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“People need to understand that working on wellness, does not have to cost anything” With Shiraz Karsowidjojo

The term wellness is very broad; Mental health, physical health, self-care and/or spirituality all fall under that umbrella. I would suggest starting with creating awareness. People need to understand the importance of wellness and the impact that it has on their daily life. Knowing that everyone has their own challenges, it is also good to […]

The term wellness is very broad; Mental health, physical health, self-care and/or spirituality all fall under that umbrella. I would suggest starting with creating awareness. People need to understand the importance of wellness and the impact that it has on their daily life. Knowing that everyone has their own challenges, it is also good to let others know that working on wellness, does not necessarily have to cost anything, a few minutes of silence in the morning or affirmations, can go a long way.


As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shiraz Karsowidjojo. Shiraz Karsowidjojo is a business consultant and co-founder of Amaxones, a platform helping underprivileged women to sell their products by means of partnerships. In June 2019, Amaxones launched Amazonian Intimate Steam, herbs for vaginal steam that promotes wellbeing to women.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Iwas born and raised in Suriname, South America. I had a great childhood, and every time I look back at it, I am so thankful that I grew up in such a beautiful, multicultural environment. Because of the diversity that I saw around me, I always knew that I could be anything that I wanted to be. There was also something else that I knew, and that was that I wanted to see more of the world. I was lucky enough to study in Amsterdam, which presented itself with so many more great (traveling) opportunities and after graduation, I started my career off in the Caribbean, St. Maarten. After almost five years of being a young professional, with a 9 to 5 job, I decided to start my own business. I wanted to have more control over the projects that I was working on, and I have been doing so ever since. Recently, I have made the decision to expand my scope of work to Europe and my main challenge now is to balance both worlds.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

In November 2016, I was approached to work on a huge project. It was my biggest job ever since I started my journey as a self-employed business consultant. I was asked, by investors, to oversee the complete reorganization process of an old hotel that was acquired. I was given a period of two years to create positive cash flow, increase staff efficiency, upgrade day-to-day processes, etc. I worked with a staff that had been employed from 10 to even 25 years, and I knew that change was not something that they were looking forward to. It felt like an opportunity of a lifetime and I got to enjoy it for about 10 months. In September 2017, the island got hit by a catastrophic category 5 hurricane, Irma. Like many buildings on the island, also that of the hotel was completely destroyed. Many people on the island lost their homes and jobs, and needless to say, we were all devastated. We had all lost something, weeks of no running water, no electricity and not knowing when life would be back to ‘normal’, but then I realized the one thing that we didn’t lose was hope and that is what kept us going. This experience has made me rethink life and I slowly started to change a few things in my life and it started with stopping to take things for granted. I also made it a point of practicing gratitude, for the good and also the bad. Because without the bad you would never appreciate the good.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I have made many mistakes when I first started, but I would say the biggest mistake was a classic one, I did not have a concise plan. I kind of, sort of, knew what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it but I never really wrote anything down on paper so I never allowed myself to see the big picture. I now know that if I had seen the big picture, I would have realized that there were many holes in the plan.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Indeed, having support throughout has been very important to me and I am very grateful to that small circle of family and friends, that supports me. I have been able to rely on them and I assure you, that their support has helped me grow both personally and in business.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

My sister and I founded Amaxones with the mission of helping underprivileged women across the world by bringing their products on a bigger platform, by means of partnerships. With this project we empower women, to become financially independent. For our first product, we started in our own ‘backyard’ and worked with the Maroon women (descendants of African slaves) living in the interior of Suriname.

For centuries, these women have been using different herbs from the Amazonian Rainforest for vaginal steam, benefiting them in many ways such as cleansing and purification of the vagina and uterus, reducing excess vaginal mucus, strengthening of the vaginal wall (vaginal rejuvenation), supporting the prevention of inflammation after delivery, connecting the woman with her inner being, Supporting the regulation of the female cycle, helping to heal and detoxify the body, and much more. As women, we take care of our skin, our bodies, we go on retreats, and we take the necessary supplements to be at our best. These treatments have become part of our lifestyle. However, we never talk about one of our major organs, the uterus and that what connects the uterus to the outside world, our vagina.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

Self-care

I make an effort to be more mindful of the way that I take care of myself. It took me years before I got to know myself better, I now know that I am an introvert and I have learned to embrace it. Being connected with myself has made it easier for me to realize when it is time to slow down or when it is time to pass on an event. Being on this path of self-care has also taught me to be mindful of how much sleep I am getting and listening to my body when it says that it needs some rest. I also make much more of an effort to eat the right foods, so that I have enough energy to get me through the day.

Fitness

Exercising means more to me than just working on my physique. I mean, I love the results but it does something to me mentally; it stimulates my mind in such a positive way, it improves my mood, makes me feel stronger, and it energizes me.

Routines

I never thought I would be the person that needs routines, but I do. As I am growing and working on different projects, I have come to realize that I need structure in my life. I start my week with a weekly to-do list that I usually write up on Sunday night.

Gratitude

I mentioned this before, I practice gratitude and I try to make this as simple as possible. Every night before I go to bed, I go over the things that I am grateful for.

Talk less and listen more

We are gifted to express our feelings, thoughts, and emotions, but the more we talk, the less we are able to communicate. Listening more has helped me to get new points of view, new opportunities, and most importantly it has developed my patience and tolerance while understanding people better.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The term wellness is very broad; Mental health, physical health, self-care and/or spirituality all fall under that umbrella. I would suggest starting with creating awareness. People need to understand the importance of wellness and the impact that it has on their daily life. Knowing that everyone has their own challenges, it is also good to let others know that working on wellness, does not necessarily have to cost anything, a few minutes of silence in the morning or affirmations, can go a long way.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

Money

How to deal with it and how to raise it? If you want to grow your business, you need to have a sound money management system and without that, the chances of you raising money for your business will be very slim.

Patience

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same applies to business. Having launched a new company with a product that most people are unfamiliar with, also adds a whole level of complexity to the business. I have spent and still spend a lot of time educating people on my product.

Network

It is not what you know, but who you know. I always thought that it was very cliché, but it has proven to be correct; your network is key.

Flexibility

Be ready and willing to change plans, or tweak your product or service. Some challenges that you face, may demand drastic changes in order to allow your company to grow. So be open to new ideas or suggestions.

Commitment

Make sure that you are very clear in what you want to achieve so that you know exactly what you are committing yourself to. If you are not committed, it will be more challenging to achieve your goals.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental health is very dear to me, it affects how you think, feel and act. I think that if you are mentally not at your best, it will be reflected in every aspect of your life.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

On Instagram: @amazonianintimatesteam

Via email: [email protected]

Via Facebook: Amazonian Intimate Steam

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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