Men Will Not Give You What If They Don’t Get It in ReturnMay 24, 2019
Relationships are not a lot of, contrary to what some may say. As long as everything is 50-50, things...
Juiced Up Inc. was founded by Atlanta native, Georgette “GiGi”. They focus on providing total beverage solutions to their Customers and Consumers. Their product range includes Juice drinks, as well as purified drinking water. They use the latest technology and advanced equipment.
I recently interviewed GiGi where she chatted more on hr business and living a holistic lifestyle.
H.O.R.: Hey guys this is House of Ramirez, you already know. We are here kicking it with my sister Georgette. You are doing big things here in Atlanta…I see you sis! I want to go ahead and applaud you for everything that you are doing.
So, for a lot of people who do not know who Georgette and Juiced Up Inc. is, can you go ahead and tell us who you are and tell us about your upbringing?
Gigi: Absolutely, so my name is Georgette guys. A lot of people know me as “Gigi” or “Juiced Up Ginny” or “Plant Based Polly”, I am all of the above. I am a giver and seeker of love and light and what you see is completely what you get, I am always happy, and when I am not, I let the tears flow because nothing can grow without water.
My upbringing, it is so awesome how your upbringing can continue to impact your life if you just get back to the basics. I am from Atlanta, but I grew up in Dublin, G.A., I was not born on the outskirts of Atlanta, I am a “West Paces Ferry baby,” no offense to the Grady’s babies but my mom had insurance. I lived in Atlanta until about the age of 4 and that is when I lost my mom and my aunt was so gracious in taking my sister and me in, and she raised us in Dublin.
During that time, I lived on a farm. I ate off the land, it was an amazing time, I grew up as a country girl, I had dirt bikes, 4 wheelers, go-carts, and a pond behind my house. The house is still standing and the land and everything is still there, so I am grateful. My eating habits did not shy too far away from my upbringing.
H.O.R.: That is beautiful. You know sis, the fact that you come from humble beginnings…beautiful beginnings, that pushes us to get to know who we are as we endeavor to get into the world of entrepreneurship and that is key, I stress that a lot. I would like to say that you are a beautiful young lady, you are an encouraging young lady and I have had the pleasure of meeting you and working with you and yes, you are correct, what you see is what you get with Gigi.
Despite the challenges in life that you have encountered, you are a strong woman, and it is evident that you are grounded, and you are giving back to us, your community, and I would like to thank you for that. So, just a little bit about me that people may not know is that I have family in Dublin, so when you mentioned Dublin…it made me realize just how small the world is. I am thankful that you made the time to sit down and speak with us. It means so much more, not just knowing you and working with you, but seeing how humble and rooted you are as a result of your upbringing.
So, who have been some of your mentors and inspirations to this day, and how have they impacted your life?
Gigi: I would definitely have to say my family. My family inspires me to do everything that I do. For as far back as I can remember I have always been around healers and I was able to heal. Laughter is one of the best medicines and people always say that I just love being around you and your light, my whole life I have been hearing those things.
Having those humble beginnings and having those people in the community that I looked up to…fun fact about me, Andrew Young (American politician, diplomat, and activist), is like family to me. He and my mother were best friends, and my aunt ran his campaign when he ran for both Senator and Mayor in Dublin in the 90’s. So, I call him Uncle Andy and looking up to him has brought so much joy as I have watched him grow and in his entrepreneurial path.
For the people that have influenced my life to this day, are all the educators in my life. I hold 2 college degrees. People do not count Associates degrees, but I do, so I have an Associates degree in communications, I have a B.A., and I have a B.S. degree, with a minor in theatre. So, everything that I loved, I wanted to learn more about it. So, all the educators in my life because I was raised by educators. My dad has been a BIG influence in my life. That guy is 80 and he still talks trash and eats meat (they both laugh), but he listens to me and he is growing. When I think about pillars in the community and in the world, Oprah is one of my favorite people in the whole wide-world, I am sure that she is everybody’s favorite. I call myself the plant-based Oprah (more laughter).
