Ultimate Massage & Wellness wins $2,000 top prize in Saginaw business pitch competition

SAGINAW, MI – Bridgeport Township-based Ultimate Massage & Wellness is Saginaw Soup’s newest first place winner.

Entrepreneur and licensed massage therapist Shandrika Pulliam won the $2,000 top prize of the Entrepreneur Pitch Contest on Thursday evening, November 3, for her business located at 6215 Dixie Hwy. The event took place at the Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC), above the SVRC Marketplace, at 203 S. Washington Ave.

Pulliam said his experience working in group homes and nursing facilities and seeing his father receive hospice care inspired him to pursue a career in massage therapy.

“I always knew I wanted to work with people,” she said. “People are under a lot of stress, so being able to make yourself feel good and find a way to reduce stress is always a plus.”

Pulliam offers Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Self-Care Workshops to help with physical and mental wellness. He said massage is known to increase relaxation, reduce stress, promote mental health and wellness, and lower blood pressure, among other benefits.

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Pulliam and others put forth their business ideas in front of a panel of judges on Thursday evening, while audience members watched and voted for their favourites.

Ultimate Massage & Wellness, Shangri’la Candle Company and My Michigan Made competed for a first-place cash prize of $2,000, a second-place cash prize of $1,500, and a People’s Choice Award equal to the total entry fee collected at the door. May 2022 Saginaw Soup winner Keoshia Banks, Founder and CEO of Self-Love Self-Respect Sisterhood Inc., hosted the event.

Shangri’la Candle Company won second place and the People’s Choice Award.

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Saginaw Soup aims to support local entrepreneurs who have a dream and a vision for their business, but need help making it come true, according to a CMURC news release. The competition allows aspiring entrepreneurs to present their business concepts in front of a panel in the hopes of winning cash value or investment capital. In addition, the Saginaw Soup Committee, courtesy of CMURC and SBDC, offers all participants intensive, personalized training opportunities.

The competition is a collaborative effort between Saginaw Future, CMURC, the Saginaw Economic Development Corporation, the Center for Small Business Development, the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce, the City of Saginaw and the Bridgeport and Saginaw DDAs.

Pulliam said the $2,000 award will enable him to invest in more equipment and marketing to help grow his business.

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“I’m just grateful to be a part of it,” she said. “Saginaw soup is a good occasion.”

Search Saginaw Soup on Facebook for more information.

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