Welcome to the Holistic Wealth Podcast. I’m your host, Kesha Blair, wife mother of three, author of Holistic Wealth and Founder of the Institute on Holistic Wealth. The show will showcase various experts in the key pillars of holistic wealth. Each week, we deliver the best information on how to become holistically, wealthy and live your best life.
KEISHA BLAIR: Today I have a very, very special guest with me, it’s Kristina Shea and Kristina has an amazing story of triumphing over an illness. She’s been widowed twice, suffered from corporate burnout and Job loss to creating her company, BlueSkiesLife. Kristina, I’m so happy to have you here today. Thank you so much for joining us.
KRISTINA SHEA: Well, thank you. I’m very honoured to be on your podcast and a total delight to have a conversation in the middle of the day and away from the regular day-to-day work. So, it’s a nice break and I look forward to our dialogue and conversation.
KEISHA BLAIR: Oh yes, absolutely. And you have an amazing story. Just amazing. I mean, Kristina, I’ve been widowed once, but you’ve been widowed twice! Not only that, but you suffered burnout and actually collapsed in the Toronto Financial District when you were in your corporate job. And so, I leave it up to you to start with telling us a bit about your journey. I’m so interested to hear how it all got started your widowhood. And I don’t know if your illness preceeded it, but I leave you to tell us how it all unravelled.
KRISTINA SHEA: It’s hard to kind of put this together, in a concise, short synopsis, but I will do my best. I do often compare it as a joke, as soon as you have to take things a little bit with some humour that I have lived a bit of a Netflix mini-series life, but yes, I have been widowed twice.
So I was married when I was very young. I came from a home, that, to be honest, itwas a dysfunctional home. And so I, I married him when I was young at 21 years old. I really just wanted to escape and start a new life. He was my high school sweetheart, but he was a bit older than I, but I met him when he was 15. So , we both had a love for riding motorcycles. So we did that for quite a few years. I mean, that was more his passion than mine, but one day he was actually hit by a truck and I was 24 years old.
My whole identity was entwined with this man because, I basically grown up with him. He was four years older than I, but it was just like one, you know, one day your whole life just changed in a second, as you can imagine. And it was just so sudden and traumatic and I was actually working overtime on a Sunday and I had this sixth sense that something was wrong.
It was so bizarre, but I won’t get into the gory details, but it was quite traumatic as you can imagine that I had to identify him at the hospital. And at 24 years old, I mean,I look at my daughter. She’s barely like, oh my God. Like, I don’t know how I got through that. But anyway, I basically I had to move out of our home.
You know, it was very challenging emotionally, mentally and financially, too. And and I was working as a graphic designer at the time, actually my career started with working with banks and so on. And I had a really great job. I loved it. And I managed like 10 people at time for a young girl or a young woman that was quite a feat. So I was already kind of climbing that ladder in a small agency. And working too much still, but anyway, so I then moved on and making my life, I bought a small home and I was working towards creating a new future.
And I met my next husband who I met at work. And he was also the father of my lovely daughter, Chloe, but, you know, he had his own challenges too. I don’t usually talk too much about it, but you know, he had addictions and his own demons. Let’s just say that. So I had a lot of issues there as well. So after nine years of marriage, we did separate, but we became very, very good friends and actually our relationship was much, much better.
And so we were really close. He still came over holidays. He was here at the house all the time. He was just, you know, he was, he was still in our family. He was still my husband. It’s just, he knew he was getting a lot better actually, but he died suddenly of a heart attack and it was really due probably to alcoholism and his cigarette habit. He smoked about two packs a day. So, and he was doing so much better, but you know, sometimes these things just catch up and I still love him very much. And I miss him. I don’t want to get all emotional and, It was the worst moment was really telling my daughter that would be the worst moment in my entire life. I’m going to tell my daughter that her father was not here
KEISHA BLAIR: For sure.
KRISTINA SHEA: It was very unfortunate. He was very young. He was like 57 years old. And so it was unexpected. You know, he was happier. He was doing much better and things were good. So it was just, it was devastating. And, at the same time, because we were living separately, I was financially supporting him, and I was supporting my daughter. I’m supporting our life. Like you didn’t have to really contribute that way, but he was a wonderful father in the best way that he could be. So what I was doing behind the scenes is, I was trying to make a stable home for my daughter financially and security and all this stuff that we didn’t have.
