According to DailyMail, a woman who was working as a cleaner and suffering from anxiety has transformed her life after founding her own health food brand. Alexis Oladipo, from Hackney, East London, always loved cooking and experimenting with different ingredients in the kitchen as a child.
But when the 29-year-old, who has a degree in media and culture from Roehampton University, failed to secure a job in an industry she felt passionate about, she knew she needed to make ends meet and accepted a job as an office cleaner in The City.
"I wasn’t making it at as a freelance fashion stylist, and with the pressures of life, I kind of gave in and started looking for security again, aka a job. But I couldn’t get a job, not a decent one anyway, so I decided to take on a role as a cleaner as it seemed like the only thing I could get. I thought “beggars can’t be choosers” and settled for cleaning desks and emptying bins for a good part of a year," Alexis told FEMAIL.
Alexis spent an exhausting year waking up at 3am to start cleaning at 4am. It was during this period that she began suffering from depression.
"I was getting over a very embarrassing, emotional break up, had two medical procedures, no money, lost a lot of weight and I was a cleaner with a degree but couldn’t get a proper job. I didn’t seek medical help but I prayed and trusted in God’s plan. Slowly I started getting better, I started leaving the house a bit more and began eating better again and putting the weight back on. Thankfully that was the first and last time I will experience depression - I definitely free from all of that now."
One day, after going to the gym, Alexis had a 'eureka moment'. She had noticed that there was nothing remotely healthy to eat in the vicinity of her gym - but felt that gorging on fast food would defy the purpose of her workout.then came up with the idea of creating a food product for people struggling to maintain a healthy diet alongside a hectic work and social life. She joined The Prince's Trust, a youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30 get into jobs, education and training, who helped her get her business up and running.
After working day and night, attending business seminars and workshops with the Prince's Trust and hiring one of the best branding agencies, in 2013, Gym Bites - freshly-made meals served in jars that cost around £5.99 - was born.
The brand soft launched in August 2015 with a range of healthy, delicious and nutritious salads for people to grab and go after a workout. There are currently three varieties - Pack-A-Protein Chicken Salad, Oh-Mega! Prawn Salad and Green Supreme Broccoli Salad.Gym Bites was approached by Selfridges, asking to stock it.
"I still can’t believe it happened and the way it happened. They saw our product on Instagram and went crazy over it. Before I knew there was an email in my inbox asking questions about cost price, shelf life etc. I was in so much shock, me, my mum and my best friend were crying tears of joy. When I first saw my product on the shelves, I didn’t say I just looked at them, sitting pretty and thanked God. It was a surreal moment, one that I will cherish forever."