We sat down with Jahnela, the Founder of Papayanwell, and we asked her some questions about her wellness community, her inspirations and motivations. Thank you Jahnela for taking the time to speak with us! We are so inspired by you and we hope that your story can help others in the wellness community.
Q: Could you give us an introduction on yourself?
A: Hi! My name is Jahnela, I’m a Nutritionist, Healthy Lifestyle Coach and the founder of PAPAYANWELL based in Toronto. PAPAYANWELL is a community that supports women on their path to holistic wellness through our online platform, services, community cooking classes, guides and meal kit service.
Q: We love the community that you’ve created with your page Papayanwell on Instagram, what inspired you to start this journey?
A: Thank you truly! I started PAPAYANWELL through the documentation of showing my own personal wellness journey online. I’ve always loved food and from showing my wellness journey I began to see other wellness accounts on Instagram. The difference was that I felt that I couldn't relate to these accounts. I honestly felt that they weren't realistic to the average person that looked like me and I wanted to change something about that. That’s when I started PAPAYANWELL and began to create a space where women, especially BIWOC can practice and embrace their own holistic wellness journey in a safe space.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to start their own business or wellness practice?
A: To always remember your intentions. Behind everything you do with your business, always ask yourself what the intention is behind what you do. There are so many wellness businesses and brands, but what will make you different is understanding your values. This will help your audience/clientele know exactly who they're investing both their time and money in.
Stay consistent and don’t give up if something isn't going the way you planned. Next time you go to the grocery store, head to the bread aisle and look at all of the bread companies on the shelf. There will always be space for you, keep pushing, stay consistent and don’t give up.
Q: Tell us about your recent meal kits launch!
A: Yes! This is our baby at the moment. Our meal kit program consists of us providing pre-portioned ingredients to customers in Toronto. We wanted to connect with our audience and allow them to create meals that they can be proud of in the comfort of their kitchen. We are currently working on more meal-kit recipes and planning on tweaking our meal-kit service to better serve our Toronto community.
Q: In retrospect, what does wellness mean to you?
A: Wellness to me means honoring my being entirely. This includes my mental, emotional, physical and financial needs. Listening to my body for when it feels for a salad or a burrito, noticing my burnout and taking time to hit the pause button. Wellness involves our entire being as a whole. Honestly just acknowledging what works for you so you can be the best version of yourself.
Q: What’s one step in your wellness routine you couldn’t live without?
A: Recently my nighttime tea has been my go-to. No lie, I look forward to this every night. Whether it has a splash of vanilla almond creamer of just straight hot water. This brings me joy in my nighttime routine.
Q: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout your wellness journey so far?
A: I’ve learned that being intuitive is important. It’s very easy to get caught up in the wellness industry and follow what everyone else is doing. Do what works for you, appreciate your body, work with the right professionals and get your blood work done. Your body is truly a temple and what works for others may not work for you. Support your body in the best intuitive way possible.
Q: What are some ways that the wellness industry can be more inclusive to BIPOC?
A: It’s the small things like featuring more BIPOC, paying us properly for our work, showing more representation of BIPOC in the wellness industry and hearing our stories. It can be challenging being in the wellness industry because of the simple lack of representation, if we can continue to show diversity and hear the voices of BIPOC I believe that the wellness industry will start to transform as it continuously is today.
Q: What are some ways we can support you and Papayanwell?
A: Engaging in various ways throughout our community. This can be anything from our services, collection pieces, meal kits, nutrition guides, cooking classes, e-books or sliding in our DM on Instagram. I love connecting with the community in so many ways and appreciate the support.
Q: What is one thing you want our community to know about you?
A: When it’s time for me to relax after a long day, watching Netflix is where you’ll find me. I’m currently watching How To Get Away With Murder & Shadow and Bone. Making time for simple pleasures is important for keeping me grounded.