And so I was working ridiculous hours in the Toronto Financial District. Probably 60 to 80 hours was like the average and dropping my daughter off at daycare in the early wee hours, 6:00 AM. I’m jumping, running literally in my high heels of running to catch that train to get downtown Toronto. And I did this for years and exhausted, but one day, and I was feeling really unwell for months and I was suffering from migraines. So just one day I was like, I was meeting a friend down at the lunch court, which is a big area. And I remember thinking I was holding on to the escalator rail thinking I don’t think I can stand up, you know, and how am I going to make it, I don’t, you know, I’m thinking, I want to have a good time, I want to meet this friend that I haven’t seen in quite a while. And I’m thinking, I feel like I’m going to fall over. And literally just a few steps after the escalator. I literally collapsed. I don’t have much memory of that.
Keisha Blair: Oh, no.
Kristina Shea: Yeah. And it was quite frightening because I actually lost my vision at that time when I woke up, I couldn’t see. So I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I don’t really remember any of that, except that I woke up and they were doing a myriad of tests and, you know, I couldn’t see. So I started panicking.
Keisha Blair: Yes, of course.
Kristina Shea: Yeah. So you’re literally in the dark, you don’t know what’s going on. Right. And not just metaphorically. I obviously couldn’t see. So. And it actually did subside.So within 24 hours, I was able, I was able to see again, but it was quite scary.
KEISHA BLAIR: Yeah, you must’ve been relieved, I mean, to be in darkness and not know what’s going on, that must have been so scary.
KRISTINA SHEA: It was terrifying. I’ll be honest. And I’m a very visual person because you know, my background is graphics and design and you know, everybody, anybody wouldn’t want to lose their sight, but it was like, I didn’t know how I would even survive after that the future, but you know, you have to get through things. So, so they did an MRI and they did all these myriad of tests. As I said, and first they diagnosed the first time when I was brought into the doctor’s office, they told me that you know, I was just thinking, oh, they’re gonna tell me it was a migraine. It was stress. You know, like that regular stuff. I’m like, oh no, you know, whatever, you know, I got stuff to do so, but no, she just sat me down first. They told me that I had brain cancer because they read the scans incorrectly. So I thought.
KEISHA BLAIR: Oh no
KRISTINA SHEA: Yeah. So I walked out of there thinking, what and again, I was thinking who’s going to look after my daughter, it’s all I ever thought about, who’s going to look after my daughter. She was very young, but then they did rediagnosed it as being a brain cyst. So it’s, you know, it was a peneal cyst, however, it was causing severe issues and pressure. So it wasn’t , um, some stuff can be not, you know, don’t interfere with your life, but this one had been interferring continues to this day because I didn’t choose to have surgery because they had told me that there was a risk of losing my eyesight and at the time decided not to do that. And I also was running my own consulting firm on top of my day job. So I decided to just live. I tried to reduce my stress. I was trying to live holistically, live well, and reduce my stress.
So less hours and so on. And I discovered alternative ways to deal with my pain because originally what I was doing was taking a myriad of painkillers in between this, which ruins your intestinal system. And also you become addicted to these things. So then I became addicted to painkillers.
KEISHA BLAIR: How did you know you’re addicted where you’re taking like a certain amount at the time and your doctor said, no, that’s a bit too much. And what was that amount?
KRISTINA SHEA: I mean, I was taking opioids. I was taking frees like candy. Like I would take them every hour.
KEISHA BLAIR: Okay. Okay. Wow.
KRISTINA SHEA: So, and then your body just decides that it needs it and you you’re, obviously you, I would get anxiety because I would be great on the call. How am I gonna get to this meeting? I got a pop, a pill. I got pop another one. You just got to make it through the day and you know, and then your body just starts needing it.
It’s because it’s normal. And I realized this was really, really unhealthy of course, and mostly concerned about my relationship with my daughter too, because obviously I was bringing a lot of my angst and issues home. And I hate to say this. I probably, I wasn’t being probably the ideal mother. I was doing my best, but to me, the best wasn’t enough.
So I decided that I had to do something about it. I had no idea what. One of my girlfriends, she had come over to help me look after my daughter. I had this one day where I just couldn’t function, I had to go lie in the dark. I had a migraine, if you’ve ever experienced it.
KEISHA BLAIR: Yes. I have them.
