We had the good fortune of connecting with Kennedy Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kennedy, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My first ever business endeavor was at age 19. I started making and selling jewelry with my best friend our senior year of high school. This is how I fell in love with the process and knew it was something I wanted to continue doing for the rest of my life.
Creating the jewelry business sparked the entrepreneurial spirit inside of me. My first attempt at starting a business had paved a path for what was to come. Later in the year of 2019, I created my first blog with high hopes of it “blowing up” and becoming a huge company one day. I started blogging about my personal health and wellness journey in hopes that it would reach the eyes of someone who could benefit from my experiences. Writing those blog entries and creating yet another website for myself set the foundation for what is now Well Versed Magazine.
When I started the blog in 2019, I knew I wanted it to be something big. Something that would make an impact in our world and people’s lives. I had trust in the Universe that somehow I would get there. I took strategic approaches to scale my blog and never gave up. Come 2022, and the blog has evolved into a seasonal luxury wellness and holistic health print and digital magazine.
The reason I continue to feel inspired to scale my business after three years of growth and hard work is the freedom and reward that comes with having your own passion-fueled business. Because the magazine is run purely online, I am able to be located anywhere in the world and still run my business. This was the goal I had originally envisioned as that 19 year old girl who started her wellness blog online. I started this business because I knew I needed a career that gave me the ability to be online and also extremely passionate about what I do. I love the constant journey that comes with running your own business which is why I started and why I will never stop.
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?
Well Versed Magazine is the first luxury wellness and holistic health magazine to be available in print and digital. What first started off as a small wellness blog in a corner of the internet run by a 19 year old college student is now a thriving magazine with 10 team members.
Making that transition between a blog and a fully functioning magazine company was not easy, and not expected to be quite honest. When I was working the blog, I knew it wanted it to blossom into something big one day. Whether that be health company, coaching services, or e-commerce storefront, I truly had no idea what was in store.
Along this journey has come great challenges. Our society now glamorizes entrepreneurship making it look simple easy and fun. Fun it is, but people seem to highly underestimate the hardships that come along with it. In my entrepreneurial journey, when everyone else was going right, I was going left. When my friends and family were going to college to get a degree, I was dropping out, trying to navigate how to start a financially stable business. There is no linear path to being an entrepreneur, and that is why it is not for everybody. No professor or boss is there to tell you what you are doing wrong and how to fix it. You rely solely on yourself.
If I have learned anything from my journey so far, it is that you have to always be grateful for where you are at the current moment. I believe everything in life is according to divine timing. Each stepping stone along my journey, while some harder than others, has shaped the exact position I am in today.
Being surrounded by an entrepreneurial community has definitely helped me stay inspired and courageous through the evolution of Well Versed Magazine. Your community is definitely key when trying to start your own business. Where I am today business-wise is thanks to my many trial and error efforts, coaches, mentors, and my will to keep pushing forward.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have lived in Scottsdale, Arizona for 5 years now, and I am in love with the city. If someone were to come visit me, I would want to make sure and show them all my favorite nature spots. Arizona has an amazing landscape of mountains, lakes, and creeks. Since I have lived here, I always retreat to my favorite nature spots to re-ground myself and connect with nature.
I enjoy spending the day at Lake Pleasant, with a good book and some food. Tonto National Forest is also a great place to adventure. Whether you’re driving on the dirt roads or hiking on the trails, the mountain views and beautiful creeks will not disappoint.
I enjoy taking company down to Old Town Scottsdale for entertainment and lots of delicious food. One of my favorite places down there to relax is Healing House. Here you can find an assortment of holistic healing modalities such as Acupuncture, Massage, IV Therapy, Bioenergetic Healing, and amazing facials. I am a big fan of juice and smoothies so Kaleidescope Juice is always my favorite place to hit when I am in Old Town. They have the best smoothie called the Flu-Shot Smoothie made with dragon fruit, mango, and ginger.
Another amazing food place to check out is located by Downtown Phoenix just off of 7th street. There lies the most clean and healthy restaurant you will find in Arizona! The Giving Tree Cafe is a 100% organic, vegan, and gluten-free restaurant that takes pride in the well-being of its customers. David Warr, the owner of Giving Tree is the most sincere and passionate restaurant owner I have ever met. Walking inside the cafe, you will be greeted by green plants hanging from the ceiling and towering amethyst crystals at the door.
If you are looking for a good hike, I would recommend Camelback Mountain. The views at the top are just unbeatable! It is however quite the workout, as you will be scaling the mountain up it’s side, practically rock climbing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I will have to say I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the most valuable lesson I have learned in my life so far. “You are who you surround yourself with”. I learned this from an old friend named Luis who was my first role model as an entrepreneur. When he told me this secret, I truly felt as if my world had been shook. I realized if I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur who was a role model for others, then that’s who I needed to surround myself with.
About one year later, I came in contact with a truly magical and life-changing woman named Natalie. She started her own business for women and also provided business coaching services. Seeing how successful her business was, I immediately decided to invest in business coaching with her.
Natalie and I worked together for a few months, and after ending coaching still remained in contact. She introduced me to numerous like-minded female entrepreneurs who were so inspiring, you could feel their passion radiating from them. This is the community I knew I wanted to surround myself with. To this day today, I continue to be inspired by Natalie and the amazing group of women in our community. She is a role model for me and others when it comes to business, life, relationships, and more. I truly would not be in the space I am today without her. Big shoutout to Natalie Levy!