But yes, those were the people in my coming up that I looked to, currently, it would be those people who are committed to this lifestyle that I take part in. Dr. Bobby Price, that’s my guy…everything that I know, I learned from him and around him. Chef Ahki, I absolutely love her, and these are people that are Atlanta based. Chef Ahki is amazing, her light is simply phenomenal, and if you have ever had her food, you have been completely blessed.
Tierra Goes Green is one of them, I “heart” T so much. She is definitely a voice that has been with me and has always been is in the back of my mind when I seek different things because she has taken this journey. I am 9 years vegan…or plant based, I have been every version and everything in between, the junk food vegan, the everything fried vegan to just being completely raw…to completely juiced. Now that I have this company my biggest and best inspiration to this very day is my amazing, phenomenal son, Gage Gunner.
He is perfect and he inspires me everyday to be better and to strive to be a good person. He looks up to me and he is such an amazing person and I love, love, love that God chose me to be his mommy to help him navigate his way through this life, because he definitely helps me 100% and is my inspiration.
H.O.R.: That is beautiful sis! From all of the mentors and inspirations that you touched on I can relate to all of that, I can see how you are who you are, and you continue to become a greater version of yourself with so many beautiful people that have mentored and inspired you. Shout out to Oprah and Uncle Andy (they both laugh), and with all love your son. I am a mother too, I am a mother of 3 young kings, and we do not take that lightly, as a mom you do anything and everything for your children, and they are definitely inspiring, so I feel you on all of that.
Gigi, I would like for you to tell everybody about Juiced Up Inc. and tell us what your core values are.
Gigi: First of all, Juiced Up started in my kitchen just learning about juicing and food and the fact that it is medicine and being able to heal yourself. A lot ofpeople know this and there are some who do not, but I loved the theatre so much that I moved to New York for it. It was short lived, I only lived there for about 2 years. My father’s health started to decline and so I came back home. The only job that I could secure while I was there in (New York) was at a health food store. I learned so much just by being there, being in Chelsea and around a lot other plant-based people, people who were health conscious and people who were just conscious beings, definitely helped to develop me in that short period of time.
When I returned to Atlanta, I looked at Atlanta with new eyes. I was only gone for 2 years but I had that New York State of mind, I definitely had bit the apple and drank the Kool-aide in New York. I was on a mission when I got back to Atlanta and that first mission was to heal my father. The next mission was to heal myself because although I had been practicing and doing, I think that I called Tierra every day one summer…like literally every single day, asking what do I eat today, this is what’s going on or how I feel about this and she was always there to answer my questions, with love and from love. That is my baby forever.
I began juicing in my kitchen and just making juice for my father and me and my family was just like okay you make juice…you know how your family can be, she got a little business she’s starting, and I hadn’t even started the business, but this is what my family was saying…you should sell this. I was in the gym every day and people wanted to know what I was drinking, and I was like, oh I just made some apple beet carrot lemon turmeric juice for myself today and they were like can you bring me some and I literally started selling it out of the trunk of my car.
It grew from there and it is still growing because as of now, I have some amazing things that are coming, I am so excited. A lot of times as entrepreneurs we look ahead at where we want to be, and not where we came so far from, so I pat myself on the back because of where I started from with juice and I started with 5 juices and that was 2017, and fast forward to just last year, I have juice, I have supplements…get into the supplements people, and I have apparel.
When I started this it was just juice, who knew that my life was a brand. You can brand it and you can make a living by being exactly who you are. One of the most influential people that I neglected to mention is Les Brown. In my mind, he is my Uncle…okay. But he said this, and I listened to it about 8 years ago, and he said, do whatever it is you love and find somebody that will pay you to do it. If you can find one person to pay you, they are going to tell another and another and itisgoing to grow. So, if you just find out what it is that makes you light up and makes you thrive, do that…do that and somebody will pay you to do it.
I did not think that Juiced Up would be where it is. I have even started a non-profit called a ‘Puzzles Purpose’ because my core values are that I service the community, we are all put here to serve. Prior to this entrepreneur life I was already an entrepreneur, I was a bartender. I was a wine connoisseur/teacher and a burbanite. So, I teach spirits, again that is a spirit, being able to heal. The medicinal properties in alcohol are amazing but when we abuse them, that is when other things come but I have always been around the spirits and I have always been around the healing aspect.
