Julie Feickert is the proud founder of Cultures for Health (http://www.culturesforhealth.com), a do-it-yourself healthy food & product company/website out of North Carolina, USA.
Shortly after becoming a first-time mom, Julie was introduced to the idea of eating real foods including cultured and fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut during a workshop on sustainable living. She spent the next month frantically cleaning out her pantry and completely switching her diet while also practicing yoga from DVD’s she bought on Amazon. Suddenly Julie started to feel so much better about the future she could offer her son by establishing a healthy relationship and a connection with what they ate along with a healthy active lifestyle.
It was from there that Julie started her company at home from scratch and started offering cultured foods and products to people all over the world online. Today, her website has turned into one of the largest and most successful global sites.
Asana Journal caught up with Julie exclusively to find out more about her company, love of yoga, and to just get really inspired by this top entrepreneurial mother who is making the world a healthier place to live!
How were you first introduced to healthy eating and creating your own food kits?
I started thinking about food more seriously when my husband and I had children. I took a healthy eating workshop and over time made a healthy-eating 180. Eventually, I saw a gap in the market for quality, easy-to-use starter cultures for foods we loved, and started selling them online as a very small side project. I had no idea it would take off!
How do your products help people to feel better and live a healthier lifestyle?
Our products allow people to control what goes into their food, have a safe and reliable source of probiotics, and save money. Fermentation has been done at home for centuries, and we make it easy to reclaim that experience in a widely commercialized food industry. Cultured foods are also fun for the whole family to make together!
You recently opened a Body & Home section on your website… why did you feel this expansion was necessary to your company and fan-base?
Similar to controlling the products that go into their bodies, we’d like to empower our customers to control what goes on their skin. Homemade soaps, body care, and cosmetics are surprisingly easy and incredibly fun! You can avoid additives and chemicals without sacrificing quality, and you can tailor products to work for you instead of hunting down products at the store.
Are you a yoga fan?
Yes! With a growing business to run and the small children, I’m no yogi master, but as a peaceful practice, it helps keeps me sane.
Which of your products would you suggest people eat before and after a yoga session?
This is a question that’s better for a nutritionist, but staying hydrated with some bubbly, flavoured water kefir is always a good place to start!
What do you find is the hardest thing about running your own business?
I’m responsible for a lot of people! Business decisions are always hard, but they’re even harder when a few dozen employees depend on the company’s success.
What is your advice to others looking at getting into the healthy food industry/marketplace?
Find your niche, do your research, and focus on quality. The health food market is pretty saturated, and to stand out you have to create the best product possible. You have to make customers say, “Wow, this really works!” and deliver consistent results each time.
Why should people shop on your site instead of elsewhere?
Apart from the high quality of our products, we also offer incredible customer support. Our support reps are trained extensively on all our products, and are passionate about helping people. This is one of the hardest areas for us to hire new employees, because our support standards are so high. We’re here for our customers before, during, and after purchasing any Culture for Health products.
What are some of your other healthy products people can order?
We offer everything from kombucha to cheese cultures to sprouting supplies! Personally, I’m a huge fan of our Kombucha and Water Kefir starters. Both are very easy to use, take minutes a day, and provide my family with delicious probiotic beverages.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Peace. My heart aches for all the children growing up in this world with such constant violence and conflict. The life and well-being of every child on this planet must matter and be our top priority.
To read the full article please download our Asana Journal App or purchase Issue 164 August 2016.