Don’t be too hard on yourself. Entrepreneurs tend to treat business failures or errors as personal failings. I still fight the tendency to think that I didn’t reach my business goals or things didn’t go my way because I didn’t work hard enough. Starting a business is not easy and you should cut yourself some slack.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Samanta Moise.
Samanta Moise is the CEO and founder of La Parea Wellness which started in 2015 with a focus on providing balance in today’s hectic world. Blending traditional plant-derived remedies from the Andes and the Amazon in a variety of modern formulations La Parea Wellness utilizes sustainably sourced ingredients. Juggling a household of four children as well as the company offers unique challenges, but each year La Parea has expanded its product portfolio.
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?
I was born in Ecuador and moved to America in my teens to live with my father. Through hard work and focus, I was able to fulfill my dream of becoming a Registered Nurse. Over the next ten years, I worked in a variety of clinical settings (intensive care, cardiology, dermatology) and gradually found myself increasingly taking on administrative roles. The combination of patient care and leadership skills training nurtured a growing interest in forging a new path outside the confines of medicine and its pharmaceutical focus. La Parea Wellness was born from a desire to merge medicine with more natural methods of promoting health and well-being.
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?
I got pregnant during the second year of my business. It was definitely a challenge. I found myself fulfilling orders right up to my due date while also taking care of three children (in the good old days when kids were physically in school all day). Dealing with a baby and LPW in its infancy taught me that life will throw you curveballs and you have to adapt gracefully.
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 started La Parea with a number of products that I had designed, based on my interests. I did not do any market research, and I placed large production orders with full confidence that my non-existent customers would love my ideas as much as I did. This turned out to be wildly inaccurate, leaving me with loads of unsold inventory. After talking to other women entrepreneurs, I learned that this is a common mistake for start-up, product-based companies. While most of the original inventory has been repurposed and/or given away, I still keep one or two pieces of my original inventory items as a reminder to start with my customers.
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?
My husband has supported my dream from the very beginning. When I first had the idea of starting my own business, I remember coming home after ten hours in my nurse manager role and sitting at the dining room table to work on final details and get ready to launch. My husband sat next to me, told me to quit my job, and has helped every step of the way. Having the luxury to focus all my business efforts on my brand full time has been a huge part of my success.
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?
I am fortunate to have experienced a range of perspectives on health, medicine, and self-care throughout my life. My birthplace of Ecuador and the extended family that still live there provide direct access to a wealth of plants and natural compounds that have been used in South America for thousands of years — yet remain largely unknown in the Northern Hemisphere. My adopted home of the United States welcomed me as a citizen (one of my proudest days), supported my study of nursing, exposed me to multiple branches of modern medicine, and blessed me with an entrepreneurial spirit. La Parea Wellness, and its focus on natural wellness, is my way of giving back.
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 is a lifestyle and here are my top five.
- Make self-care routines a part of your daily routine. Taking care of yourself goes beyond eating and sleeping. Make sure you do something for you that creates a mindful moment and be present. Ask yourself: did I do something today that made me happy, mindful, or calm?
- Add your self-care practice into your calendar. Women have been taught to put themselves and their needs last. I used to think that taking time for myself should only happen at the end of a long day or when I was done with my “to do list.” Putting yourself last quickly leads to sacrificing your needs. Even if it’s meditating or taking a bath. Add it to your calendar.
- Set Boundaries. Don’t pour from an empty cup. If you are overwhelmed and exhausted, your productivity, effectiveness, and happiness drop. Learn to say no to protect your energy.
- If you can’t sleep because you have too many thoughts in your head, write them down. I personally get random thoughts while I am trying to sleep. If there is anything important, I write them down for the next day.
- Go with the flow when it comes to self-care. If you schedule a morning hike and then feel like journaling in your pajamas instead, go for it. There are no set rules for your care.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would love to add a self-care station in every workplace and school. A place where you can meditate, close your eyes, and use some essential oils or just relax.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Entrepreneurs tend to treat business failures or errors as personal failings. I still fight the tendency to think that I didn’t reach my business goals or things didn’t go my way because I didn’t work hard enough. Starting a business is not easy and you should cut yourself some slack.
- Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. People will tell you to do things a certain way. While suggestions based on someone else’s prior experience can be applicable across multiple businesses, don’t be afraid to say something or push back if it doesn’t feel like your vision. At the end of the day, you are the essence of your brand.
- Freelancers are your best friends. Early on, I thought I had to do everything myself to learn my business inside out. With time, I realized there are a wealth of independent professionals out there that have complementary experience and education that can complete your business and are willing to teach you a few tricks.
- Join entrepreneur groups or find communities that resonate with your mission. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely sometimes and having a supportive community that can relate to your challenges is a great benefit. I met some of my best friends and resources through a female community called, We Are Women Owned.
- Enjoy the ride. Entrepreneurs will always be setting new goals for themselves and their companies. But how often do you stop and enjoy the daily successes — no matter how small? There are plenty of little wins and milestones that I have overlooked or taken for granted. Work hard but also enjoy it!
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Given the state of current events, I would say mental health. With the current societal uncertainty, our minds and emotions are unmoored in the middle of a storm. How we think, carry ourselves, and participate in society are undergoing radical challenges. When the structure of society and our foundational relationships are straining due to global forces like Covid-19, taking care of our mental health becomes critical.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
You can follow us @lapareawellness. We are big wellness advocates dedicated to help you in your self-care journey.
Thank you for these fantastic insights!