Author, Jules Lavallee, The Hollywood Times, LA
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 6/02/2021 – After a life-long career in corporate America working for Fortune 500 companies and the high-stress of the financial industry in Marketing & Communications, Kristina Shea was ready for change and she founded her passion project – “BlueSkys Life™”. Her concept is capturing the hearts of many with her deeply moving story from challenges to success. Kristina has been WIDOWED TWICE, experienced personal and financial loss through these events, raised her young daughter as a single mother and as a single income earner. High stress was becoming “her normal” and affected her overall health. After collapsing in the downtown Toronto Financial District at work one day, Kristina was later diagnosed with a brain cyst; experiencing vision loss and debilitating migraines which affected her life in every way. Through a friend, Kristina discovered cannabis as a way to reduce her use of painkillers. It was then that Kristina began incorporating holistic wellness including yoga, meditation, and healthy eating into her daily life which provided her on a journey to discover a “new normal” and personal quality of life. Kristina, shares “Y” her company, BlueSkys Life™ is hugely successful.
You have spent your life in corporate America. Tell us about your background and a monumental moment.
I entered corporate America at the age of 21, first working as a designer for Canadian Banks and large corporations. Ambitious, naive, and with a large amount of tenacity, I quickly grew my career from a designer to a studio manager with a team of ten, within a year. I loved my role. However, the pace of the industry was intense, and I was soon working on weekends and after hours to meet aggressive deadlines. At the age of 24, while working on a Sunday, I lost my first husband in a horrific tragic motorcycle accident when he was hit by a truck. I received the call at work on a Sunday — alone. My world stopped — like everything I knew came crashing down. I had to identify him at the hospital. It was awful to see someone you thought you would spend the rest of your life with, lying there in pieces on a cold metal table. I had to leave and pack up our home, I left my job — I needed to start over. During this time, I began to step up my already rapid pace at work so that I did not have to deal with the pain and trauma. I did remarry, but it was not an ideal fit. He was a workaholic himself with his own challenges including gambling. We eventually separated, yet never divorced —we remained very close as friends and we had a beautiful young daughter together.
I now went into full-on corporate overdrive — even more than before —I was the sole income earner (My husband had filed bankruptcy) and was in danger of losing all that I had worked so hard for. I now not only worked full-time for 60+hours for large financial institutions, but I also had a consulting business working with other large corporate clients. I did this while taking university courses, and I even taught fitness classes – while being a single mother. How did I do it? Seems crazy now that I look back. I did not sleep. An average of 3 hours was what I existed on in combination with caffeine and sugar… I consumed diet coke, energy drinks, and sticky buns with copious amounts of sugar glaze to keep me going throughout my day. Obviously, this is not healthy or living well.
One day, while heading to meet a colleague in the Financial District at lunch, I collapsed and literally met face to the floor. I was rushed to the hospital and after a battery of tests, including an MRI, it was detected that I had a brain cyst. I had been suffering from extreme migraines for years which I attributed very casually to “stress”. As we know, constantly be in a state of “stress” causes serious damage to your overall health. My doctor said I had to stop this crazy pace full stop — or else. I began to alter my lifestyle to reduce my stress and became introduced to yoga, meditation, healthy eating, and therapeutic cannabis. I began my wellness journey, but I would still have a while to go. Sadly, my husband and father to my daughter suddenly passed away on Valentine’s Day in 2016. This was the absolute worst moment of my life — I had to tell my daughter her father was gone and never coming back. My own father passed away the same year just before Christmas, so it was very overwhelming that we both lost their fathers in the same year.
You would think now that I have had enough monumental moments to rethink things?
