You know them as the brains and builders behind BetternessBox. Kala and Denise -- sorority sisters turned business partners and the dearest of homegirls who are deeply committed to encouraging women to prioritize their wellness in all ways. They're how we got here, ok? These two visionaries with a purpose and a mission to help are modeling exactly what it means to be radiant and to live with purpose, on purpose. As they pioneer creating a sustainable solution and brand for self-care at your doorstep, they’re also living their very own, very full, and very real lives.
What you don't see behind the brilliance of the Betterness boxes:
Kala is a multi-prenuer, several-property owner, and a full-time engineer at one of the largest telecommunication companies IN THE WORLD.
Denise is a marketing executive, certified yoga instructor, photographer, wife, and mom of the world’s most adorable, sweetest, cuddliest, round-faced crawling ball of perfection (can you tell we're obsessed?!).
And, at the intersection of their shared and individual roles, both Kala and Denise have shaken things up in BIG ways in the last few months. Each of them has made physical moves; Kala going from her luxe suburban town home to a skyline-spotting penthouse downtown and Denise, going from life downtown with her husband and baby to purchasing a larger multigenerational home with her extended family. All of this while running their thriving company, taking care of business 9-5, and being all around go-getter women. Talk about BIG, BOLD BOSS GIRL MOVES.
Team BBX sat down with our two boss babes recently to chat through what they’re thinking, feeling and processing as life is moving, business is booming, and they’re keeping their wellness always at the helm.
So, I imagine it wasn’t planned this way, but each of you have uprooted your lives in the last few months. Both with big physical moves, and in the BBX business, you just returned from a HUGE client’s conference and are now venturing into some new strategy and territory. What’s a word or phrase that is keeping you centered, right now?
Kala: *chuckles* My first thoughts – am I even centered?
Denise: Ok, ok – I’ve got one. My word is ease. I’m allowing myself to move in flow and just figure it out as it comes.
Kala: Alriiiight, I’ve got it now. I’d say ‘let it go’. When it came to renting out my home, I was going back and forth with what exactly to do. I wanted to rent it out one way, and when that didn’t work, I was trying to find an alternative. But one day I was driving asking God how to handle it and I heard very clearly to ‘let it go’. For me, that meant parting ways with ALL my things. And it was so big for me because I have lived a life where I’ve always had to have a handle on everything for myself. This, for me, was a challenge in trusting what I heard over what I felt.
That’s a perfect segue for you to continue in sharing the why behind this move, Kala. You went from a lovely home in suburbia to your deluxe apartment in the sky. What prompted this move that some might say was a bit unconventional?
Kala: I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time…I began asking myself if where I was, was where I wanted to be, especially as I approach 40. And I couldn’t answer that affirmatively. My routine was pretty set and I had all my comforts, but I wasn’t actually living the lifestyle I wanted. I’d always think about what it could feel like to be closer to museums or to classes I’d want to take…so this was an opportunity for me to curate that life and experience for myself. Because that's actually what I want.
Did you receive any side eyes or push back from folks who wondered about the sensibility of it?
Kala: My friends and family were generally supportive of me even though so many were connected to my home and the memories we created there, so there was a bit of grief, but they totally got why I was making this decision.
Denise, you’re in a different season of life, so your move was for some different reasons. In addition to the stressors of moving, how are you managing how the changes in location and dynamic are impacting your husband, son, and family overall?
Denise: My thing right now is trying not to force what I’m used to into where I am at this moment. Of all the things that have happened in my life recently – turning 40, getting married, having a baby…this move has been the biggest challenge. But it was intentional for a long-term goal, so I’m focusing on that, even with the things that feel different for me and my family. We went from a two-adult household into a four-adult home…so that’s a major shift. What I’ve been focusing on is making sure I do the things I need to do for myself – walking, practicing yoga, all the things that help keep ME grounded so that I can show up for all my family members the way that serves us all well.
Sounds like there's been some substantial stretching you've had to do to settle into so much newness. What have each of you learned about yourselves that you didn’t know before you made these big moves?
Kala: It’s wild because I’ve moved around so much, lived in other cities, internationally, and done so many things, but this one hit different. I realized that in this specific season, change is hard for me. In the last few weeks specifically, I’ve had to learn how to accept, adapt and adapt well, without causing undue stress and havoc on my mind and body because this move and all its parts really tried to take me out!
Denise: One thing I didn’t realize was as big for me as it really is…is order. I DO like things a certain way, especially in my living space. I’m realizing that when my living space is disorderly, I don’t feel comfortable or neutral, and I’m not able to feel that ease or comfort that I referenced earlier.
In the midst of all the things you both are wading through and changing…what is one thing that you are most proud of about yourself?
Kala: That I did it! I almost backed out of this move several times because I was seeing the small challenges as opposition, when really they were just natural parts of the process. I think when we succumb too early (like I almost did) it keeps us from that radiant season that we’ve been talking about and keeps us from pursuing our dreams. Becoming comfortable in the process of change and even enjoying it – that’s what’s really helping me embrace my inner shine.
Denise: I’m proud of the way I’m adapting to change, embracing patience and accepting this new phase of life. It takes daily work, but I’m being really patient with myself and the process and allowing it to unfold as it is supposed to. I’m understanding myself and my own boundaries, and it’s helping me keep things in proper perspective.
So, outside of the moves, and the specifics of those details…what else is life teaching you right now?
Kala: Life is teaching me how much I need Jesus. I'm not trying to preach, but this is just my truth. I’ve always been SO self-reliant and lately, learning to let go and let Him guide me, teach me and be the author of this process has taught me to trust Him in a new way. I’ve had to do so much unlearning; I’ve been the gap-filler in so many areas of my life and my family’s life, and now, I feel God pulling me to trust Him more without my own effort, and it’s been such a challenging and hard place. But I know His hand is on me, and He’s teaching me to trust deeply, to rest, and to relinquish control.
Denise: I’m learning that I am worthy of my own rest. I’ve been paying attention to what I need, and what my family needs and honoring those things without feeling obligated to be everywhere else. I’ve always poured a lot into my social circles and tried to be everywhere, doing everything, but making this physical move has allowed me some space to really be thoughtful about how and where I use my time, so I’m paying attention to that and being kind to myself in the process.
Last one: what would you say to your younger sister/cousin/niece who is nervous about making a big move?
Kala: Just move on it! There is so much world to explore and so much you can learn in the doing. Trust in yourself and lean on your support system to back you. You’ll be surprised at what you learn and how you can apply it in the future when decisions might come with a little more pressure.
Denise: I’d tell her that there will be times when you must make decisions for you, and times when you have to make decision for your family or others. Be clear on the why, and what’s most important when you’re faced with any decision – that’ll teach you so much about what’s really important in the moment.
In very specific ways, Denise and Kala are practicing what they believe, and are allowing their lives to unfold with those anchoring ‘betterness’ tenets to support their journeys. With kindness to and for themselves, commitment to preserving their energy for the right priorities, and submitting to the faith that guides their decisions, they are both embracing their new seasons like the bosses they are.
In their new places and perspectives, we can’t wait to see what brilliance and beauty unfolds next!