BABE #38: CHELSEA MOORE STUTZMAN,
Founder @ Well Soul Collective
Chelsea is honestly the coolest. This interview is one of those full-circle things for me, as she was actually one of my supervisors when I was an eager, bright-eyed college intern ready to take on the world of PR/Advertising. I always loved watching her kick ass with clients and colleagues while climbing the company ladder like a boss, yet she was also the gal who showed up to work without makeup on and had boxes of LaCroix stacked next to her desk :) I'm so, so happy for her new business venture and can't wait to see where it takes her! Welcome, Chels!
P.S. Because Chelsea is SO passionate about her hustle, this was by far the lengthiest interview we've conducted. Note that we had to cut around 50% of the content, so please contact Chelsea with any additional questions! She'll talk your ear off. :)
Hometown: At age 6, I moved from Idyllwild (a tiny mountain town in southern CA) to Tallahassee, FL. I’ve always felt more connected to the West Coast, but I consider both to be my hometown(s)!
Current location: Tallahassee, FL
Alma mater: Florida State University
Degree: B.A., Editing, Writing & Media
Hustle: Founder @ Well Soul Collective, Assistant Manager @ lululemon , Freelance Marketer, Yoga Instructor
Babe you admire and why?
Oh, so many ! I love all of my Instagram yogis – Ashley Galvin and Meghan Currie are two favorites. I love how they’ve made a career out their individual, unique yoga practices. I also really admire my best friend and fellow entrepreneur Stephanie Sharp, who recently left her corporate gig and took the leap to work for herself, running her own content marketing strategy business. I love watching women make a living off of something they love, and building their work into their lives, rather than the other way around. It’s seriously inspiring.
Favorite app and/or website?
I’m someone who is almost always listening to music, so Spotify is the first thing that comes to mind. As a yoga teacher, I also have a ton of playlists on my phone, and love putting mixes together. I actually made a Spotify playlist for our wedding last September, and now we can go back and listen to it whenever we want!
Go-to adult beverage?
French 75 aka gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and champagne. It’s incredible.
What would you eat for your very last meal?
Pimento Fritters and pepper jelly made by my husband.
Three things we can always find in your fridge?
Garlic, berries and a hydrating face mask. A cold mask helps when my eyes get puffy from staying up too late, working...
How do you spend your free time?
Honestly, right now I’m struggling to get all of my hustles done in a given week, so I’ve been neglecting my need for R&R. I’m looking forward to practicing yoga as much as I teach, wine nights with my besties, painting my nails (with non-toxic polish!) and spending more time outside with my husband. We want to do more camping and take advantage of the cooler weather and gorgeous scenery we’ve got in North Florida. I’m also a mom to two adorable cats, and love sitting on the porch with them, sipping coffee, and reading.
Tell us about your hustle:
In addition to teaching different yoga styles at four different locations per week, managing several freelance marketing clients, and working as the assistant manager at lululemon in Tallahassee, I run Well Soul Collective, the holistic health coaching practice I founded in 2016.
As a coach, I combine principles of nutrition and holistic health with my fitness background to create individualized, supportive coaching programs for clients to achieve their wellness goals. My practice deals heavily with the concept of primary versus secondary food. Secondary food is everything we put into our bodies – kale, avocado toast, juices, Whataburger, cigarettes, one-Cosmo-too-many. These things nourish (or harm) our physical body as we take them in, but our primary foods are the other things that feed us – our careers, relationships, spirituality and health. I approach my clients with the idea that no matter how many greens you’re eating, you won’t be truly healthy until your primary foods are in balance. I’m like your non-judgmental, health-nut best friend who also happens to give guidance and resources, and I love it!
What does your typical workday look like?
Right now I’m still working as the assistant manager at lululemon here in Tallahassee, so it feels like there is no normal work day for me! I set aside Sunday–Tuesday as "coaching days," when I try to stick to a 9–4 schedule, with open availability for clients to schedule sessions, and for prospective clients to schedule consults. I’ll also make and update client notes, schedule emails, write blog posts, and conduct any necessary research for my clients. Everyone’s journey and experience is so different, so I’m always learning something new. I also set aside time on these days for my marketing clients, so I’ll spend a few hours on various freelance projects – media relations, content creation, interfacing with clients, etc. On nights when I'm not teaching yoga, I’ll work on other administrative tasks, or meet with clients whose schedules work better at night. I also get to run workshops at two local healing centers in town, so in the weeks leading up to those I’ll spend time laying out my workshops, answering questions from prospective participants and creating materials for each workshop.
