Building A New Family Within A Nutrition Club

Let me clarify something right off the bat: this is not a paid advertisement or partnership. I am in no way being swayed, I independently chose to write about how a nutrition club became family.

Another “don’t let the title steer you away” post. Because yes, I will be talking about Herbalife.

However, these are not like your typical MLM; these nutrition clubs really did become family.

I am not going to promote any product!

If you read this blog, then you read about the many business ventures I had and how I stuck with the T-Shirt biz for quite some time.

When I first started working solo, it was around Thanksgiving and Black Friday so I was trying to take advantage of the market.

This logo marked the beginning of an incredible journey!

I started looking on Facebook for any and every vendor event I could get into that wasn’t already fully booked.

One event caught my attention: a small business fair at an open gym.

They were in need of one other vendor, and I reached out to my bosses then girlfriend, Brittany. I babysat for them a few times and was excited to see her baking in action.

Without her even realizing it, Brittany changed my life that day.

I had mentioned during regular conversation that I was looking for a place to set up for Black Friday, which at the time was in 2 days.

She pulled out her phone and texted someone, and within minutes looked up at me saying “you’re all set for Friday! I got you hooked up with Mary at Panther”.

I wasn’t sure who Mary or Panther was, I was just thrilled that she was able to get me some space somewhere!

Thanksgiving comes and Brittany messages me to meet her at Panther at 8pm, which was about 500 feet from my then house, and to bring all of my stuff.

Unsure of what exactly I was walking in to, I stepped through the door and was greeted with the sight of a beautiful bar in the coziest of environments. A very nice lady (who was the only one there this late) walked over and hugged me while introducing herself: the infamous Mary.

“Can I get you a tea?”

I had never been in a place like this before and wasn’t in the mood for hot tea, but didn’t want to be rude either.

Mary pointed to where I could set up and told me all about what exactly the bar was.

I had never heard of Herbalife before, but I could already tell they were lucky to have Mary apart of their team.

She handed me a drink that was red and pink with lots of ice in it; definitely not the kind of tea I imagined, but holy cow did my taste buds dance around when I took my first sip.

Until around 10pm, I got my shirts all set up in the corner, and listened to Mary and Brittany explain what Herbalife was and what the magical drink I had was made of.

Black Friday:

6am sharp the doors opened and the bar filled with people. Myself and Brittany were the only 2 people set up with product and my gosh were we busy.

In complete honesty, I expected half a dozen customers total for the day, especially considering I was at a bar so close to my house yet never heard of it.

Golly was I wrong. I made over $800 from 6am-12pm. I sold out of shirts and had a list of custom orders to go home and fulfill.

Our Black Friday set up in 2020!

There was something different about this place and I didn’t quite understand it at first. This lady named Alice had come in pretty early and sat in the front left corner of the bar, and then a man named Josh sat next to her.

Another lady, Kayla, came in and took her seat, and then Madison and Nicole went behind the bar, another Brittany, Jamie, Jordan, Stacy, 2 Becca’s and so many more people came in and took what seemed to be their normal seats.

Corbin and Harrison, Marys kids, were running the bar and knew everyone and their drink order.

After people watching for a few hours, I couldn’t tell if everyone was related or had just become one big family.

As someone from a big city, it was odd at first being in a place where everyone knew everyone. And then one day I found myself walking through those doors in tears, wishing for nothing but to hug my Panther family.

I took a chance and went to an event that later became my second home.

The difference here is; I wasn’t going for the drinks, but for the people. The drinks were just a bonus😉

Mary invited me to her house for a Christmas Party, which I was still a little nervous about attending. Yet again, I walked through the doors and was treated like family.

From that day on I made lifelong friendships with people that I probably would have otherwise never met.

Brittany introduced me to Mary, who invited me into her family with open arms.

“My Arkansas Mom”

I sat here for a while trying to figure out what exactly to say about Mary, and I still am not sure what to say.

Mary is one of a kind. You know how someone burns you, yet you feel bad so you give them a second chance? Mary never stops giving people chances. The difference is, she does everything she can to help them succeed, regardless of what they’ve done to her.

In my short few years in Arkansas, I unfortunately witnessed people abuse Mary’s generosity a few times, but she never let it show. She continued to run her bar(s) with the biggest smile on her face, as if nothing had even happened.

