Meet Marsha Powell, mother of two and the founder of Eve and Grace Wellness Centre, a wonderfully inclusive boutique space based in Lavender Hill, London.
The inspiration for Eve and Grace came to Marsha when she realised that health and wellness was high on her agenda and within her circle of friends, but the impassive anonymity of a gym didn’t really appeal. A woman very in tune with her spiritual side and looking for a holistic approach to wellness, Marsha embarked on a journey over the last few years which has seen her championing the voices of girls and young women.
In January, earlier this year, she launched the centre, which includes a wide range of classes aimed at adults, children and mums to be, as well as massage treatments and physiotherapy, all within a non-judgemental space where all individuals can thrive.
Before she delved into the world of business she’d led a successful career working for the Financial Services Authority as a HR Business Partner. She says:
“I worked there for 15 years, they even paid for my higher education. I had a really good time there, but after my mum passed away in 2011, my whole landscape changed and I thought, do you know what? I don’t want to do this anymore. I actually want to do something that’s going to make a real difference.”
This life changing experience had a profound effect on Marsha, and she founded BelEve UK, an organisation to inspire, empower and educate girls and young women to become their best selves, improving their life and career chances. It seemed to be a natural progression for Marsha to then turn her attention to women. Perhaps reflecting on her own experience of pain and loss, Marsha founded another platform called The Journey to Grace, which gave the members an opportunity to share, connect and celebrate. She says: “This is half of our problem as women. We’re not dealing sometimes with the hurt or we don’t know how to deal with it which means it just manifests into something else, either you’re being angry, depressed, low self-esteem. So I was like, okay cool, wellness.”
Eve and Grace is the culmination of Marsha’s desire to create spaces where women could heal and thrive, but she was still unsure. She recognised that yoga and meditation is really good for wellness, but she worried that she didn’t see herself and others like her attending yoga studios. She said: “I only saw one type of person attending these settings and they didn’t look like me.” She was beset with self-doubt, coupled with the fact that she’d never done anything like that before. A very spiritual person, Marsha believed that God would pave the way, and miraculously things started to fall into place for her.
A friend of hers offered her the space which is now the location of Eve and Grace. And she gained greater conviction on the type of services that she would offer.
Marsha: “I knew that I didn’t want it to be just a yoga centre and I knew that I didn’t want it to be just about Pilates. I wanted it to be a mixture of things. I’m so pleased that we are able to offer meditation, dance, yoga, and Pilates. We also offer mums and baby stuff, and classes for children because I wanted it to be a family environment. So I feel like we are supporting women, in terms of understanding her health in terms of pregnancy, how she eats, how she thinks, how she connects with her babies, to when you have your baby, not to feel isolated, to have a place where you feel comfortable and not judged. And that means that that child is going to be conditioned in a positive way. Wellness will be a part of their life. So I see this whole journey as a lifestyle. It’s about how you think, how you feel, how you behave, how you show up in the world.”
The Eve and Grace Wellness Centre launch took place in January 2017 and more than 100 people have signed up already, with most of the evening classes already full.
Of course, there are challenges in any business. A big hurdle was the fact that Marsha didn’t really have experience in the industry, however, she recognised this and hired a professional for a short period of time to gain access to good teachers and to assemble a good team.
Marsha was very keen to share a profound message to women, the importance of looking after our health and taking some time out for ourselves to ensure that we are indeed well from inside out.
She said: “I’m a busy mum of two children, my daughter is 16 and my son is 11; it’s easy to just be on autopilot. But I really believe that you should look after and treat yourself. Even if it’s just once a week, spending 50 pounds on yourself, or 10 pounds on yourself, if that’s just going to the hairdresser for the week, treat yourself, do your nails and show your children that this is a way that we can live, and be happier. There are so many unhappy people, we really need to take time out for ourselves.”
Image credits: www.123rf.com.