A holistic approach to healing
When Kelly Shay launched Harmonious World in 2020, she saw a need for services that support people’s mental health, physical health, and emotional and spiritual well-being on a more holistic level. “I offer more integrative services,” said 41-year-old Shay, “by assisting and supporting people in getting to root causes of imbalances in the body and taking a whole-body approach.”
Starting a business in the midst of a pandemic was challenging. However, this year she moved her business to a space in the ZaRah Wellness Center, on West Broadway in North Minneapolis.
MSR: How would you describe your business?
KS: With harmonious wellness, the primary focus is regenerative health. Regenerative health is a practice that looks at getting to the root, the base, the foundational level of why someone might be experiencing imbalances in the body. It involves looking at tissue glands, and organ health—really looking at cellular health. So, supporting people’s bodies at the cellular level.
Regenerative health is rooted in biochemistry, science and nature, so really understanding the systems and the chemical processes of how things work in the body… If someone has symptoms or is diagnosed with something, then regenerative health looks at different herbs, food and nutrition to support the body. A big part of regenerative health is also focused on detoxification of the body—eliminating certain foods that create acidic environments that cause disease and imbalance in the body.
MSR: How does your business impact the community?
KS: It impacts the community because there are not too many regenerative health practitioners here in the Twin Cities. A friend of mine opened up a school, the Institute of Regenerative Health, just last year. I was one of the first groups to go through that training program to become a certified regenerative health practitioner.
As part of that training, you look at the body systems. You look at herbalism, detoxification, and different practices and methodologies to examine the body to see what might be going on.
There’s a Western approach to health that a lot of people focus on in the community. I take the approach of looking at the root cause and bringing into the body nutrition and things that will support the function of the glands in a way that they are optimally designed to function.
You don’t see too many people doing that in the community here, especially in the communities of color. So, this feels like a niche right now. There are a lot of different holistic practitioners and mind-body wellness practitioners in the city. But as far as regenerative health practitioners at this level are concerned, this is new. This is a newer science in the community here in the Twin Cities.
MSR: How has the community responded to your business?
KS: I have gotten a ton of really great feedback and the business has been well-received. I’ve done pop-up events where I’ve shared about my work and some of the products and the services that I offer. At the soft opening at Zarah, the community came out, everyone was very excited to learn about this practice.
My calendar has been filling up and I’ve been getting lots of emails and calls, so the interest is there. I have been supporting clients through regenerative health for about a year now. But it’s starting to pick up now that I’ve fully launched my new wellness site and moved into location.
MSR: What’s the main thing people come to you for?
KS: Right now, it’s nutritional support and coaching—looking at how to get their body back in balance. Also, there’s a part of the wellness work that I do through harmonious wellness that is yoga, meditation, and breathing work. That is something that I’ve been teaching for 15 years. People come to me for one-on-one yoga classes, meditation classes, and breathing classes. So that is also something that I offer through the wellness branch of my business,
MSR: What has been the most rewarding part of owning your business?
KS: The most rewarding part has been seeing people’s health improve and seeing people start to feel better and look better–having clearer skin, no more bloat, brain fog, anxiety, stress, depression. You can work with them on the yoga mat, or just share different breathing techniques with clients.
It’s also introducing new ways of eating and letting go of foods that aren’t serving their body and their mental state. I’ve seen some clients have really quick responses. It’s amazing how fast the body responds once you provide a really healthy, alkaline environment for the cells to really thrive.
MSR: What’s the biggest challenge in owning your own business?
KS: I think the biggest challenge is that it’s just me. I don’t have any employees. I do all the marketing, financial management, and getting more resources and grants to support the work. It’s really just navigating and managing my time so that I can do everything.
I’m now at a stage of development and growth and I’m looking to bring on some interns to help with some of those administrative tasks. The challenge has really been some of those administrative, backend tasks and marketing the business.
MSR: What’s your vision for your business? What does success look like for you?
KS: My vision for my business is to continue serving people in the Black community, people in the Latino and Indigenous communities, and the BIPOC community here in the Twin Cities. I envision extending harmonious wellness to other states and globally.
I also do events that bring together the wellness and entertainment industries. That is another opportunity where I share information about regenerative health. And so, I’m really looking at it on a global scale, and developing more collaborations and partnerships.
I see myself as a leader in the community, but I really thrive off collaborations. So the next stage is just finding other like-minded people and organizations that want to partner and that believe in the power of holistic health and regeneration of the body and mind and spirit.
MSR: What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
KS: Strategize, write down your plan, write down your vision, and really visualize and meditate on that so you get a very clear picture of what you want to do and where you want to go. Don’t hesitate to reach out for community resources and communicate with other entrepreneurs who are in that same field. You should always know your target market, your target audience, so reach out to businesses that are already operating and are successful in that field.
Do informational interviews. Learn and study the business and the path that those who are successful took to get there so that you can learn from them and be supported in that way.
Have a mentor. I highly suggest finding a mentor who understands the business and the vision and direction that you want to go. Meet with that person at least once a month. Also, financial management, financial literacy, and budgeting are really huge.
Harmonious Wellness is located at 1200 W Broadway, Suite 170, in North Minneapolis, in the ZaRah Wellness Center. For more information, go to (612) 355-6337, or go to www.harmoniouswellness.com.