While some businesses struggled to stay afloat amid the pandemic, Jaclyn Borgia harnessed the power of the ever-popular virtual world to launch a new business focused on providing women online therapy and coaching. Dubbed The Sassy Shrink, the Bucks County-based business – with Borgia at the helm and six other counselors assisting – began in August.
“There’s such a need, truly,” Borgia said of the demand for mental health and coaching services. “I didn’t realize that I had a skill of being able to push all this good magic through the phone or Zoom.”
Prior to the pandemic, Borgia, who specializes in coaching, as well as counseling for anxiety, self-esteem, and overall wellness, met clients in-person. The level of care is the same whether virtual or in-person, but for Borgia, her business is to “meet people where they are.”
“Why not jump into their living rooms with them?” the jovial Borgia asked.
Without the barrier of meeting face-to-face, Borgia can coach clients from all 50 states and counsel clients throughout Pennsylvania. She and the other therapists who work for The Sassy Shrink are all credentialed and each has an area of expertise, such as relationships or body coaching. The goal is to complement each of their unique talents, not compete.
The Holy Family University graduate and lifelong Bucks resident knew at age 16 she wanted to become a therapist. She recalls sitting in Spanish class and hearing an announcement that another student had committed suicide. As she tried to process the news, a classmate made an “ugly comment.”
“It plummeted me into the caregiving role,” she said, adding that the incident “sat on my heart.”
Finding her footing as a therapist came easy. However, getting started as a business owner took some support from her SCORE Bucks County mentor Loni Lassoff. Borgia began meeting weekly with Lassoff in March.
“She was overwhelmed by the thought of starting her own business and was not even sure if she could handle running her own company,” Lassoff said.
After sessions focused on devising a business plan, budgeting, staffing, accounting and ultimately framing Borgia’s vision and goals around what was most important to her, the two worked together to get The Sassy Shrink up and running.
“Jaclyn is an incredibly bright, caring and capable young woman,” Lassoff said.
Borgia, who continues meeting with Lassoff, joked that she told her SCORE mentor “she can never leave,” adding, “I hope she sticks with me a little bit longer.”
SCORE certified mentors provide no-cost guidance on all aspects of business operation throughout the life of the business – which is good news to Borgia.
“SCORE is the coolest thing since sliced bread,” Borgia said. “You don’t even anticipate the support and help they’re going to provide.”
In addition to assigning her “homework,” Lassoff “held my hand when I needed her to, and pushed me when I needed her to,” Borgia said.
“I’m in the field of giving back,” Borgia said. “I hope that some day I’m going to be able to sit in Loni’s chair and give back.”