KRISTINA SHEA: Yes. I would love to know how you deal with them. I mean, I still deal with them, but I, since I started taking what we’ll talk about, it’s reduced and we need to use them. So I basically put pills and stuff all over my nightstand at my bedside table. And she came over, she goes, it’s time, you need to change. You need to do something different. Because she was helping me with dinner and stuff for my daughter. And I was like, I tried everything. I don’t know what else to try.
So, yeah, so I literally did collapse and I kind of struggled through my health for various different side effects because of what I put my body through and corporate burnout. It’s real corporate burnout. When you’re pushing your body to the extremes, like I was not sleeping and I used to say I would sleep when I die. And this was a reality. So sleep is where you recover. And I was getting about three hours of sleep probably for gosh, at least 10 years.
Keisha Blair: Wow.
KRISTINA SHEA: And I was also going to school so full-time schooling and I was working full-time plus running a consulting firm on the side and I was teaching fitness and dance, and I was raising a daughter. So the reality was that there’s not enough time in the day, even if I didn’t sleep ever.
So it just got too much. And then later on, I changed my life and then I kind of got drawn back into this life again. And that’s what’s hard, people were always asking me to come back and work in a corporate role and it is not that I don’t like that. And don’t enjoy it. But I ended up working for a life science company. And again, I was kind of gone through all that and then COVID hit and I was going through that cycle and I was thinking I have to get off this cycle and I’m not happy. And and I’ve already been, incorporating holistic living in my life, like, meditation, yoga, and eating well.
So I always joke. It’s not about holistic or any kind of wellness. It’s not just about going to yoga class or drinking from your, Lulu lemon, or drinking from your small bottle and wear your Lulu lemons. It’s a way of life. So actually, because I got laid off, I decided, you know what, I’m going to make this the catalyst.
This is it. I’m going to now just pivot and work towards my passion project, which is my new business endeavor, which is Blue Skies Life.
SYMPTOMS OF BURNOUT
KEISHA BLAIR: I’m so intrigued with the topic of burnout. And I want to ask you, so listeners know, at what point do you know for sure you’re at the point of burnout? Like without a doubt, you know what I mean? How can listeners know that they’re at that point? So they need to take action.
KRISTINA SHEA: Yes. I can totally identify this is from my personal experience. So I’m not a doctor or a Therapist, but I think if you are, you know, you’re unfulfilled, you’re unhappy. You’re dreading going to work. And sometimes it’s subconscious. If you’re not sleeping because you’re worrying about work all the time and work is we could be industrially corporate, but it could be anything where, whatever those, you know, what’s your day-to-day, whatever those things are. If they’re encompassing all your thoughts, if you’re coming home irritable all the time, you can’t find joy in the small things, or even going to family functions. Do you feel like, oh, I don’t have time to do those things and all you’re doing when you do get there is thinking there’s absolutely no fulfillment, no joy? It becomes that you’re just thoroughly exhausted. Like my body would feel like I was hit by a truck.
Like it would be so exhausted and I just couldn’t even see friends. I was just tired. I was just tired all the time. And, all I could talk about was work usually, because that’s what was my whole life at that time. And I think a portion of that, why I was doing that when I look back I’ve been analyzing and looking back to my life, because I was dealing with so much trauma because of the loss of my husbands. And I still, to this day, I have to kind of try to find a balance. I would totally put myself all in because I didn’t want to deal with the pain. I didn’t want to deal or recognize it, or I just wanted to keep moving. So I didn’t have to think about it.
KEISHA BLAIR: Absolutely. And that kind of emotional pain and the grief is so deep, I’ve experienced it and I cannot imagine experiencing it twice, but for most women, whether we like it or not, it’s the path that we’re going to be on. Whether it happens earlier or later, I mean, most women, 80% of women will outlive their husbands at some point. So Kristina, in terms of even how you began to deal with that, when you became a single mom, you know, I was in your shoes when I became a single mom too, when juggling a corporate career, right. And juggling grief and everything. And your body’s feeling like it’s been hit by a truck it’s feeling numb for months and months and months. How did you cope with even that aspect? You know, in addition to burnout?
KRISTINA SHEA: My first husband, I remember lying on the grass and, you know, I was just overcome with grief. I didn’t go anywhere and get up. I was so depressed. But I remember just looking at the sky, it was raining, looking at the blue skies, and I thought, you know, the blue sky is just so beautiful. I was optimistic. It was hopeful. And it was like that small moment of joy where I was like, the world is still wonderful. Life is wonderful. This planet is wonderful. And even though I could just tune out for a second and it gave me hope. And even though the storm has come in and they roll in, they will pass. And the blue skies will reappear. So I was finding small moments of joy and I was reconnecting like, smell, people say, smell the roses. Right? Like. I would put myself and put myself into gardening or, you know, saying just hello, those small connectivity moments that you would have with people, but it was very, difficult to rebuild. And for me, because I was so young at the time I was trying to reassess, like find myself, because I didn’t know my identity because it was so intertwined with being a wife.
