with her husband Joseph. They own Sign and Banner Texas, a local print shop in nearby Bastrop, Texas.

1. Why did you choose to live in Bastrop County? 

My husband Joseph and I moved to Bastrop county from western Massachusetts back in 2008. we were looking for a change of scenery and decided it would be fun to try Austin, so we bought a house we found online in Elgin, packed our cat and car and headed south.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

Growing up, my mother was always making things… sewing, crafting, making baskets, wood burning, calligraphy, you name it. She really instilled in me this passion to always be creating and trying new things. Working with my hands and watching something transpire from beginning to end helps keep me grounded and out of my head so much.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

  1. How important it is to set boundaries.
  2. Love is so much more powerful than hate, nothing transcends love.
  3. To let go of the things in which I have no control.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Well, i’ve been a little consumed lately with researching my family history and building a family tree. I’ve been specifically interested in tracing my maternal lineage back as far as possible in Ireland. Nobody in my family knew the name of my mother’s great grandmother and I was able to find her searching through handwritten baptism records. It’s been an amazing way for me to connect with and honor my ancestors.

5. Cake or Pie?

Definitely cake, chocolate cake all day long.

Instagram @_sreang

Etsy Sreang


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