Mother-daughter duo channel personal challenges into faith-based Raynham health store
RAYNHAM — The mother-daughter duo behind Aspire Health & Nutrition in Raynham channel their personal experiences into their shared passion for living a healthy life that encompasses the emotional and spiritual, just as much as the physical, they said.
Carol Finn, who co-owns Aspire with her daughter Nicole Finn, said Aspire had previously existed in the same location for over a year under another owner who was focused more on nutrition in relation to sports and athletics.
She and Nicole bought the business, kept the name and reopened it as a more comprehensive health and nutrition store over Thanksgiving weekend, Carol said.
The slogan for the newly reinvented business is, “Bridges of healing to your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.”
“We believe if your physical condition is off, then it will affect your spiritual and emotional lives, and vice versa. One affects the others,” said Carol.
Carol and Nicole describe Aspire as a “faith-based small business” on their website.
In addition to a wide variety of dietary supplements, herbs, and other health products, Aspire also offers nutritional consultations and Christian-based life coaching at their store at 1470 New State Highway in Raynham.
Picky about the products
Walking into Aspire’s storefront, a patron will immediately notice the copious shelves containing multitudes of vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies, powders, organic food and personal care products.
Nicole Finn handles all the procurement of products.
“I’m pretty picky when it comes to ingredients and finding high quality brands,” she said.
She said that because dietary supplements and other associated products don’t require FDA approval to be released into the market, you need to do your research — which she does.
She learns from the product label or from the company directly of such indicators as being organic, non-gmo, gluten-free, and/or B-Corporation-certified for being environmentally conscious.
“Products have to go through rigorous testing for some of these certifications,” Nicole said.
Other indicators of quality she looks for in products are what kind of testing they've undergone.
“It’s important to find companies that are third-party tested,” she said, adding this is a way to know if something is high quality, or if it contains “funky stuff you shouldn’t consume.” She adds she looks for clinical studies on products when they're available.
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Some cool tech: 3D body scanner
An attention-grabber at Aspire is its 3D body scanner, the FIT 3D. Stepping on the machine produces a full digital analysis of your body composition, including your body fat percentage and your muscle mass ratio. Carol and Nicole said they inherited the machine from the previous owner, and it’s a popular feature in their store with customers working out in nearby gyms looking to track their progress getting fit.
Nicole said the FIT 3D can also help make other determinations. Through its creation of a digital avatar of one’s body it can measure a person’s weight distribution, which can be used to analyze posture and assess causes for customers having issues with pain in parts of their body.
Tragedy leads to spiritual journey
Carol and Nicole both channel their personal experiences into their shared passion for living a healthy life that encompasses the emotional and spiritual, just as much as the physical.
Carol said she didn’t have much of a spiritual side until about 16 years ago when her husband died. Becoming a single mother of two children, as well as the feeling that she “couldn’t do it alone” led to an increased involvement with her church at the time.
She eventually started doing volunteer work through her church, such as providing emotional support for grieving widows, and helping to strengthen followers’ relationships with God through different practices aimed at making a healthy soul, which Carol describes as reframing thoughts and emotions “so they are based around biblical principles from God.”
Carol would eventually study and train to become a "Christian life coach," wanting to either address the spiritual component to someone’s health issues or illness, or just help people looking to enhance their own spiritual lives.
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Searching for answers to chronic health challenges
In Nicole's case, since her young adulthood she’s been managing multiple conditions, including chronic Lyme Disease, hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome, she said. She said she “wasn’t getting many answers from doctors” which is what prompted her to explore the holistic medicine route, which she said has helped her manage her illnesses.
Nicole’s credentials include a bachelor’s of science in health studies from Bridgewater State University, as well as working for four years previously at another health food store.
Nicole has spent the last several years studying and training in natural health practices and alternative medicine, eventually becoming a counselor for functional nutrition.
“It’s a whole-body approach to wellness,” she said.
She said it isn’t just about diet, but also other factors like stress, sleep, environment and genetic predispositions, as well as “understanding how each organ works in tandem with another.” This way of looking at one’s health, she said, helps get to the root causes of symptoms.
She said many of her current clients are dealing with chronic conditions, who, like her, “had bad experiences with doctors,” whom, she said “they are great for acute care, but not for chronic care.”
Carol and Nicole emphasize their functional nutritional consultations and life coaching services are only there for people interested.
“People come in just for our products, which is fine,” said Nicole.
Consultations and life coaching services can be conducted in-person inside Aspire, or remotely over Zoom. They encourage interested people to call in advance to book appointments for these services.
What's next — from massage therapy to seminars to small grocery store
“We are expanding the store,” Nicole said.
In the short-term, Carol and Nicole want to fill out and utilize the rest of their business space for other activities and features.
In the back of Aspire they plan on hosting events, classes and seminars, such as educating people on the vitamin and supplement industry, and what to look for when choosing the right one.
Currently, they are looking to hire a massage therapist. They already have a room and massage chair set up for when they find the right person.
Long-term plans include offering a small grocery store inside, carrying a small array of perishable, healthy items, like produce and sandwiches.
Other long-term plans include bringing in an acupuncturist and introducing infusion therapy and vitamin deficiency testing as services.