I really wanted to bring you a post about business and self-care but I wanted to introduce a voice other then my own. If you follow me on Instagram (and you really should – that’s where my party is at!) you might recall me talking about the monthly I AM Co Delight boxes. I came across this company two years ago – just when I found out I was pregnant and have loved receiving their monthly treats in the mail. It made sense for me to turn to Georgie Hendl the 29 year old founder and director of I AM Co to help create the content for this post. Georgie (pictured below) lives in Auckland with her partner James, and they are expecting their first baby in June. It has been a real treat talking to Georgie about business and wellness, I hope you enjoy this post!
all photos from I Am Co
VMV: Georgie, you run a thriving business that’s focused on health and wellness. But ultimately, it’s still a business with (I assume) all the pressures that being in business entails. So I thought we’d talk a little about business and wellness.
GH: Vanisha, thank you so much for thinking of me for this topic. It’s something i’m really passionate about and trying to constantly evolve in, always learning new tips and tricks to achieve this balance.
VMV: Honestly speaking though, is it possible to run a business based on wellness and be healthy in mind, body and spirit? I AM Co have a beautiful focus on well being and being intentional, but is that how you are personally and in your professional life on a daily basis?
GH: I have always been interested in a healthy holistic life, so finding a way to encompass a healthy mind, body spirit in life and business has been key. Quite early on I knew I had a fascination with food and health, which led me to study food science at University, followed up by an intensive year in Canada where I learnt all things Holistic Nutrition. It was there I discovered yoga and then in the years to come did retreats and trainings to become a qualified teacher. I love the art of yoga and everything it stands for. It is really the cornerstone of what keeps me grounded, centered and content in everything I do. Yoga and meditation have also taught me the importance of the mind and keeping in control of thoughts, which is particularly crucial when running a business! Healthy eating and living a predominantly plant-based lifestyle is also a huge part of what keeps me feeling my best and means I can then give my best to those around me. I believe wellness and self-love (or intentionality) are both key for living a thriving life and running a thriving business.
VMV: I’ve noticed that the I AM Co delight boxes focus on food and drink, skincare and exercise. Do you see these areas as being the foundation of wellness? Are there other areas that you believe can enhance wellness?
GH: Definitely! I think being aware of what we eat impacts how we feel and how much energy we have to be able to live the life we’re after. Since being pregnant I’m even more aware of how much a huge impact food has on energy and mood. For the first 12 weeks my appetite struggled and I was only able to stomach carbohydrate-rich foods and not a lot of my beloved greens! It really took its toll with my energy output and I believe had a huge impact on my mood feeling slightly deflated and not energized. In terms of skincare, I am always on the hunt for new natural options to use, the less chemicals the better, so we love being able to introduce new brands and skincare products that really excel in this area. And of course movement or exercise in whichever way suits the individual is absolutely key to wellness as well.
VMV: Speaking of moods, business can be stressful, though more honestly, life can be stressful. How do you cope with daily stress?
GH: Making sure I have a calm morning is key, where I’ve had enough sleep, taken a moment to breathe, stretch my body and enjoy a nourishing breakfast – this is always the best way for me to prevent unnecessary stress creeping in. But if it comes on during the day, as it does tend to during anyones work day – I always return to my breath. It sounds so simple, but it truly is the MOST effective thing for me. I can almost immediately sense when I’m stressed – my shoulders get tight, my jaw clenches and my breath becomes shallow. As soon as I can notice one of those elements, I stop and take a few minutes to deepen my breath, notice where my thoughts are at and try and bring just a moment of calm.
VMV: I have many readers who are new to business, or just starting out balancing business with perhaps a full time job or motherhood (I realise I repeat myself there as motherhood is a full time job!), do you have any suggestions for building personal and professional wellness into a business model or structure?
GH: I think having healthy routines in place that become non-negotiable in day-to-day life are really key in building wellness into business and your lifestyle. It will be different for everyone, but I think figuring out which times of the day you work best or feel your most creative versus which times you begin to switch off or get foggy is really important. Then you can work with these times to be your most productive! So when you’re building wellness into both business and personal life, create daily habits and rituals that make you feel your absolute BEST. So I think it’s the little things that count, like making sure your breakfast is super nourishing; that you have access to plenty of filtered water and a kettle (to make endless cups of herbal tea); you have healthy snacks available and you take time to get outside and away from the computer at least a couple of times a day.
VMV: Would these above tips be the same for those perhaps not in business, but looking to work more wellness into their daily lives?
GH: Yes absolutely, everyone should make the time to find what makes them feel their BEST. Taking time to find stillness and rest as well as making an effort to eat nourishing foods and move your body will help anyone build wellness into their life. It may seem like a chore initially, but once you begin to notice how GOOD you really feel, you will enjoy taking the time for self-care and self-love!
VMV: Georgie, you’re expecting a bubba, congratulations! Once I settled into my pregnancy I started putting systems in place in my business (and personal life, ie a freezer full of food that we were still finishing three months after Rafa was born – best decision ever!) to allow me to continue working at my own pace as I adjusted to life with Rafa. Have you and your team developed systems to ease this transition for you?
GH: Thank you!! To be honest, I’ve been lucky in that my pregnancy so far has been free of any complications or too many hindrances so I’ve probably put off a bit of the planning that needs to be done! With only 10 weeks to go, it’s seems a good time to start thinking more about it. My plan is to make sure I have lots of delicious easy food in the house, I’m big into smoothies – so frozen bananas will be filling our freezer, as well as plenty of bliss balls and healthy slices. Being vegetarian we eat pretty simply, lots of grains, veggies and beans. I love super quick meals that take no time to whip up, so nourishing bowls or Buddha bowls like this one are definitely a go to. As long as there’s Tahini and a good quality olive oil in the house, I’m set! In terms of the business, I’m lucky that I have a super supportive team who will take over for a couple of months while I make the transition into motherhood. We plan on getting another girl on board before I leave too, so there is definitely plenty to organize before I take some time off to enjoy being a Mama. The brilliant thing about running an online business is that I will always have access to email and the website so won’t be too far away if I’m needed!
Thank you so much Georgie for sharing your time and your knowledge! I didn’t have the heart to edit this post, as I felt so much of what Georgie said would resonate with many of you. You can learn more about I AM Co on their website | Facebook | Instagram And if you’re interested you can get $10 off anything on the site (the monthly boxes, subscriptions and even their new journal) with the code Vanisha10.