Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Katarine Holewa, Owner of Abeille Naturopathic and working out of VitaCare Natural Health Clinic in Nanaimo BC

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I'm a Naturopathic Physician and Registered Acupuncturist working at VitaCare Natural Health Clinic in Nanaimo, BC, Canada. I have a family practice focusing on Hormone Balance (women's hormones, thyroid, adrenal), Gastrointestinal Health, Autoimmune Disorders, Skin Health/Dermatology, and Aesthetic medicine. I focus on individualized, holistic health care that identifies and addresses the cause of dis-ease rather than just covering up symptoms.

My patients are people of all ages looking for personalized health care and more natural medicine so that they can thrive and live their best, healthiest, and most vibrant lives now and for years to come.

Tell us about yourself

I've been working in healthcare for 15 years and have been an ND/RAc for 11 years. I was a Registered Nurse for several years before retraining in Naturopathic and Traditional Chinese medicine when I felt the desire to approach health from a prevention/wholistic perspective.

These are what motivate me every day:

  • I love seeing patients getting better with natural approaches
  • I love when I'm told that someone feels better than they have in years
  • I'm so happy when I hear that my patients are learning ways to take their health into their own hands with diet and lifestyle interventions, rather than relying on medications that can have numerous detrimental side effects and typically don't improve overall/real health at all!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building a busy, thriving, and absolutely fulfilling practice in a place that I love and having joined a clinic of like-minded coworkers and practitioners who I respect and appreciate every day. I've worked very hard and learned so much over the years, and I impart this knowledge to all of those I work with. I am so happy that I have a job that I look forward to and that I'm anticipating doing for another 25 years or more!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Remembering to take the time you need for yourself away from work. It is so easy to just work work work, especially when you are so happy doing it. But time away/vacations are just as important to rest the brain no matter how much you love what you do!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be patient - success does not come overnight (or even in a couple of years). It may take several years to get to where you want to be, but if you push through and trust in the process, you'll reap the rewards.
  2. Surround yourself with supportive people - coworkers, family, friends. It's too hard to do it all by yourself, and you need to know people have your back and that you don't have to do it alone.
  3. Take care of yourself. Take your vacations. Exercise. Eat and Sleep. Don't think you can forego these to get ahead; you'll run out of gas or crash at some point.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Being a solo business owner is, so far, one of the hardest things I've had to navigate, but it has been so SO worth it. I look at how far I've come, where I am now and where I might have been if I hadn't taken this path, and I know it was the right thing for me. I get such satisfaction from my work and from helping people - I can't imagine doing anything else!

Where can people find you and your business?

Websites: &

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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