Yeah. So each experience was very different because there were different points in my life, but I would try to find these beautiful moments and especially in nature. And I would like to think that he was there with me and joining them. And so even when I would travel, because I do love traveling, I did that a little bit later in life. I would visualize him being there with me, enjoying those moments. And it made me enjoy those small moments. People get hung up on fancy houses and cars, but really at the end of the day, it’s the small moments that you remember.
It’s the small moments. You remember interacting with your husband or your loved ones that are gone. You don’t necessarily remember that, you know, you bought this fancy house, you remember that you had a wonderful meal and you took this lovely romantic walk and you kissed and things like that. They’re very small, but meaningful moments. And I found nature was really healing. Going to the beach and the water was very cathartic. So for me, that’s what it was the second time. It was a different sort of scenario because my focus was on my daughter.
KEISHA BLAIR: Yes I can imagine that. And of course I can totally relate because I found healing in nature too. And wellness, like extreme self-care. After my husband died, I took a one-year sabbatical to Jamaica. And it was a lot of healing, wellness, eating well, meditation, as you mentioned, spending time in nature and all of that good stuff that holistic living, which is why I’m still drawn to your story too, because, you know, during COVID-19, so many people are dealing with trauma and you know, are finding, are looking for ways to heal and to get over this period and just on a day-to-day basis, just practical things, Kristina, you know, that they can do. And so you made a really good point earlier about our identities are so wrapped up in our loved ones from a very young age. I mean, you got married at 21, your first marriage, right.
So I can imagine for you, everything was wrapped up there. And so in my book, Holistic Wealth, I mentioned that everyone should have their own personal financial identity and especially for women. And I know you do a lot of work with gender equality too, which I want to get into as well, but I just want to, just because you made that point about your identity being wrapped up in someone else, and that happens to so many women, especially when we first get married and most of us get married, you know, in our twenties or early twenties. I did too. And so I wanted to ask you about the results of your quiz based on that personal financial identity framework that I developed and just to share your results. And, you know, your experience and how you’ve managed to how this philosophy or how this identity has been shaped over the years. I’d be interested in those insights.
KRISTINA SHEA: It’s an interesting, I’ve never really thought about it like that. So my results, which I was kind of surprised because I’ve always tried to build security and, and for my daughter in particular, because I never felt like I had security because primarily, well, maybe from my upbringing when I was young, but also losing people. But I realized that would never made me happy beause I didn’t like the status quo. I always felt like I was meant to do more than sell financial plans for a big bank and they don’t care about the actual people behind it. What I love about what you’re doing is that connectivity between the individuals and really understanding where they want to go and how they want their life to be. They don’t really get that, you know, going to your banker necessarily. But for me, I was actually, I was surprised by the result because it did say I was a Risk-Taker. I’ve had people say that before. And I think when I really had to, when I remember thinking, oh, that’s interesting, Because, I mean, I kind of felt like I was always on the fence about that because, but I think being on the fence is not always a good thing either, but also one way is not good either risk-wise, but I think people are so afraid of taking risks and I’m not as much because I feel like we have one life to live and after losing, you know, sort of significant loss, like in one of my second husband passed away, I also lost my father in the same year.
Yes. I mean, there’s a whole story about that in 2016. I remember it, but people are like, they want to forget about 2020, but here we are still in 2021 in the pandemic. But I think, you know, people have experienced so much loss during the pandemic as well. Job loss, financial loss, loved ones, you know? And I think because of their experiences, I hope I’m not going on a tangent here, but I hope they bring empathy and kindness and a lot of things that people didn’t have, or weren’t, you know, maybe giving out freely before. So for example, for me, in 2016, going through such extreme loss, because I lost my husband is dealing with my daughter because she was emotionally, obviously traumatized. I was dealing with a very unsympathetic corporation and I was working for absolutely horrible experience. I couldn’t even wish that on my worst enemy to be quite frank. Then on top of that, my father died. I actually had a personal traumatic experience in that year as well. So it was like the year from, I’m religious. I don’t always want to say a year from hell, but it really was.
