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Welcome to The Whole Experience: Interview

A conversation on wellness, women, and what the health and fitness industries are missing.

Picture of two founders, Tameika and Whitney.

I think the fitness industry is in a unique position to lead the wellness movement. Unfortunately, it can also be somewhat elitist and is not as inclusive as you would expect from an industry that supports something (health) that transcends any kind of label we choose to put on ourselves. 

That’s why I was so intrigued when I came across Tameika and Whitney. They’re co-founders of The Whole Experience, a platform that has dedicated itself to changing the way women think about their health. The most impressive thing I discovered during this interview wasn’t the love and passion these two women have for what they do. It was how committed they are to creating an experience for the women they work with and the lengths they go through to make sure those women feel supported. The Whole Experience aren’t just two trainers leading you in a workout. They’re creating a movement of sustainable health, of inclusivity, and building the foundation of a community of women from all walks of life who love who they are. 

Kern:  

When you two first met and decided to be partners, what was your intention? What was that thing that both of you saw could be possible?

Tameika: 

I think what really struck me about Whitney was how aligned we were. I always felt like working in this industry, I was like an anomaly. Like nobody saw wellness the way I saw wellness. Nobody saw it as a full mind, body spirit thing. Nobody saw it as inclusive of all women, all shapes, all sizes, all demographics. Until I met Whitney. And then when I saw her and I saw what she stood for, I was like, together we would be a force.

Whitney: 

I really think that to Mika and I, both our personal journeys before we met and started this business are very indicative of the wellness industry in that we kind of went through those ebbs and flows of unhappiness, utilizing food as the enemy and workouts as the punishment. But when we really started to work together and realize the joyous parts of our journeys and how much fun you can have, it really unlocked something.

Kern: 

I feel like people have this preconceived notion of what it means to live a healthy life. When you guys are engaging with the woman that you guys engage with, how do you go about changing their mindset? Or maybe a better way to put it is how do you guys go about preparing their mindset for what you guys offer and what you guys are going to take them through as opposed to what they expect?

Tameika: 

I would say two, three weeks of the program is strictly on mindset. So we don’t even tell them what to eat or we don’t tell them what to do, we talk about reflection. And we have them stepping into their prosperity and possibility. And I think when you kind of set the tone, regardless of what we’re doing, retreats or coaching, you set that tone, it just shifts the whole dynamic of the relationship and the coaching.

Whitney: 

I would just maybe add really quick, too, [that there’s] a tribe element. Either our coaching programs or our retreats, it’s filled with women that are doing the journey together. And I think so many people in today’s society feel alone and isolated. So it’s really fun and engaging and they feel held and supported not just by us as their coaches, but with women that are doing the journey together. 

Kern: 

So from a business perspective, how did you guys think about building and nurturing that tribe? And just from a “we want to help serve these women perspective,” how did you guys go about thinking about the building tribe?

Tameika: 

No two retreats are kind of the same. If you’re in a new country, if you’re in a new experience, you’re feeling all of the incredible energy and we bring 110% to each retreat. So that really often allows for repeat customers because once they go to one retreat, it’s so amazing. We really connect people virtually because it is a global space that everybody’s in. We’ve had people from the Caribbean, from Canada, from the UK, from Africa, we’ve had them from all over. And then from a social media perspective, we get the tribe together on an alumni Facebook group. So if you’ve kind of touched our space, you’re connected.

Kern: 

You’re in an industry where I think you can really lead the conversation for diversity. It’s something everyone has to deal with whether you choose to or not. What does diversity actually mean and how does it play out within your tribe?

Tameika: 

It’s diverse backgrounds, ages, sizes. It’s beyond the colour. It’s where you have a 22-year-old and 55-year-old becoming besties. It’s having people from all walks of life…connecting through diverse thought. And I think that’s one of the things that really spoke to me in the work we do.

Whitney: 

We hired a woman who’s from the UK but living in Bali. And we’ve hired another woman in Toronto and a woman who lives in Minnesota moving to Georgia. And we have this virtual beautiful team of women. It’s, very, very powerful what we’re doing in diversity.

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