Vanessa Howe Talks Starting BelowZero Cryospa

Vanessa Howe has gone from a life-changing diagnosis to a life-improving business.

By Jennifer Johnmeyer

Jul 2024

Vanessa Howe
Photo by Katy St. ClairVanessa Howe offers cryotherapy services available locally. Purchase Photo

The Problem

Vanessa Howe was an avid fitness enthusiast before a degenerative disc disease diagnosis threatened to destroy her quality of life. After trying a variety of options to help manage her pain, she found cryotherapy in Dallas while moving her sons to the area and realized the results could be life changing. Unfortunately, those services were not offered in Springfield. 

The Big Idea

Howe decided that if there were no cryotherapy services available locally, she would need to bring them to Springfield herself. “We have a large medical community, and I knew there was a need,” Howe says.

The Learning Curve

Howe made a business plan and took it to several banks. Her main expense was the equipment, with the cryospa machine, the first and only head-out electric version, at the forefront. “They said ‘No, that’s too big of a risk. What do we do with this machine when you don’t make it? I was like, what are you talking about? I’m GOING to make it.’” After finding her first investor, Howe traveled to purchase the machine, only to learn via text message as she was about to make the purchase that the investor backed out. “I started talking to my friends and got three new investors, and was able to get everything together.”

The Takeaway

BelowZero Cryospa has been up and running since November 2022, and Howe has seen a range of clients from ages 14 through 80 book services. After breaking even in year one, business is booming, and Howe’s “when you don’t make it” equipment investment is almost entirely paid off.