By Christopher Nagy
It would be an understatement to say that Jeff and Joanne Currier genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
The couple first met in the sixth grade, became high school sweethearts at age 16, married, started a family and are now co-owners of Ways To Wellness in downtown Midland. The business – which they opened Aug. 11, 2010, on their 26th wedding anniversary – is a wellness store/center that offers holistic and natural ways of maintaining health and well-being.
“We have products that people use in their everyday lives like soaps, candles and deodorants, but they are free from fragrances and chemicals,” Jeff said. “We also have products and services that empower you on your life path, whatever that path may be. We are here to help you ‘think well, live well, be well.’ … Our client base is anyone interested in growing their spirituality and living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. Our typical customers are women and men ages 16-65.”
The couple entered the holistic health field after traditional Western medicine failed to help with the debilitating migraine headaches their daughter, Alaina, was suffering throughout her high school years. At the suggestion of a friend, they began to explore things such as raw and organic foods, essential oils, meditation, yoga, the medicine wheel and naturopathic medicine. The alternative path worked – both for Alaina as well as Joanne, who had many food intolerances. Joanne, a former second-grade teacher, and Jeff, a former chemical engineer, took what they had learned and opened it up to residents in the Midland area with Ways To Wellness.
“The opening of Ways To Wellness was a totally new adventure for the two of us,” Joanne said. “Neither of us had any retail experience, yet we felt compelled to create a place for wellness.”
While some couples might have some initial trepidation about becoming business partners, it was the opposite for the Curriers. In fact, Jeff said the issue never crossed their minds.
“We were more focused on: Can we make this profitable?” he said. “Jo and I are so very aligned, and we talked about all this beforehand. We have a way of just knowing in our hearts, our intuition, if something is right or not and we follow that feeling in our heart.”
Joanne added that she and her husband are very compatible and balance each other’s personalities: “His strengths are my areas of growth and mine are his. Additionally, we have a deep respect for and complete trust in each other. Perhaps that comes from knowing each other for so long. We just knew that working together would be an extension, as well as a new facet, of our partnership.”
The couple have a distinct division when it comes to duties at Ways To Wellness; however, Jeff said the split was never intentional. It just organically grew that way.
“Similar to what we did with parenting, we split the duties according to areas of strength and knowledge,” Joanne noted. “Jeff has business expertise, and I focus on the atmosphere and personal touches. This same balance happens when we teach together or do presentations as we just naturally flow and shift, much like a dance where we both know the steps and allow each other to take the lead as it progresses.”
In a word it – works.
Ways To Wellness is at 122 W. Main St. in downtown Midland. For more information, call (989) 486-3820 or visit waystowellnessstore.com.
Joanne Currier: “One of the positives is having a common sense of working toward goals, hopes and dreams together in a very real, day-to-day way. As we approach retirement, we are growing together rather than apart.”
Jeff Currier: “You can’t allow any drama to come into the workplace. If we are struggling in an area, we have to set all that aside. Also, there is a tendency to always ‘be at work.’ … If you don’t manage it, it can feel like there isn’t any downtime.”