Sometimes when you make some key lifestyle changes, others take note and want to learn how you’ve become both healthier and happier. That essentially is how Napanee-based MJ Healthy 4 Life began. Mike Stowe chose to immerse himself in learning about nutrition, while wife Julie learned about healthier, more natural, non-toxic skin care and personal care products for their own benefit. Soon, it became not just their passion, but their vocation.
“It wasn’t like we sat back, saw a niche and decided to create a business. We already had the knowledge and experience behind us, the business just evolved as we learned more and shared it with people around us,” said Mike.
“It was more of a life change and the business developed organically out of it. The more people I talked to about it, the more I realized there is a real growing need for people wanting better health and wellness.”
Once they realized there was a market – a practically limitless market at that – MJ Healthy 4 Life was born. They've developed a model whereby each client is treated as a unique person with unique issues and requirements.
“We believe that nutrition is the basis of health. If you don’t eat well, you don’t function well. Our business is focused on both one-on-one consultations and coaching, and e-commerce. We offer nutrition and healthy living coaching plans. The programs are individualized for each person based on their needs and their goals – it’s not just a generic program where we say, ‘here go follow it.’ It’s all about learning how to be healthy and enjoy life,” said Mike.
“So I look after the inside and Julie looks after the outside, because what we eat and what we put into our bodies is great, but if you’re eating really clean but then using skin care and personal care products that are toxic, you’re not any further ahead. So we also work with the clients, again on a very specific and individual basis, to offer them products that are healthier and enhance their overall wellbeing.”
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MJ Healthy 4 Life has been around for about seven years, but only recently in the L&A County region as the Stowe’s moved back to the shores of the Bay of Quinte in Greater Napanee after living for a number of years in Kitchener. Getting the company’s name out and about, as with many new or relocated businesses, has been a challenge. An even bigger challenge is trying to educate people who truly need some consistent, correct and helpful information about what they’re putting in and on their bodies.
“Every week it seems to change. This week it’s don’t eat carrots; next week carrots are fine. Most people are completely confused as to what to do. They have all these conflicting ideas and theories out there and then they go into the grocery store and are overwhelmed, so they pick the thing that’s easiest and most familiar,” Mike said, adding that networking with the public but also with other businesses within L&A County and the surrounding area has been helping.
“We do health and wellness shows, which are becoming more popular. Getting involved with things like the Napanee Chamber of Commerce and being able to connect on a business to business level is also been a good approach. The people, whether they be neighbours, other businesses or just random people in the community make you feel welcome, like they have known you forever.”