The U.S. nutrition industry continues to demonstrate staying power. A host of factors keep nutrition industry sales afloat – and in most cases rising. It’s no new news that most chronic health ailments are derived from poor nutritional habits. Entrepreneurs with an affinity and passion for personal health and well-being are sure to be in high-demand in years to come given the global aging population and resolutions sought to live better and healthier lives.
Sarah Jenks, Nutrition Coach and Founder of Breathtaking Bride, has carved out a niche to serve women in the area she once personally struggled with – weight loss. Jenks personal success, calculated risk and faith in her abilities led her to create a holistic program for brides-to-be. Jenks shares insight on her entrepreneurial experiences and how becoming dedicated to helping real women with real issues move beyond superficial numbers on a scale brings true rewards.
Founder/Age: Sarah Jenks, 26
Location: New York, NY
Startup Year: 2009
Startup Costs: $5,000
How I Got Started: I had been trying to lose weight since I was ten, thinking that weight loss was going to be the magic solution for finding confidence, happiness and love. But I couldn’t follow a meal plan or stick to a diet for more than three days, so I was constantly feeling like a failure for having no “willpower”. When I finally decided that I had to stop waiting to create the life I wanted when I was thin, I went from a size 12 to a size 6 without cracking a diet book. My personal success led me to begin helping women approach weight loss a whole new way.
So I quit my job, went back to school to gain more knowledge as a health coach and with only 2 clients I just prayed it was somehow going to work out. Life soon led me to carve out an ever deeper niche for my nutritional coaching business – a highly underserved market … brides-to-be.
When I got engaged, I realized that there is a tremendous void in the bridal weight loss community for holistic programs. Brides are running around like chickens with their heads cut off on crash diets refusing to eat. The end goal: to fit into an unattainable mode for their wedding. As an extension of my business I created the Breathtaking Bride program to teach brides how to create lasting lifestyle change. Ultimately to create a foundation for health and happiness that will carry them throughout their lives.
Best Success Story: I’ve discovered that the struggle with weight is actually just the surface manifestation of a much deeper issue. In a client’s first session, she was claiming that her life was perfect except for her weight. What we discovered after a few sessions was that though complacent about change, she was deeply unhappy in her marriage, which was causing her to overeat. Through working together she went from sleeping in separate rooms to feeling like she and her husband were newlyweds again! As a result she no longer felt the need to overeat. Helping women with real issues that go beyond a superficial number on the scale is incredibly rewarding.
Biggest Startup Challenge: I was so lonely! I went from working in an Ad Agency with tons of people my age, to sitting at home alone trying to start business with no one to talk to. It wasn’t until I started going to a cafe everyday that I realized that working from home wasn’t for me. I was much more productive and happier being able to work around other people. Soon after, I met tons of fellow entrepreneurs including some who have become unbelievable business partners.
#1 Tips for Newbies: I can’t stress enough the importance of putting yourself first. As an entrepreneur you are your business at first and if you aren’t taking care of yourself, your brand will bear the burden. It’s important that sleep, exercise, relaxation and fun take a front seat to your work. If you have issues surrounding confidence, body image, health, or motivation, make sure to spend some time working through those… it will pay for itself. Your business should be at full speed, but if you’re asleep at the wheel, the biz will crash and burn. This is something that doesn’t come naturally for most people, especially me, but it’s important to recommit to this goal every day.
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