Be open to trying new things

August 31, 2023

Empowering Wellness Through Tradition: Spotlight on Shelly Marie Perley of JUMI’s Wellness

The journey of Mi’kmaq entrepreneur Shelly Marie Perley, the Founder of JUMI’s Wellness from Esgenoopetitj, New Brunswick, is a story of resilience, tradition, and transformative vision.

At JUMI’s Wellness, the entrepreneurial approach is as holistic as the products themselves. JUMI’s Wellness craft blends tailored to individual needs and sensitivities, integrating traditional medicines, and practices passed down by elders through meaningful product and therapeutic services. “We love to share our culture any way we can, whether in our spaces or on the land,” she explains.

“When I incorporated essential oils, natural and traditional medicines for myself and my family over the past six years, I witnessed their profound impact physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally,” recalls Shelly. Motivated by the opioid crisis plaguing her community, her mission became clear. “I want to help people reconnect with themselves, mother earth, and find their inner light.”

For Shelly, infusing her Indigenous roots into her business is paramount. “As a Wabanki educator and mother of three Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqey children, I try to incorporate our style and traditions in many aspects of our lives. Identity is vital to one’s balance and wholeness.”

However, for Shelly, entrepreneurship isn’t without its challenges, especially in the realms of technology and finance. “I’m learning the technology, and the financial part. I am doing it!” That’s why participating in Pow Wow Pitch was an unexpected turning point. “I was in shock and sometimes still feel like, ‘Is this really happening?’ 

Shelly’s mentorship journey was enriched by individuals like Laura Englehart from JEDI and Jon Ferguson from CIRA. From them, she learned the nuances of articulating her business vision effectively. 

Her advice to budding Indigenous entrepreneurs is both simple and profound. “Lead from your heart and make sure you enjoy what you do. There will be many roadblocks, but a drive and passion for the work will help push you through. Be yourself and open to trying new things. As long as there is passion for it, there is a will and a way.”

In Shelly Marie Perley, we see the confluence of tradition, passion, and the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurship. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of belief, legacy, and a genuine desire to make a difference.

Register to watch Shelly pitch at the Health & Wellness Semi-Final Online Watch Party on September 8, 2023, at 6 PM ET and vote for Shelly to win the 2023 People’s Choice Prize (#45) before September 17, 2023.