Updated: Jan 29, 2019
People of Charlotte, meet Tia Wheeler of Ahvacado Wellness! Tia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker-Associate who has launched her very own wellness program for Charlotte and the surrounding areas. I had a chance to sit down with this unicorn—a true born-and-raised Charlottean—and get all the exciting details on this new venture of hers!
Tell me about Ahvacado Wellness. What was the vision behind it? Tia: Ahvacado Wellness is all about holistic solutions and authentic relationships. I educate and inspire with natural home and beauty products, home cooking advice, and wellness coaching. I work to honor the individuality within every woman. When you look at the name, you instantly notice the spelling. Avocado is a delicious fruit. I wanted people to hear that, think wellness, and then know the word ahava: in Hebrew, it is a verb that translates to: love that gives and love that commits. It’s really a wonderful word!
What’s the connection to Ahvacado Wellness and your life? Why now? Tia: I think, why not now!? I honestly got tired of meeting women who were struggling with knowing themselves. Ahvacado Wellness is needed now because wellness is not just about your health and what you eat, it’s about how you love yourself. Going back to the word ahava, it’s how you love others and how love is manifesting in your life. In my line of work and in my personal life, I have seen women who are having trouble with that—so this wellness venture is about helping women to get to the point of ahava. I bring in my history with PCOS, something that I have struggled with, and I am able to provide practical solutions for women to know what their bodies need.
What is it that you love most about Charlotte? Tia: My answer is so underwhelming! I love Charlotte because I like having roots. I’m one of those people who likes feeling grounded in places—I don’t like going places and feeling kind of adrift. Since I was born here and raised, it’s familiar. It’s like the feeling of putting on a pair of jeans that fits great... ahh, that’s how Charlotte feels to me! When I come home and I see the skyline, I’m just like, Look at my Charlotte! It’s just so warm to me. Even with the changes, it’s home.
Being the face of Ahvacado Wellness, what is something that you pride yourself on that resonates throughout your business? Tia: Not compromising my personal integrity is a really big one for me. Every decision in my life is really based around that, as is my decision to be a social worker. My decisions in relationships, and my career choices, are based around not compromising my core values and that translates into every part of Ahvacado Wellness.
Where did you attend school? Tia: The illustrious Winston Salem State University for my bachelors! Thereafter, I attended Winthrop for my masters, and I became a Certified Life Coach at the Institute for Integrative Health.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Tia: I used to eat a Snickers or Butterfinger every single day for years! This was actually during my freshman or sophomore year at Harding University. There was a presentation at my church in 2007 by the “Not for Sale Campaign,” which detailed how the chocolate bars were produced by slave trade and labor trafficking. Needless to say, I stopped eating Snickers! I wouldn’t eat chocolate and I wouldn’t allow anyone around me to eat it either, unless it was trade-free—again, holding to those core values. How could I eat chocolate after knowing what I knew about it?
What advice would you give to youth?
Tia: Trust yourself! Trust your gut and listen to your body.
When I first found out I had PCOS, I was 16. And the only reason it was confirmed was because I was so adamant about them running the tests. The doctors didn’t want to do it. They would say, “You are fine, you’re a drama queen.” My mother said the same thing, and no one wanted to listen. So trust yourself and your body!
Who/What Motivates and/or Inspires you?
Tia: I have different motivators.
All the strong women in my life, my mom, and my great aunt.
Career inspiration would have to be some close friends of mine who I feel use their time so wisely—which I don't always... I get my work done, but I could always be more productive.
I’m inspired by Yara Shahidi: she’s an actress who plays the daughter on Blackish. I really like watching her on Instagram, I like her posts and what she talks about. She does a lot around voting rights. She is young and inspiring. Her reading list is great as well!
My Granny inspires and motivates me. She had Alzheimer’s and the last time I saw her was during Christmastime—she passed six years ago. She didn’t really know what was going on and had gotten really thin. I was sitting next to her and she was mumbling under her breath, “Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord, and praise God.” Just little prayers and murmurs, and I thought to myself, I hope that I too can have that strong grounding of spirituality. I try my best to make sure I am cultivating my spiritual self and that is because of her.
How does Ahvacado Wellness fit in with the dynamics of Charlotte and what impact would you like to make?
Tia: I think that Ahvacado Wellness will build community because the great people in Charlotte can’t be great if they don’t know what they’re doing, who they are, or how they feel. So, if you’re not well (physically, spiritually, financially, etc.), it will be very difficult for you to adjust in the hustle and bustle in Charlotte. I’m providing a service, but I hope to also provide a community and village for people to feel ahava (Hebrew for love). I don’t want Charlotte to be a place where people are struggling. They shouldn’t have to feel that. I’ve been told that much like how moths fly to light, I am that light that attracts others. I am taking this gift and channeling it into Ahvacado Wellness. I want people to know that there is an actual place for them to funnel their thoughts, ideas, dreams, and we can make them actionable which in turn will impact their overall wellness tremendously.
Learn more about Ahvacado Wellness at ahvacadowellness.com