I’m Joanne Wilkinson. I’m currently studying for my degree in FdSc Complementary Therapy and have just launched my business, Happily, Healthily, Holistically.
I’m originally from up north—a small village called New Marske in North Yorkshire. I moved to the South East a few years ago with my partner.
I guess my story really starts when I was six months pregnant. We were expecting our beautiful baby boy, and we were made homeless. We had very little support as all of my family were up north. It was such a worrying and anxious time.
My son came along, and I suffered badly with postnatal depression. All that kept me going was my little boy.
But then I started talking to a lady on my Facebook. It was somebody I knew, but I wouldn’t really say we knew each other that well at that stage. She was brilliant at helping me to come out of such a dark place. She gave me tips on how to stay positive. I started a journal and would write about my dream day in there - in the present tense as if it was happening. Where I lived, what I would be doing, where I’d be working, mainly about complementary therapy.
I then began to explore crystal therapy and aromatherapy. I’ve always been quite spiritual, but by doing these things, I was finally embracing me, doing things that were right for me.
Shortly after that, I wanted to learn more and gain a qualification. I wanted something that would give me in-depth knowledge, and as I already had a Level 2 in Beauty Therapy and a Level 3 in Hairdressing, I knew a degree would be best.
I found the course online, applied and went for the interview. As soon as I walked out of the interview, I knew it was definitely right for me.
I live in Lindfield, near Haywards Heath, and it takes me about an hour to get to uni, but I love it. It is well worth the travel. I’m there two days a week from 9am until about 4:30pm. I fill up my coffee cup each morning, jump in the car and drive to Eastbourne. I don’t get much time to myself as a mum, so I really enjoy the social side of class.
My tutors are awesome. They have such a lovely nature, they’re really supportive, and they run the lessons so well. The things they have taught me in this first year have been integral to me setting up my business, Happily, Healthily, Holistically. Understanding nutrition, aromatherapy and reflexology has allowed me to offer my advice to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
The online consultations came as a result of missing being at college and doing treatments. It was a ‘thinking outside of the box’ moment. I started by posting positive messages to give people a daily dose of happiness. Then as it grew, people got in touch to tell me about their problems.
I had consultations with them, talking about emotions, diet, sleep and any health issues. From there, I could give nutritional advice to boost the immune system, recommend reflexology techniques to reduce stress, and send aromatherapy oils to alleviate symptoms of arthritis and chemotherapy, for example.
I use Neal’s Yard products. They’re brilliant. They are quality, natural, organic, and sustainable; everything I love in a product. Plus, these are things that I stand for in my practice.
I’ve had a real sense of achievement from helping people in such challenging times. I feel like I’m moving forward with everything. I’ve registered my business, I have some lovely branding, which my partner designed for me, and now I’m at a point where I need a website - that’s my next step.
Once I’m fully qualified, my dream is to live in the Mediterranean and run retreats. I’ll still offer online treatments, but my focus will be on holistic health coaching. I want to be able to provide people with long term plans and solutions so that they can help themselves, not just put a plaster over it to help them for a day.
Email Jo at: firstname.lastname@example.org.