Sacred Waters Celebrates 15 YearsApr 01, 2023 06:00AM ● By Noah Chen
L-R: Kelly Jorae and Sunjori Michaela (Photo: Amelia Jackson)
Sacred Waters, a wellness arts studio in Fayetteville that specializes in detoxifications and colonics, is now celebrating its 15th year of business.
Owner Kelly Jorae’s journey as an entrepreneur began in 1998 when she first had the idea that she could boost the wellness of friends, family and clients using natural means. That’s when she opened the Herb Shop Café in downtown Atlanta. But after talking with a client that had been using over-the-counter and herbal remedies to combat constipation, Jorae was intrigued. The client told her she hadn’t gotten relief until she tried a colonic. Their discussion planted a seed in Jorae’s mind as she knew she wanted to investigate colon hydrotherapy. But that seed would take a few more years to grow.
In 2001, Jorae had her first child, and sold the Herb Shop Café to spend more time as a mother. For the next seven years, she alternated between staying at home full-time with her children and working part-time jobs. But in the back of her mind, she couldn’t forget what many had told her about colonics. “There was a profound response I would hear from clients who had been using colon hydrotherapy,” says Jorae. “It sat with me as something I would be able to offer, along with my knowledge and skills using herbal remedies.”
In 2008, Jorae took an accreditation class from the International Institute for Colon Hydrotherapy. As part of the class, she received two colonics, which she described as an eye-opening experience. The service was initially uncomfortable, and the results she felt afterwards were shocking.
“I didn’t realize how much brain fog I had,” Jorae says. “I felt like a veil had been removed from my eyes.”
Later that year, Jorae set up Sacred Waters in Fayetteville, and business started out strong. “The economy was really booming,” Jorae says. “My first year in business had, for a very long time, been my best year.” While the store carries many herbal remedies, the centerpiece of their services continues to be colon hydrotherapy.
Then business slowed after that first year. The profit margins on her herb business were slimming, the budgets of many Americans were tightening, and the recession finally caught up with her. But business picked up steam after Jorae began promoting Sacred Waters on the Groupon app; she sold more than 200 coupons over one weekend. However, turning the Groupon customers into repeat clients was “easier said than done.”
“Some people would just want to use the Groupon and would not value the service at its regular rates,” Jorae explains. “A lot of businesses were barely surviving at the time. And still you had to work really hard to show up for your customers just as though you were being paid. And in a lot of cases, you’re not able to pay yourself.”
Eventually, she learned to retain many customers by fostering a relationship with them.
“I go to a lot of doctors’ appointments,” says Stella Williams, a stylist and owner of Stella Stylz. Williams is a cancer patient and has been customer of Sacred Waters for the past four years. “You know how you go to certain places and they rush you through their services? Or they want you to be on time, but they’re never on time?” Williams asks. “[Jorae] isn’t like that.”
Williams describes Jorae as warm, professional and friendly, saying they are almost like family now. As for the services themselves, Williams says, “The relief of how my body feels is just wonderful,” referring to how she feels after a colonic appointment. “I feel like I’m walking on clouds.”
Wess Walters, another of Jorae’s repeat customers, agrees with Williams. “[Jorae] does a very good job charging up the energy in the room. As soon as you walk in, you can tell work has been done. It’s a very calming environment.”
As her business grew, Jorae found herself growing spiritually along with it. She found colon hydrotherapy went beyond its historical uses. “It’s more than just a physical release. For many it’s emotional. Spiritual.”
Our gut, immune system and nervous system are tied together, so a treatment like a colonic, which helps clean the colon and gut, has far-reaching effects on the rest of the body. “The goal is to create a clear flowing system,” says Jorae.
Over the years, the entrepreneur has leased her location to a variety of natural health service practitioners, such as massage therapists and reiki providers, and she has sponsored classes and workshops hosted by outside speakers. “Sacred Waters is not your ordinary wellness center,” she says.
Today, Jorae is pleased with the progress her business has made, but she is by no means slowing down. She now sells healing crystals, a result of her increasing awareness of her spirituality and the growing spiritual interest she notices in her customers. She continues to create and sell herbal treatments as well, such as an antiparasitic herbal remedy and nonalcoholic bitters to stimulate digestive glands.
Thanks to changes in Fayetteville and in the industry, Jorae has noticed that interest in natural health has increased and more affluent and open-minded people have been moving into the area.
She is considering expanding into a new location, now in the building stages, that offers a larger space but is still close by. ❧
Noah Chen is an Atlanta writer and journalist who writes for a wide variety of large companies and publications.