When Samantha Vestal first graduated from Abilene Christian University last December, she was at a major crossroads.
“I had an idea to play overseas for soccer,” she said. “It was a really big goal of mine, and I was really close to signing with a team, but I had a talk with God, and I feel like he was pushing me in a different direction. That I needed to try something new, do something different.”
While she was in college, Vestal worked at Impact Nutrition where she first tried Herbalife product. As a college athlete, she was surprised by the benefits of the product.
“When I tried Herbalife my skill level went up, and my nutrition overall,” Vestal said. “I lost a sufficient amount of fat, and then was able to gain back muscle.” And that was huge for Vestal as an athlete she said. “I was just trying to be healthier so I could play at my best level.”
Herbalife is a Nutrition company that allows independent distributors to sell Herbalife products at home, on social media, to friends and family, and nutrition clubs.
“This is not a franchise,” Vestal said. “I buy the products from Herbalife beforehand, and sell it by single consumption, then document that single consumption in the Herbalife system. It seems very confusing, but it is super simple. So I am my own boss, the owner of this Nutrition Club, and make my own money to get more products for the Club or personal profit.”
With the support of Justin Reding, the owner of Impact Nutrition, she decided to open her own shop on the north side of Abilene, filling a need for healthier options and protein shakes. Reding helped her understand the business model and sign up as a distributer.
“At ACU they used to have a smoothie bar, which was taken away my sophomore year… I thought I could do something so students and people in general could have somewhere to go,” said Vestal. And while Impact Nutrition is located on the South side of Abilene, Vestal said she wanted to fill the void for a similar, quality nutrition club on the North side, near ACU, Hardin-Simmons University and the professionals who work on that side of town.
“We opened June 6th, right in the middle of the [pandemic]. And obviously, it was a little scary,” laughed Vestal.
But with her faith and the support of her friends and family she opened the shop and has been running at 100 percent since then. While following state guidelines for capacity and social distancing, Simply Nutrition has the added benefit of an online ordering platform created by Herbalife. This platform allows for customers to order online and pickup their drinks in the next hour.
“It’s really fast-paced, and that’s how I’ve always lived my life,” Vestal said.
All the shakes come with 24 grams of protein, 10 grams of natural sugars from fruits and vegetables, 17 complex carbs, 24 different vitamins and minerals, and 3 grams of fiber. They’re also gluten, dairy, and cholesterol-free. “For shakes you can add in extra protein, fiber, probiotic. But it comes with those naturally – that is for if you need some more of those specific products in your diet,” added Vestal.
Simply Nutrition features 20 different shakes that change seasonally. The fall and winter fan favorites include the Pumpkin Spice Shake, the Pralines-in-Cream, and the Caramel Apple. Year-round, guests can enjoy coffee, energy teas, “lifted” teas and other popular shakes like the Banana Nut Bread and Fruity Pebbles. Vestal described the “lifted teas” as teas that, “give mental clarity and focus – great for studying or a long day with the kids ahead.”
As her business grows, Vestal said she’d love to grow to hire employees. She sees the future of the business growing to the point that she could even start another location.
“Herbalife is considered essential and it’s an international business and so we are able to stay open through any pandemic,” Vestal said. “I know a lot of people are interested in being healthier.”
Simply Nutrition also features an “Adopt-A-Teacher” program –a tribute to Vestal’s experience working as a substitute teacher. Anyone who comes in to the store can pay for a tea that will be personally delivered to teachers at a local campus.
“It’s just something to give back to the Teachers [in our community] because it’s a crazy time right now,” explained Vestal. “It will be really fun to see how much our community gives back to our teachers.”
Simply Nutrition – 1079 N Judge Ely Blvd, Abilene TX, 79601 – 432-254-2703
By Vikki Head