The brains (and beauty) behind Wellness Co.
Here at Wellness Co., we want to get to know you on a deeper level, and you us. That starts by getting to know our team and hearing the stories and experiences that continue to drive us forward. So, here’s your chance to get to know Kelsey Prince. Kelsey is a nurse practitioner, Holland, MI-native, and the founder of Wellness Co. and she’s here to share firsthand how her personal and professional experiences have ignited her desire to meet people where they’re at on their wellness journey.
Kelsey, here! I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and share an inside look into my story and journey that’s got me here — the proud founder of Wellness Co.
I have always had a strong desire to walk with people on their journey to wellness —advocating that no journey is the same, and each journey is equally as important. This desire lead me to pursue my registered nurse degree at Hope College in 2009. In 2013, I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Science of Nursing and started my nursing career at Spectrum Health in critical care and emergency medicine. Fast forward to 2015, I started my Master’s in Nursing at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), and I transitioned to Detroit to complete my three years of schooling, graduating in 2018 as a Family Nurse Practitioner. During my three years of schooling, I worked within a very small satellite emergency department and had the opportunity to teach undergraduate nursing students at UDM. I also served as the President for the MI Council of Nurse Practitioners, representing the student chapter of UDM. I was passionate about advocating for nurse practitioner practice, and frequently led groups of UDM students to Lansing, MI to advocate for healthcare in MI – something I still hold very dear to my heart and am actively a part of as a nurse practitioner.
Immediately upon graduating, I moved back to West MI and joined the critical care team at Bronson Methodist Hospital as a rapid response provider. In short, my job was to cover all hospital units outside of the intensive care unit (ICU), working closely with bedside nursing staff in monitoring patients who were “vulnerable” or in other words, had a high risk of declining. It was my job to work to proactively advocate, monitor and intervene on this population of patients, in hopes of preventing the need for an intensive care unit transfer.
Throughout my educational and professional journey, I found myself frequently reflecting on why our healthcare system ran the way it did, what I pictured as adequate healthcare, and how I could continue my career providing exceptional care that I truly believed each person deserved, within the framework of insurance, protocols and standards. Some days, I felt like a fish going against heavy waters. All days, I knew healthcare should be “better” than what we offered.
It was only when this passion became innately intertwined with my own personal experiences that I became drawn to “wellness medicine”.
In 2017, I was encountering one of my biggest life stressors. In one month, I counted more loses than many individuals do over a lifetime (we’ll save this story for another blog – wink). The stress of this time took a serious toll on my body and my sense of Wellness seemed far at bay and out of any reasonable reach.
Thankfully, it was also during this time that I was connected with an uplifting, encouraging, and healing facility that took the time to unpack the distress my heart and soul were undergoing, and the effects it took on my Wellness. Here, I worked with providers that supported me and addressed the emotional and physical stress and walked me through, step-by-step, what the healing process was going to entail. I wasn’t prescribed a medication or a quick-fix, rather, I was partnered with individuals who were able to give me tools, services, and guidance to aid me in regaining strength, re-centering my mindset, and renewing my energy and overall Wellness.
The number one thing that stuck out to me from this experience was the integrative, caring, and committed approach they took to my wellbeing. An approach I did not know existed, but welcomed with open arms. Through all of this, I had the incredible opportunity to finish my rotation at this facility. I learned, I grew, and I felt a serious shift in gravity telling me that my vision of adequate healthcare was possible as a health care provider – a duty I do not hold lightly.
A part of my internal Wellness.
Fast forward to 2018, I’m entering a bar and was the only one in the group not ID’d by a bouncer. Why? I didn’t need to wonder long, as this man proceeded to comment on my “crows feet” noting how it “showed my age.”
I’m a sensitive person, and naturally took this to heart. I didn’t want to be in photos, didn’t want to smile fearing my crow’s feet would show. Overall, I felt as though my age and lines were defining my beauty and self-worth (which I know is SO untrue!).
Shortly thereafter I made the decision to receive my first Botox treatment at the age of 25. I walked into a top-notch facility excited, only to be met by a provider who was incredibly talented with a needle in her hand, but not so talented with bedside manner. Instead of assessing my emotional drive for my treatment as a 25-year-old, I was assessed by every line and wrinkle on my face — my smile lines, the little wrinkles that came out any time I gave a sassy look — according to her, it all needed to be fixed and gone. Given that she was a provider, and I was new to the industry, I listened to her advice.
80 units of Botox later (YIKES!), I walked out of the appointment feeling worse ever. I was evaluated by every little line on my face, even the one’s I didn’t know were there. I was embarrassed, angry, and had lost all of the self-worth I originally had in the face God had created for me.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t frequently think back to that appointment. I knew that my external Wellness journey had value, and did not need to be full of judgment and self-pity. I so deeply felt a fire within my soul to make sure the my experience never happened to another person. I knew aesthetics could be an uplifting journey, in the right hands.
So, I decided to channel my own experiences, both good and not-so-good. I knew that wanting an injectable doesn’t make you weak and that the desire to make improvements doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate the body that God has given to you. It’s okay for me to want to focus on clean, natural, organic things AND it’s also okay for me to want Botox.
I don’t have to choose one path — I can forge my own.
A part of my external Wellness.
This is the sentiment that I, as a provider, want to convey to my clients. Wellness isn’t cookie cutter. It isn’t one size fits all. It isn’t just internal, and it isn’t just external. Wellness is the way we feel. I have come to realize the beauty in each experience and journey to Wellness — whether it be holistically, injectables, IV, nutrition, acupuncture, traditional medicine, Chinese medicine, etc. And Wellness Co. is my opportunity to guide and support people as they explore their own unique path to wellness — showing them that their journey can lead to a happy, healthy, and beautiful life.
I hope that you’ll join me as we navigate this Wellness journey together.
All my love,