Wellness Day came about as an outgrowth of a series of posts on healthy living and I thought the best way to bring it together was to create an event that did just that. The first Wellness Day was held at Hudson County Community College - food and beverages were provided, we had three classes, five breakout workshops, and a panel discussion. Thirty-five people attended this event. For the second year, we moved to Nimbus Dance Works. It was a choose-your-own adventure with 15 classes, a Health and Wellness Market with 30 vendors, and 120 total participants. We covered all of the fitness classes from Zumba, yoga, Pilates, meditation, total body works, and more. In addition, we had vendors covering home, health, fitness, and wellness.
For the third Wellness Day event, I thought let’s go even bigger and immediately knew the event was going to return to Nimbus. I shortened the classes and added three new classes - parkour, strength training, and an opening stretch class to start the day off right. We listened to the feedback from former participants and added in three workshops - Qi Gong, Melt Method, Diet Culture and You, What Can You Do! Local businesses acted as sponsors -- we had a solid sponsor row (stay tuned to see more of them) -- and added more vendors, increasing the market to 35 vendors! We had an upgraded lounge with custom-made and repurposed furniture, a sponsored breakfast bar of bagels, fruit, and coffee, and every participant left with a Growing in Jersey City Tote.
The day was pretty spectacular from a planning perspective. On the day of the event, we checked in with the guests, vendors, and instructors and they all had a blast.
We spoke to Mallory Dash, founder of JC
Volunteers, and asked her what she thought of the day -- “This was my first time attending Wellness Day and I'm so glad I did. I attended with my best friend and we had a great time perusing the Health & Wellness Market area before taking a meditation class and a yoga class. Both classes were so restorative and a great way to begin the day.” She loved seeing so many businesses committed to health and wellness in Jersey City, “I even signed up to attend a class this weekend at Ironbound Performance Athletics after talking with the reps there! The day was an awesome way to get a feel for all the different health initiatives around the city and I'm so glad I was able to attend.”
Josh Teves, owner of Ironbound Performance Athletics, participated as a vendor and an instructor for the first time this year. His team had so much energy. What sets his studio and classes apart is being part of the family the moment you walk in the door and this class was no different. We “...showcased the programming and community of the IPA Gym family … showing that fitness can be safe, effective, and fun. It was great to network with such a positive community of Jersey City businesses with the same goal of improving health and well being.”
We had more volunteers this year to help set us up for success. Grace Nowell was so integral this year as she came to the space a few nights prior to help set up the market area. This was Nowell’s second time volunteering. “I volunteered at GJC Wellness Day for the last two years as I had free time and why not help out and meet local businesses. Last year, I found my acupuncturist and a local candle vendor who I love (and of course shopped from). This year it was nice to see some friendly faces and meet some new ones as well as participate in amazing classes.” Our volunteers help out for their set time and then can participate in the day -- “Who doesn't love a free event? I can't wait for next year!” said Nowell.
With any event, space can be limited and the market didn’t have enough space for all of the vendors who wanted to participate. It was suggested that they act as participants in the event because it’s good to know what you are getting into for next year! Nia Ried-Allen (owner of Myrtle and Flossie, a clothing company dedicated to moms, and an African dance teacher in Jersey City) did just that and it helped her understand what she wanted to do next year. “This was my first time participating in GJC Wellness Day and I was very impressed. Definitely the motivation I needed to stay consistent with my fitness journey. I can’t wait to participate next year as both vendor and get my work-out on yet again. Thanks GJC!” said Ried-Allen.
There are a few vendors and instructors that have been with us from our very first event. Jess Namit has taught yoga and meditation at all three events and I am so grateful she continues to want to teach at Wellness Day. “I've taught yoga and meditation classes for Growing in Jersey City's Wellness Day for three years and have enjoyed my experience each time. It's a great way to try new classes and meet people interested in health and wellness. Jenna's passion for wellness and connecting dynamic people come together at this event, and that's what makes it special.”
Thank you to everyone who participated!
Please find the list of sponsors, vendors, and instructors below.
Erin Kumpf Acupuncture and Herbs
Jersey City Department of Health
Day of Sponsors:
Little Gym Jersey City - Sponsored the morning fruit
World Boxing Gym - Sponsored the morning coffee
Erin Kumpf Acupuncture and Herbs
A Green Unicorn - Vendor
Golden Sneaker Fitness - Vendor
Hudson Yoga Project - Vendor
Ironbound Fitness - Vendor
Jess Namit Yoga
Jivamukti Jersey City
Nimbus Dance Works
Wildly Fit - Vendor
Allied Wealth Partners
British Swim School
Busy Bee Organics
City Challenge Race
Downtown Med Spa
Emily Lambert LCSW
Fear of Defeat
Food Not Bombs
Hudson Pride Connections
JC Health Dental
Let Me Be Great Crossfit
Little Batch Candle Co.
Peter Gourri Coaching
The Oil Wells JC
Photos provided by Jackyln Lune Photography and Victoria Enblom Photography