Two weeks ago, massage therapist, Anaiya Cooper suffered a major setback when her business went up in flames.
The fire started on a day when it was business as usual for Cooper’s Ayurvedic Wellness Studio, located in the Mullumbimby Industrial Estate. She told The Echo, ‘I cleaned down at the end of the day. I did the washing and put everything in the dryer and left, the same as I do every other day. I’ve been in the industry for 18 years – putting towels in dryers – and I have never had an issue.’
Ms Cooper says the fire came as a big shock.
‘Within an hour, we came back and there were several fire crews here. They said it was one of the most toxic fires they have dealt with because of the oil content. I had oil in stock.’
Ms Cooper said after the flood she was very grateful, because her business is primarily upstairs.
‘I helped everybody else around me recover. I’ve been super thankful every single day since then. Literally, I stood at the top of the stairs in the afternoons, and looked around and was so thankful because it could have all been gone – and now a year later, it is gone.
‘It’s just one low blow after another. I opened the business, then we went into lockdown and then the floods came up about a metre inside. I am not insured, because insurance went through the roof – most of my work is on the second floor, I thought I’d be safe.’
Not one to be down for long, Cooper says she has secured a new location in New Brighton, and will reopen at the end of March.
Even though friends and family have suggested fundraising, Ms Cooper has decided to take a different path to recovery.
‘A digital gift voucher purchased through my email or website would be the best help’, she says.
‘If people email me I can also thank them personally for being involved. I have enough money behind me to deliver my basic services at the new studio’.
If you would like to support Anaiya, you can purchase a voucher via email [email protected] or the website ritualpause.com.