Well, I then decided to join a cannabis start-up in Canada, as SVP of Marketing and Communications. I am a passionate advocate for therapeutic cannabis, and I thought I could make a difference for patients. Again, I jumped on the addictive rapid pace of the industry, which was moving so fast. My daughter told me she “hated my job” once on vacation. I was never “present” at the moment, and I was constantly checking emails, writing press releases, and glued to my phone or laptop. I was so burnt out — and it had been accumulating for many years. Then the pandemic hit. I was laid off. Shock set in. I was once again in the hospital — now with hypertension so high that I was in danger of a stroke. This was my final true moment, and I reevaluated everything. The thought that I may not see my daughter graduate university, or be able to spoil my future grandchildren…? What was my life amounting to? The change was not a choice — it was necessary. I realized that climbing corporate ladders, being tired, stressed, sick and not being able to truly enjoy being a mom — or to truly be “present” was simply not worth it.
I wanted a better life, and to LIVE my life WELL. Corporate titles, big houses, and designer clothes mean nothing at the end of your life. What you leave behind matters. I returned and embraced and immersed myself in all my teachings of yoga, meditation, healthy eating and began to nurture my soul. I wanted my work and life to have positive meaning and legacy. I started BlueSkys Life™ — a wellness company with a mission to elevate wellness and women, to live well naturally, be their best selves and find true WELLTH.
Does adversity make us stronger?
Adversity builds resilience.
Strong is a word that I never personally liked, as everyone kept telling me to be strong at the funerals of both of my husbands. Honestly, I was tired of hearing the words “Be Strong”! It was a phrase people would say when they did not know what to say to me…however, I reframed it as I was “brave”. I felt I could be brave. This made me feel empowered. Being brave does not mean that you are not frightened or scared of the uncertainty ahead. Courage is to keep going, keep moving despite the fear and uncertainty. It takes courage to get back up when you fall – or fail. These can be small or large events. Sometimes, simply getting out of bed and. showing up takes courage and strength!
Without adversity, life would be quite dull! I always say you cannot have the rainbows without the rain–– or appreciate the BlueSkys without the storm. Everyone has stories to tell. Each of us has resilience and power inside of us that is waiting to be unlocked. We all have it within us to take back, own our power and our inner strength within us. Use your setbacks to build your success, but you first must get UP when you fall. Movement creates momentum and propels you forward. So yes, adversity creates resilience and builds us to be MORE.
Tell us about BlueSkys Life™.
I started BlueSkys Life™ when I first was diagnosed with my health conditions and wanted to reduce my use of harmful chemicals on my body and in my home. I was looking for all-natural and non-toxic products and found many claims as “natural” or even “organic” did not have much value when you actually read the labels. I was looking for truly all-natural products that worked and did not cause my skin to break out and also treated my eczema which was often brought on by stress.
Did you know that the average woman applies approximately 515 synthetic chemicals to her body before she leaves her house each day? A significant amount of these chemicals are then absorbed into your bloodstream, which can have a cumulative negative effect leading to cancer, cognitive decline, and many other diseases. From the raw ingredients, fair trade, to the final packaging — our goal is to be natural 360, full circle. BlueSkys Life™ is an inclusive, all-natural holistic lifestyle wellness brand — to help you recharge and renew your Mind, Body + Home.
Our mind requires nurturing just as much as our body. A healthy mind will support a healthy body. During the pandemic, we have spent more time at home — our homes should be our sanctuary, where we love, celebrate, and rest. I have personally curated collections of natural products that I use and LOVE. BlueSkys Life™ carries products such as all-natural Blue Lotus Teas to support rest and lucid dreaming, infused bath bombs, a collection of shea butter for skin & hair, clean beauty serums and face creams, aluminum-free deodorants — and for the home sustainable coconut and bamboo culinary pieces & candles, to gorgeous luxury organic silk kimonos. Our product line and marketplace will continue to grow — also, we are currently formulating new BlueSkys Life products for 2022.
Our mission is to elevate wellness and all women naturally — and make women feel beautiful inside and out.
BlueSkys Life™ is more than a brand — it is a way of life. Tell us more.