And so when you’re going through all these things, I mean, it feels like the rest of the world, and it’s not that they don’t care. It, it felt like that because you don’t, you’re the only one experiencing it, at least that you’re aware of at that moment in that time, what 2020 has, I think opened people’s eyes.
Because we’re all in this together, quote on quote right. But it doesn’t mean that people aren’t going through their own individual trials and tribulations. Some people are experiencing, you know, the loss in 2020 very differently than others. But I think it’s given people an insight and hopefully to what people can be going through more empathy and kindness. And I always say this, I would love to see kindness and empathy be the new contagion. Hopefully this is something that will help reset the world and how we live and how we work. But 2016, for me personally, was the most challenging year in my life.
KEISHA BLAIR: Yeah, no, for sure. And so you mentioned that you had taken the quiz too, and that you were a Risk-Taker. And, you know, I had also mentioned about our identities as women being wrapped up in someone else. Sometimes we transition into adulthood, into marriage, not having a full sense of our own personal financial identity. And you made that point too. You got married at 21. And so I wanted to get your perspective on that, given that you were married so young, you identify as a Risk Taker. Do you think that evolved over time or was that always, you to the core and how that philosophy has extended into your business and the risks that you’ve taken? I just wanted to hear a bit more about that, especially because you were, you were married at such a young age and widowed twice. I’d love to hear your perspective on that.
KRISTINA SHEA: I guess because we used to ride motorcycles, I guess I was a Risk-Taker. It really was true back then, but I really didn’t think of it like that. And I think I was more safe. Like I would try to do things with our security and the decisions I made and so on, and I wanted to feel safe. And that’s why I left my home to be married to a man. I thought that would make me safe out of that white picket fence. You know, all those things are changed as women too, to want to have, you know, only a deep down, I really didn’t want that. And also being entwined with his identity, it was like, you’re someone’s wife. I had to rediscover myself and I suppose I was taking different risks, but they were smaller I suppose. But, you know, losing somebody, it creates, I think from perspective in the world. I mean, obviously I was single then, and I mean, obviously, but I didn’t have my daughter at that time.
So I was far more riskier and not really in a good way because I was doing all sorts of crazy things to be quite frank. I was doing like extreme sports and things like that because I wanted to feel alive. And also, but that’s not healthy either. That was too far because I didn’t really feel, I, there was a part of me that I almost wanted to be with my husband if you know what I mean.
KEISHA BLAIR: Yes.
Yeah. So. And then being remarried again. but then I was starting to formulate my own identity. Like I was freelancing. I started my own business back then even consulting and doing design and branding and all of that. And so I started to formulate my own sense of being, and then I got remarried and apparently this cycles sort of acute, but I was always because I was already exposed to having my own identity. I didn’t want to lose it again. And I still feel like that’s sometimes problematic sometimes with relationships, but I am very much about protecting both who I am and, and not losing my friends. So when I was young and I lost a lot of the friends, cause they were his friends, not my friends. I met them through him. You know, my friends went to the wayside. So I always do say it’s really important to keep your world open and keep your contacts. But again , after losing my second husband I always was trying to build security and so on because I wasn’t the sole breadwinner, but it also was just something in me.
I think it’s always been in me that I want to experience the world and. And do something different, do things that mattered. Sometimes that doesn’t mean risk-taking, it doesn’t mean necessarily, as I said, going to the roulette table, or even necessarily riding a motorcycle, you know, at full tilt, it means maybe I’m making decisions with my career, that safe quote on quote. But I think also we realized during the pandemic, I don’t think jobs are always safe. You know, you can be laid off and when you’ve been laid off it reframes how you think. And I think the biggest risk, Is not taking any risks because you are not really living to your potential. And it doesn’t mean that you have to do something crazy.
Just take small, do small changes, something that you wouldn’t do. It could be even, I don’t know, going to a party alone. I mean, it could be travel to certain countries, but I have traveled to the middle east and so on, but I think it’s just about being open to experiences and if you’re feeling unfulfilled, there’s ,I think it’s a fear of being uncomfortable, you know, being comfortable with being uncomfortable, honestly. Yeah. So I think that’s really where I always kind of like, okay, I have to transform. So to transform, I always go to that story of the lobster because he’s in a shell and he actually has to know if he noticed lobsters. I love eating lobsters, but his story is interesting. They’re grilled and they don’t fit their shell anymore. So I don’t know what they look like without their shell in the wild, but I guess crawl under a rock. They crawl under a rock and they hide, but they don’t fit into the shell and they grow a new shell that fits them. But they have to be uncomfortable and break out of that shell and then they transform into a larger lobster.
