CHANGE AGENT CONTEST WINNER: VANESSA NOVA
Interview by Angel Quintana
Vanessa Nova, a Transformation Agent, was the winner of our May Change Agents Instagram Contest! Join CEO/Founder of Holistic Fashionista, Angel Quintana, in an exclusive interview with Vanessa Nova. We loved interviewing this passionate entrepreneur, a superhero-in-training!
Can you tell us a little about your business and how you got started as an entrepreneur?
I've been an entrepreneur ever since I can remember! Funny story: When I was about 10 years old, I decided to make some extra money by starting a summer business. I used my allowance money to buy ice cream bars in bulk from Costco and sold them to all the neighborhood kids out of the freezer in our garage. I even created a company logo, "the Ice Dream Co.", and drew it on brown paper bags to package the popsicles so the kids would remember me and come back the next day. I almost put the neighborhood ice cream truck out of business that summer! Nothing much has changed really, I just want to create things, package ideas, and sell them--AND help people live their dreams!
To me, business is really a platform for sharing my unique gifts, creativity, and making a difference in the world. It's definitely a labor of love that takes dedication and courage and the right combination of effort, intention, and energy, but I think ultimately having your own business is the best way to have a sustainable income that is congruent with the energy and love you're putting out in the world.
Right now, my finger is on the pulse of all things feminine and the goddess traditions that have been experiencing a huge revival. I just LOVE the goddess and I've been diving in really deep with her in my personal spiritual practice. I just got back from my first trip to India earlier this year with huge insights about a new direction for my business and realizing my dreams of creating bad ass super hero programs for women, both in-person workshops and retreats, and online transformational journeys. My vision is guiding women in getting real with themselves and their gifts, finding a spiritual connection that nourishes and inspires them, learning the art of exquisite self-care and true self-love -- deep inner and outer alchemy and next-level spiritual badassery!
Can you tell us about Activate Austin?
I have been doing energy and healing work for about 15 years now, and the one thing I've noticed from being in the industry is that the branding and design tends to be so cheesy, dated, and new-agey. When my partner and I moved from Seattle to Austin, Texas in 2012, I wanted to make a sexy, fun, colorful, and bright brand for our local biz that would attract a creative, spiritual, and savvy clientele who are ready for deeper awakening and transformation in their lives.
With Activate Austin, we're offering powerful healing services and classes that help people activate and awaken their inner power, clarity, and creativity. Everything we do is based on a 3000-year lineage of spiritual teachings that have been passed down from person to person. We teach people various techniques of meditation and give them a spiritual tool box for self-knowledge that draws on ancient teachings from the great mystery traditions on earth--everything from Kabbalah, Wicca, and Egyptian magic, to Tibetan Buddhism and Native American shamanism.
In essence, it's like Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry or the University for the Soul. I'm not saying that it's the only path or the best path out there, but in my years of searching for the real-deal, it's been the most legit non-new agey spiritual training I've come across. Not to say it's not really really out there, but the esoteric shit, and the search for the truth, really resonates with me, and I know people are looking for the real thing. So I've just had to own it.
At the moment, we're currently offering our live classes and one-on-one sessions on a local level in Austin, Texas, but we plan to expand and travel to other areas in the South as well as offering other types of meditation and wellness programs online.
What is your current core program and can you tell me about it?
Because of the nature of energy work and transference, the core of what I do is in person. Though I am in the process of developing some online programs and currently in school to integrate nutrition and coaching into my offerings, the main service I offer is called the Life Activation, and it's the root of everything else I'll be offering.
The Life Activation is just a fancy name for this healing session that has been done for thousands of years to awaken people's inherent potential. In Ancient Egypt it was used to initiate pharoahs, priests, and priestesses, but in our modern times, it's all about helping people be the superheroes they were born to be, so that we can all use our unique superpowers to make much needed change in the world.
I have seen so many of my clients come into realizing they can do or be anything they want, just from this session. I've seen women have the confidence to finally start the businesses they've dreamed of having, sometimes within a really short time! It's a really amazing thing, and I think everyone should know about it.
I noticed that you're a "Jill of all trades". How do you make all of your skills/certifications/talents work cohesively with your brand?
I'm currently re-visioning my personal brand at the moment, weaving together my years of spiritual training, love of art, graphic design, and branding, passion for personal style and fashion, and years of being a health and wellness ninja. To be honest, seeing how Angel ties in her diverse skills into the brand that is Holistic Fashionista has been a true inspiration for me in the last few weeks, because I'm starting to really see how all of it can really work together, the fashion, the wellness, the branding and design aspects can all work together to create value.
It's definitely been a challenge to find the cohesion, because I do have so many passions. At one point, I was co-running 4 different businesses simultaneously, including a graphic design firm, a healing and meditation center, a raw food and superfood education business, and a multi-media event production company! I was 100% raw vegan at that time. I had so much energy and I didn't really need much sleep, so I think that helped a lot. It was a good experience, but I'm relieved that now I can package most of those things that I really enjoy into a more condensed form, and it's definitely a work in progress.
The bottom line for me is that I'm starting to really OWN that I can do many different things. I've never really been the type to care what anyone thinks, but putting on so many different hats seems a little self-inflating perhaps? It's all about owning it, owning my witchyness, my personal style. I can say I'm a designer, a priestess, an entrepreneur. I believe that I am good at what I do. I enjoy what I'm good at. And it's all a result of my spiritual path, taking care of my self on all levels, and listening to my intuition and inspiration.
$250 Grant to The Salon
1-Page Interview in the April issue of Holistic Fashionista Magazine
$100 Gift Card to Holistic Fashionista Bazaar
Vanessa is a stylist, artist, spiritual teacher, healer, and coach who weaves together spirit, style, and wellness to help women awaken their inner goddess and activate the divine feminine in world! Learn more about Vanessa at www.VanessaNova.net