Nature is a word that conjures up a different image for everyone who hears it. For some it is the briskly driven snow on a blustery winter day; for others it is chirping birds and rustling leaves in a secluded forest. For Jamie Vess, the owner of Next to Nature, it is about oneness and living naturally.
Jamie came to Siouxland with her husband a few years ago. As someone who had devoted years to learning the impacts of food on her body, Jamie was surprised to discover there wasn’t a natural food store in Sioux City.
“We are not a full health store.” She said. “Just the things you need on a daily basis to be one with nature. It is stuff you can have in your pantry to treat common ailments.”
Jamie went on to explain, “My goal is to help others learn about a lifestyle where we are more conscious of what we turn to for treatment. We can utilize natural treatments like herbs, teas and supplements to feel better, live better and fight inflammation, symptoms of menopause or insomnia. We don’t have to put artificial things into us to feel better.”
Vess’s husband started his chiropractic clinic in Sioux City in 2017. In line with his philosophy that natural healing can relieve pain, recommendations for other natural remedies was logical. He and Jamie would make recommendations based upon their experience and research. And then they noticed that people couldn’t find the products in Sioux City, and sometimes not online either. The commitment to natural healing, led to establishing a supply of products in January 2020.
“We began in two small office spaces in January, by April – in the midst of the pandemic – we were growing rapidly and pushed to expand our offerings.” Said Vess. “We knocked down a wall and expanded. Now I can work with people one-on-one.”
That one-on-one interaction is something Vess is devoted to. Her passion for helping people live close to nature means she spends each day meeting, getting to know, and helping people.
Products range from an incredible selection of herbal teas and supplements for those who want to purify their bodies, to ritual herbs for those seeking to connect to nature, to body care and cleaning products for those who want to reduce the toxicity of their living environments.
“It can be overwhelming to people who haven’t been in a health store before.” She said. “There is so much to learn and understand. I start with questions. What brought you in today? How are you feeling? What are your goals? What are your hobbies or interests? The more I know about a person, the better I can recommend products that will fit their needs.”
People come for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it is an ‘easy fix’ – an appropriate tea for someone who has trouble falling asleep. Sometimes there are multiple issues that require more intense interactions.
“I created a 16-page report for a person who was struggling with a variety of issues that are all wrapped together.” Jamie said. “It helps to fully explain the impact of eating, daily habits and our environment. I do research as needed for these intense reports. I know from personal experience how important understanding is to getting healthy.”
What Vess finds is that most clients start with one or two easy steps – a supplement or tea – and then incorporate more as they return. “As they come back, I slowly introduce them to other parts of the store to increase their natural focus.”
When asked what surprises her clients most, she said, “They are usually surprised how quickly they feel better when they get the right vitamins and probiotics. They are amazed at how quickly they have energy, sleep better and so on.”
The other thing that surprises people is the herb and tea wall display in the store. “I did it all myself”, Jamie said. “I designed and selected the products. It is a personal thing for me.”
Looking to the future, Vess plans to continue adding organic grocery items that are harder to find. There are so many areas to do more natural things, that she is constantly on the lookout. She also is quick to order new products that clients inquire about to expand the product line.
“There is a lot of education needed as to the extent of how much can be done naturally,” she said with quiet confidence. “I want to help one person at a time.”
Check out Next to Nature at 4242 Gordon Drive or via the internet at www.Nexttonaturehealth.com
By Dr Cyndi Hanson