Why did you decide to take the leap from your corporate job to starting your small business?
I’ve known for a long time – even when I first accepted my job at an advertising and pr agency – that I wanted more career flexibility, and desired to help other people. I started moving this way when I signed up for a yoga teacher training in 2014. I grew more enamored with the transformative, healing power of yoga, and was surprised by how powerful it was for me to share with others through teaching it. On New Year’s Eve of 2015, my now-husband and I spent the afternoon trying to set intentional goals together. We knew I needed to figure out what I wanted my next career move to be, and to start making it happen. In talking with my sister about the idea of going back to school and becoming a dietitian, she mentioned someone she’d met who called themselves a "health coach." I explored that, and found an incredible school for it that I really connected with. Since then, I've been amazed – just as I was when I started teaching yoga – by the transformative powers of coaching. It’s truly incredible what can happen when you create a safe, judgement-free space to talk about goals, work together to create positive change and ultimately turn someone else's life around. I’m getting chills just thinking about it!
What can we expect from a coaching session?
I typically coach a six-month program where my client and I will 'meet' twice a month. When I coach people who live locally, I let them choose if they’d rather meet in person, chat on the phone, or Skype. For everyone else, it’s digital. If we’re meeting in the middle of someone’s work day, they can just shut their office door while we chat! Any coaching relationship starts with a consult, where we’ll talk through your goals, health challenges and successes, each area of primary food and what a coaching program is. From there we conduct a more in-depth goal-setting process, and use those goals as a framework for our sessions. We’ll talk about your career and whether it’s feeding you and contributing to your health, and if it’s not, we’ll work to make changes so that your career can feed your health. We’ll look at your relationship with fitness, experiment with different styles of exercise and ways of eating, and each step of the way we’ll talk about how things work and how they make you feel. I approach each session with curiosity, and go wherever you need to go at any given moment.
Was there a specific experience that inspired you to pursue a healthier lifestyle?
Over the past several years I've realized that a lot of my previous beliefs and practices weren’t nearly as healthy as I’d thought. I struggled with eating disorders in the past, and still have some serious body dysmorphia. It’s a work in progress, but since I began exploring my own health, I’ve learned so much about what my body needs, how to understand and respond to cravings, ways to practice self care, and what it truly means to be healthy. Becoming a yogi and then teaching definitely helped with that – you cultivate a keen sense of body awareness that makes it easier to tune into what your body and mind actually need. For me, I think it was just a natural evolution. As I got into college and then out into the "‘real world," I started working to process some traumas from early in my life, and that path eventually led to realizing that I wasn’t always treating my body in the ways that I should be. I love my "earth suit," as one of my dear yoga teachers calls it, and I wanted to act in a way the demonstrates that.
How has being healthy contributed to your hustle?
Man, when everything is in balance and I’m 100% walking my talk, it’s like everything in my life and business just flows. I’m so a believer in the idea that we manifest what we want, and I’ve found myself doing that when I value my health. It’s incredible how big of a difference sleeping enough, staying hydrated, moving my body, sweating and eating good food makes on the rest of my life. The biggest contribution I think is that I’ve even been able to get my business up and running! In the second half of 2016 I was still working full time, I planned my wedding and got married, kept up with my nutrition and school work, launched my business, left my job and started a new one, landed two marketing clients and taught yoga. There’s not a chance I would’ve been able to do all of that if my health wasn’t on point!
Ware your ultimate goals or aspirations with your hustle?
Paying attention to what my body tells me has made my life so much more rich, full and beautiful, and I want to be the support system that so many people need to make those changes for themselves. Right now, our country and really the Western world is in a huge medical crisis. People are over-medicated, overweight, undernourished and unhappy on a broad scale, and that’s deeply, truly scary. Don’t get me wrong, I have tremendous respect and appreciation for the medical community, but right now it’s much more about diagnoses and medication for symptom control, rather than taking a holistic approach to heal a disease, or better yet, working to educate a client so they don’t get sick in the first place. As a health coach, my role is to serve as that holistic liaison between traditional medicine and the client. From a holisic lens, I provide the support that doesn’t happen in a doctors office, creating lasting, healthy changes in the lives of my clients.
