RETREAT: The WHOLE EXPERIENCE A Conversation with Tameika Gentles

Txture: WHY? "The Whole Experience"

Tameika: It came into concept in September.  I was in Bali and Bali is the retreat center of the world.  Everything was very yoga focused and every fitness retreat was very fitness focused.  I didn’t really see anything that was all-encompassing.  I saw a hole in the market and I thought I would fill it.  So, my big thing was “How can we create mindfulness, so yoga mindfulness…I guess hippy stuff that I am very much into.”  Then fitness and strength training, that I am also very much into... as well as experiences. That’s where the “Whole Experience” was born. It was just me being in Bali and seeing a massive hole in the market.

Well, we are grateful for that.  It came together really quickly.  So how many retreats have you already had?

I had one retreat and it was more of a test. I had that one in April. After day one, I was like I’m doing more!  So, I have two more this Fall. Then next year we are on track to do seven. It did scale quickly!

So for your Test run, did you use current clients?  How did you locate prospects?

Instagram, I was testing the concept. So I put up Instagram story polls and the results for yes were 99%.  Afterwards, people would DM me. I saw that there was clearly demand for this.  I was living in Bali at the time so it was really easy to organize. We sold out in two weeks!

What makes your retreat an "experience"? 

 I think it is the mind, body, spirit element.  Having been on this journey for a very long time it became very clear to me that health isn’t just about eating well and working out.   It’s so much more about the mental piece.  It’s about filling your brain with experiences and culture and travel.  When people come we say we want you to leave feeling absolutely rejuvenated. We want you to have a full experience.  Looking at the mind; so we do mindfulness meditation.  Looking at the body; so we do a lot of activities and active sports. Looking at the spirit; so filling the spirit with happiness and joy.  Your days are really full.  There is so much to do!

How many spaces are available per retreat?

 Our number is 14. It still feels like a community. It still feels intimate. You still have enough people where it’s not too small.

 Why a women's only space? 

 I am not ready to change the vibe.  It is a safe space.  Female empowerment; if you don’t want to wear makeup today… No problem. Down the road maybe it will make sense to change that dynamic and host co-ed retreats.

How did you determine the destinations? 

 It has to be dry season. I love the tropics!  I don’t see myself getting away from tropical or warm weather anytime soon.  Southeast Asia is just really comfortable for me because I know it so well. I have South America, the Caribbean, and Europe (maybe the Mediterranean) on my radar for future retreats.

 Will all of the "Whole Experience" retreats take place internationally?

Yes, for 2019.  The closest will get to the U.S will probably be Mexico, Tulum and of course the Caribbean.

 What have been some of your most rewarding moments on this new venture? 

I think I underestimated the amount of impact we would have. Transformation and the community we are building. Witnessing that has been truly rewarding.