Interview // Yuri Tomikawa, Founder of Zencare

Tell us about your business / current project.

Zencare is the simplest way for you to find their ideal therapist. You can browse videos of quality vetted clinicians and book a free phone consult directly on the site. We're on a mission to improve the therapist search process and are currently in Boston and Rhode Island.

Who inspires you these days? (Can be contemporary or a historical figure.)

The therapists I work with. I'm always so impressed at how they take great self-care while helping their clients with their challenges! With the majority of our therapists being women, it's awesome to be surrounded by so many female business owners.

Why did you choose the career that you have?

I stumbled upon Zencare and entrepreneurship! I was looking for a therapist myself and found it so frustrating and overwhelming to find one that I decided to start a site that made the process easier. I always wanted to do something that helped other people so I'm grateful to be able to run a socially-driven company.

How do you think your work helps women locally and nationally?

The therapy world is largely comprised of women, both on the provider and client sides. It's such an honor to support so many private practice therapists in their business, as well as women who are seeking therapy and benefiting from that care.

What changes to your business are you hoping to make in the next year?

We just expanded to Boston last year (we started in Providence), so I'm looking forward to expanding our network there further!

What current events do you think are impacting you or your business directly right now?

There is a lot of concern among the LGBTQ and Muslim communities given the current political climate. We want people of all backgrounds (race, religion, gender, sexuality) to know that we are an inclusive community and all our therapists strive to provide culturally competent care. Encouraging this conversation among our therapists is one of our goals right now.

When things get rough, how do you keep yourself going?

I call my girlfriends, sweat it out at yoga, and keep calm through guided meditations. Ultimately what keeps me going is knowing people are using the site to find the great care they are looking for. I love receiving user feedback.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Listen to your intuition.

Do you have a favorite internet resource for finding tips of your trade? How about any seminars you've been to that have taught you a lot?

I read a lot of books for inspiration, especially in building team culture and business models (Delivering Happiness, Uncontainable, Zero to One, Automatic Customer).

I also love listening to podcasts (Startup by Gimlet Media, NPR How I Built This, a16z). When I was first starting Zencare and was building the site and therapist network on my own, podcasts were my way of feeling connected to other founders who were experiencing similar challenges.

What do you like about being part of the Lady Project?

The Lady Project has been an awesome place to meet similarly driven, entrepreneurial, and creative women. I love the energy and bond that quickly forms when meeting women from this community, and am grateful to have met Sierra and Julie who introduced me to the group!