So I just thought that was really interesting. And that’s really what it is, is it’s breaking out of your shell and it’s, I don’t know how to consider that risk, but it, for me being an entrepreneur is definitely risk. It’s not comfortable every day, believe me, but I’m glad I’m still pursuing this and I’m doing it.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but I would mix it with security of often having a full-time job and the corporate world. And I was just finding too many barriers. I couldn’t be or reach what I really wanted to do. And yeah. So I guess I am a Risk-Taker, but calculated and not the typical, what people think is like, oh, I’m going to put all my money to this one stock. We’re going to go gamble. I wanted to bungee jump, but I didn’t bungee jump. That’s absolutely crazy. I think risks are just personal transformation, making small changes that you’re not comfortable with and expanding.
KEISHA BLAIR: Yes, absolutely. And so Kristina, you’ve made some amazing points and I have to ask you about the corporate world because there’s so many people dealing with toxic workplaces. And you mentioned that when you were widowed, I think it was the second time you experienced the lack of support from that workplace. And it was horrible. And I wanted to ask you more about that because I figured that was a means of transitioning to the business for you. And if so, can you tell us about that?
It wasn’t an easy decision. I mean, so where I was working, I won’t go into too many details, but basically involved a change in management and then they knew. They’d been there during the full thing, so they just weren’t sympathetic or empathetic or anything. And, you know, I had a young daughter and I was working still like ridiculous. Trying to because I knew that this change of management would make or break me having my job. And, you know, I was being sabotaged and I just realized it was so toxic. It was patriarchal nepotism. And there was a lot of toxicity in that environment.
And sadly, the cohorts that I dealt with or worked with in my team, they were afraid for themselves as well. So they couldn’t really understand what I was going through. I don’t expect them to but I didn’t feel supported. I didn’t really take any time off. I took two weeks off. That was it. And you know, and my poor daughter is suffering because meanwhile, I’m working like again, 60 hours a week and you know, it was ridiculous. And I just thought there more to life than this. So I took a break. And I was doing my own consulting business and I was doing some really interesting work, but then I got lured back into the corporate world again, by different conferences. The life sciences can be, focused on wellness and that’s how I interpreted it. And that’s really was maybe they have different agendas and they’re a big corporation. So we weren’t just aligned on like what wellness was, I suppose. And for me again, I was in the cycle. I’m like, this is not, this is not well it’s for me personally anyway, because I’m back in a cycle. So when I lost my job and I already knew that I was, you know, it wasn’t for me, it was just a catalyst and it was Blue skies. Life has been my passion project for so long. And please sky is spelled with a Y and the reason why it’s spelled with a Y it’s not because it’s trademarkable, but because it’s all about your purpose. So going back to your purpose and I’m like, well, why am I going to this job that I can’t stand?
Why am I working with these people that I’m not new corporate priorities, aren’t aligned with my core values? So that, that means so much. And I think for people to feel fulfilled, I mean, entrepreneurship or solo entrepreneur, solo business owners, it’s not exactly easy. And I would just say plan accordingly.
Maybe it’s a side hustle, maybe it’s, but you have to feel happy. Or if you’re going to change roles, make sure change rules or change companies, make sure that your core values align with the business that you’re going into. And sometimes you won’t know that until. You start there, but you shouldn’t know perfectly, at least from a high level.
And I just felt it was time for me to do something that maybe uncomfortable and really just , uh, you know, I had saved up by an outside. Do you know, I saved up some money, so I had a bit of a estate, but it’s still, it’s very, very scary. Cause you are risking your nest egg, right? So I think it just comes down to like, I just needed to do something that spoke to my heart. And my passion and we’re just baby stages right now, BlueSkysLife it’s about holistic and inclusive wellness, non-toxic products, ethical and sustainability. And, you know, and then we’re going to be combining education with that. So we’re still in our infancy and It’s just so important to follow your dream, but it’s not just dreaming.
You have to do it. So, and that’s the uncomfortable part. That’s where the risk is.
