“Be Vulnerable” A Conversation with Wellness Writer, Jules Hunt
“I am forever thankful for my struggles, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jules Hunt, the creator behind the wellness lifestyle blog, Om & The City. Jules engages a rapidly growing community of over 42,000 yogis, foodies, and entrepreneurs. She thrives by helping others design a life of wellness and starting conversations worth having. Jules has been featured by top wellness sites such as mindbodygreen and Well+Good and works with industry leaders like Outdoor Voices, Athleta, and Adidas. Beyond the blog, Jules is a certified yoga instructor, proud dog mama, and major plant lady.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I am forever thankful for my struggles, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. In high school, I battled with depression and disordered eating which continued on into college. Through my healing process, I discovered my love for yoga when I interned at a local studio in Ohio. Yoga had this snowball effect on my life, which positively impacted other areas of my life from my relationship with food to my overall approach to a clean and healthy lifestyle. I started my blog over 4 years ago as a way to connect with like-minded people and to express myself through writing, which is something I’ve always done.
I had no idea this blog would eventually turn into a full-time business and grow into a community that is now a big source of my joy every day. It’s my mission to serve others by helping them design a life they are excited about through wellness of the mind, body, and spirit. I’m so grateful my blog has given me a platform to share openly and candidly about my experiences and to start conversations worth having with people who just want to live their best life.
Can you share the funniest of most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?
Probably the story of how I met my boyfriend (I promise it ties back to my blog). Andrew and I met back in my hometown in Kentucky when I was in 8th grade. We had a crush on each other — from late night chats on AIM instant messenger to burning each other mix CDs that we’d swap in the hallways. That’s about as far as it went since I was really shy, and Andrew ended up changing high schools.
We didn’t talk much after that, so fast forward about 8 years. I reached out to Andrew on Facebook and asked if he’d design my wellness blog. I was living in NYC, and he was in Cincinnati. He said yes to the project, and in January of 2014 Om & The City was born!
He visited me in NYC a few months later which was the first time I’d seen him since high school. Needless to say, the feelings were still there and we starting dating long distance. We’ve been together for almost 4 years now, and live happily in Brooklyn with our awesome pup Luna!
Andrew has helped me reach my dreams since day one and is a large part of my blog’s success. From design and development to content creation, I’m so lucky to call him my partner in life and biz.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
As a wellness entrepreneur, I’ve attend countless events in and out of the city. After a year or so, I started to feel burnt out. A lot of the events I attended felt like a missed opportunity to truly connect with people on a deeper level. I was craving something more, so a few months ago I launched @awakethespace, a wellness popup concept. We host creative workshops, talks, movement, and more, while also promoting local businesses, sustainable initiatives, and healthy habits. It’s such a wonderful community, and we all walk away with new knowledge and inspiration to take with us out into the world.
If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?
As overused as these words are, I truly believe authenticity and inclusivity are the keys to finding your flow in this world and owning it. There are a lot of faces in this industry which make it easy to compare paths, but I believe there is space for everyone. It’s important to follow your gut, put out content you are proud of, get inspired, and always give credit where credit is due. When you find what is truly meant for you, you’re absolutely unstoppable.
So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?
I haven’t told anyone this yet, but I’m working on an app that is hopefully going to help a lot of people. That’s all I can say for now. There is also something else pretty major happening in the next couple months, and I am very excited to share the new adventure soon. Aside from that, I’m working on so many things to develop myself deeper as a wellness entrepreneur and content creator. I’ve got some rad long-term partnerships lined up for this year that I’m super pumped about. People can expect more content to drop this year that will help them further design their lives.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.
- Set boundaries — As you grow, you’ll get approached to collaborate, attend events, meet for coffee, and more. Some will be SO worth your time, and others won’t be. You don’t need to say yes to everything, nor should you. Your time is valuable, so use it wisely to avoid burnout from overcommitting yourself. Save energy for the genuine people and brands looking to truly connect with you for you. On the flipside, set boundaries for yourself and know when it’s time to power down and decompress from social media.
- Stand behind the content you create — The brain power and time you put behind content creation is valuable, so don’t brush it aside. While it’s nice to work with brands for trade, it’s not going to be a sustainable way to scale your business. Believe in the art you are creating, and don’t settle for anything that is not in line with what you stand for.
- Be vulnerable — It took me two years after starting my blog to realize I needed to open up myself and start connecting on a deeper level. Once I started sharing my past struggles with body insecurity and negative self talk, I found a new community with very similar stories. It was so therapeutic to speak to people from all over the world who understood how I felt, and in return, I was able to help them. While Instagram is a highlight reel, I find it so much more rewarding to share authentically what is going on in my life through the ups and downs.
- Don’t be afraid to promote yourself — What good are your clever ideas if you keep them all to yourself? I remember I avoided social media for the first year of blogging, because I didn’t want to seem ‘extra’ for using hashtags. You can’t worry about what others will think, because one day they might be asking you for advice on how to grow a brand like yours. Believe in your voice, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
- Ditch perfection, and just go for it — There will always be ways to improve, but there is only so much one person can do when they are just starting out. Forget about making everything perfect, and don’t get hung up on the little things. For example, say you want to start a wellness blog, but your website isn’t ready. That’s okay, start micro-blogging through your captions on Instagram and let people know it is launching soon! You can build a community in the background while you’re still building your blog.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Oh, I am a longtime fan of Sophia Bush and would flip to meet her in real life. She has such a big heart and is beautiful inside and out. Sophia is committed to making a difference, and has such a fire for what she believes in from social issues to how she values her friendships. I look up to her as an activist, a humanitarian, and a strong female leader. I can only hope to be as informed, brave, and soulful as her someday.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
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If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series in Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.