It takes a lot of guts to leave a secure, full-time job, but Nicole Culver, a 2011 graduate of the Health Coach Training Program from South Hempstead, NY, said she would have been crazy to stay. Her dream was to help people have a healthier life, and now she’s living it – watching not one, but two businesses grow.
In addition to health coaching, Nicole has launched Pure Bliss Eats, a healthy online bakery loaded with delicious treats. (The pictures alone are enough to make your mouth water!) The mission behind tasty sweets like organic granola and gluten free chocolate balls is to make healthy snacks easy and delicious for everyone. Read on to learn more about how Nicole got started and what inspired her unique online bakery!
What led you to enroll at Integrative Nutrition?
I was no longer feeling fulfilled and happy from my work as a teacher. I wanted to follow my dream of helping people live a healthier life. After careful planning, I started taking on health coaching clients over the spring. I also opened my online bakery, Pure Bliss Eats. For years I've been sharing my healthy baked goods and I wanted to take it to another level. I worked very hard over the summer of 2011 to build my business both as a health counselor and as the head of Pure Bliss Eats. Building my businesses over the summer allowed me to leave my teaching job. Some people thought I was crazy for leaving a secure job, but I felt like I'd be crazy to stay. I found my passion and I wanted to see where it would take me!
How was the flexibility of the program was a good fit for you?
IIN was perfect for me. I was able to work full time as a teacher and listen to the modules/do the work after teaching. I would often listen on my commute to and from work and just finish up at home. It was perfect and very manageable!
What did you most enjoy about your experience at IIN?
I love that the school doesn't focus on just one way of eating. They teach you a variety. I also love that it's holistic. It's so important to talk to people about their lives, not just food. Health is about so much more than just the food you put into your body. It has taught me so many lessons and has given me a guideline to build my practice. All of the materials IIN provides are so complete and extensive. You won't find what they set you up with anywhere else!
You had an interest in health and fitness prior to enrolling in the program- was there a specific area or field you had a focus in?
I love working with women who are trying to fit health into their lives. I love showing people that health doesn't have to be super hard or super time consuming.
Have you always had a plan to open a bakery or create a business out of your baking?
It all came to fruition in 2011. I start baking for my husband, who wouldn't eat breakfast and then shared the treats with family, friends, colleagues, and my students. Everyone loved it so much that I knew I had a great thing. After 2011 came, I realized I could make health coaching and running an online bakery my full time work!
How did the IIN business training aid you in developing Pure Bliss Eats?
IIN helped a lot with marketing and the necessary materials. Also, it helped me learn more about networking. I had some knowledge of networking because of being on Twitter, but it helped me take it to the next level!
How does your holistic approach to life affect your work as a businesswoman?
I do incorporate holistic elements into my business practices! I make sure that I take time everyday to exercise, move around, get good quality sleep, honor my relationships, and eat healthy foods. It can be hard to remember to take time for yourself and your relationships when you have your own business, but it has to be done to keep it running well!
How do you balance your health coaching practice with your online bakery?
I plan out my weeks in advance and depending on the time of year, I'm busier with one over the other. Christmastime was very busy for Pure Bliss, but slower for health coaching. After the New Year, it flip-flopped.
Can you describe the online bakery concept a little more for some readers who may be unfamiliar with this sort of thing? How does having a presence that’s solely online differ from a regular bakery?
It's an online bakery in the sense that you will get fresh foods, but it's more like an online store. Your order will come in 6-10 days. If you know me in real life, you have the advantage of getting it quicker! So far, it's been all positives--I love going places with Pure Bliss and meeting new people. People don't typically mind that we are not a storefront. We are currently in two stores and expanding, so if they'd like granola right away, they can head to those two stores! (Organic Corner in Massapequa, NY or Yoga & Tea in Lynbrook, NY)
What do you love about your work?
I love sharing and spreading the message of health, and showing people that “healthy” doesn't have to mean deprivation and boring foods. I love when it "clicks" for a client and they finally get it. It doesn't get any better than walking away from a session with a client where both of you feel really good about what you are doing!
Small steps to a healthy life are what I practice with my clients – living a healthy life doesn't happen overnight. I love showing people how to slowly incorporate healthy living into their life without overhauling everything they do. Along with my healthy online bakery, I promote whole foods, natural sugars, and foods that taste delicious.
Connect with Nicole
On her blog, Making Good Choices
You can help Nicole expand Pure Bliss Eats here!