Q10: Delaware House

February 1, 2013

Kathy Howell —photo Jennifer Kresse

Delaware House
Established 2007
Kathy Howell, Owner
2499 S. Delaware Avenue
(414) 617-2469
delaware-house.com + Facebook

1. What is Bodies in Motion?

Bodies in Motion is my physical therapy practice. I have been a PT for 19 years. I specialize in orthopedic and manual physical therapy. I treat the whole body. I take insurance from many companies.

2. Describe the Delaware House businesses and offerings.

Delaware House is a community of skilled, independent small-business people, all dedicated to wellness and movement. There is acupuncture, yoga, physical therapy, massage, personal training, skincare, nail care, and ballroom/Latin dancing. Everything you need to feel good, look good, and have fun.

3. How did you conceive of the concept for the Delaware House?

Because of my ballroom dance hobby, I was very familiar with the way independent dance studios share space. And, for some time, I had envisioned a way to create a space where multiple businesses could do that. When I walked in my building, before I bought it, I could see the potential for a ballroom studio, yoga studio, and my physical therapy practice. The layout of the original building allowed me to see the possibilities for multiple related businesses, and I am very thankful that it has developed.

4. How many businesses lease space? How long did it take you to lease out all your space?

Currently, Delaware House has 17 businesses that operate full- or part-time. I have one room available for a private physical therapy practice. All other private rooms are rented. The dance teachers, yoga teachers, and personal trainers all pay by the hour. I had the building fully rented with one year.

5. What made you decide to take the leap and invest in the Delaware House?

My decision to invest was based on the needs of my patients. When I bought my building, I was practicing out of my home. My practice was growing and I needed more space and equipment to meet the needs of my clients. It also was a unique opportunity to combine my hobby and my profession.

6. Tell us about your interest and participation in ballroom dancing.

I started dancing just for fun over 15 years ago at the YMCA. I really enjoyed it and gradually became more serious. I have been an amateur competitive ballroom dancer in the professional-amateur division for 14 years. My last competition was the Pro-Am World Championships, where I placed third in the American Rhythm Division and fifth in the American Smooth Division, in the open level in my age.

7. Do you teach ballroom to novices, or only to those with professional dance aspirations?

I do not personally teach lessons. But there are excellent teachers who love teaching students of all levels, from newcomer to serious competitor. Most people who dance at Delaware House just do it for fun. We have group classes and private lessons available.

8. What would make Bay View a better environment for your business?

I honestly love Bay View and at this time do not have any criticism. I feel that it is a supportive business community and a great place to live. I feel very grateful to be part of Bay View’s business community as it grows.

9. What is the most challenging aspect of operating a business?

For me, the biggest challenge has been maintaining my physical therapy practice while I manage the building and the tenants. It is a job within a job. I do my best to stay balanced, and I have learned to accept what I can accomplish each day.

10. What is the most gratifying?

I love helping my patients. That is what keeps me working hard to stay a knowledgeable, cutting-edge physical therapist. But my business has given me even more joy. I am very happy working in a beautiful space with many skilled, intelligent people who are equally enthusiastic about their professions.

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