Hi, I’m Julie H Marciniak, owner of Bull City Soles (BCS) massage & bodywork studio, Certified Advanced Rolfer®️ , and Authorized Instructor for the Durham Center for Barefoot Massage here in the BULL CITY.
I started my massage practice in Durham in 1992 after attending UNC-Chapel Hill (go TARHEELS 🐏🙌🏼😜) BEFORE it was cool. 😎 People would say, “You live in Durham?!? I heard they have gangs there.” I guess even back then I felt an affinity to Durham. Back then you DIDN’T want to sit outside and eat in downtown Durham unless you were eating a hotdog and some tater tots from Kings Sandwich Shop.
But it WAS nice to ride through and smell the cured tobacco when it was still in the warehouses. Reminded me of summertime on the farm growing up in Fairmont, NC (also known for its tobacco warehouses & cotton). I'm Lumbee Indian. For those unfamiliar with this part of North Carolina history, Robeson County is home to the Lumbee Tribe, the largest of North Carolina’s American Indian groups and the ninth-largest tribe in the United States.
It's pretty sweet to see how Durham has evolved and changed, just like my career, over the past 27 years! Starting out as a solo therapist, I was one of the first massage therapists to advertise in the Yellow Pages (remember the paper phone book BEFORE Google?!?) Now those were some interesting times! There were TWO categories listed for Massage in Durham. Massage and Licensed Massage Therapist. I got quite a few calls from the male persuasion that got the two "mixed" up. "Do you do FULL body massage?" was a question that got asked A LOT, and yeah... The things they don't teach you in massage school. SMH
After a few years of THAT nonsense, I jumped at the opportunity to work for a Physical Therapist at The Raleigh Back Clinic learning trigger point therapy, stretching, and clinical type massage.
We worked with clients in pain from auto accidents, workers comp, and other types of injuries. It was a great learning experience but the pay?!? Not so much! At the time I was also working out of my home. After a couple of years, I decided to jump back into the world of solo massage therapist again and rented another office. But THIS TIME I was also renting to other massage therapists. It was a great environment to be in and have the support of other like-minded professionals.
North Pointe Body Therapies(NPBT) was created from a collaboration between myself and two other massage therapists.
It was May 2006 and I was headed back to Colorado for my Unit II of Rolfing school AND begin to teach Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage. I needed a larger office for both Rolfing and teaching, so we found a great space in the North Pointe area right around the corner. We had to pick one name because we couldn't hang our individual business signs up. So in 2008 North Point Body Therapies(NPBT) was born!
A lot of changes happened in the next few years: one of the therapists left and opened her own massage studio, I purchased the current property where we are now, I hired my first employee, and then my coworker and long time friend, Mary McFarland, decided to leave NPBT and practice only in Mebane in 2017. She had been working in 2 offices over the past 10 years and was ready to stay closer to home. So I was the only one left!
In 2017 I kept asking myself, why are we still North Pointe Body Therapies?!? Good question. And one I'd been seriously contemplating. Life changes and sometimes we have to adapt. Who would have thought Bull City would be what it is today?!? With that in mind, we officially changed our name to Bull City Soles in October 2018. Check out our blog 'What's in a Name?' to read more about it all came about!
Over the past 30 years of my career, I’ve moved my practice around the Bull City 5x's! I was the first massage therapist in Durham to offer Ashiatsu barefoot massage, and I’m the first massage studio in NC with an entire staff trained in barefoot massage. It's been an unBULLievable journey and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. 💪🏽👍🏼🙌🏼