Rumour has it that a friendly smile with a stranger can spark the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
It is also rumoured that a friendly smile between two children is the beginning of a forever relationship.
I met this young woman maybe in 1996? (It’s been a while, okay?). She was put to sit beside me in our grade two class. I remember her with two big side ponytails cause she had big, natural and beautiful hair. And…she was so tiny.
After that initial meet up, the rest is really history.
But, before the history – we used to call each other on our birthdays and talk for long hours. Our goal was to get to the age of 12. We imagined that 12 would be our coming of age. Haha – we were so young. So naive.
I share over 20 years connection with Simeca Alexander who is a new mom, entrepreneur, a wellness writer and an amazing friend.
She recently started her health and wellness consultancy. Mama did this shortly after giving birth to a beautiful baby boy!
We chatted it up a lot over the past few weeks and I was inspired by the moves she has made.
I curated the conversations.
Official Consultancy Name:
WorkingWell Wellness Consultants
Why a Consultancy?:
What if I told you that this business started out so many times in so many different forms before I felt comfortable with a concrete, marketable and seemingly profitable concept.
What aspects of health and wellness does WorkingWell Wellness Consultants focus on?
So initially we do an assessment of an organization. It is much like a rating system, which will recommend a package but you’re not tied down to that.
The packages include but are not limited to:
– Health promotion through frequent e-newsletters, posters, brochures etc.
– Healthy menu restructuring (primarily at the organisation level and in some cases on an individual level)
– Health affiliate partnerships (gyms, nutritionists, health care facilities etc.)
For a long time, I have noticed that provisions for mothers in the workspace are almost non-existent in most corporate entities. I would love to see more businesses and corporations consider the mothers who have just given birth and are no longer on maternity leave. Cater for them too. This is also part of the health and wellness discussion.
Taking the holistic approach, Simeca often emphasises and believes that wellness is not limited to diet and exercise. Mental health is just as important.
Part of her personal mental health routine is positive self-talk. I say, “same way you gas your friends, gas yourself” – and Simeca does that daily.
What’s your clientele like?
Private corporations with as little as ten employees looking to increase the overall health and wellness of their staff which in turn boosts the health and productivity of the companies.
Do you practise what your company teaches and preaches?
I try my utmost best. Of course, we aren’t all perfect. I must admit,
my idea of health is not stereotypical. I enjoy my desserts and I don’t exercise every day. I genuinely believe that too much of anything “nuh good fi nutten”. Balance is where it’s at.
As a new mom, what is it like getting your business going and functional?
I’m thinking that being a new mom is what set the stage for all of this and gave me the drive to actually start. I had the eureka moment while on maternity leave reading a motivational book. It pinned a thought in my mind that I didn’t want to be tied down to a 9-5 job because I wanted to be able to afford any and everything (including my time) for the newfound love in my bundle of joy.
I took him everywhere with me – business trips were part of that travel combo.
It’s challenging. Most days I’d rather much sleep. But again – Balance.
Simeca, who has a Bachelors of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition and a Masters in Public Health is also a trained aesthetician. She tells me that her journey to being a Health and Wellness consultant was not a clear cut straight road. As with many persons in her age group, the “desired occupations” that she was introduced to as a child were the typical: doctor, lawyer, firefighter, etc”.
Based on what she was exposed to, her choice was, doctor.
That decision took an about-right turn when her grade 9 Food and Nutrition teacher introduced the world of wellness to the class.
She has since been hooked on that.
Are you on the consultancy journey alone or do you have business partners to help propel the dream?
I have one business partner who is also part owner – Bevony Singh. We met back in 2014 as colleagues in the same company.
Life has a way of setting up things for you even before you’re even ready for what is to come.
Simeca shares that Bevony coined the name for the consultancy and Simeca immediately fell in love. The name stuck!
Bevony is a single mom of two – 7 and 9-year-old boys.
Like Simeca, Bevony studied Dietetics and Nutrition for her undergraduate degree.
I trust Bevony.
They always say, “don’t mix business with pleasure,” but I couldn’t imagine sharing my business with a stranger.
I had this idea bubbling in my head for the longest while. Though I was being supported and encouraged by my spouse, I needed more.
I then approached her with the idea.
Simeca adds that Bevony is a hard worker and she adds great value to the business.
Though they are different in many aspects, they share a common goal in seeing the goals of WorkingWell WC fulfilled.
She admits that it has not been easy. Remember, the consultancy was on a start-stop spiral. However, they bring out the best in each other and both ladies want to see a general improvement in the health and wellness of their countryman and woman.
Advice to friends wanting to go into business together:
- Weigh the pros and cons
- It’s not an agreement to go into lightly.
- It’s a tricky balance to maintain being business partners and friends.
Ask yourself, “Why do I think this person is ideal as a business partner?”
If the only reason is…” because we’re friends,” then forget it.
- Analyse the strengths and weakness of you and your friend(s) and decore if they’re complementary.
- Be honest and upfront from the get-go
If you’re unable to put the business aside for 2 seconds and be a friend first – then forget it. Don’t sacrifice your friendship over a business.
To contact WorkingWell Wellness Consultants, find them here:
Instagram: WorkingWell WC
Website – this will be launched in the coming months!