Practice self-care — Self-care means something different to each person, but essentially it means taking care of yourself mentally and physically. It can involve all of the above or strictly allowing time for breathing exercises, yoga or any recreational sport, a hobby etc. Take time to do something that makes you happy.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Valencia McClure.
Valencia McClure is the founder of The Artistry of Essential Oils, a woman and minority-owned North Texas-based clean skincare and lifestyle brand. After retiring from corporate America in 2019, Valencia founded The Artistry of Essential Oils as a certified aromatherapist. With a lifelong commitment to community engagement, Valencia has been actively involved in civic and charitable organizations and is available for speaking engagements, consultations and workshops.
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?
For over 30 years, I worked in corporate America as a successful businesswoman in the communications and energy industries as a communications and legislative executive. But in 2015, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. I have always been an advocate for clean beauty and wanted to search for natural healing techniques to help me through my journey as I underwent cancer treatments. As a result, I turned to essential oils and aromatherapy to help alleviate the emotional and physical side effects of surgery and radiation. During this time, I discovered the true benefits and power of essential oils as they helped me heal my body. I began formulating products for my friends and family and worked to perfect my products based on their positive responses. After experiencing the benefits of essential oils firsthand, I decided to pursue a career in the essential oil industry. I retired from my executive career in corporate America and in 2019, founded The Artistry of Essential Oils. I also became a certified aromatherapist and returned to my hometown of Dallas to launch my business. Over this past year, I have established a new lifestyle brand, launched an online store and expanded to selling my products in retailers.
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?
My most interesting stories often come from the responses I receive from my customers. I find such reward and joy in receiving feedback on how my products have helped in their daily lives, whether that was relieving stress as they endured an illness, correcting dry skin during pregnancy, calming their mother’s fears during a cancer diagnosis or reducing scarring from surgery. The feedback I have received has reconfirmed the reason why I started the business in the first place.
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?
As with anything, especially when you are starting something new, moving too fast and spending money on things that you really don’t need to can be a hard lesson to learn. When first starting a business, it’s incredibly important to not only have a budget, but to identify line items within the budget and understand what really brings financial value to your business.
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?
Julia Pimsleur, CEO of Million Dollar Women. One of the best things I did as a new entrepreneur was to join the Million Dollar Women Master Class, an organization that provides female business owners with coaching, tools, information and a community of other female business owners, to scale their business to seven figures. Although I have 30+ years in corporate America, the majority of that time at an executive level, there is still a different mindset that is needed as a business owner. The program was instrumental in helping me to pivot my business once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and changed the landscape.
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?
The work we are doing through The Artistry of Essential Oils adds awareness and education to what people are putting on and in their bodies. Using clean and natural products to support the emotional and physical ailments, without adding toxins to your body, ultimately benefits one’s overall mental health and can prevent potential physical ailments down the line. Also, 20 percent of each essential rollerball blend sale goes to organizations furthering the mission of breast cancer research and advancing the empowerment of young girls.
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.
1.) Read ingredient labels — By reading the ingredient labels of products you are putting on and in your body helps you to understand what toxic chemicals might be added.
2.) Schedule time for daily meditation — Adding meditation to one’s life can greatly reduce stress, anxiety and increase your daily productivity.
3.) Sleep 7–8 hours a day — Sleep is underrated. If you are not getting the right amount of sleep each night it can lead to mental and physical issues such as increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and memory loss.
4) Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day — It is even better if you can drink half your body weight in water. Water is critical because it allows our bodies to absorb and assimilate minerals, vitamins, amino acids and other substances. Water also flushes out toxins and waste in our body.
5.) Practice self-care — Self-care means something different to each person, but essentially it means taking care of yourself mentally and physically. It can involve all of the above or strictly allowing time for breathing exercises, yoga or any recreational sport, a hobby etc. Take time to do something that makes you happy.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Understanding the real value that essential oils can bring to one’s life emotionally and physically.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
1) Celebrate each step along the way. All progress is good and leads you to your desired goal. You will have your good days and bad days, so it’s important to keep track of your successes.
2) Identify a support group of other entrepreneurs. It’s critical as a business owner to have a support system to hold you accountable, to share information and feed off of each other.
3) Identify a group of diverse successful entrepreneurs to serve as your board advisors. This provides a structure and a higher level of accountability for your business. Also creates a structure for receiving counsel and feedback on the growth and strategic direction of your business.
4)Delegate…Delegate…Delegate…Focus on strategy and growing your business and delegate the tasks that keep you from moving the business forward.
5) Ask for help when you need it. As entrepreneurs, we often go the road alone and don’t reach out and ask for help when we need it due to our type A personalities. You have to bring in the assistance where and when you need it to ensure your business continues to thrive. As an entrepreneur, you have to continually make sure you are developing and growing personally and professionally. The same as you would if working in corporate America.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
This is a tough question because each topic is so important, but I think I will go with mental health. Everything starts with mental health…how we think, feel and act. It determines how we handle stress and has an impact on our physical health. The beauty of essential oils is that they can support our mental health from helping one deal with varying levels of stress, to enhancing our mood, to balancing our hormones.
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