So, having those core values understanding that we are here to serve and servicing my community, serving the people that look like me or that look like you that are underprivileged or underserved and that are even misunderstood…is what I do. From there, I just want to continue to be true, true to myself, true to who I love, true to the people that are around me, walking in my truth, being in my light…being truthful. Because if you can look in the mirror and be truthful with yourself, that is half the battle. Knowing yourself and being truthful, that’s it, the rest of it will fall right into place…I guarantee you that.
So, starting the non-profit at Puzzle’s Purpose, I wanted to ensure that people knew more about autism and more about mental disorders and what food can do to either help it or to trigger different things. My company definitely changed from just being a juice company to juicing for our health and mental wellness. So now that we are dealing with the health and mental wellness aspect, I want to continue to give to my community.
My shop is located in the West End at 1017 Fair Street and I operate out of a shared kitchen, at least it was a shared kitchen before Covid-19 and now there is no one here. So, when I contacted the owners, they agree to see how things worked out, and the community has opened their arms to me and they have embraced me and my veganism, they come through because on Tuesday’s we do tacos and they come through, sista that smells good, what is that…what kind of meat is in there and I tell them that there is no meat, that’s mushrooms brotha and they’ll say yeah but what’s the meat in it (she says with a smile), and I will say again there is no meat, it’s mushrooms. So, just being able to educate and to learn and grow and heal…those are my things, that is my niche, that is what makes me who I am and the more that I heal, the more I am healed. The more that I teach, the more that I learn, and it is an ongoing process, and it is forever evolving, and I think that having those things around me will continue to help me grow. I have a long way to go…I just got here; I am a baby in this, but I see what it can be. I am just excited.
H.O.R.: I want to thank you for sharing that with us. This is a great opportunity for people to see the interview, and to read your article and to see that if you can do it, then anybody can do it too. It does not have to be in that same way that you are doing it with wellness and health because that will come in your own personal way and you are encouraging that. But if someone is interested in fashion or they discover something that they are passionate about, you are providing inspiration for them to follow their dreams and purpose.
As you mentioned, being true to who you are and being healed is very important because once you figure out who you are then you will know where you are going. You have a non-profit and you are informing us of the importance of being attuned to your mental health and well-being and the fact is that it is not just good for you but for everyone around you. You are giving back to us, you are not just hoarding all this great information for yourself, but you are sharing it with us, and I would like to thank you for that because it takes true genuine love for thyself and thy neighbor for you to actually be so giving in bringing this to us, so thank you.
Gigi: Thank you. To tell you more about the health and mental wellness aspect regarding ‘Puzzle Purpose’ we work with mostly verbal, but we are beginning to work with non-verbal ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). My son was diagnosed in 2016 with autism, and a lot of times when we get a diagnosis, we accept it (she stops to greet her son Gage and he tells everyone to have a Juiced-Up day). So, that was Gage, my biggest inspiration.
I want to shed the light on your diet and your autism, and I am not saying that there is a cure for it but we can control certain triggers and behaviors, with the type of food that we put into our bodies. One of my supplements is Ashwagandha, it is great for those who may suffer from anxiety or depression, as well as Asperger’s and Autism. Everything is starting to come full circle from the same herbs that healed me in the beginning to now providing them for my son. I want to continue to make a way for people like my son because society is not always socially accepting of them, and I want him to be comfortable in who he is, and to know that you can have a job, you can make your own job.
So, we are partnering up with Camp Autism, we had a chance to go this summer, and we were interacting with the children, it was so amazing. I got to teach them about juicing for their brain functioning, and they got to make juice. We also taught them how to make labels in preparation for them to have their own companies and so as we were creating the labels, that is when I got the idea, this will be great because I can teach them a skill, juicing, or prepping, cleaning, or organizing…whatever that looks like, teach them skills and then they can go off and apply it to their everyday lives. I am back in my purpose; I am back helping, back healing. So, when asked, it was just a no-brainer.
I am so grateful that I am in this space and that I am in this business, this is my life.