What motivates you every day? From what do you draw your inspiration?
My incredible husband is such a big motivator for me – he’s supported me from the time this whole thing was just a half-baked dream, and seeing his work ethic and how he jumps in to support me at home has given me a lot of the persistence I need to keep on keeping on. I also draw a lot of inspiration from my mom. She’s a physical therapist, and as I was growing up, she started her own practice which allowed her to have a flexible schedule so she could be with us - for piano and violin and ballet and synchronized swimming lessons. Later, she really came into her passion for Autism Spectrum Disorders, and decided to pursue her Ph.D. to do further studies. She got her Master’s and eventually her Doctorate degree while I was in high school, while commuting from Tallahassee to Gainesville and still managing her full load of clients. It’s been incredible to see her take a leap and make her passion happen. Remembering her determination definitely lights a similar fire in me.
What is the accomplishment from your hustle (past or present) that you are most proud of?
I think having my first client find me online and sign up to work with me has been my favorite accomplishment thus far. I’ve talked to and worked with a number of folks who knew me or were referred to me by a mutual friend, but having someone who is a complete stranger reach out and hire me because they felt connected to my mission was such an incredible feeling.
How do you find a work-life balance?
Right now, with very intentional scheduling. My husband and I both work a lot, so we make it a point to schedule in time with each other, and I also block out time in my schedule for ‘me time.’ We don’t always decide what we’re going to do in the time, but in my calendar I have a least a few hours a week blocked off just for me. Barring a client or personal emergency, those hours are sacred and not to be messed with. I’m also lucky to have a fellow entrepreneur as my best friend, and we make sure to hold one another accountable. We love to side by side hustle, but also know when to tell each other to shut our laptops and take a break.
How do you manage your stress?
Candles, essential oils and long showers or bubble baths! I also love a nice sweaty yoga class or HIIT session. And weirdly, when I’m really stressed, zombie things calm me down. My favorite thing is this app called Zombies, Run!, which is essentially a zombie-themed run tracker. You turn on your GPS and then turn on an episode, where they essentially tell you a story as if you’re a runner in a post-apocalyptic zombie ridden wasteland. And yes, you do get chased by zombies. It’s silly, sometimes terrifying, and so much fun.
Career and/or life advice for other babes?
1. Think about the things that you would do everyday if you could – time and money permitting. Make a list of those things, and then get creative with discovering ways you can turn them into a job with income! For me, I could teach yoga, listen to people’s struggles and give advice, and read about nutrition and the body everyday. And damn, I'll never get sick of hearing about how working with me or trying my suggestions has made someone feel better, sleep better or have more energy. That's what keeps me going when I’m rushing from lululemon to marketing to coaching to teaching yoga.
2. Just do it. Shia LaBoeuf style. I’m not saying be reckless, jump without a safety net and end up sleeping on your parents’ couch. But when that little voice in your head tells you to stop dreaming, that you should just give up because you could never run a business, launch a brand or get your dream job, listen to it - and then pause. Take a moment to think about what is truth, and what is simply your fear talking. Walking a different path is scary. Like, mind-blowingly terrifying! Your brain is naturally programmed to guide you away from those scary, unpredictable situations. But it’s those situations where the magic happens, and I’d encourage all Babes to challenge their brains when fear starts talking, and consider pushing past your comfort zone. You never know what amazing things might be just on the other side of discomfort.
Well Soul Collective + BWH Exclusive!
Because she's such a big fan of the BWH movement, (and understands how tough it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle while being a hustlin' babe,) Chelsea has graciously offered our readers a killer deal!
Simply mention that BWH referred you to Well Soul Collective and receive a discount of $50 month // $300 total on your 6-month coaching session (!!!)
*FYI: BWH is in no way monetizing on this offer, aside from being thrilled to connect our readers with a lovely, talented and badass Babe who wants to help them save their cash money while getting healthy.