Tell me about STA Nutrition
STA Nutrition is a healthy bar setting where people can come hang out, sip and stay or grab and go. We offer products geared towards a healthy, active lifestyle, offering products from complete balanced meal replacement shakes to energizing teas, belly fat burners, and pre and post workouts. It’s a similar concept to a coffee shop or cafe but geared towards a healthy, active lifestyle.
What is the product brand you sell here?
Strictly supplements by Herbalife, which is the number one nutrition company in the world. The products are not only easy to make but easy to include in a busy lifestyle. We call it fast food for smart people. The shakes are a completely balanced meal replacement, and we have several flavors; many taste like ice cream.
We also offer consultations on weight management and achieving healthier eating habits. We offer free coaching on adding meal plans into the lifestyle, including snack options. We also provide an accountability system at the cafe, where you can weigh in and track your goals.
What inspired you to open this type of cafe?
Four years ago, I started my journey with Herbalife. I was eighteen years old and going into college. Most people are familiar with the college eating plan, and it doesn’t typically go well. I was a volleyball player in high school, and I never had issues with my weight. In college, I was feeling lethargic and taking 2 to 3-hour naps a day. I didn’t know what to do, so I joined a gym where I met a woman who introduced me to Herbalife. I tried the product for three days, and the first thing I noticed was my energy level changed dramatically.
That alone sold me on the product, so I started bringing my friends to a cafe, like STA Nutrition, that used to be in the Hobby Lobby Plaza. I loved the community and how supportive everyone was; they made you feel like you belonged and wanted you there. That’s when I became interested in the coaching side of the product. I realized I could not only help people lose weight but live a healthier lifestyle.
How much weight did you lose on Herbalife?
I was able to lose 7 inches off my waist, 11 percent body fat, and I gained 14 lbs of muscle, but the best part is my energy.
Where are you from, and what brought you to St. Augustine?
I’m from Minnesota, spent my childhood in Wyoming until moving to Singapore. It was a great time in my life; I was nine years old at the time, so I was very much aware of what was going on around me, and I value that experience because it molded me into the person that I am today. I moved to St. Augustine when I was twelve. My mom used to live here, and when we were moving back to the states, it was going to be either St. Augustine or California, and they chose St. Augustine.
How do you feel about all the changes in the area?
I love it! If you are from here the changes are an adjustment, but everything evolves, and I think it’s best to move with it. I knew I was going to stay in St. Augustine, and these changes allowed me the opportunity to provide something for the community with STA Nutrition.
What are your plans for the business?
My vision is for this space to be a fun and upbeat environment and to become a place where the community feels welcome and they can enjoy themselves.
I met up with Kelly Simmons of Koastal Paddle Board Yoga to discuss what inspired her to start her business, why she loves yoga on a paddleboard, and her plans to do it full-time.
What inspired you to start Koastal SUP Yoga?
I moved here in March 2017 and I got on my first paddleboard for a yoga class that April. I remember doing boat pose while the water gently rocked the board, that’s when I fell in love with it. I knew the basic ins and outs of yoga as a practice and the paddleboard was just a way to get outside and enjoy nature. I kept taking classes, and the woman that was teaching the classes wanted to sell that part of the business and just focus on teacher training, so I thought I can be that person and went for it.
Were you a yoga teacher at that point?
No, I wasn’t but I had been practicing yoga (mainly Kripalu) since 1986 so it was always something I wanted to do. For me to teach Yoga SUP I had to get my 200-hour yoga certification. Once I did that I took the SUP certification as one of my required continuing ed credits.
Where are you from and what brought you to St. Augustine?
I grew up in Massachusetts and lived in New York. I ended up in St. Augustine for my job. There was a position they wanted me to check out and they gave me two weeks to see if I liked the area, the people I worked with and if I would want to live here. When I arrived, I was living in a hotel near the outlets and that area didn’t appeal to me, so when a woman from work brought me up to where she lived in Palencia, I fell in love and that’s when I decided to stay in St. Augustine, rent there for a year and explore the area more.
How do you like living in St. Augustine?
It’s amazing…all these years I was living up north and now I get to live and work where people vacation.
What do you love most about SUP Yoga?
Being able to combine yoga with being on the water in nature. There are times we have dolphins and turtles swimming around, beautiful birds flying over us, and rainbows greeting us in the morning…it doesn’t get better than that.
How do you teach someone who has never been on a paddleboard?
At the beginning of each class, I go over the parts of the board, the paddle, and teach the basic forward stroke for paddleboarding. Since we have to paddle to sites we need to know how to use the board. When we get to the site for our yoga flow, we are almost parking the board so I teach my student’s different types of strokes so they know how to maneuver the board properly.
Where do your classes take place?
We launch at the Lighthouse pier and paddle to the south end of the Salt Run where we anchor up in a cove. It works out well since there isn’t a lot of boat traffic and the water is calm.
What type of yoga is your class based on?
Mainly Hatha yoga, my training is in Kripalu which is more breath-focused and body awareness. I have all levels coming to me so I mainly focus on getting the postures to work for the individuals’ bodies.
How does yoga differ in the studio vs the paddleboard?
The difference between the board and the studio is balance. When you come up to a standing posture on the board your feet will be wider apart than in the studio. It doesn’t feel natural at first, but it’s better for balance. Also, you can’t look down on the board since everything is moving. It’s best to find a spot on the horizon, like a house or a spot on the marsh.
