- Aren Lodge
Dr. Tabitha Julien of 'Soul Hugs' on her Journey to creating a Community for professional women
So, why don’t you tell our readers who you are and what you do? My name is Tabitha and I am the creator of Soul Hugs. Soul Hugs is a community of like-minded professional women dedicated to their individual growth and self-mastery themselves. My goal as the Soul Hugs creator is to provide the tools, coaching, and encouragement to guide these women to the process and have a little fun while doing it.
Wow, I love this! Let’s begin with how you got started. How old were you, where were you and what was your situation financially? I was given the gift that was Soul Hugs back in 2016 after receiving my first job back at home in NYC after completing my masters in upstate NY. I moved back to Brooklyn and I reconnected with so many of the women that I knew from undergrad and church. I realized that most of my girlfriends were all in a similar place – looking to find our purpose, and desire to understand ourselves, and ultimately a healthy relationship. I like devotionals and readings – especially Christian women-focused devotionals Each day I would share the devotionals with my friends, whether they believed in God or not. In fact, at times my friends and I would have a short exchange about what we read, and we would encourage each other. After each reading and conversation, I remember telling a friend, that devotional was such a good “Soul Hug”. It felt good sharing stories of trials, hope, and encouragement with another woman who understood and didn’t judge me. And that’s how Soul Hugs was birthed.
It almost sounds like divine purpose, the way Soul Hugs came to be, so smoothly. What was the catalyst that made you take the plunge into this industry? What was the situation that encouraged you to give this a real shot? Great question. I started brainstorming and putting some of the Soul Hugs pieces together between 2016 and 2020, however COVID19 was the catalyst that made me take the plunge. I am currently completing my doctorate at the NYU School of Medicine in Epidemiology. I am at the dissertation phase in my journey. Due to COVID19, I finally had a pause in my career to take action on this passion project of mine. And so I took the risk and the plunge and officially became an LLC and launched in May 2020. I knew God had put Soul Hugs on my heart, it was all a matter of timing.
Right! He gives each of us a dream for a reason. Tell us the story of your first legit client. How did you find them, and what do you attribute as the reason why they chose to work with you?
I don’t have any clients yet. But I do believe that in the future, my clients want to work with me because they see my heart on display in Soul Hugs. I genuinely love women and love to see them win. And I think that shows greatly in every post or comment on IG. Not only do I have that reputation online, but I “practice what I preach”. I believe Soul Hugs has had such a great response since its debut because these women have also experience either my encouragement or support in their life.
I feel the positivity myself when I visit Soul Hugs on social media. Tell us the first 5 steps you took to make this dream career your reality. Step 1: Get Out of Your Head! Whew! I didn’t realize just how much mentally I needed to strengthen my mind. I realized that I doubted the gifts God naturally gave me due to insecurity and fear of what others may say/think. So getting out of my own way was key.
Step 2: Take a Course I took a business course just because I wanted to honor the craft and this new arena I was stepping in. I am a Research Scientist and so business & marketing has never been in the forefront of my studies. Step 3: Get Familiar with your Contemporaries & their followers I started to follow blogs and other pages that had similar goals/content as I wanted from Soul Hugs. It helped me to see what my potential clients gravitated to and the type of content they liked.
Step 4: TRUST GOD! Develop a spiritual routine to help keep you grounded throughout the journey. There will be many twists and turns and it takes a sound mind and faith in self to make it.
Step 5: Just do it!
These are steps I need to follow! It's a process everyday to keep at it, I know. Now that we have the 5 steps, is there anything you would say was a hurdle to you getting started that someone in your field may want to avoid? You may be more ready, gifted, and prepared than you think. I believe most passion and purpose-driven businesses are a gift from God, and therefore you have everything you need inside of you. Self-doubt is the only killer on your journey.
Agreed! I agree so much. What sets you a part from others as a self love blogger? Because I’ve been transparent on social media about myself and my challenges, I think it brings a high-level of authenticity that ultimately women trust. They know my journey. Most have seen me when I was overweight/obese, they’ve seen me experience heartbreak, and challenges in my career. And my personality and energy have never changed. There’s power in my story. I have a lot to share.
Well as a reader, I enjoyed your story very much. It's transparent, and it makes me feel more connected to you and your brand Dr. Julien. :) For future readers, how can we connect with you? IG: @Soul_Hugs Facebook Page: @SoulHugsWomanhood
Email: SoulHugsBox@gmail.com Website: https://soulhugsbox.wixsite.com/website
Thank you! If you enjoyed reading this interview, make sure to checkout Dr. Tabitha Julien's social media, and spread the love! Happy Holidays!