Dr. Elizabeth Trattner on Launching Helia House
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
Dr. Elizabeth Trattner is a graduate of the Acupuncture Institute in Miami, FL, the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Health & Lifestyle program, and is the only acupuncture physician in the country to have been invited and completed a prestigious medical rotation at the University of Arizona’s Center of Integrative Medicine. Drawing on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a range of natural modalities, and over 25 years of training under Andrew Weil, MD, Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Elizabeth helps patients improve and take control of their health and maintain their optimal weight and wellness.
Dr. Trattner was one of the first to open an Integrative Medical practice in Miami, and is a strong believer in personalized medicine. Today she practices integrative and Chinese medicine while providing acupuncture, herbs, supplements, and counseling on Chinese dietetics and western nutrition. As an ardent believer in combining Chinese medicine with western medicine, she actively triages patients to other physicians for comprehensive care. Her practice is further supplemented by her training and initiation from the Shamans of the Andes. She was a recent roundtable panelist at the Global Wellness Initiative: Beauty Meets Wellness helping redefine beauty and wellness standards with other health and beauty leaders across the country where the standards of beauty were redefined and helped create aesthetic responsibility.
Dr. Trattner’s nutritional counseling background stems from her chef’s training certificate earned at the Natural Gourmet Institute in 1991. Early in her career while working with the President of the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Elizabeth pioneered integrative protocols for pre- and post-plastic surgery to speed up healing times, reduce side effects, and enhance outcomes. Dr. Trattner was recognized by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in a feature article in their industry-wide publication. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show alongside her mentor Dr. Andrew Weil as well as on local and national television. She is a contributing author for over 700 publications and websites on Integrative Medicine including Cosmetic Dermatology – Principles and Practice by Dr. Leslie Baumann, Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, “Alternative Medicine”, Ask Dr. Weil at www.drweil.com, Bottom Line’s ”Breakthroughs in Natural Health”, by Bill Gottlieb, “Acupuncture Cools Hot Flashes Caused By Cancer Drugs., and On the Cutting Edge, published by the American Diabetic Association, “Diabetes and Traditional Chinese Medicine: Managing a Modern Epidemic With Ancient Medicine. I opened the doors of Helia House, a non-toxic, biophilic, sustainable healing and wellness oasis located in North Miami (1901 NE 168th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162) that provides a clean, safe, chemical-free, high-vibrational environment for her patients to be treated.
Helia House is the true essence of a healing space, an all-encompassing, well-building from the ground up, with every last detail. From the type of sealant used on the windows to the type of wood used for the cabinetry, millwork, and doors; nothing within or around the building is toxic. As someone who suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and knows the negative effects of poor air quality, harmful building materials, and lack of sunlight, Dr. Trattner’s dream has been able to create a space where she and her patients can breathe freely, not have skin irritations, headaches and feel foggy while inside. Helia House delivers. “I invested my heart and soul into Helia House, and it was crucial that I work with the partners that understood that this is not just a green space, but one that is completely non-toxic,” says Dr. Elizabeth Trattner. “I chose a team that includes LEED-certified architects, a LEED-certified and Florida Green Building Contractor, an Environmentalist who supervised every item in the building, a Feng Shui Master, and many other talented and highly educated colleagues all who were committed to creating a pure, safe healing space. Our team went up and beyond than regulatory thresholds for the sustainable certification, making it completely clean, and non-toxic to fulfill our mission as a true home for healing.”
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
The connection with like-minded women is priceless and together we can conquer the world. When I became a member of the Global Wellness Initiative, Beauty Meets Wellness, I met the most incredible women within the beauty and wellness industry. I am hoping to connect with a more diverse community of women helping other women, especially in today’s world. Women have the power to do many things and together we can make move mountains and make the world a much better place.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Fear. I know that is not what most people expect but facing my fear of going out alone gave me courage and strength. It made me believe in myself and my dreams of opening Helia House.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I always worked in a collaborative environment, but I knew I had the vision to create a safe space to heal unlike anything else in this country. I took a mentorship program a few years ago and it pushed me out of my comfort zone. It is very hard to make changes 22 years into practice but I knew I could do it. Before I was a physician, I was a concierge for 5 years at luxury hotels. That job helped me learn to cater to patients and their needs. Medicine is severely lacking a warm and caring environment. Helia House transports you away and helps heal your body, mind, and soul.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes. My entire family works for themselves. We all have to follow our hearts in our unique way. My dad inspires me every day. He came from nothing and built a very successful law practice. He volunteers his time to the underserved as well. His work ethic inspires my brothers and me.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out, and did it go as planned?
Word of mouth is wonderful, but you have to have a plan. Social media is friend and foe but fortunately, it was very good to me getting the word out that there was a unique place to heal in Miami. Also making sure the local press knows you are opening your doors and inviting editors in is crucial.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
So many people gaslit me, and told me I didn’t look sick, didn’t believe I was sick and didn’t believe in me. I knew deep down inside that there was something I had to do whether people liked it or accepted it. Even building Helia House was a challenge because in commercial real estate this has never been done. I built my building for people who are very sick. I wanted Helia House to be a safe place for people with environmental and chemical sensitivities; for people who feel sick going to the grocery store, box stores, and other public places. My builders were wonderful, but it was my environmentalist, who I have worked with for 25 years, and me who really advocated for everything in the building from the floors to the roof to keep things in compliance with my vision.
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
I have two: my daughter, Charlotte. I raised a child with a rare learning disability. My husband and I devoted ourselves to raising her in the very best possible way. She graduated high school and college with a perfect GPA, and is now an editor at a magazine. Working and raising a child takes time and dedication. I see my work ethic in her, and I am so proud of the woman she is today and what she went through to get there. Creating and opening Helia House. I invested my heart and soul into Helia House and it was crucial that I work with partners that understood that this is not just a green space, but one that is completely non-toxic. I chose a team that includes LEED-certified architects, a LEED-certified and Florida Green Building Contractor, an Environmentalist who supervised every item in the building, a Feng Shui Master, and many other talented and highly educated colleagues all who were committed to creating a pure, safe healing space. Our team went up and beyond than regulatory thresholds for the sustainable certification, making it completely clean, and non-toxic to fulfill our mission as a true home for healing. No one has done this in the USA and this is the first of its kind.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
That’s a good question, and I have been trying to find my equilibrium again! Working out, eating well and good sleep is paramount to your well-being, physical health, and spirituality. It is so important to surround yourself with family and friends who accept and support you. Also, taking time away from work gives you incredible clarity. At the time of this interview, I am currently on a staycation, my first break after 2 straight years of working. Downtime is just as important as work time. Sleep, regular workouts, and good healthy food are paramount to everyone!
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Take a business course! I cannot stress the importance of how critical it is to understand how to run all aspects of a business. As someone in the medical field, I had no idea until I was in my fifties and I did a business mentorship. I was so scared because I am horrible at math but ultimately you have to understand the bottom line! Don’t let fear hold you back, embrace it!
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I recently have been named advisory for a large magazine. I can’t share yet which one but it is a huge honor.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I would love to create more Helia Houses across the US. I truly believe that well buildings are the next big trend in wellness. I would also like to teach more as it is important to always pass down knowledge to the next generations.