Found in the heart of Lodi, Wisconsin, Willow Tree Wellness is home to several like-minded wellness professionals who offer health services to the general community in Lodi Valley. When walking into the center, guests are greeted with an array of merchandise, from hand-crafted jewelry to healthy snacks and juices, along with the 9 wellness professionals and their businesses, whose services range from yoga to various types of therapy. Among these business owners, you will find Stephanie McCutchin, a passionate healer and certified yoga instructor.
McCutchin is the owner of Sakom Massage and Wellness, who with her newly adopted puppy Lola, the Sakom wellness dog, is dedicated to helping clients move through physical and emotional transitions. As a fairly new business, Sakom was first established in 2020, an accomplishment McCutchin never knew was possible, about 12 years ago, when she stopped pursuing her degree in massage therapy to work in a corporate job. After years of working in a management position at the organization she was with, a change in management re-sparked her interest in going back to school to become a massage therapist.
“Being an adult learner was difficult, but I wouldn’t have changed it,” says McCutchin. “Honestly, when I went to school, I wasn’t going to school to open my own business. My thought was that I really wanted to work with a chiropractor. But the way everything landed in the opening here at Willow Tree Wellness, everything came into place.”
Although the creation and establishment of Sakom weren’t in her plans, McCutchin still explains that the process was organic and natural. As she allowed her heart to lead her through her journey, McCutchin was able to create a safe space for people to heal and work through different physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions. Along with the support of friends and family, she acknowledges that her late father, a Menominee Native American, has played an important role in her business.
When McCutchin first started school to become a massage therapist, before the thought of starting her own business even came into play, her father unexpectedly passed away the following month. It was through her grief that she felt her father supported and guided her through building Sakom.
“After his passing, I’ve always been so proud to be Native American,” says McCutchin. “Not only have I grown and learned more about my own culture, and maybe it’s because he’s gone now and I feel like it’s my responsibility, but I have really loved to have a platform and a space to share some of the Native American culture with people that might not know about it.”
McCutchin explains that sharing her Native American culture has been a really important part of Sakom, which is named after the Menominee word meaning “to be safe and to be at peace.” Whether it’s through a newsletter or Facebook post, McCutchin hopes she’s able to connect her clientele and audience to her rich culture and its history, which also allows her to better promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being through her services.
The services Sakom provides include the options of 30, 60, and 90-minute sessions that are tailored to individual client needs. McCutchin believes that all humans are unique beings with different bodies, different emotional states, and different needs that vary from day to day. On account of this, clients at Sakom can expect to set individual goals for what is needed in their healing journey, before indulging in a therapeutic session that can incorporate aromatherapy, cupping, stretching, and reflexology.
Ultimately, McCutchin believes that Sakom is rooted in love and surrounded by light. She hopes her work can serve as that light that connects people across the community.
“What I’m just so passionate about is helping people connect back to themselves. Because ultimately, I’m not the one that’s ‘fixing’ them, right? It is a process and I am here to help people through that process,” says McCutchin. “I am just looking forward to connecting with the community, with clients, with people who are working through physical, spiritual, emotional transitions, who are on a healing and wellness journey. I’m just so honored to be a part of that journey.”