BlueSkys Life is a purpose-led brand and all about our “Y”, which is why BlueSkys Life is spelled with a “Y”, so yes, we can spell! BlueSkys life is also about Non-Toxic products, Non-Toxic Thinking, and Non-toxic Living. When I was going through tough times and was very sick, I would look up at the BlueSkys to give me hope and optimism to keep going. This helped me push any negative and toxic thoughts aside — such as I am not worthy of love, imposter syndrome, or self-limiting beliefs. Many women and people overall have that toxic voice limiting their growth and overall well-being. Time to kick it to the curb! There is also the term “Blue Sky Thinking” which unleashes creativity and puts no limits or boundaries on what could be. Open-minded and no judgments. This works perfectly with our brand ethos of creating a sustainable all-natural beauty brand for self-identifying women of all sizes, shapes and takes a pro-aging stand. Also, BlueSkys Life is about conscious sustainable living — and keeping our planet’s health at the forefront as well as our own. This is again, from our ingredients, how they are processed and then packaged. During the pandemic, the BlueSkys were truly revealed when there was little traffic and pollution from everyone staying at home. It gave us the opportunity to see a glimpse of change to help our planet be well again.
To be well, what we put on our bodies and in our bodies matters — as with our mindset. Society and media have defined what “beautiful” looks like. We want to help empower women to define their own version of beauty and own it. Here at BlueSkys Life, I want to make ALL women and self-identifying women feel beautiful — in mind, body, and in their home. We want to help women be well, and stay well by using natural products that help build a foundation of natural wellness while being mindful of protecting the world we live in.
Tell us about how cannabis has been part of your healing process.
Cannabis has been an essential part of my wellness journey and healing process.
I suffered from debilitating migraines for many years and became very dependent on painkillers to deal with the pain to function at work and in life. I was also developing anxiety because of the pain itself — always anticipating it was going to interfere with my day and as a mother when at home.
A girlfriend introduced me to cannabis one evening when I was lying in bed in the dark with ice on my head. She suggested I try cannabis to deal with the pain. I immediately came back with “NO! I don’t do drugs, what kind of mother would that make me?” She laughed and looked at my bedside table covered with pill bottles and said “You DO drugs now…” She was very spot on. I did try cannabis —primarily CBD and 1:1 ratio in an oil format and found it helped me deal not only with my pain but helped me deal with my anxiety and deal with my former trauma. I also found through dosing, could help me rest and sleep well peacefully. I used to say “I would die when I sleep, and I soon realized I would die if I did not sleep!” Sleep is where we recharge and heal our minds and our bodies. Sleep is essential to our health.
Cannabis is an essential and beautiful plant!! A couple of years ago I also discovered that applying CBD oil to my skin — in particular to my face — helped me treat my skin conditions such as adult acne, scars, and smoothed uneven texture. Cannabidiol (CBD) offers some amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which can be beneficial in treating skin issues like inflammation, redness, dryness and helps treat my eczema (which flares up when under stress). But this being said it is important to know the quality of the CBD beauty products you are purchasing as not all are created equal. Read your labels and products should be third-party tested to ensure they contain the ratio of CBD that is claimed on the product.
I am passionate about the therapeutic and clean beauty benefits of cannabis — and going back to our roots, figuratively and literally. It has helped me deal personally with pain, sleep, anxiety and even now is being incorporated into my clean beauty routine. I feel in a good mood, spirit and this only helps me turn up my glow — cannabis helps me feel beautiful inside and out.
Share your top-selling products.
BlueSkys Life is a new company, with that being said — we already have some great favorites already!
Some of our customer’s favourites:
- Blue Lotus Dreams Tea
- Tranquil Trio, Naturally Infused Bath Bombs
- Orange Bergamot Shea Butter
- Passion Blossom Shampoo
- Rosehip Facial Serum
- Orchid Eye Cream
- And our timeless organic silk Kimonos
As a Thought Leader, what topics can we see from you in the upcoming months?
I enjoy sharing my thought perspectives to inspire and help women feel like they can make it to the other side of loss and trauma, as well as think about their purpose. I have been featured on various podcasts and included some recent ones below.
Nominated for Women of Inspiration
Also, stay tuned BlueSkys Life™ Wellness Summit for 2022!
Clubhouse: @BlueSkysLife, Kristina Shea