Queen Of Teas. The Affect Health Entrepreneur, Naturopathic Doctor, & Cat Lover
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
Have you ever come across someone who just radiates positive vibes? Well, if you’re ever lucky enough to meet entrepreneur and Naturopathic Doctor Nadia, you will know what it feels like. Nadia’s focus, through her company, Affect Health, is on “helping build healthier humans” and along with her business partner, she develops wellness products which fit into our modern, busy lives. A crucial component of her wellness secret? The two fluffy trouble makers found scampering around her serene, ultra zen home. (Seriously, just watch her yoga practice videos on Instagram to get a sense.) Get to know lifelong animal lover Nadia below.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like.
I’m a full time entrepreneur and part time Naturopathic Doctor (ND). My office is located in Yorkville and serves as both an office space and clinic space for patients. During the day I spend my time growing and working on Affect Health which I created with my business partner Jamie who is also an ND. Affect Health is a wellness brand that sells medicinal loose-leaf tea and functional health foods.
Like most startups we are a small team of two and have a lot of odd jobs we do such as shipping and handling, product development, blending and packing the products, customer service, etc. My main roles are creating marketing material and developing marketing strategy, copy writing and content creation, email marketing, managing social media channels, community development and engagement, and developing relationships with current and potential retailers. In the evening we set clinic hours to see patients as NDs primarily for acupuncture treatments.
Entrepreneurship has been such a fun and exciting ride; something I never thought I would be so passionate about! A big piece of satisfaction comes from our company’s key mission which is really to make people feel good about themselves by helping them take control of their health and wellbeing, or as we say “helping build healthier humans”! Recently I’ve started working on another side project that is focused on developing a new product for UTI prevention that’s natural and reduces the need for antibiotic overuse…stay tuned it’s super exciting!
When I’m not working I love swimming (I was a competitive swimmer), yoga, reading, art and design, making jewelry (I used to have a little Etsy shop), hanging out with loved ones and learning about life and the world.
Please tell us a bit about your cats. How did they come into your life? Is there a story behind the names or particular breeds?
My pets! To set the record straight I want to let it be known that I am not just a cat person, I’m an ANIMAL person. Previous pets also included: 2 dogs, 3 rats, 2 mice, 1 rabbit, 1 hedgehog, 1 corn snake, 1 12 yo goldfish, and a crayfish. I grew up with two big dogs and would love to have a pup now, but can’t in the space we have. I actually wanted to become a veterinarian in my earlier days, as both my aunt and uncle are vets, but realized I couldn’t handle it.
When I got my first solo apartment I felt like I needed a creature to inhabit it with me for some company, so I figured a kitty would be an excellent cute and low maintenance option. I entered into the addictive world of animal shelter browsing and came across this gorgeous 17lb blue eyed, white fluffy cat whose owner had been hospitalized and could no longer take him. Essentially running to the humane society I quickly found out there had already been several interested individuals as this was a “rare cat” to find in a shelter. When I met him for the first time he started purring immediately after I picked him up and head butting my face. I instantly loved him (and think he loved me?). Long story short I took him home the next day and we’ve been good friends ever since. I renamed him Zeus (previously named Hector) because he is a massive cat and quite godly looking if you ask me.
Two years later I started thinking about getting a second cat to keep Zeus company (and maybe help him lose weight!!). I asked my aunt and uncle who frequently came across abandoned cats or litters that had been given up to keep an eye out for an orange kitten. Two months later a little baby orange cat (named Pumpkin at the time) came up for adoption in my aunt’s clinic. It was love at first sight again so I took him home and immediately realized I needed to rename him ASAP. Andrew, my boyfriend, came up with the name Louis from the comedian Louis CK who happens to have red hair, and I like human names for pets so we decided it was a perfect fit!
Temperament wise Louis is a little more timid and chatty than Zeus. He also likes to sleep directly on top of me at night, which both annoys and enamors me. Both cats love each other and love to chase each other around which I love. They also both follow me from room to room and love to sit on top of all my things to distract me from getting any work done. They are such friendly, good little companions to have and come home to that I couldn’t imagine not having them.
How would you describe your personal style?
This is hard! Modern-tomboy-bohemian-chic? Is that a thing? I like flowy things paired with fitted, army print, leather, silk, denim cut offs, lots of neutrals and creams with an occasional pop of color, Nikes or Birks, and LOTS of sweet gold and silver jewelry.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
I went for lush, inviting, calming; very West Elm inspired. I’m a huge plant enthusiast and love having large greenery as part of indoor aesthetic. I like the idea of having this tranquil, nature infused space where everyone feels welcome and at ease when they come over. I also have a few pieces of art that I’ve brought back from Jakarta and Bali that add some personality to the walls and remind me of my family (I’m half Indonesian and my dad’s family lives in Jakarta).
What does your ideal weekend look like?
My perfect weekend looks a little something like this:
A lazy Saturday morning drinking espresso, then lounging and catching up on blogs with Andrew and the cats. Later in the day, grabbing tacos and beers on the back patio at Grand Electric with friends for lunch and then maybe keeping the entertainment going into the evening at a fun hip hop bar. Sunday morning dim sum brunch with family followed with spending some time at home prepping for the week, and doing some Sunday evening house cleaning to finish!
What inspires you?
Art, nature, and being around inspirational people! I find being an entrepreneur can be a lonely world sometimes and whenever I get a chance to get out to events and meet other like-minded people, it always fills up my “inspirational cup”. I’ve also really gotten into the world of podcasts recently that have been a great resource.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about your kitties?
The most hilarious story is probably how I tricked my cat allergy-suffering boyfriend Andrew into letting me adopt my ridiculously FLUFFY Himalayan cat Zeus. He had requested that if I were to get any pet that it be some sort of hypoallergenic pet. He wasn’t familiar with the Himalayans so I told him they were SUPER hypoallergenic. To my surprise he believed me and I let the power of placebo work its magic. Three months later, swimming up to our eyeballs in cat hair, I asked him how his allergies were. He confidently reflected on how they seemed to have completely resolved! I then broke the news that Zeus was absolutely not hypoallergenic and… he didn’t believe me! A few Google searches later he couldn’t believe I tricked him but I was already in too deep with my new fluffy amigo.