Meet Cindy Haxel of Golden Well Being Collective and Haxel Web Design
Cindy Haxel wants to help people. She’s been practicing acupuncture in Golden since 2007 and opened the Golden Well Being Collective in 2010. Like many other small businesses, the wellness center was impacted by the pandemic, but Cindy took the opportunity to use some of her other skills to start a second business: Haxel Web Design. We spoke with Cindy about her businesses, what it’s like to start a new business during a pandemic, and why she chose Golden as the place to settle down.
Good To Be Golden: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your businesses? Cindy Haxel: I’m a Colorado native, born in Denver, raised in Boulder. My first degree was in Fashion Design & Merchandising. After graduating and moving to Houston for a year, I realized how competitive that field was. So, I went back to school to study Computer Design. After doing programming for 15 years, I learned that in addition to not being competitive, I needed to be in a field where I was helping and working with other people. With the encouragement of my then acupuncturist, I decided to go to school to get my master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and 20 years later, here I am. I’ve been practicing acupuncture in Golden since 2007 and have had Golden Well Being Collective since 2010. It may have been a windy path, but I finally have my dream job.
GTBG: Why did you choose Golden as the place to open the Golden Well Being Collective? CH: When I was a kid, we’d come to Golden to visit, shop, and do all the touristy things. When out-of-town friends would come to visit, we’d often take them on the Coors Brewery Tour.
My husband and I moved to the foothills northwest of Golden 18 years ago while I was still pursuing my degree in Chinese medicine. As I was wrapping up my schooling, I considered both Boulder and Golden for places to start my acupuncture practice. Boulder was my “home,” but Golden felt more inviting to me, more my style. So, after finishing school, I hung my shingle in the old Armory building (now Connects Workspace), and I have felt at home ever since. Three years after opening my private acupuncture practice, I opened the Golden Well Being Collective with two massage therapists and a psychotherapist. Our first home was on Washington right under the “Welcome to Golden” arch. Within three years, we’d grown to a group of 12 wellness practitioners, so I decided it was time to buy a building for our Wellness center. Now, we’re in our forever home in the 1923 brick bungalow that was moved off the CSM campus in 2014. We are in a perfect quiet location at 410 9th Street just a couple blocks from downtown but with all the parking we could ever need! We love our home in Golden!
GTBG: Can you tell us what it was like to own a business during the pandemic? CH: As it was for everyone, it was hard. I remember the first acupuncture client that I had to call to cancel after we’d been told to shut down. She was in pain, and I wasn’t able to help her; I wasn’t allowed to help her. That was very difficult. And my Collective members were also struggling with what to do and how to weather the financial hit. Those of us who were able transitioned our businesses to TeleMedicine. The psychotherapists were able to make the shift very easily. The rest of us are all more hands-on so we had to get creative during the stay-at-home. Acupuncture isn’t quite the same without needles. But, I was still able to prescribe Qi Gong and acupressure as well as continue to make custom herbal prescriptions for clients.
About 60% of us are back now but with many modifications. We have scheduled our days so that there are fewer practitioners and clients in the building at a given time. We require masks while in the building, we are cleaning between each client, and we are deep cleaning every evening. We are excited to be offering some outdoor yoga classes starting 7/1. We will be updating our website soon as well as posting on Facebook as classes get added.
GTBG: What is your favorite positive story from doing business in Golden? CH: Since the beginning, the people in the city and county offices have been so helpful and supportive to me as a small business owner. The individuals who helped me understand the rules around Sales Tax, the Building and Planning departments when we were moving and renovating our building, and most recently the folks in Economic Development have all been so easy to work with. I feel certain that I wouldn’t have gotten this one-on-one interaction and assistance if I’d started my business in Boulder.
GTBG: Can you tell us about your second business? CH: My second business (well technically it’s the third business with acupuncture being the first, and the Co-Work Wellness center the second) is Haxel Web Design. Before Covid-19, I’d been looking at hiring someone to redo both my websites. I was shocked to learn how expensive it was! The quotes ranged from $2,000-$5,000. As a solopreneur, I didn’t have that kind of money, so during the stay-at-home order, I decided to dust off my software engineering skills and started Haxel Web Design, re-writing www.cindyhaxel.com and www.GoldenWellBeingCollective.com. I haven’t finished the website yet for Haxel Web Design; I hope to have it done this coming week, but I do have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HaxelWebDesign.
To help out the Golden community and build my portfolio, I’m going to offer 60% off my web design services to the next two local Golden businesses who reach out to me.
GTBG: What is it like balancing the two businesses at the same time? CH: Balancing multiple businesses can be a challenge for sure. But it does suit my personality. It’s something I’ve done most of my adult life – I would work part or full-time while going to school and often worked two jobs when not in school… I’m just one of those people. If I’m not challenged, then I’m bored.
GTBG: Anything you’d like to add? CH: When I was growing up in Boulder, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have a co-work wellness center in Golden, let alone be able to save a part of Golden’s history! Truly every day as I’m driving to work, I’m ecstatic – every single day! I love my job, I love my building, I love Golden, and I love helping people feel better.