We had the good fortune of connecting with Evgenia Knyazheva and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Evgenia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
At age 6, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. For the next four years, my family followed medical advice, which meant many prescription drugs and surgeries for my health improvement (glands removal and adenoids removal). My whole family was involved in my healing process. I had to take medication every three hours (day or night), bathe with Dead Sea salts and have compresses with special ointment from medical doctors. We also used some natural herbs and medicinal mushrooms, such as Chaga (native to Siberia), for my immune support and inflammation. This wasn’t received well by conventional medical doctors. My grandmother left her job at age 46 and moved to our city to help my parents take care of me. I spent five months a year for four years in hospitals and rheumatoid arthritis medical centres with my grandmother beside me. She rented a room close to the hospital/centre and would come first thing in the morning to make sure I dressed warm, ate breakfast and took all prescribed supplements. Then, she would wait for me outside the therapy facilities (she wasn’t allowed inside) while I went through therapy. In the afternoons, she taught me what I needed to be learning in school, helped me write letters home and took me on evening walks in the park. Finally, she would wait until I fell asleep before returning in the dark to her rented room until the next morning. I will always be unconditionally grateful for her impact on my health, her unconditional support and her love for me. I’m often asked why my parents and brother weren’t around and the truth is, my younger brother was fighting cancer at this time. My father left his successful engineering career to start a business, working days and nights to help cover all our medical expenses and hospital stays. We could barely spend time together as a family since everyone was in and out of different hospitals. My grandmother was with me and my mom was in the cancer clinic with my brother throughout his treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. After all the treatments and surgery, doctors finally came to the conclusion my brother’s cancer was misdiagnosed and he was fine. Wow! Unfortunately, my body was not responding positively to the medical treatments and strictly followed recommendations. My rheumatoid arthritis was still progressing quickly and my body was so inflamed that I could barely walk without help. Heavy prescription drugs triggered vision loss, short-term memory loss, weight problems, liver disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I will never forget the day when, at ten years old, my mom and I went to the Children’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinic in Moscow. My mom said to the doctor, “We are doing everything possible and impossible – strictly following diets, giving her medications every three hours, warming up water on the stove every night for her to bathe in Dead Sea salts (we didn’t have hot water), doing compresses, trying herbs – so why is there no improvement? We can only see that she’s getting worse.” She was in hysterics at that moment, trying to make sense of it all. The doctor answered her by saying, “It doesn’t matter what you do. Your daughter’s case is a very aggressive form of arthritis and you need to be prepared for her to be in a wheelchair by age twelve.” We left the doctors office and my mom burst into tears. I started to cry too, not because I was afraid (I didn’t understand everything at that time), but because of how I saw my mom’s heart falling apart. I kept saying to her, “Mom please don’t listen to her. It’s not true! Look, I’m good, I’m healthy! Mom, we will heal it! Mom, I love you, please don’t cry!” My mom was only thirty years old. She was beautiful and accomplished with a great career, and yet had two sick kids and zero time for a personal life. My father was thirty one at that time and was handsome, driven and smart; yet he carried the same heavy baggage. Looking back now, I strongly believe in true love – my parents still managed to save their marriage despite these huge problems and having no personal life. They unconditionally love, support and care for each other to this day. When I was eleven, my parents took a business project in India and hired a Russian-Indian translator to help them complete the project while they were there. While they were working and talking with the translator, Rama, my mom told her about us kids. Rama asked if my parents would be interested in meeting a holistic doctor who specialized in rheumatoid arthritis. The answer was immediately yes! When, where and how could they meet him? Rama organized a meeting and translated for them. For my brother’s weakened immune system (due to chemo and radiation), the holistic doctor suggested some creams and supplements. For me, he highly suggested my parents bring me over there for him to take a closer look. My parents flew back to Russia as soon as possible to start visa preparations and to send the holistic doctor all medical documents, doctor’s notes and the ingredients of every prescription drug that I had taken. Within a month, my mom and I were on our way to amazing India. Looking back, I can say it was the luckiest ticket of my life! I will never forget that day too. Doctor Harikiran checked my whole body, each and every joint, and said to my mom that he could heal me! With determination and a strict follow up system, you will have a healthy child. My mom was crying again, but