Hastings entrepreneur reaches for the stars
Sitting across from Rosa Maria Brooks, owner and operator of the Rosa Maria Wellness and Astrology Center in Hastings, Neb., I both dreaded and looked forward to this interview. As a devotee of holistic healing, I was fully on board with her wellness mission. However, as a person who doesn’t believe in astrology, I didn’t know how I would process that side of her business. An hour later, I still hadn’t changed my views, but I had full admiration and respect for a woman who had created a successful business helping hundreds of people locally and across the world.
The stars align
Rosa Maria Brooks was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She was fueled by a desire to help people so she achieved a Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Lima, Peru. While in Bogota, she combined her knowledge of human behavior with considerable tech skills and started a successful online counseling and astrological service. Conducted in both Spanish and English, Rosa Maria’s services attracted clients from Colombia, Spain, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, and the United States.
“People’s problems are universal,” she said. “They suffer from depression, health issues, low self esteem, lack of love. I listen and help them.”
In 2009, she moved to Hastings, Neb., with her husband, Brian Brooks, a Hastings native. Continuing her Internet business was a simple enough task. However, Rosa Maria had bigger dreams. She envisioned a center that incorporated holistic wellness services including massage therapy, Spiritual counseling, in-person astrological and counseling services, as well as a continuation of her established online business. Rosa Maria wanted to help people on a much vaster scale, but she needed assistance.
So she approached the Center for Rural Affairs in Grand Island, Neb., Imelda Catalan, a loan specialist for REAP (Rural Enterprise Assistance Project), helped Rosa Maria obtain a micro loan, trained her in QuickBooks, provided her with a database, and introduced her to the Nebraska Rural Living website to help market her services.
Rosa Maria first set up shop in the newly converted, former Hastings Middle School. Fully utilizing her 2,400 square feet of rent-to-own space, she created a professional clinic complete with a reception area, consultation room, and nutrition area.
Rosa Maria started massage therapy training in 2013 and in 2015 she graduated as a certified massage therapist with a license from the License Board of Massage Therapy (BMT). She is now a licensed and registered Nebraska practitioner and member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).
As her practice evolved, she needed more space. She purchased a building at 401 North Minnesota Ave. in Hastings and designed an attractive, professional space for clients seeking her wellness services.
Clients come from local and great distances to benefit from Rosa Maria’s services. Business is thriving. Adding to an already full roster, Rosa Maria’s clinic attracts three to four new clients each day. Her online astrological consultations continue to boom, and she has expanded her talents into column writing for four Spanish-speaking magazines. She provides services in English as well as Spanish, and has flexible office hours.
Rosa Maria radiates exuberance for life and passion for healthy living. As a holistic health and wellness entrepreneur, she is creating her dream of a successful business helping hundreds of people locally and across the world. She is a marvel of successful small business ownership.
For more information…
Rosa Maria Wellness and Astrology Center
401 North Minnesota Ave.
Hastings, NE 68901