“Menopause Had Me at Hello!”
Julie Gordon-White considers herself a serial entrepreneur. At the tender age of 10, Julie described herself as “that weird kid” who created her own business plan. She’s not sure where it came from as her family didn’t have any entrepreneurs nor was she exposed to anyone that had their own business. She then started selling door to door and discovered that she liked making her own money. She quickly learned that “if I do this thing , I get this thing, and then I get to buy what I want. And I don’t really have to ask permission around it.” And so her career begins.
Julie worked throughout college in the hospitality industry and continued on with that until she decided to get back to her entrepreneurial roots. She admittedly had many failures which she refers to as false starts. “I actually call them more false starts than failures because that’s what they were. They were all learning experiences.”
After becoming the CEO of a funeral company where she “learned everything about running a company”, she started two firms which were driven by “the power of the niche.” In 2009 the recession hit and took its toll. Julie’s next move? Writing and self-publishing a book about how to price your business to sell. And she wasn’t only doing that, she started a firm to teach women entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses. Oh, let’s not also forget that she had three kids during that time too. If Julie doesn’t embody what it means to be a Gen X woman, we don’t know who does!
Julie says everything she’s learned throughout the years led her to her latest creation, Bossa Bars. Of all her experiences she shares, “I believe there’s a gift in everything. And the work is to find the gift as quickly as possible. It’s always there. But it might take some time to find it. So, look for that gift ASAP.”
She credits the support of her husband as being a large part of her confidence. Sharing that “your closest relationship, whoever that is, is your best cheerleader. I think that’s key. He has always allowed me to be myself and believed in me.” She also credits her role model, Mrs. Fields. “I saw that she was a mom who could be successful and have a great family. And that was super inspiring to me.”
We spoke to Julie about her menopause experience and her new entrepreneurial endeavor to help women “menopause like a boss”. Here are some highlights of our conversation.
On Her Menopause Journey
“I thought I had dementia!”
Women menopause differently! This was the conclusion we reached from our many conversations with Generation X women and experts on the topic coupled with our own experiences as we are entering peri-menopause.
But there was a common denominator that linked all these experiences; the onset of menopause was “scary” and, for a life stage that all women will eventually go thorough, many of us felt utterly unprepared!
Julie started experiencing peri-menopause symptoms at 46. “I can just remember sitting at my desk typing and making so many mistakes on my emails even after re-reading them over and over.” She added, “I did not know what was going on. ‘Am I going crazy’? ‘Why can’t I focus?’. So I started googling ‘focus’, ‘early onset Alzheimer’s’, ‘dementia’. That’s how scary it felt to me.”
Those fears were alleviated once she “stumbled” upon an article on peri-menopause symptoms. Shortly, thereafter, however, “the night sweats started”. As Julie recounts, “I was waking up in the middle of the night completely drenched in sweat. So I started searching for menopause pajamas and even considered sleeping in my running clothes”.
Two years later, the hot flashes started followed by hair loss, which for Julie was her most devastating symptom. Julie also experienced weight gain during her transition; although it was more progressive compared to the sudden onset and intensity of her other symptoms.
And other than Hormone Replacement Therapy, which Julie did not want to entertain at her mother’s advice, her doctor failed to provide any solutions that would help alleviate her symptoms.
So she did her own research and chose to go the route of a healthy and plant-based diet. As Julie noticed, her symptoms flared up when she ate meat while they dramatically subsided when she ate mostly plant-based. “80% plant based and 20% tacos” she humorously confessed.
And despite her frustrations and struggles, Julie had an inspiring take on menopause.
“Menopause impacted me but I see it as empowering. I’m feeling my body. I’m noticing myself. I am prioritizing my health in a way that I didn’t do for so many years because I was taking care of everyone else. So I think it’s a really special time.”
And the entrepreneur in her saw a real opportunity. To launch a business that could support women to menopause like a boss.
Menopause Like A Boss With Bossa Bars
“After listening to countless women share their stories, it became clear that the time has come to shift our beliefs about the experience of menopause from shame and dread to empowering and magical. After all, nothing feels better than being unapologetically yourself!”
With the help of her husband and son as ”taste testers”, Julie conceived and perfected the energy bars that she would later launch under the Bossa Bars brand in her home kitchen during the pandemic with the clear aim of supporting women with their battle against the “Menopause Middle”.
“Any woman can get a muffin top” wrote Pamela Peeke, MD, FACP, MPH. “But women are more likely to gain excess belly weight — especially deep inside the belly — as they go through perimenopause and into menopause, when their menstrual cycle ends.”
But it doesn’t have to be this way and Julie took that challenge head on with Bossa Bars.
“We want to empower women and help them lose the excess weight in an organic and holistic way. They can satisfy the sugar cravings and salt cravings with a healthy and delicious bar and feel good rather than deprived.” She added, “we know from our own experience that when we eat better, we just feel better. And when we feel better, we feel more confident about ourselves.”
As for her second half Julie says she can’t imagine not being an entrepreneur. She vows to mentor women forever because it always has been and always will be in her. “It’s like golf. You can play it forever.”
Her final words of wisdom to others is to “do what you love, and everything else can truly come from it if you’re committed.”
Julie Gordon White is the founder and CEO of Bossa Bars, Menopause Energy Bars, and advocates for women in all stages of “The Pause”. Julie is also an award-winning entrepreneur, bestselling business author, and TEDx speaker. In 2020, Julie launched Bossa Bars after personally struggling with the “Menopause Middle” and watching her friends suffer in silence as their symptoms and increasing weight gain were robbing their confidence. Not letting a pandemic get in her way, she decided to do something about it and created delicious plant-based, nutrient-dense, and low-calorie energy bar with all the goodness a menopausal body needs, along with a MenoLounge community to help women #menolikeaboss.
Julie has a special offer for our audience. Use code GENX10 at checkout to receive 10% off your first Bossa Bars order! Shop here: www.bossabars.com.
Note from Dena & Megan – Co-Founders of GenXWoman
The guest stories that we share on igenxwoman.com and our social media outlets are uniquely amazing. However, they do highlight a similar current that we have uncovered through our conversations with these amazing women; there is a shift that happens right before we turn 50.
In this crossroads moment marked by unhappiness and dissatisfaction, many women are faced with the decision: Should we “stick it out” in our careers and relationships or make a radical change and choose a different path; a path that we create not one that was suggested, dictated or forced upon us.
With responsibilities spanning two generations (parents and children), high debt and a society that in many cases still equates women’s viability and desirability to their age, many Gen X women opt to remain where they are, defeated and feeling they have no other option but to endure.
With features such as Julie’s story, we hope to inspire more Gen X women and women of all generations to say YES to the road less travelled and YES to their own version of “having it all”.