Judy Hunt from Goodlife Albany
Dot Ruck sat down with Judy Hunt of Goodlife Albany to talk about her journey becoming a business owner in the health industry.
How did you come to purchase Goodlife Albany?
I had been working at the shop for a year or so when the owner mentioned the business was up for sale. It was a great opportunity as I had always worked in the health industry, including in pharmacies and with health practitioners. It felt like ‘all my resources in life coming together’. Even though it was my first time owning a business it just felt right and I knew I could do it and here we are 9 years later!
Have there been many challenges along the way?
Initially, even though I knew the products well, the challenge was knowing where to buy them and getting the process right. One of the funniest times was back when Chia seed first came onto the market – I tried to purchase it through 3 different suppliers, but they didn’t have any on hand. Little did I know they put it on back order and I managed to end up with tons of Chia seed! Luckily it walked out the door after a story on TV about the new break through in Chia seed. Lesson learnt – cancel your back orders! The industry has of course become more regulated, like everything else and we now compete with the online market and the big discount pharmacies.
Where did your interest in the health industry begin?
A health issue in my twenties, whilst I was working in a hospital, resulted in me visiting a naturopath. This opened my eyes up to the benefit of natural cures and living a healthy lifestyle. I have also completed some nutrition courses along the way which complement what I do in my business.
How do you find people to work in your business that are as passionate as you?
Well, really they find me. I have never needed to advertise. We also have naturopaths working in the shop. They don’t do sit down consultations, but they are there to assist with customer enquiries. The team of people I have working with me are a very valuable part of the business, they are like my right hand! I am just one of the workers, like everyone else, we all work together and their ideas are valued and listened to.
We believe ‘face to face’ service is most important. The general public have definitely become more health aware. We want our customers, who often come in feeling lousy, to leave feeling that they have received valuable advice and the hope that their health will improve. It is not always about selling a product. It may be referring them onto another health practitioner who we have a good rapport with.
What is an average day in the shop and do you get some downtime?
I usually start my day around 8am spending an hour or so getting the shop organised for the day before opening at 9am. It is then consulting with and serving customers and dealing with all aspects of stock control until we close at 5pm. We also open Saturdays so it is really important to schedule in some downtime. I have one day a week out of the shop and get away for a holiday a couple of times a year for 2 weeks or so. The holidays are my ‘shop free’ time!
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to get out in the garden, go for regular walks and getting away in our caravan. I have 3 adult sons who live on the east coast whom we visit regularly.
59A Lockyer Avenue, Albany, Western Australia 6330