I think she is a literal Angel sent from heaven. She was, and still is, always there for me (and everyone else), whether I need a hug or want to grab a drink at Purple Onion.

There’s a million things I could, and want to say about Mary, but I also don’t know how to express my thoughts about her into words. I thank the universe every day for what she has done for me, and who she has introduced me to.

If you’re ever in the area, please stop by and say hi to her. That’s if you can catch her lol! She is the busiest person in the world, from running multiple nutrition clubs to being a Gigi, but I promise you’ll never meet anyone else like her.

Then came my friendship with Kayla

I have met a lot of passionate, energetic, and goal-oriented people, but I’ve never met someone like Kayla who exudes all of those qualities and more.

Kayla and I went through the same major life changes together without realizing it. We came into each others lives toward the end of that period but instantly connected.

I would see Kayla at Panther every time I went, and she was always smiling and making others smile. It seemed almost effortless for her to radiate such positivity and warmth. Kayla puts 110% effort into everything she does and worked hard enough to buy Titan Nutrition in Jacksonville.

Since she took over, the community has come together in a way I had never seen. Having moved from Cabot (where Panther is) to Jacksonville (where the base is), I was able to see Kayla everyday. Yes you read that right, everyday.

I may not have always bought a tea or shake, but would go to simply see her in her element. Seeing my friends happy makes me happy. Naturally, she succeeded immediately, surpassing numbers that bar had ever seen.

She continues to accomplish more and more as the days pass, and I couldn’t be happier to watch her shine. Everyone needs Kayla in their corner.

Everyone I’ve met there has impacted my life in some way.

Madison, my missing puzzle piece. We are the kind of friends that don’t talk everyday, but when we do it’s like no time has passed. I found myself naturally gravitating towards her, as she just exemplified this special kind of energy I can’t quite describe. The funny thing about her is her bluntness. I’m pretty sure that’s why I love her so much because she doesn’t care for anyone’s opinion, #goals. And, she always has the best nails. #moregoals.

Morgan, oh sweet Morgan. You know how someone just makes you smile without even realizing it? That’s her. She got me this necklace before I left for deployment and told me how proud of me she was. She will watch Disney movies with you or run a 5k, she is just unstoppable. I’ll start crying again lol so MOVING ON

Are you in need of a bartender? How about a gym partner? Maybe just someone to support you 110%? Nicole is your girl. She will do whatever she can to make her friends happy. And she seriously is inspiring with how hard she works.

If you go to Panther (and you should) you’ll probably run into Alice. She supported me in every way imaginable and doesn’t hesitate to lend a shoulder to anyone. Ask her about her bacon wrapped chestnuts too. Ugh, amazing.

You know what the best part is?

You might think that a business like Herbalife would pressure you into buying product right? Even after months of walking through those doors, I was never pressured into buying anything.

I can’t speak for other bars, but Arkansas Herbalife bars care more about people than product.

I will say, as someone without a gallbladder, I was skeptical that the teas and shakes might upset my stomach. But they actually made me feel really good and have healthy ingredients compared to other drinks like sodas.

Now again, before you think I lied and am going to push product, I’m not. I’m simply trying to let you know that taking a risk and stepping outside of your comfort zone could lead to something beneficial for both your mind and body.

I deployed 4 months after Christmas and do you know who showed up for me? My new Herbalife family. They took me to dinner and showered me with love, flowers and snacks to bring with me.

While deployed, they were some of the only people outside of family who stayed in contact with me.

I came back and was thrown a welcome home dinner.

2 years later when I told them the news of my move, they got together again to celebrate me.

It has been almost a year and a half since I lived in Arkansas

And I still am in contact with all of them. In fact, they’re all invited to my wedding.

I know I didn’t talk about everyone, but that doesn’t change how much they mean to me. Brittany, I can never thank you enough. I am forever grateful for my Panther and Titan families. I can’t wait to see them all again <3

Sometimes you have to take a risk, whether that’s going out when you’re a homebody, or just starting that hobby you’ve been wanting to do. What’s the worst that’s going to happen?

You can read more about my military journey here.

Sometimes, strangers can step into your life and become your chosen family – the ones who support and stand by you through thick and thin.

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xoxo, abby

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