KEISHA BLAIR: Yes, absolutely. And you mentioned that you built up a nest egg and you’re still a single mom, Kristina. So that’s a big risk. I mean, I know lots of single moms start businesses every day and it’s just harder for a single mom to take that step when the buck stops with you. Right? And so I was looking at some of the products look amazing, the blue sky products I saw lemongrass, which I absolutely adore There are shea products there. How did you step out to start then adding these products?
KRISTINA SHEA: Because of my own health issues, not only did I have the, the brain cyst, I have high blood pressure, probably induced work related, you know, in the past I only found that out during the pandemic actually, cause it, my health history goes on and on, but I also have extreme sensitive skin. When I was investigating, all through my health journey, and all the chemicals that we put into our skin, especially as women, because we use so many beauty products and fragrances and so on, you know, this is, I have to find the source, but apparently we put 515 chemicals on our skin each and every day, maybe less because COVID-19 maybe, people are not putting as much makeup on.
Yeah. But that was the average stat. And so. And then there is some debate on how much of that is absorbed into your blood stream. Some people say, or some research that said 60%, but even if it’s like 30%, honestly, those toxins like parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde PFAS, like all these things that are being absorbed into your bloodstream and they might not see them initially causing issue with your skin or your health, but there are cumulative. And due to just the extreme amount that we put on our skin and our bodies as women, I really felt that there was a need for me and personally, I was always looking for products that would make my skin better, make me feel better. And I didn’t want to have toxic products in my home or on my skin or around my daughter.
I think it’s about making sure it’s not just about eyesight, you know, meditating, all that. It’s really making sure that you’re living clean and that’s hard to do in these environments that we have with processed foods , um, you know, skincare products, which aren’t as transparent on the labels what’s in though. So I decided to, I had Excema, I had some other skin conditions as well. So Shea, which is ironic is my last name is Shea. It was meant to be, but its one of my favorites. So, anything that’s infused with lemon grass is wonderful. Also any beauty products I source and I work with the vendors and I’m right now working on creating my own line in particular, but I want to ensure that there’s ethical trade. If it is outside, for example, in the Shea butter, it’s sourced out of Ghana directly, and it’s, there’s no pesticides, no chemicals. And it also helps a community of women there that, you know, process and to do that. And they send that over to Canada where it’s manufactured here.
And it’s a wonderful story because the formulator, he, his mother had created these recipes and he’s adopted them, of course, but so it has some legacy of female entrepreneurship and care, right. And that, and that is one of the big core values of BlueSkysLife is that we want to, I want to elevate wellness, but I also want to elevate women, whatever capacity that is. And if it’s helping the community abroad and helping them, you know, make a sustainable living , uh, as well as a sustainable product. That’s what BlueSkysLife is about. It’s really non-toxic and holistic living. And really about education and that’s, phase two because we’re going to be doing a lot of education as well around.
That’s really what it’s it’s about. So I, I really do stick to those core values. I will not waiver from non-toxic, sustainable and ethical trade as well. So. It’s very important for me to not only have non-toxic products, but non-toxic people in my life were non-toxic work environment. So I think it’s, I’m just re the world of toxicity and, and let’s all be together and let’s live cleanly and, and get back to the planet. And. Get back to our roots, right? Natural product.
KEISHA BLAIR: Yes. absolutely. And you have a terrific story that lends itself well, to that message because after being widowed, twice suffering from a brain cyst, you mentioned issues with, was it hypertension?
KRISTINA SHEA: Yes. Yes. And also skin issues.
KEISHA BLAIR: And you mentioned that some of those issues might also be as a result of toxic environment and whether it’s at work or in our environment, what we’re exposed to and you’re right, the less toxicity and the less toxic buildup we have, regardless of where it happens is what we need. And so, Kristina, it’s been amazing having you on the show. Can you tell listeners where they can find you, your website and social media?
I would love to hear from anyone that’s interested in learning more about BlueSkiesLife, so you can visit www.Blueskylife.com. And remember that blue skys is spelled with a Y because it’s all about your wines, but your purpose here. So, and that’s intentional. So we’re purposely brand or spelling, but also to our business practices. And you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. The handle again is at BlueSkiesLife. And again, spelt with a Y. So I would love, you know, if anybody’s interested in showing their products, you know, whether we carry them or just wanting to learn more about clean beauty products or clean skincare or ethical sustainable products.
KEISHA BLAIR: Okay. Amazing. And once again, Kristina, it was great having you here. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.
KRISTINA SHEA: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a delight and I would love to learn more about your story for one day. You’ll be online.
KEISHA BLAIR: Absolutely.
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