Ask any entrepreneur about opening a business and they’ll tell you that it’s hard work. The countless hours it takes to simply get to opening day can be a laborious process, but when the day finally happens, it’s a rewarding one. Williamson County has seen exponential growth, and residents and businesses are flocking here to get a piece of the prosperity. Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson reported in his state of the county address in July that the county averaged 182 new business start-ups per month. In October, 142 new business licenses were filed and 1,604 year-to-date, according to
the latest Economic Dashboard (see page 2). Among those new businesses that opened this year were several restaurants, boutiques, auto repair centers, insurance agencies, health and wellness facilities, beauty salons and barbershops, bakeries and banks, to name a few. Many of these businesses — 73 to be exact — turned to Williamson, Inc. to help make their presence known with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Red, blue, yellow or gold — whatever ribbon color was snipped, Williamson, Inc. was there to capture their most important milestone. For two of our Chamber members, opening a business was one of the best decisions they ever made. Primarily because of the success, growth and support they’ve experienced since recently opening their businesses in Williamson County this past year. Dr. Ila Foster, a licensed
chiropractor, opened Graceful Hands Chiropractic & Wellness Center in May and provides chiropractic, therapeutic rehabilitation and massage services to get patients functioning at optimal health. Kevin and Colleen Vanderkolk are the owners of Soar Adventure Tower, a 50-foot-tall, 10,000-square-foot aerial adventure park that opened in August. The Vanderkolks are the first to bring the popular European vertical ropes course to North America and chose Franklin to set up shop. “The Point” caught up with Foster and Kevin Vanderkolk to get an update on how business has been since calling Williamson County home. Since hosting your ribbon cutting with Williamson, Inc., what response have you received from the community? FOSTER: I was fortunate to meet many great people at my ribbon cutting and received many well wishes afterwards. I have gained more exposure in the community and formed several business relationships with chamber members. VANDERKOLK: The response from the community has been incredible. They have embraced our concept of a healthy and physical activity that is engaging for all ages. Several chamber members have booked company outings and really enjoyed the experience. How has business been since opening? FOSTER: I am thankful that my business has grown each month. I am continuing to work and revise my plan for optimal growth. VANDERKOLK: We have had a great start to our first few months of operation. We have enjoyed getting to know several of our repeat customers and local businesses that have joined us for some fun company outings. Anything new or exciting happen in the last three to six months? FOSTER: I have only been open for eight months, so everything has been new and exciting! VANDERKOLK: Every day is exciting when you are climbing at SOAR Adventure Tower but we have definitely had some special moments. We didn’t expect the outbursts of cheering, clapping, and support as people watched others climb and overcome the physical and mental challenges. We also just filmed a segment for CMT’s Southbound that will air sometime in December on the Country Music Television network. Do you feel that locating to Williamson County was the right move for your business? FOSTER: I am on the Davidson/Williamson County border and I strongly believe my location was the right move for my business. The location provides easy access to the residents of both counties. Many residents of Williamson County are very health conscious, and this impacts my practice because they are looking for preventative and wellness care that enables them to have healthier lifestyles. VANDERKOLK: We could not
have picked a better location than Williamson County for our first Adventure Tower. There are so many families and good people here that have been supportive and make this feel like a small community.
What’s next for your company? FOSTER: As Graceful Hands Chiropractic approaches its first anniversary, we will incorporate more tools which will allow us to provide better care to our patients. We will
offer healthy lifestyle classes, expand our nutritional products, and incorporate more essential oils. VANDERKOLK: The SOAR Adventure Tower experience will keep getting better and better as we are looking for ways to expand by adding additional elements and attractions to our Adventure Park. Learn more about Graceful Hands Chiropractic & Wellness Center at gracefulhandschiro.com, and discover what Soar Adventure Tower has to offer at soaradventure.com.