Freeborn Wellness offers complete industrial occupational and physical therapy, primarily serving injured workers. It’s the first of its kind in our area, offering functional capacity evaluations, work conditioning, hand therapy and more. Coupled with dietetics and massage therapy, they treat the whole person – not just the injury. 

Cory and Andrea Freeborn selected Centralia because it was an underserved area for people facing an on-the-job injury. The couple also felt like they were coming home. Cory is a firefighter and previously worked with Riverside Fire Authority.

The couple, who met when they were just 15, say they’re best friends, husband and wife, parents, and now business partners. The experience of starting a business together has taken their relationship to a unique new level. Photo credit: Krysta Carper.

“We’re truly excited to serve Lewis County,” Cory says. “For me, it’s a full circle to be back down here in a different capacity, but still be able to serve the area. We truly appreciate all the support we have.”

Their multidisciplinary program sets Freeborn Wellness apart. They offer occupational therapy, physical therapy and a work hardening program certified by the State of Washington. The industrial rehabilitation clinic offers all types of therapy services in one place. “Everyone who comes here has a different story and we want to hear that so we can create a specific healing plan for them,” says Cory.

With six employees and three outside contractors, Freeborn Wellness has over 40 years of experience in helping injured workers regain their health. Photo credit: Krysta Carper.

Andrea offers a different approach with a wellness background in occupational therapy. “We’re focusing on the whole person,” she says. “We wanted to create an approach that wasn’t just about who we treat but about how we treat them. Our approach is different.”

The road to owning their own business wasn’t free of challenges. With three small children, business meetings were often held during nap time, and work was completed in front of the fireplace after the kids went down for the night. “Our business plan is our Netflix,” Cory says with a laugh. The couple even held their youngest child’s first birthday party at the facility on opening day.

Freeborn Wellness is the first of its kind in our area. Photo credit: Krysta Carper.

After creating the first draft of their business plan, Cory and Andrea met with John Morosco and Hillary Van Beek of the Small Business Development Center at South Puget Sound Community College, co-located at the Center for Business and Innovation. This organization provides services and training for entrepreneurs at all levels of business. The SBDC’s primary services include one-on-one advising designed to help business owners and managers make informed decisions to grow and sustain their businesses. All of the in-depth assistance by SBDC counselors and staff is free and confidential.

For anyone who wants to start their own business, Cory and Andrea definitely recommend utilizing SBDC services before getting a loan. “I think no matter how crazy life is, there’s the ability to make it happen,” shares Cory. Photo credit: Krysta Carper.

To help clients understand the operational and financial requirements of running a business, the SBDC helps them create a solid business plan. “I always tell the clients that the business plan must speak for them when they’re not in front of the lender’s decision makers,” shares Morosco.

The team at SBDC worked with Cory and Andrea in-office and through video conferencing – sometimes with the couple’s children around. “It was a unique and exciting time,” says Morosco. ”It has been a pleasure working with Andrea and Cory, to guide them in creating a business plan. When clients are motivated and passionate about opening a small business, good things can happen and did for Andrea and Cory.”

With help from the SBDC and Timberland Bank, Freeborn Wellness opened with the new year in 2019. “I strongly feel that Freeborn Wellness, PLLC will be a community asset in Lewis County for many years to come,” shares Timothy Collins of Timberland.

After completing their final business plan, Cory and Andrea met with Timothy Collins at Timberland Bank. “From the outset, Cory and Andrea were amazing to work with,” shares Collins. “Their follow through, preparedness, and attention to detail was exceptional. Throughout the process, we asked a lot of tough questions, and they handled them all very well. It’s clear to me that their planning and partnership with the SBDC helped them navigate through the loan process much more effectively and efficiently.”

Timberland was a great choice for the couple, with branches in Chehalis, Toledo and Winlock. Collins was extremely excited to find out that the pair was opening their new clinic in Centralia. “It’s incredibly important for us to work with, support and help small businesses secure financing in the communities we serve,” he says. “Lewis County is an area that we as a bank hope to grow many more relationships as we move forward.”

Collins encourages anyone who’s thinking about starting a business or would like guidance on growing their existing business to reach out to their local SBDC or SCORE counselor for guidance. “The CB&I in Lacey is an incredible resource,” he says. “They will ask many of the tough questions that need to be asked before a business owner presents their business plan and financial package for a loan request.”

With help from the great people at SBDC and Timberland Bank, Andrea and Cory Freeborn opened their clinic. With true passion and the experience to offer high-quality care, Freeborn Wellness is a fantastic new addition to Lewis County.

Freeborn Wellness, PLLC
515 Harrison Ave.
Centralia
360-870-2473

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