Health coach, Natalie Murray, is a strong believer in the adage that nothing happens before its time.
“I also believe that everything happens exactly the way it is supposed to when you trust and believe,”
The Director of the recently opened Life Store Wellness Centre Boutique on Constant Spring Road, says that “the third time was the charm” in getting the business off the ground amid a pandemic with seemingly no end in sight.
A certified health coach and spinning instructor, Murray has been in the fitness industry for nine years, seven of which she has spent doing health coaching.
She says that her path into health and wellness came after 18 years in the corporate world as a banker.
Armed with an Economics Degree and a Master of Business Administration Degree in Finance, she saw banking as a natural career path, but she felt unfulfilled.
“I was going to this beautiful job in this beautiful location, with these amazing people but I just wasn’t happy. I was good at it, but it just wasn’t the thing that made my soul sing,”
She says she has always been into health and wellness and her father had instilled in her, at a very young age “the link between what you eat and how you feel and the importance of diet and lifestyle. So I was looking for the next step because I knew there had to be the next step”.
Murray says she then set about putting things in motion in preparation for a career change.
She completed a health and wellness programme and started coaching for about three years, while still doing banking.
“Then I thought ‘Natalie, you need to make a decision because indecision I think is the worst form of self-abuse,”
“I eventually took the leap and left the corporate world in 2016 and then opened this space in 2020, two weeks before COVID”
She says that, initially, the business was doing well “then it was like the bottom fell out and that was really scary”.
“I would go home at night wondering what is going to happen and then I had to remind myself to be relevant, provide information, be a sounding board, keep putting out, pretend that COVID isn’t there and just do the fundamentals, and little by little, things started to come back and we’re developing a nice little name for ourselves,”
Murray says that through her practice, she has found that there are too many persons who do not take the time to take care of themselves.
“The majority of us fail to realise that every decision that we make takes us either closer to or further away from our optimal self,”
“Every decision about what to eat, drink, clean our house with and do with our spare time is vitally important, because what we are learning more and more through scientific studies is that whereas our genetics and our deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) gives us a blueprint, how we live our life is a more significant marker for the expression of disease,”
Murray says that she wanted to provide a place where people would feel welcome, not intimidated, and can access items that are tasty and good for the body at the same time.
She notes that the Life Store is a family business and is very supportive of Jamaican entrepreneurs, carrying different locally made products.
The products are carefully curated to meet the needs of persons with varying dietary requirements such as vegan, paleolithic (lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) ketogenic (very low carb, high fat), gluten-free, soy-free or dairy-free.
She also explains that there are also products for the home “because how you clean your home is super important cause you smell it and you walk on it and you put it on your skin. All of that goes into your body”.
Speaking at the store opening, State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, commended the operators of the Life Store for taking the bold step in opening a business that is focused on improving the health and well-being of citizens.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness is pleased with your commitment to not just operating a viable business in this current climate but your commitment to wellness and genuine passion to educate Jamaicans on better wellness solutions,”
Cuthbert Flynn said.