Does anyone ever fall off?
Yes, and usually it’s me. However, once people fall and realize it’s just water, the fear is gone and they tend to push it a little more.
What days do you normally teach classes?
Currently Saturday and Sunday. I did teach on Tuesdays for a bit and that worked out well, especially for other yoga instructors who teach weekend classes, so I plan to add Tuesdays again soon.
Do you teach yoga in the studio as well?
Yes, I teach a class at Anastasia Fitness on Wednesdays. I’m also a Personal Trainer and about to work with my first client there.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not paddleboarding?
Teaching yoga, my favorite thing to do is anything that makes you feel good and healthy.
A lot of people come to yoga because they are older and may have an injury or a chronic issue. That hour of yoga becomes a bit of respite for them where they just think about their breath, and forget about any pain they might have and I love being able to provide that for them.
What are your goals for the business?
My goal is to do this full-time. I’ve spent a lot of time this year doing demos at health fairs and Anastasia Fitness. I’m also forming partnerships with other local businesses to plan affiliate marketing where we give discounts and support each other. You can find those partners on my website at https://www.koastalsupyoga.com/partners
Follow Koastal SUP Yoga on Facebook | Instagram | Website
#paddleboardyoga #staugustine #yoga #kripalu #hathayoga #paddleboard #koastalsupyoga
If you have walked the streets of St. Augustine, you’ve heard live music coming out of one door or another, but not all of them stop you in your tracks. I remember the first time I heard Jolie sing at Pizza Dina, I must have stood there for an hour listening. Her voice draws you in, gets to your heart, and mesmerizes you.
What age did you know that you wanted to sing?
I always secretly liked music, but I was timid growing up so I would sing in my room and wouldn’t tell anyone. I became more serious about it when I was twelve or thirteen years old when I started doing competitions. They were mainly country music competitions, which is not my genre, so I didn’t fit in, but it was for fun for me at the time. The competitions helped to make me more comfortable singing in public but they didn’t help me to discover who I am with music.
Where are you from?
I’m from Jacksonville but went to high school in St. Augustine. I was recommended to the chamber chorus at St. Augustine High School, which has an excellent music program. Singing was a fun thing for me, and I liked blending in with the choir, I didn’t see it as a career choice at the time
When did you tell your parents that this is what you wanted to do?
I told them when I was fourteen. I was in the St. Augustine talent show, and it was the first time I felt I truly loved singing. I ended up working with a producer downtown after that, and that’s about the time I started to become more serious about writing music.
Did you play instruments growing up?
Yes, my mom taught me piano when I was ten years old for about two years. I tried guitar, but I couldn’t get over my fingers hurting so I stuck with piano. I play ukulele too now; it’s much easier.
How was it the first time you sat on the street in front of Pizza Dina?
That was insane; I didn’t notice the people that stopped to listen because they were behind me. All I could see was the reaction on my parent’s faces, and they were freaking out.
How did you get the gig to sing at Pizza Dina?
It was by chance, I saw a Facebook ad in 2017, they were looking for someone, so I messaged them but never heard back. I figured well I tried. A few weeks later they responded and asked me to come in and sing on that Friday. I did, and they loved me, so they had me come on Saturday too. It’s was a tiny place, so I never expected it to become a thing. When they closed last October, I was worried about finding other gigs, but I was fortunate because other local businesses knew Pizza Dina closed and they reached out to me. One of them was the owner of Casa De Vino, so now I sing there as well as some other places.
Where is your favorite venue to sing?
Colonial Oak is my favorite. They don’t book solo artists, but there is one solo artist that plays there so when he can’t be there, he asks me to fill in for him, and it’s during the day so it’s great because I can still do my night thing.
Tell me about the music you love, and that inspires you?
I would describe my music as pop, but it’s inspired by what I go through in life whether I’m sad or something made me mad. I’ve yet to write a super happy song. I enjoy listening to sad songs and it’s much easier to write a sad song, so it makes sense for me to write those and I feel people relate to them more.
Can you read music?
Sort of but I learn more by ear. Most of the time I figure out what key I want my song to be in and I make it up as I go. When I stopped learning piano from my mom, I figured out a more natural way for me to learn the piano. My husband can read music and is super technical about it, so it’s funny when he sees all these sharps and flats in my music and says this is so complicated, but for me it just makes sense.
He plays by ear as well, but was taught to read music and plays the piano well.
Do you sit at the piano together and sing when you’re at home?
We don’t, but we do want to learn some duets together. He has been extremely supportive. I sing while he handles the business side of things and does all the digital promotion.
I saw that you performed at a wedding recently, how was that?
That was a lot of fun. I’ve done a couple of weddings and genuinely love being a part of these special days. I’ll sing during the ceremony and the cocktail hour and then get to hang out for the party. Most of the people who have hired me to sing at their wedding have heard me at Pizza Dina or Casa De Vino.
What kind of music inspires you?
I like songs that tell stories. A few of my favorite artists are Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, and Brandi Carlisle. When she performed at the Grammy’s, I was like WOW!
What are your goals?
I want to release and perform my own music. I’d like to have a fan base big enough to book gigs and have an audience there. I will be releasing an album of my music soon. It will have five or six of my original songs and will be on Spotify and iTunes.
To learn more and follow Jolie go to:
Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube