First up, tell us a little bit about yourself and your business!
Hello Social Goodness readers! My name is Jess, born and bred in London town. My journey in health and wellness started a few years back when I was working at Thailand’s leading detox and fitness retreat, Phuket Cleanse. I soaked up everything I could, from yoga to detox, fitness, mindfulness, nutrition and so much more. After my time there, I was fortunate enough to get a job working for the amazing Deliciously Ella back in London. After two years as the Digital Media and Events Manager, I was ready to head back to the tropics of Thailand and felt so inspired to start something of my own.
Back in Thailand my friend Phil and I got brainstorming and thought, why not do smoothie bowls?! But not just any smoothie bowls. We wanted to create smoothie bowls that were done differently. Smoothie bowls that were nutritious and delicious. We suddenly became on a mission to spread a healthy message, and so NanaBowls was born.
NanaBowls contains no added sugar (not even dates, maple syrup or honey), they’re dairy/gluten free, high in plant-based protein, vegan friendly and 100% natural. They’re as thick as ice-cream and obviously 100% Instagramable. This is what we call the smoothie bowl revolution.
What’s your morning routine to set you up for an epic day of getting sh*t done?
I would like to say I’m that girl that jumps out of bed straight onto the yoga mat or pillow for some morning meditation. I tried that but it just wouldn’t stick. Instead, the first thing I do after waking up is go outside. Luckily for me living in Thailand, I’m surrounded by lush palm trees and a swimming pool outside my room. So I spend a few minutes outside adjusting my eyes to daylight and get some light stretches in to get my body moving. Then it’s all about the body brushing, cold shower and gym class to get me pumped for the day.
What does an average day look like for you?
As anyone running a business will know, no two days are the same. A business covers so many aspects and takes you in so many different directions. As it’s not a typical 9-5 office job, the hours vary too. One day might be all about the smoothie bowl recipe testing and driving around Phuket for deliveries, and the next day is all about the cafe photoshoots and Instagram lives.
When and where did you decide to start your business? How has it evolved since there?
NanaBowls was dreamt up one night after thinking about what to have for breakfast! Our favourite breakfasts are smoothie bowls, basically a thick smoothie in a bowl topped with tons of crunchy granola. Problem is, the average smoothie bowls, although beautiful and Instagram-worthy, are often actually laden with sugar, dairy and additives.
We soon found ourselves on a mini-mission to create the ultimate all-in-one smoothie bowl that not only tasted great but also ticked all the nutritional boxes for an anytime meal. We got experimenting and found ourselves creating a whole range of nutritious and delicious smoothie bowls. They tasted too good not to share with the world and that’s when ‘NanaBowls’ was born.
Starting off in just one small local cafe, NanaBowls now supplies many cafes, restaurants, schools, yoga studios, gyms and hotels all over Phuket. We’ve also recently hired a distribution team to help manage our deliveries and take us further across Thailand. At first it was just Phil and I in the kitchen peeling kilos of bananas on a daily basis, but now we have an amazing team helping up as the NanaBowl demand grows!
What’s your secret to productivity?
Keep it simple. Often we can get over excited and overwhelmed with ideas, which actually lead to nothing. Stripping it all back and keeping things simple is our number one rule to staying productive and keeping on track. Have an idea and then always ask yourself, how can I make this even simpler? Trust me, it works!
How do you stay motivated on tough days?
We all have those days where things don’t go to plan, and more often than not those things tend to happen all at once, feeling as if the universe is out to get you. But then all it takes is one nice comment on social media or spotting one person eating a NanaBowl to then make us realise why we do what we do. Getting amazing feedback from our customers keeps us going and makes us stay motivated to keep creating so that they can continue to enjoy NanaBowls everyday.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in the health & wellness industry?
Just start. Starting any business can be daunting. The fear of doubt and failure always creeps in, and sadly this fear of failure can take over and actually stop us from launching our passion projects. The one lesson I’ve learnt from my business journey is to just start. Don’t wait for the perfect moment until things are completely done, chances are you’ll change your model a hundred times. You will grow and evolve once you put yourself out there and receive feedback, so it’s better to start early and perfect as you go.
What’s your nightly routine to wind down after a busy work day?
I’m not one for a wild or glamorous nightlife. Often it’s just a simple home cooked dinner, a cup of turmeric tea, some Instagram scrolling, a quick night time swim and most probably a coconut oil hair mask.
What’s next for Nanabowls?
We’re always brainstorming on where to take NanaBowls next. Melbourne (Ed: Yessss!), London and Dubai are at the top of our list… but as they say, the world is our oyster and where NanaBowls are needed, we’ll be there!
Any final words of inspiration:
Focus on the baby steps. Having a huge goal and vision can be amazing and something great to work towards. However, if the goal is too big it can often feel unattainable and off putting. Taking baby steps and breaking down your goal can make the process a whole lot easier and way more fun. Always remember to enjoy the journey and celebrate the little wins along the way!
For even more goodness check out Social Goodness in your city!