this time they were tears of pure happiness! For three weeks, we did acupuncture while Dr.Harikiran built a specific diet for me, testing each supplement and ointment. With a full suitcase of natural supplements, we left for home happy, humbled and ready for this healing journey we had begun. Within two years of strictly following every suggestion from Dr. Harikiran, my arthritis was reversed and the inflammation under control. I got my vision and short-term memory back so I could begin to catch up with school. I was very hungry to study and catch up with my classmates, so it took only a year of hard work and dedication to be completely caught up. My other grandmother helped me learn how to dedicate myself, strive for excellence and commit to my goals. She was a university professor and her impact on my life is immeasurable. She was very pushy, but she taught me how to fight for my ideas and stand for myself. I will always remember her as my absolute role model, super-woman and a lady! I always feel her support in down times and I know she’s watching over me from heaven. From ages fourteen to twenty, I was second in professional dance club, the third place gymnast in our city, and at age sixteen I placed third at Miss Teen Russia. That reward, along with my other life achievements, will always be dedicated to her. Years went by and we had the strongest, most supportive and most loving family! I was studying at university and my brother was in his last year of high school when my parents decided to move to Canada. We were all very excited and happy at the time. We still think it was the best decision ever since we absolutely love Canada! I truly consider Canada as my home. Having grown up with food from our garden and meat from our own cows in Russia, I started to have big challenges with conventional foods once we moved to Canada. I had severe eczema, bad acne and my inflammation started to become unmanageable. I was still following my diet, but wasn’t getting the results I needed due to poor quality foods. It took four years to realize my food supply was filled with artificial and synthetic ingredients, sugars and gluten, yet it was nearly impossible to avoid this without shopping at specialty stores. During that time, we decided to open a health food store and I began to learn everything about holistic nutrition, supplements and different diets. Through her healing work, family system constellations, unconditional support and love, I truly understood how patterns and ancestral field affects our quality of life, health and well being. While I was managing the health food store, I discovered that serving and helping people brings me true joy and really fills me up. Our family then had the idea to open a holistic centre where we could help people, share our stories and have everything the body, spirit and soul desires under one roof. It was a dream, but we had no idea how to make it come true. Then in August 2015, I received a complementary ticket for Colin Sprake’s three day workshop and that was another very lucky ticket! Colin is the founder and owner of Make Your Mark Training and Consulting Inc. My mind was blown during this workshop as I saw a person who puts his heart and soul into business for the very first time. We had the same core values as Colin, so I decided to complete his program to help me to achieve my dreams for the holistic centre. With Colin and the other fantastic members of KAP-IT group, it became clear that every dream can come true. I’m forever thankful for those amazing people for their support, belief in me, and contributions to make our planet a better and happier place.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
CALGARY’S FIRST SELF CARE CLUB ♥ Our goal is that Joy and Vitality Centre will meet or exceed your expectations, instill well-being, and fulfill even the unexpressed wishes and needs your body and soul desires. We pledge to provide the finest benefits of personal service and facilities, meaning you will always enjoy a distinct, joyful, warm, easy and relaxed experience. ESCAPE TO JOY AND VITALITY CENTRE ♥ Family owned and operated. Joy and Vitality is the ONLY Centre that treats You as part of OUR BIG FAMILY and provides You with Joyful, Distinct experiences in a one stop destination. We have a wide selection of Supplements, Herbs, Superfoods, Beauty and Home care products, Oracle Cards, Crystals and Essential Oils. ♥ But we are more than just products, we are also an Organic Café and Juice/Tonic Bar, an Oasis for Wellness Programs, Zen Tibetan Bowls Therapy (VSL) , Meditation, Online Yoga Studio, Himalayan Salt Cave (Halotherapy), Massage Therapy (RMT), Medical Medium and Psychic Medium Services for people of all ages, genders, races, abilities, belief systems and income levels who are seeking health fulfillment.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Banff is a resort town in the province of Alberta, located within Banff National Park. The peaks of Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade, part of the Rocky Mountains, dominate its skyline. On Banff Avenue, the main thoroughfare, boutiques and restaurants mix with château-style hotels and souvenir shops. The surrounding 6,500 square kilometres of parkland are home to wildlife including elk and grizzly bears.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Giuliana Melo for believing and supporting what i do

Website: joyandvitalitycentre.ca
Instagram: joy_and_vitality_centre_yyc
Linkedin: Evgenia Knyazheva
Twitter: dont have
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JnVCentre/

Image Credits
Ulov Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.