Genia’s Jammin Juice (GJJ) was founded by Kendra Graham-Paulk, a healthcare compliance executive with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Kendra was motivated to find a healthier way of living and to reverse her family’s medical history and comorbidities. GJJ offers fresh cold-pressed juices made with raw organic produce and it’s available to be delivered right to your door! The company was created with Kendra’s grandmother Eugenia in mind, who battled numerous health issues. GJJ is on a mission to influence others to make healthier choices and adopt a more holistic approach to health and wellness.
In addition to her professional career, Kendra is also affiliated with several community organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the NAACP, the Urban League, and the Boys & Girls Club of America. She is a mentor with Big Brothers & Sisters and is passionate about ensuring high school students understand their options beyond the twelfth grade. Kendra believes in equality for people of color and has strong ties with the NAACP in Pasco and Volusia counties.
In this interview, we speak with Kendra, Founder and CEO of Genia’s Jammin Juice, who discusses her inspiration for starting the business and her efforts to promote healthier lifestyles within the Black American community. She shares her approach to continuing education and staying abreast of the latest health trends, as well as her perspective on balancing her roles as CEO and health coach. The interview also covers her views on the future of holistic health and wellness, the importance of self-care, and her marketing strategies. Finally, she emphasizes the significance of partnerships and collaborations, as well as her efforts to make her products and services accessible to a diverse range of customers.
What inspired you to become a healthcare professional and start Genia’s Jammin Juice?
The path to launching Genia’s Jammin Juice wasn’t primarily motivated by my professional career in healthcare. Starting GJJ 2 years ago was initially born from my own self-discovery of adopting a healthier lifestyle. I also began to recognize that there was a need to cultivate a broader awareness and behavior of adapting a healthier lifestyle within the Black American community. Seeing my grandmother, other family members and people in our communities deal with comorbidities and disparities really motivated me as well to bring forth Genia’s Jammin Juice.
My intended professional career was driven by my activity and involvement as a young adult in team organized sports. I played sports all throughout grade school and there a passion for wellness, sport medicine, physical therapy and athletics were developed! Training really intrigued me to pursue a career in the healthcare field. However, I found another passion within the field which is Health Administration and Regulatory Compliance Law.
How do you continue to educate yourself on the latest health trends and incorporate them into your business?
Annually I participate in continuing education courses. With that said, I acquired two certificates: Certified Juice Therapist and Certified Health Coach with the National recognized Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and other accredited Health and Wellness programs, it allows me to keep abreast of the latest holistic medicine and wellness trends. The first year of starting the business it was important for me to build relationships and credibility with potential customers and clients; By doing so I was able to find better ways to serve the community and specific needs. That strategy mixed with continual education, health coaching programs, business coaching, enhanced wellness activities and personal research, I created a formula that works!
How do you balance your roles as a CEO and a health coach?
The Health coach program is currently not one of the offerings of the Genia’s Jammin Juice brand. The Health coach offering will be introduced in 2024, and so as a result I am not working in this dual capacity. However, the balancing act between professional, personal and entrepreneurship in concert with one another is the nature and beauty of being a woman. I am fulfilled that I can multitask very well, stay consistent and accomplish any task I set my mind to.
Can you share a success story from one of your clients who has benefited from your products and services?
The overall success I’ve seen thus far in the services GJJuice provides is promoting the awareness and adaptation of healthy living. What I can say is the most significant success story is the first time customer who has never experienced all natural juice and their facial expression on how pleasantly good the juice is and wanting to carry out a 5 day long detox to remove toxins and promote potential weight loss.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting their own health and wellness business?
As cliche as it sounds, find your unique purpose and don’t give up. It is important to follow your own path. Do not let others deter you from your goals and aspirations. The process can take time but it is absolutely worth it.
How do you prioritize self-care while running a business?
The key to self-care is establishing boundaries for “Me” time. Self-care is very important to me, which I have integrated into my daily routine. I have a personal trainer who holds me accountable, which I meet with 4 times a week and on my off days I find time to decompress by doing yoga or simply walking. If I foresee that my schedule will be crazy, I will block my calendar to ensure I do not forget my “Me” time.
What do you see as the future of holistic health and wellness?
I see holistic health and wellness to become the primary choice healthcare option. Since the pandemic there is much more awareness, information and education of natural and holistic wellness.
How do you stay connected with your customers and receive feedback on your products and services?
I am huge on excellent customer service and responsiveness, so I personally connect with all of my customers to confirm their order was received, or if the order was satisfactory and if they have any questions.
Can you discuss your marketing strategy for Genia’s Jammin Juice?
The company is 2 years old and within the first 2 years of the company’s establishment, the marketing focus has been to expand the footprint, increase brand awareness and provide valuable information to customers. There has been a significant aim to create content on social media. My photography content creator (James P Photography) and social media management (Parrisgraphicdesign) have been phenomenal in establishing one of a kind multi-media content. Additional strategies include: Participating in local/regional Pop-Up shops and being a sponsor with local health related events such as MeStrong 5k and Girl be Free, a Women’s Health awareness expo; and grass roots approach with word of mouth and direct promotional marketing.
Can you tell me about a successful partnership or collaboration that Genia’s Jammin Juice has had?
The greatest collaboration I’ve seen thus far has to be my friends and family. Their unwavering support has allowed the brand to excel within a short amount of time. In addition, they have alway agreed to participate in local events where GJJ is a vendor or sponsor and in addition to being content models when needed. My creative team, James P Photography, Parris Graphic designs, Statia Photography and Jantell’s Events and Consulting, all black owned businesses, have brought forth my vision and even challenged me to think outside of the box in my intended direction which has promoted a strong support system as well partnership.
How do you ensure that your products and services are accessible to a diverse range of customers?
As noted previously, I travel to participate in local markets of all kinds. This physical appearance and interaction with potential and interested customers allows me to interact with a wide range of demographics of all backgrounds.
What are your long-term goals for Genia’s Jammin Juice?
The long-term goal is to become a community leader and advocate within my hometown in promoting health and wellness by developing consistent programs and events to keep the community active and informed. And lastly to acquire a brick and mortar location in my hometown as well as a mobile juice bar.
How do you balance profitability and ethical business practices?
There will never be a question nor a balance on deciding profitability and ethical business practices, as my professional background on Compliance and Ethics will always result in conducting business in an ethical manner.
Can you discuss any upcoming product or service releases for Genia’s Jammin Juice?
Yes. I am excited to report that a new line of herbal teas will be introduced to the menu on or before September 2023. The line of herbal teas is called DRose Herbal Tea, which is named after my mother who absolutely introduced me to drinking tea.
How do you measure the impact and success of your company’s mission to promote holistic health and wellness?
This is a multi-layer impact whereby there will be increased sales, local recognition, product offerings, local/regional and community partnership and sponsorships will evidence the impact against the GJJ mission.