Student Highlight: Wife and Husband Team Start New Business |

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Holly Woods is an ACHS student with a Certificate in Aromatherapy and is working towards her Diploma in Herbalism. She plans to open a holistic health business with her husband, who is also a student at ACHS.

Discovering holistic health

Holly has been interested in holistic health for most of her life. “I was about 10 years old, believe it or not, when I became interested in herbalism and aromatherapy,” she says. It all started when a traveling salesman came by her parents’ house selling medical encyclopedias. She was interested in them, so her parents bought her a science dictionary and a medical dictionary. As a kid that enjoyed reading and memorizing the dictionary, it was something that Holly had always wanted.

Reading the encyclopedias, Hollys says that she was overwhelmed by the fact that pharmaceuticals seemed to be the main focus. However, she noticed that there were brief and indirect references to more natural and holistic ways of improving health, such as nutrition.

She says that her parents weren’t in the best of health when she was younger, so this sparked her interested in learning more about holistic health. Holly began to look further into it and discovered herbalism and aromatherapy. “My parents were my guinea pigs. Friends, family, whoever I could come in contact with to talk about it,” she says.


Studying at ACHS

Working as a public school teacher for 10 years, Holly knew that she was great at her job but also felt that something else was calling her in life. Because her first husband had negative views about holistic health, it wasn’t until she married her second husband that she had the opportunity to consider switching careers.

“My second husband, who is also a student at ACHS, was basically the reason why we started to go,” Holly says. Both she and her husband were interested in learning more about holistic health, so they did some research and started school at ACHS.

I started with a Certificate in Aromatherapy and completed that. And then I started a Diploma in Herbalism and just need two classes to complete the Diploma in Aromatherapy, so I’m going to do that as well. And then after that, who knows!” Holly says. As she works towards her diploma, her husband working on getting a BS in Integrative Health.

holly woods and husband-1Pictured: Holly Woods and her husband

Business Plans

Although the past year has been difficult, it has also given Holly and her husband time to plan their business. It first started coming together when Holly gave a tea that she had formulated to her neighbor’s mother. “I didn’t think that they would even like it or would even notice,” she says. “But her mother came back to me and said ‘I don’t care how much I have to pay you, I want this tea.’ And that’s how we got our business rolling.” Holly’s neighbors have been the biggest supporters of her new business, and she says that she has even gotten new clients because of them.

The business is progressing forward and Holly and her husband have chosen the business name “Sui Generis”.  “It’s latin for ‘in the best of health’, or something unique,” she says. 

Holistic nutrition and exercise will be at the forefront of their new business. “We believe that diet and exercise are really the foundation of who we are as human beings. We know that’s the first and foremost way to work with clients,” Holly explains. Her husband will focus on providing holistic nutrition and exercise coaching to clients, while Holly’s strength lies in aromatherapy and herbalism.


Since I’ve been doing it so long, I tend to kind of take over the herbal and aromatherapy to kind of help supplement and guide that good health, Holly says. “I make blends, compresses, bath blends, whatever we need to do. Eventually, I’d really like to get a massage therapist license as well.”

If the business progresses to having a storefront, Holly says that she would like to have a modalities center where she and her husband work with clients.

Holly explains how a modalities center would function: “Working with clients together where we sit in a room with us, their chiropractor, their naturopathic doctor, and whoever else they’re working with and come up with a profile and plan for this person based on their goals and needs, and maybe even things that they didn’t even think about.” She believes that collaboration is very important and always works with her husband as a team when preparing any teas or blends for clients.

Advice for entrepreneurs

Here is Holly’s advice for anyone who is interested in opening a business:

Just go for it. Try things, put yourself out there. Trust yourself, be confident, and just do it! You’ll learn what your threshold is and don’t be afraid of saying ‘I don’t know, let me find out’. You will be a better practitioner for it in the end. “

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media & PR specialist for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. 

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

ACHS Founding President Dorene Petersen with three studentsAmerican College, founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us. 

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

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