Former Hooters girl Julie Wilson wants to change the way you liveWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Wilson is the first to admit she cuts an unusual figure in the world of business. From her outgoing and infectious personality to her provocative photo shoots, the former Hooters waitress may not seem like the average CEO. But Wilson’s drive and passion are some of the factors putting her company on the map.
Wilson is the founder and president of Raw-Nation, a company that promotes healthy dietary habits through organic herbs and superfoods — including Hot Rawks, an “all-natural libido enhancer.” In an interview with Toledo Free Press Star, Wilson said a drive to run a business runs in her family.
“I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My uncle was a very successful entrepreneur, my dad is, my cousins are. It’s just kind of in our family to motivate each other to work for ourselves. And so, maybe being raised around that had something to do with that,” she said.
Of course, it’s a different game when you’re a woman in a male-dominated business environment. “That’s actually a big problem. It’s funny, because in the beginning, I didn’t really think it would be. And a lot of people would tell me that — and they were like, ‘You’re gonna have issues, because it’s a male-dominated industry, and you’re a woman.’ And I was like, ‘Whatever, that’s just an excuse people use.’
“But, I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been doing this for three years now, and I have realized that it is a challenge,” Wilson said. “No. 1, sometimes it opens doors easier, but a lot of times it’s harder for people to take you seriously. So I’ve had the issue of having to prove myself a lot harder in situations, because I don’t fit the bill of a normal CEO, especially in this industry.”
Still, Wilson said, “I have a really good product and a really good story, so once I meet people and get to talk to them, it’s a much easier sale than it is if they don’t take the time to talk to me or get to know me at all.”
That story is a big part of what drives Wilson’s passion for her industry. About 10 years ago, Wilson said, she suffered a series of health issues. “I was living with horrible pain and I was dealing with the repercussions on my health from it,” she said.
“It was a really bleak diagnosis, there was apparently no cure from what my doctors told me. I was 25 at the time, and that was a really hard pill to swallow at that age, and feeling like you’re old because you’re sick all the time and you can’t digest food — it interfered with my daily life.
“So I went on a quest to find a natural cure, because I had nothing to lose at that point. And when I totally reversed my condition in six months, just off of diet and herbs, that’s what really sparked a passion, because I realized if I had listened to them, I would have had surgery and been on drugs for a long time.”
Wilson made it plain that she hopes her story, and the way her company does business, helps inspire people to make changes to their lifestyle.
“I really don’t wanna cheapen my product or my brand, I really wanna be in it for the long haul. And I have a real big passion that drives me, and a lot of that comes from struggling and wanting to do something that makes a difference,” she said.