As an entrepreneur, I’m confident days are filled with the angst of managing, running and growing your business along with balancing the demands of your personal life. This creates stress and, as a result, it’s easy to forget about your personal health and wellness needs.
Callie Bradford, Certified Holistic Health Coach, Nutrition Consultant and Personal Trainer, owns GO Beyond Ventures, a total health and wellness company, along with Monique Dooley, Health Coach and educator and Monica Samuel, Behavioral Psychologist, want to help you improve you.
Go Smoothies is located at 110 Clifford Street downtown Detroit. Its goal is to introduce Detroit consumers to not only delicious healthy smoothies, organic raw juices that it creates and bottles (GO Press, Raw Organic Juice), but also other healthy meal options. Additionally, their mission is to help others help themselves be their best version of themselves and thrive through healthy eating and living.
In addition to healthy eating, Bradford and her team have a fitness studio located within the juice and smoothie studio. They offer wellness workshops, corporate coaching and wellness programs and are available for speaking engagements on the topics of wellness, leadership, professional development and entrepreneurship.
I recently interviewed Bradford for her thoughts on the importance of health and wellness and understanding its impact on one’s personal and professional life.
Lee: Why did you decide to focus on health and wellness as a business concept?
Bradford: We decided to focus on health and wellness because of our own personal journey from illness to wellness, from just living to thriving. I myself struggled at in my 20’s with different types of disease in my body from multiple surgeries with fibroid tumors to struggles with my weight and fad dieting to addictions to sugar and shopping to fill the void in my life. Once I decided to take control of my own overall health including the mind, body and spirit my entire life changed. I started to thrive in business, my personal life and professional life as a pharmaceutical business manager for a major drug company. I also witnessed firsthand the horrible side effects of many chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. All of which are really diseases amongst many others that are preventable and curable through lifestyle modification which is the first line of treatment in any doctors treatment. So with that we each had our own story to share and wanted to help other people to realize the same effects of good health we did. We also recognized a need in the community on a larger scale meaning not just the introduction to healthy food as a lifestyle change, but to a total mindset and spirit change.
Lee: And what’s been your most significant challenge to date and how have you overcome it?
Bradford: By far our most significant challenge has been resources and capital needed to grow our business beyond where it is now. 2 of 3 owners still maintain our day jobs to help fund our business especially now during the winter months while business is slower. We still have a steady influx of clients, customers that come into our studio daily however we have equipment needs, would like to switch our bottled raw juice to glass which costs more and need to employ more people to meet the demands of our ever growing clientele. Good problem to have of course!
Lee: GO Smoothies is a unique name. How did you come up with it? Is having smoothie in the name an overall benefit?
Bradford: The concept was developed by one of my partners Monique Dooley. GO! is meant to be a movement, meaning join GO! the total wellness movement. GO do something, everything you desire, GO get that career you’ve always wanted, GO achieve the weight you’ve always wanted, GO! have the best relationships, almost like Just Do It!! GO! is an advancement to the next level, progress, motion! The delicious smoothie is the product that gets the customers in the door. Once they are in the door, they realize that we are so much more!
Lee: What generally comes to mind when consumers think of a smoothie? Did you implement research to assist you in the overall direction of the product name?
Bradford: Generally people think of healthy but tasty when they think about a smoothie in general terms. Really the only research was social media driven in terms of the name GO once we landed on it. Customers really responded favorably. We also take great pride in the product we provide to the community. We only use organic or locally grown produce, no dairy, no high fructose corn syrup and only healthy sweeteners like dates, and honey. We also think of the health benefits of the fruits, veggies and boosts added (vegan protein powder, maca-powder for energy and vitality or ginger as an anti-inflammatory.
Lee: And what other products do you offer and how do consumers purchase?
Bradford: We not only offer products like smoothies, grab and GO bottled juice, healthy delicious vegan wraps from Detroit Vegan Soul, and soup and salad from The Platinum Chef and we offer Zumba classes on Mondays and Wednesdays by Sheena as well as a newly added REiki class which is a relaxation class that promotes stress reduction and healing. We have also offered a unique fitness class called Drums Alive. We also have provide services like health coaching, corporate and individual wellness programs, and group and office cleanse and detox packages. Consumers can simply come to our studio at 110 Clifford downtown or they can order on our website at www.gosmoothies.com. They can also phone ahead to have the order ready when they come in. We also offer delivery service as well within the downtown area.
Lee: Who’s your primary target audience?
Bradford: Our primary target audience are women ages 25-50 who are already healthy and are looking for healthy options downtown and those looking to get healthy and feel better through lifestyle change. Most of our clientele either live or work in the downtown, midtown area.
Lee: Entrepreneurs have a tendency of being focused in the day-to-day details and will suggest they don’t have time. Why are health and wellness, including exercise, important to their well-being and what tips could you share to help get them motivated?
Bradford: Good health affords you the opportunity to think with a clear mind, to have the energy to do what it takes to make your business thrive and not just survive. Business ownership can be a very stressful endeavor and without a healthy balance of daily exercise, healthy eating and a positive outlet for stress reduction, it makes it harder for a person to spend the countless hours, brain power and leg work that it takes to run a successful business. Not only do business owners suffer the terrible consequence of bad lifestyle choices like chronic disease, fatigue, heart attack and stress but the overall population suffers from this as well. So we want to motivate our customers through our own actions to live better and really thrive in life and not just survive life. Hence our tag GO. Live. Well! Tips to get motivated…get yourself an accountability partner with the same goals for a healthy lifestyle as you.
We also tell busy people like ourselves to schedule an appointment with yourself and keep it just like you do anything else in life that is important. My alarm goes off every morning at 4:30 am which is my time to meditate, and exercise before the demands of taking care of my son, business ownership and my day job take over. 4:30 am that is my time and I take my time and healthy very seriously because without it I couldn’t accomplish all that needs to be done. I also say feed your body living food (I’m a vegan myself). The rule of thumb for a thriving healthy body is to crowd out the bad food with the good food then you start to crave more of the good and less of the not so good.
Lastly drink plenty of water!!!! General rule of thumb is half your body weight in water for proper hydration daily.
Lee: Other thoughts?
Bradford: GO! Live! Well!