Who's That Gal: Kristen Ciccolini of Good Witch Kitchen
Name: Kristen Ciccolini
Occupation: Holistic Nutritionist, Cooking Class Instructor, and Founder of Good Witch Kitchen
Hometown: Leominster, MA
Current ‘hood: Fenway
Favorite workout: I alternate according to my energy levels throughout the year. Sometimes yoga, sometimes BBG and spin.
I never leave home without____: Lip balm. I am a cog in the Big Lip Balm machine. I have one in every bag.
Currently reading: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan (along with a bunch of nerdy nutrition books)
Let’s start with the basics. What do you focus on as a holistic nutritionist?
Most people I work with are navigating food allergies or learning how to transition into a healthier lifestyle. It can be difficult to know where to start and there are lots of conflicting headlines and research out there that make it confusing. I do the hard thinking so my clients don’t have to, but I do teach them how to create long-lasting habits.
We LOVE your branding. Where’d you come up with the idea for Good Witch?
Witches are healers, and cooking is alchemy, isn’t it? Within the kitchen and within the body. Instead of spells I create recipes, all with a purpose of helping clients feel their very best.
What inspired you to become a nutritionist?
My own personal journey. Many people have major health struggles that turn them to the health and wellness industry, my story is simply that I did not know the basics of eating well, or that it was more than just “eat your vegetables.” Once I started learning and feeling better mentally and physically, I craved more of it. More energy, more knowledge. I found a passion through education and I loved sharing what I knew with everyone else, so naturally, that’s where I decided to take my career. My background is in writing and marketing, so it was a big change for me, but I’m so glad I did it.
Is Good Witch a full-time gig? If so, how did you gain the courage + motivation to launch your own business? How did you find your first few clients?
Yes! I planned ahead and saved enough money to possibly hold me over if things moved slowly, and they definitely did in the beginning. Over-preparing is my general MO when it comes to things I’m nervous about. I had a plan and a million to-do lists ready to go for when I made the leap. I also talked to friends and family and having their support emphasized that I was doing the right thing. Also something happened that I think was very serendipitous. Before I quit my job, I won a book in an Instagram contest. It was Sara DiVello’s Where in the Om Am I?, all about how she quit her corporate finance job here in Boston to become a yoga instructor, and she’s now nationally known. She did her training while still working full-time at her crazy job, and I was doing the same. Maybe it’s silly, but it felt like a message from the universe. Sara was my expander, showing me what was possible in her book, and after I read it I felt confident in what I was doing.
I got my first few clients from word of mouth. I helped out family for free and friends at a discount, and they helped spread the word for me. My online marketing experience was immensely helpful too. My very first full-priced client came from an organic Google search, so I pat myself on the back for my SEO work on that one!
How is Good Witch Kitchen different from other options on the Boston wellness scene?
I don’t just tell you what to eat, I teach you how to cook. I offer meal plans for clients and one of their options is to include a session in their home where I come in and teach them how to make a few of the meals, and I also teach healthy cooking classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE). I really like to focus on showing vs. telling in order to create long-lasting habits. I also connect with my one-on-one clients over the phone weekly. I’m not sure how other nutrition coaches work with their clients, but I think the weekly connection and personalized attention builds trust and keeps them accountable.
How do you balance being a busy wellness practitioner/business owner with being healthy yourself-- what are your main strategies for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Being super organized! I am a little bit of an organizational freak, it helps keep me sane and from getting too overwhelmed. I use Google Calendar to keep track of my commitments to other people, Asana for my own tasks and to-do lists, and pen and paper to schedule out my day’s tasks by the hour to keep myself on track (I get joy out of crossing things off). I have to include meals and exercise in that written schedule too or else I won’t stick to it. All this to say... make appointments with yourself and keep your commitment as you would a doctor’s appointment. Owning a business can overwhelm you and if you don’t own your time, too, something or someone else will.
What’s next for you and Good Witch Kitchen?
Right now I’m running the first round of my new online group coaching program, Kicking Sugar + Carb Addiction. It’s going really well so far, the participants are helping me shape the program to make it the best it can be before I share it with everyone. I’m aiming to do the next six-week round in January, so keep an eye on social media for when signups are available!
Until then, come see me at the BCAE!