Latoya Hill

Dorjae' McClammey | September 20th, 2021
Latoya Hill (Photos by Todd Youngblood)

Latoya Hill (Photos by Todd Youngblood)

It all starts with her hands. There is no magic involved, nor does she have any tricks under her sleeves. It’s all in her hands. LaToya Hill describes herself as quiet and observant. She loves to make people relax laugh, two qualities that she shares without hesitation in life and with her business. However, young LaToya was a curious child who seemingly had an interest in all of her surroundings. That curiosity resulted in a few accidents involving her hands. One happened when she burned her hands as a toddler; another accident occurred when she slammed her hand in a house window while trying to help close it. Not to be outdone, her fingers somehow got jammed in the doors of an old model 80s vehicle, and she even found a way to accidentally stab the palm of her hand with a pencil while playing in middle school.

Today, LaToya is the owner and founder of Hill’n Hands Massage Therapy, a mobile massage therapy based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their mission is to help promote a pain-free and stress-free lifestyle with its therapeutic treatment as a holistic alternative to medicine. Their ultimate goal is to build enduring and rewarding relationships with their clients and community through knowledge, wellness, and providing a world-class level of service.

Some of the services offered by Hill’n Hands are sports stretch and massage, and chair massage, which typically involves massaging the neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands and cupping. Additionally, she provides sports massage services for amateur and professional athletes throughout Charlotte, having some players for the Carolina Panthers as clients.

LaToya was born and raised in the small town of Arapahoe, N.C., but spent her summers in Charlotte. She officially relocated to Charlotte in 2006, full of ambition and drive. She always knew she wanted to be her own boss; it just took her some time to get the hang of it. While in Charlotte, she enrolled at a community college and received an associate’s degree in General Studies focused on Criminal Justice, and set her sights on being a paralegal. She soon realized that wasn’t the right field for her, and so she returned to school and received an obtained a diploma in massage therapy from Southeastern Institute, which would eventually pave the way to Hill’n Hands Massage.

Soon after her initial launch, LaToya began working with other massage companies while building hers. This gave her a unique opportunity to build her clientele while servicing others, many who were connected with the corporate world, high school athletes, and professionals.

While building her skills, she realized that her true passion was sports massage. That direction presented itself to be more of a challenge, mainly because it required more certification, but that didn’t stop LaToya. She faced it head-on and enrolled at Johnson C. Smith University and prepared for what would eventually come. “At Johnson C. Smith, I met some amazing teachers, mentors, and advisors, including BerNadette Lawson-Williams. I was also able to participate on panels of discussion with Serena Williams, Sarah Thomas, and even President Barack Obama,” she says.

LaToya also gained the chance to work with retired NFL player Antoine Bethea. “It was funny because I didn’t know what to expect, but his family was so nice. His five-year-old son was even watching what I was doing and waited for his dad to finish so he could get on the table,” she shares. She loves working with the families as a whole.

Hill’n Hands primarily provides mobile massage services on-site at their client’s request. Hill’n Hands also conducts weekly sessions at Pure Grind Fitness on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. These sessions LaToya says do not offer the same privacy that in-home sessions do. At first LaToya was slightly nervous about being at a location, but she’s seen an increase in booking which has kept her busy at the gym.

When asked what she loves most about her company, the answer was simple; freedom. “I can do whatever I want to do. I can set my schedule to my liking, which is important because it keeps me from overworking myself and still be available to meet the needs of my daughter as much as possible,” she says. “I’m proud to have established the clients I have because it allows me to take my daughter with me to appointments. My daughter is very quiet but quite helpful. She carries supplies, and clean cups and other utensils used during a session.”

While freedom is her main drive, she has made it known that she has such a huge team that pushes her every day. “As a single mother starting my journey, I had some challenges to overcome. However, I was determined not to allow them to stop me,” she says.

Even more, LaToya shares she is inspired by the opportunity she has to be a role model to her younger clients. She recalls how one of her client/athletes wished her happy birthday and thanked her for all of the conversations they’ve had, and everything she’s done and continued to do for him. “Being able to help young athletes grow and have such an effect on them makes this all worth it,” she says.

As for anyone planning to follow in her footsteps, LaToya offers the following advice. “Follow your heart. While you’re in school training, start building there. The steps you make towards becoming an entrepreneur begin where you develop a passion for it. Dream bigger and never discount yourself. In the world we live in now, there is the pressure of wanting to be better than the next person, or not feeling like you’re where you’re supposed to be or knowing why you’re not there yet. All of that can weigh heavily on you and affect your mental state. So please train and discipline yourself to remain positive and remind yourself that you will get there one day.

LaToya is currently in her second semester at JCSU, interning in the Esports and sports compliance departments. She is also working on becoming a transition coach for different athletes from high school to college and from college to pro. She is also working on opening a brick-and-mortar location to house her business and give other therapists a space to work. With her determination and drive, we can expect this to come sooner than expected.

In addition to being the face and force of Hill’n Hands, LaToya also serves as an associate chair for Entrepreneu(HER) in the City, a non-profit women’s networking organization designed to highlight and unite local women in business. She still offers notary public services and styles hair, and designs t-shirts in her free time.

To learn more about LaToya Hill and Hill’n Hands Massage, please visit their website.

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