Following in the footsteps of her father who was a chemist, Yolaris Garcia thought studying biochemistry was her calling. She enrolled in college in Boston, where her family moved to from the Dominican Republic, studying biology and chemistry, aiming to get her master’s degree and then a PhD.
Hours working in a laboratory alongside her dad, Garcia craved more human connections. A car accident at 17 would change the course of her career.
“I didn't think too much of it at the time, but my neck got really hurt but I didn't seek treatment right away,” said Garcia. “With time, the pain in my neck got more intense and more intense.”
While working out in a gym after the crash, Garcia caught the eye of a chiropractor who noticed her unusual form. She went to that chiropractor’s office to seek her advice.
“I fell in love with the profession because I'm super outgoing. In the lab I was not so happy,” said Garcia. “I love how you can make people feel good right away.”
After graduating college, she relocated to Miami and found a 700 square foot office and Garcia launched Awesome Chiropractic Center.
From that small space, she expanded into a 1,000 square foot space, and then 2,000 square feet, until Garcia was able to purchase the real estate for her clinic.
In 2017, Hurricane Irma blew the roof off her newly purchased facility.
“It was devastating. It was almost $100,000 in damage and the insurance only gave us back $20,000,” said Garcia. “The best thing that happened with Irma is that I got connected to the SBDC.”
The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at FIU Business helped Garcia apply for a bridge loan and connected her with organizations that supported her in applying for grants and other forms of funding.
“The financial assistance, the guiding you into what direction to go to get funding, those things matter,” said Garcia. “Especially for me because I’m waiting for insurances to reimburse us and that could take 30, 60, 90 days; I need to make sure I always have secure funding.”
In May during National Small Business Week, Awesome Chiropractic received the 2023 FSBDC Minority Owned Business of the Year award.