If you’ve been following me on social media or in real life for years now you’ve seen the MANY ventures I’ve embarked on. But if you’re new here or just not that into social media I’d like to break it down. I especially dedicate this piece to anyone on a journey that requires a certification or license with the goal of helping others find healing. Where I started is not where I am now nor where I will end up. Remember that. It’s ALL temporary.
It all consciously started in the Bronx. Where I was working as an Advocate Counselor for night school youth. I had the pleasure of in working, in small makeshift office, 8 desks crammed into a room, facing all types of ways, with some of the most beautiful beings I’ve ever met. For 8 hours a day I was sitting directly across from a man named Jacob. He was a young, fly, handsome, Dominican papi who was into extreme fitness. His time spent upstate made a very active and fit man out of Jacob. We would talk for most of the day and converse with our eyes when the drama would go down or one of our very eccentric supervisors would do or say something out-fucking-landish! We were boys. He would tell me I didn’t need to wear so much makeup and listen to all my dating stories. I’d entertain with my Lauren ways and I had a great time shocking him. It was no secret to anyone in the office that Jacob was diabetic. Yea, I know! HOW?! Trust me I thought that like wtf man! He’s healthy, he’s active, he’s good! In true humanitarian/bleeding heart fashion our family of social workers always made sure Jacob was good. Did he eat? Could he eat that? What should we order for him? Is he tired today? Does he need to rest?
It was after seeing him “test his sugar” and stick himself with an insulin pen, day after day, that I took a special interest in his health regiment. - I even asked him to stick me with the insulin pen one day during a boring assembly because I wanted to see how it was. He did it. - The pain wasn’t as bad as I thought but, I was most concerned about the psychological effects of inflicting pain on yourself daily in order to simply stay alive. I knew that couldn’t be good, so I used the tools I had to help. I did a lot of research on natural remedies for balancing blood sugar and I would make special modifications to snacks I brought to the office. Instead of chips or bread I’d bring carrots and celery to dip in the dishes I made. Small shit. I would tell him everything I was learning, send him articles and recipes. You know, healer shit. I even ordered a DVD of a the documentary “Simply Raw“ that showed what a raw vegan diet did for a group of diabetics. Spoiler alert all but one was completely off insulin by the end of the program.
So one day, without even knowing it, Jacob repaid me for my generosity ten fold. He said “Why don’t you just go to school for this stuff?” I scoffed/laughed/side eyed “Yea right! There’s no school for this!” - *Pause*
LOLZ - So yea ya know I googled it immeajiately! In a week I was enrolled @ the Institute for Integrative Nutrition - IIN folx! That right there is where the journey began.
While going to IIN I quit my job in the Bronx and moved to Chicago where I finished my certification and launched Purnell Body Boutique. I tried the whole client one on one thing. I had all my printed materials the school gave to start your business I was ready to take over Chi-town with my services. At the time my business name was Bilancia Wellness (Bilancia is ‘balance’ in Italian). I went door to door to any chiropractors and wellness centers I could find. At that time chiropractors were the closest thing you could get to alternative medicine establishments. I hade major dreams of being the resident Health Coach in a practice. I tried to market myself using the tools I was taught but it wasn’t going so well. One of my 4 traditional health coaching clients was my dad. He’s always so supportive but not a good client haha.
Around the time I finished IIN I was dealing with some real serious adult/hormonal acne. I had tried e’rythang! Prescriptions (Differin), Pro-Active, prayer, anything I could get my hands on. One day my mom got me a batch of goods from a local angel who made skincare products from ingredients on her farm! SIS! The products were divine and DEFINIETELY cleared my face. THAT was the start of women asking what I use on my skin. My friends grimey little fingers were scraping through my moisturizer and face mask so fast I couldn’t keep it on the shelf. The ordering system wasn’t very developed though. I had to call my mom in Ohio, she’d call Laurel, they’d arrange a time to meet, then my mom would mail them to me. Sometimes it took weeks to get a new batch. And this babes is where Purnell Body Boutique started.
I knew how much I loved Laurel’s products and how much my girls did too. I figured that these gem like goodies are definitely out there but the small local businesses don’t have the marketing and distribution going because they’re usually just one person. I decided to seek out (on google) and meet directly with local, women owned, natural body care brands to see if I could rep their business. I met personally with each woman and sampled and learned about their story and product. Then I’d host parties for women to gather, learn about, sample, and buy products on the spot. It was great for the businesses because I only represented products I used and loved. I also had a knowledge based background in natural remedies for skincare so I could explain why their product worked. I had a small inventory at the party and all other orders I’d get directly from the maker and package them and mail. It became a lot of work with the shipping and I wasn’t good at talking to women about hosting parties. I wasn’t confident enough as a business woman yet to give the idea the wheels it needed. The more and more I got into using natural ingredients I started looking for products that weren’t available and learned to make them myself. Alas my personal skincare brand was born.
From here I’m just going to list the ventures because the point is to show you this hasn’t been a straight or narrow path. Hell, it hasn’t even been a path. I’ve built this staircase with the help of divine guidance, community support, family, friends, friends of friends, miracles, and networking. AND, let the record show that during this time, in the midst of all these projects I have ALWAYS been working other jobs that have/had nothing to do with wellness. Simultaneously - supporting myself financially (not very well at times lol) and creating what I wish to see in the world.
Some examples of my work over the last 7 years
Balancia Wellness - Traditional Health Coach
Purnell Body Boutique product line launch with 12 products (WAY too many) and beautiful branding
Purnell Body Boutique closing
in-spē Board event
Purnell Body Boutique relaunch
Not Your Momma’s Podcast
Meditation Mixtape - Love, WokeBae
Aging is Optional Webinar
Skin Consultations and One on One sessions
Preserve Your Sexy Naturally, Self-Care for the Culture Vol. 1 - Book
Single recorded meditations
Vaginal Steam Facilitator Certification
Bella Luna V-Steam Launch - Traveling V-steam service
Reiki I Certification
In the works:
Reiki II certification
Groom: Self-Care for the Divine Masculine - Book
in-spē daily email relaunch
Corporate wellness collaborative webinars
Bestee - clothing line
The message here is that you will be guided. You aren’t here for no reason. Trust the process, enjoy the process, and have confidence in your brilliance. Remember, none of these things I’m doing (there were even more that didn’t make the list) is my purpose. My purpose, as I’ve become aware of, is to live authentically, inviting others to do the same. Simple. In that I am a vessel of inspiration, and power for people to live to their greatest potential and heal themselves as I am living to do. My creativity and all the new ventures I have gone for have come out of me really being me and expressing what is channeled. Your purpose isn’t a job or a label. It will ooze through in all you do once you’ve become aware of it. Honor yourself, live your truth, go within and your purpose will shine.
I’m happy to answer any questions anyone has about my journey and schools and/or teachers. You got this. Your unique gifts are meant to be shared. I used to worry I was doing too much and concerned what people thought about me and my many, even embarrassed to tell someone about something new I was working on until one day someone very special said “I love how you just try it. Even if it doesn’t work you don’t have regrets.” THAT made me strong in my story.