We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Jelkovsky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mary, what do you attribute your success to?
I would say the biggest thing that helped Mary’s Cup of Tea grow and succeed as a business is my authenticity on social media. I share a lot of my life on there, but not in a staged, picture-perfect blogger kind of way. Instead, I share my innermost thoughts, random things about my life that may seem irrelevant at first, but I think they help my audience connect with me deeper. I am also really open about mental health and the ebbs/ flows I go through as a human with my own flaws, battles, and demons. Mary’s Cup of Tea is tightly tied to Mary as a person and I am always authentic in the way I show up online.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am the creator and operator of Mary’s Cup of Tea, an online platform that aims to help women accept and love themselves for who they are. So far, I am most proud of my worldwide self-love retreats that I host and my published book, The Gift of Self-Love, a workbook that helps women build confidence, recognize their worth, and learn to finally love themselves. I also have a podcast called Mary’s Cup of Tea which is also all about self-love.
I started Mary’s Cup of Tea just as an Instagram account where I shared my story of recovering from an eating disorder, healing body-image struggles, and learning to love myself after a lifetime of not (loving myself, that is). Before that, I was competing in bodybuilding competitions and obsessing over my weight and every calorie I consumed, so it was a really big shift for me. As a blogger who shares nearly every intricate detail of my life, the biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome is the constant criticism and judgment from other people. Especially in my early stages of starting my Instagram, there were some people who were really resistant to my message. Like “what do you mean I don’t have to diet my life away? Isn’t that unhealthy? Are you promoting obesity? How come you let yourself go? Isn’t weight loss healthy?” etc etc. Because diet culture, weight loss, health, and fitness is so engrained into our culture (and because quite a lot of people are obsessed with their appearance), my message of self-love was a form of resistance to all of that. I want the world to know that how they look is the least interesting thing about them and all of us would be so much more well (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) if we ditched the restrictive diets, trusted our bodies, and learned to love ourselves fully, wholly, and unconditionally.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take my friend to Sedona, of course! The scenery is breathtaking and I always come back feeling so much more centered and grounded. I would take them on a hike to Broken Arrow Trail, perhaps Devil’s Bridge, followed by lunch at ChocolaTree cafe or Mariposa if we wanted something fancier. I also love taking people to Olive & Ivy in downtown Scottsdale- sitting outside near the fireplace on the waterfront is so cozy!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
WearMe Pro EyeWear!
Other: I also have a TEDx Talk which can be found on YouTube by searching my name, Mary Jelkovsky