I recently became a member of
The Holistic Chamber of Commerce via
this incredible woman, Camille Leon, Executive Director of The H.C.C.
(http://TheHolisticChamberOfCommerce.com) and Coach/Co-author
of THE EXHILARATION EFFECT:
Building the Courage to take Your Leap of Faith
The Morselist was so inspired by Camille & the H.C.C.,
she asked Camille for an interview.
The Exhilaration Effect Website: http://ExhilarationEffect.com.
As Executive Director of the national Holistic Chamber of Commerce (HCC)
and co-author of THE EXHILARATION EFFECT:
Building the Courage to Take Your Leap of Faith, I’m living a life that I love!
Q. Camille, please share some things about yourself.
A. I’m a business woman who used to have an office at the corner of Fifth and Figueroa.
If you’re familiar with L.A., you know I was in the thick of it!
Still, for most of my career, I’ve had a hand in socially relevant organizations
like the League of Women Voters, the YWCA, Women In Film and others.
I’m also a Speaker, Consultant and Coach.
About five years ago, I “hit the wall” and took a leap of faith out of corporate America…
Q. And what a leap! Have you always been interested in Health? Or, is this a new endeavor?
A. In some ways, it’s been an ongoing awareness since college and, in other ways, it’s new.
In college, I was diagnosed with gout and the doctor prescribed allopurinol with the warning,
“This can be tough for your liver.” I decided to look for nutrition-based ways to stay healthy.
Q. I completely “get” this way of thinking. Is this what led you to start The Holistic Chamber of Commerce (HCC)?
A. Life in L.A. can be in the fast lane, you know?
There’s always something to do and stress is almost a competitive sport here.
My mother had a double mastectomy and my grandmother had a stroke…
I had to change my lifestyle habits or I was headed in the wrong direction.
Do you know how hard it is to find quality,
especially if you don’t know quite what you’re looking for?
Where do people go for that information?
I wanted to make it easier to make those connections to quality in the holistic and eco-friendly arena.
The HCC actually checks references on all of our Professional Members before we represent them
at our website (www.TheHolisticChamberOfCommerce.com).
Q. And being a proud new member, I can attest to this. So, you began in L.A.?
A. The West LA Chapter first got started with a group here, then one in the Inland Empire.
When it became clear that the U.S. was in need of more holistic health solutions
and that The Holistic Chamber of Commerce could have greater impact as a national organization,
I started focusing on cooking up something special.
Holistic lifestyle habits, like eating delicious and healthy treats,
can extend the quality of my life and anyone else’s.
It’s just that most of us are ingrained in conventional habits
and don’t know where to look for alternatives.
Q. Believe me, I know this first hand! How is The Holistic Chamber of Commerce different from the other Chambers of Commerce?
A. I refer to The Holistic Chamber of Commerce as a hybrid organization
because we are different in three significant ways.
First, we represent our Professional Members online through our website
and through social media networking, so it doesn’t matter where they are based.
Because so many people go online to find what they need, internet search-ability is key.
And when you’re travelling or relocating, again, you go online to find what you’re looking for.
Second, most traditional Chambers don’t ask for, or check, your references.
Since we’re representing professionals we can’t meet in person,
and from a variety of backgrounds,
we want an initial level of confidence in their skills and expertise.
Third, for those that are near a local Associated HCC,
they’ll find that our chapters are more relationship-oriented and meetings are more intimate.
Q. This is quite impressive. What’s your vision for The HCC?
A. Short version: Healthier people on a healthier planet!
Q. This is an inspiring concept & one I believe will work. What is your personal recipe for success?
A. I’m actually writing a book about it!
Barbara Schiffman and I are co-writing THE EXHILARATION EFFECT
to share our (and coaching clients) experiences of facing fears,
building courage, learning lessons and applying them for greater success every day.
Basically, when I get stuck, I do something I’ve never done
– from colon hydrotherapy to eating insects to skydiving.
These things lead to learning from metaphors.
For example, starting a national organization is like baking a batch of cookies,
you need to know what ingredients to use and mix them in the proper amounts.
Q. Personally, I prefer MORSELS, but I get the idea. Spices are the variety of life: how do you like to add spice?
A. I love people and travel! When I get stuck,
I consider where I want to go and do something that will lead me in that direction.
Or I do something outrageous, and seemingly disconnected,
that gets me exhilarated and moving forward again.
I used to do comedy, too, and every so often I slip into a non-PC mode…
It’s like adding too much cayenne to the hot chocolate!
Q. Ha! You read my Cayenne in my Cocoa Blog! So you know, I’ve always played and created my own recipes.
In fact, I’ve recently starting calling myself a RECIPE DEVELOPER.
How would you like to see The HCC develop?
A. A recipe developer… That sounds like fun!
And we all want more healthy food that tastes yummy and is easy to eat.
It’s one reason I’m so glad to have you as a Member of The HCC.
You go beyond the traditional and keep looking for new ways
to entice people to eat good food that also tastes good.
Right now, I’m focused on developing enough Professional Members
that we can introduce more people to holistic and eco-friendly ideas
and solutions wherever they are.
If someone is trying Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy or
Gluten-free foods for the first time, I want them to feel safe and comfortable going in to a new experience.
As The HCC grows, we’ll also start getting attention from more big press
and that will naturally bring opportunities to share the
wonderful specialties of all of our members… from traditional to alternative.
After all, penicillin doesn’t work for everyone.
And who wants to get sick in the first place? Holistic health is about staying healthy!
Q. Amen! Is the HCC a local organization or national?
A. Both. As a hybrid, those who join in West LA
are also members when they visit San Antonio, TX, and vice versa.
We now have Members in 15 states and associated chapters in 5.
Because of our online presence, we can represent Members whether they’re near a chapter or not.
Q. Who are your members?
A. Our Professional Members are practitioners, solo-preneurs
and small businesses that hold holistic and eco-friendly values in common,
even when they define the terms differently…
from eating and exercise, to emotional, legal and financial health.
We recognize the importance of balancing short-term results with long-term consequences.
We’re also starting work on a Supporting Membership that will allow
more people to support our efforts whether or not they have a business.
We’re looking at what value we can bring to them that goes beyond introducing them to new solutions.
One thing that’s bound to be expanded for our Supporting members will be the Discounts & Deals we offer.
Q. Any upcoming Special Events for my Morselites to attend?
A. Locally, everyone is welcome on first Thursdays in Upland
and second Thursdays in West LA.
Our other big chapters are in Texas, with a few more in Arizona, Idaho, Georgia and Washington.
Q. All gardens need tending, watering, feeding, pruning and lots of TLC.
Please share a quote that sums up how you see The HCC expanding/growing?
(Yes, I meant for TLC & HCC to rhyme)
A. This is your toughest question of all!
There are so many quotes from visionaries that fertilize our organic garden…
“The one who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.” Dale Carnegie
Great quote and great interview. Thank you, Camille and here’s to