by Sirena L. Moore
This CSD Alumni Spotlight profiles Emily Krech Mayne and Chrystal Lynn (Class of 2016) two classmates, turned friends, turned business partners who have collaborated to found two full-service therapy practices that address the speech and language needs of Memphians. In summing up why they went into business together they said, “Our decision to start our practice was fueled by observing the huge need in the Shelby County area for speech/language therapy. Since we had complementary interests and could cover just about any clientele, we felt that we would be able to bring services to the community while also tailoring our caseloads to the patient population and needs we most enjoy.”
After completing graduate school, Emily and Chrystal each did clinical fellowships in the Memphis-Shelby County School districts. Once they had their CCCs, they each worked for Rehab at Your Place and continued working part-time and/or PRN for the schools, private practices and home health agencies amassing experience across multiple settings. By then the two were good friends and often talked about their shared passions and their dreams of running their own practice someday.
In 2019, the pair founded Synapse Speech-Language Pathology Group with a focus on schools and private practice clients. Then, in early 2023, they purchased Rehab at Your Place, an early intervention agency. Chrystal enjoys providing early intervention services and working with pediatrics and coaching families while Emily enjoys working with older children and adults. Chrystal likes language therapy, feeding therapy, and AAC; Emily likes dysphagia, voice, and speech therapy. “We realized that between the two of us, we covered almost anything a patient/client could need!”
Emily noted, “One of our goals is to be the practice for SLPs – meaning that, while we absolutely care about our clients, we want our SLPs to be happy with their caseloads. It’s important to us to treat our SLPs well and support them, because we’re out in the field too and know the challenges of the settings we work in. Our long-range goal is to unify practices with a variety of clientele, so that our SLPs can work with the populations they most enjoy serving.” For now, recruiting clinicians and clients is primarily done by word of mouth and referrals.
When asked what’s the best part of running a business, the two collectively agreed, “it’s the freedom.” “We get to decide how our business will run and what opportunities and working conditions we can offer our SLPs.” “The hardest part is the investment of time and money.” “There have been lots of unpaid hours and startup costs, lost revenue due to rookie mistakes and unexpected expenses.” The dynamic duo have managed to buffer those pangs and hiccups with sound business acumen, prudent decision-making, and abiding faith.
For SLPs interested in starting their own therapy practice, the friends and business partners share the following advice, “Don’t wait until you’re “ready”. Yes, you need some upfront money to get your business started, but it doesn’t have to be a huge upfront investment. Yes, you need a vision for what your practice will look like, but, trust us, that evolves over time. Don’t spend so long planning that you forget to execute your plan.”
Individuals who want to know more about Emily and Chrystal’s therapy practices and the services they offer can email them at admin@SynapseSLPGroup.com or admin@RehabatYourPlace.com. Their practices take students for clinical placements and clinical fellowships (CFs). The pair would love to hear from U of M alumni and students to share whatever knowledge they can about speech-language pathology and practice ownership. Their websites are www.synapsetherapygroup.com and www.rehabatyourplace.com.