Local Gem: PK Wellness
Meet Phyllis Kung, the co-owner of PK Wellness, an Austin-based acupuncture and wellness center. Running the practice with her sister, Kung offers everything from fertility enhancements to modern Chinese herbal medicines. Learn more about how Phyllis started her practice below.
Q: What inspired you to start your business? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: We both have great quarter-life crisis stories to share about how we found acupuncture and Chinese medicine. But, we also come from a family of acupuncturists. For us, we wanted to modernize the field and the language of acupuncture for our modern clientele—let the people know that sometimes revisiting past healing practices can help with issues we face today, like stress, cravings, addiction, stress, sports injuries, stress and our favorite, owning aging.
Our mom has been a huge inspiration to us. She's a self-made woman, that started off as a Home-Ec major in college (yes, they had those) and ended up with her own government contracting firm. Now she gets flown to Milan to talk about how to use social media—we're 100% positive she has more followers and Facebook friends than us combined.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: My first year in practice, I cried a lot, mostly in my car, about how I was going to pay rent, eat, buy my dog everything he deserves, etc. Turning a passion into a marketable business is a challenging process. I listened to A LOT of Andrew W.K.. He's not for everybody, but when he isn't singing about partying, he has some really motivational lines to get you amped:
When you're down on your luck
You gotta do it
And you're covered in mud
You gotta do it
You still going on (YEAH!)
You got to do it
Gotta do all the stuff that you love
Love it. Own it. Don't give up!
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity?
A: We just made our first clinic shirts! It as a super fun process of trying to find every possible pun or rhyme for needles or pokey things. And while we passed on more risque slogan like "prick doctors" and "everyone needs a good poking," we're pretty amped about our final product.
Editor's note: Their shirts read "On Point."
Q: What have been your most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
A: We're in this business to help people, but sometimes we can't. It's hard to admit, but what we do isn't for everyone, and sometimes we're the ones that let the patient know. Acupuncture is great for a lot of things, but it's part of a process and lifestyle. It's not a magic pill.
Your favorite band at the moment: Sadly, I spend a lot of my time looking for unoffensive music I can play in my clinic...but, it's lead me to rediscover some oldies but amazeballs artists. Right now, Django Reinhardt is it!
Your favorite book at the moment: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This book takes the art of tidying and organizing to a whole other level. Discard everything that doesn't bring joy, but don't forget to thank everything you discard for its service. I've never felt so connected to my clothes before.