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Traci Daly-Smith Returns to Atlanta School of Massage

Posted on: October 30th, 2013 by Mycah Kirkland

Traci Daly-Smith

From a marketable skill to a rewarding career to a dream job – a progression that many working professionals never experience. In the aesthetics field, it’s not uncommon to find dedicated individuals who consistently feel they give their best. However, a rare find is the individual in a working environment that while giving their best feel they are receiving the very best from their job as well. For over a decade, Traci Daly-Smith was in such an environment. As program director for the Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics (a division of Atlanta School of Massage), Traci helped nurture and mold some of the area’s top aesthetic professionals… and then she left. 

This year, Traci returned to Atlanta School of Massage full-time as the Director of Admissions. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Traci and let her shine light on the reasons for her initial departure, the ways our industry has changed, and the renewed energy and focus that she looks forward to bringing into her new role.

Mycah Kirkland: For years you were the program director for Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics. What made you decide to leave that post?

Traci Daly: This was a very difficult but thought-out decision. Being the Director was a rewarding yet challenging job each and every day. The commitment to consistently being present for students and staff filled my cup by the end of each day, so it was very difficult to continue being hands-on as a therapist. Not being able to be a therapist started taking its toll on my heart and soul. I also wanted to begin working towards my goal of opening an alternative wellness treatment center. This center will assist all clients with moving toward living a healthy lifestyle by completely transforming themselves internally, physically, and mentally. There will also be a strong focus on working with oncology patients and survivors. To begin placing the stepping stones to reaching this goal, I needed to be back working as a therapist full-time. This could only happen by stepping down as Director.

MK: Having re-entered the hands-on world, has the industry changed that much?

TD: Yes. I do feel the clientele we are working with has changed due to the multiple generations and the various social media facets that are available for clients to research and question alternative therapies.

MK: As a dual-licensed practitioner, what is it about these fields that still motivates you?

TD: I have always felt that having the gift to assist in the transformation of a client for the better is priceless. Being a dual-licensed therapist opens up even more opportunities for employment and financial success.

MK: What do you hope to bring to your new position as Director of Admissions?

TD: I want to build a team effort within the department so when we are faced with challenges we can overcome them. I also want to increase the community awareness concerning the school and what we have to offer. When we first opened in 1980, we were the only massage school in Georgia. Today, there is an element of competition, so the playing field is a little different. We must think outside of the box and open up new ways to reach our prospective students.

MK: How would you describe the “ideal” ASM student?

TD: We are looking for three determining factors in the “ideal” ASM student: interest, motivation, and desire. We want a student who has a focused interest in any of the three alternative therapy professions, motivation to complete the program, and the desire to be an exceptional therapist for the greater good.

MK: Your email signature reads “Life IS good”. What does that mean to you personally?

TD: Each and every morning we wake up, we have a day to be grateful for. I feel we lose sight of this and the simple things in life due to stress, lack of self-care, and ego. The statement is as simple as it is stated “Life IS Good”; the alternative would be not being here.

ASM Wellness is a learning environment that brings mindfulness and compassion to the field of alternative healthcare. Our courses of study are both unique and rewarding. They offer life-enriching benefits that can last a lifetime. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the exciting field of alternative therapies, contact Admissions Director Traci Daly-Smith at 866.212.0367 or

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Phone: 770-454-7167

2 Dunwoody Park South, Suite 105
Atlanta, GA 30338
Phone: 770-454-7167