H.O.R.: You can tell that you have a passion for it. That goes back to knowing who you are, you have a passion and a drive for this, and you recognize that you are walking in your purpose. You are helping yourself and your son, and the community, and not just the community but people within the community that really need our help. Sometimes, children with autism are shunned and they are human beings too and we have to understand that they will grow up to be adults and as you mentioned, if you can teach them a skill or a trade that they can use in their daily lives, you are creating functioning members of the community who can feel good about themselves because they too can contribute to the collective. That is important no matter what they are coping with or battling against, this will help them to feel good about themselves and I would like to thank you for that.
As adults our focus is often on what we can do or what we can accomplish…our dreams. We have a tendency to forget the little people and we need to pay attention and recognize that our little people, our children…our babies, they are our future, and they will be the ones to take care of us when we get old, so what would that look like if we neglect them and do not take care of them now.
Gigi: Yes, you said that! That is why I talk to Gage all the time and I say to him, you know that you are different, and he says, yeah, then I will say to him, do you know that you are autistic…omg Todd Par, he has these amazing books, and they are filled with messages like, be who you are, it’s okay to be different and the title of the books are, The Mommy Books, The Daddy Books and it goes through the roles and what that looks like because it is not conventional anymore and that is okay but it keeps up with the world in stating that some families may have 2 moms, some may have 2 dads or families consist of grandma’s or aunts. It explains all the different kinds of family dynamics, but it is still a family.
So, just explaining to my son that sometimes your brain has misfires, and it does not communicate from one side to the next, and he’s like, it’s okay mommy and I say yeah, it’s okay and then I ask him, would you stop being autistic and he says no mommy and then I ask him why, and he says because it makes me who I am and it absolutely does, it makes him…him. It makes him that much more amazing. He shows me something new every single day and he grows every single day.
So, operation try new veggies, for all the mommies who are watching, it takes about 13 days for your little one to actually start to like a vegetable that you have introduced to their day-to-day diet. So, for 13 days we ate carrots and then cauliflower, and then peas, mushrooms, etc., by that time their palette has gotten used to it or for most kids who do not like the texture and my kids out there with superpowers, they do not like the textures, or they may not like the taste; juicing is a great way to introduce those things into your picky eaters diet. I give Gage green juice daily.
H.O.R.: That is key finding ways to administer the nutrients that the child needs and knowing that if they are picky that there are alternative ways to still be sure that your children will get the nutrients that they need without any conflict between parent and child. As you have mentioned, nothing is like it was, things change, and we have to adapt to these changes. The family dynamic has changed, whether it’s 2 moms/dads or you are raised by other family members, it is important to learn how to navigate through these things, because no matter what it looks like, it’s all family.
In you opinion, what do you think would make our communities a better place?
Gigi: I think if people would hold themselves accountable and then people holding each other accountable. Remember when we used to hear the stories from our parents, oh if I got in trouble while I was down as Miss such and such house, I got in trouble there and then I would get in trouble again when I got home. It takes a village to raise our children, to the elders, we are still children. We need our elders to tell us these stories so that we can carry on the wisdom they impart for generations to come.
So, when it comes to the gentrification of neighborhoods, I do not always agree with it because you are allowing someone who is not from here to infiltrate the place where you grew up, where you have been and where you have thrived and then you shun your own community when it became a little rundown instead of banning together and fixing your community, uplifting the people around you and holding the people in your community accountable for their actions. We allow people to come in and buy it up at a rate that was so cheap and completely destroy and demolish things and then they build up their version of this area is…hence is where we get the gentrification.
So, where are all the neighborhoods that we grew up at, where are all the neighborhoods where the minorities had businesses, and schools and thriving. The West End is more so The Beltline, the warehouses that were here and the historical events that took place in West End, Atlanta and downtown Atlanta, those things are being erased and wiped away and it is up to us, the communities of color to speak up and hold each other accountable to take back our communities. I do not want to seem like I am some kind of tyrant to take back the communities, but these communities were owned and operated by Black people.
H.O.R.: That is true, and I speak on that a lot to many people. We are able to conduct and control our own neighborhoods and thus far it has been working out whether it has been Black communities, Hispanic communities, any minority owned neighborhoods before gentrification, we have been able to adapt and move with ease and also with success. The way that things are working out, it is not working out in our favor. We have been doing good so, but it is all about money…really, that is just my opinion.
I think that one thing that is really going to change our communities like you have mentioned is if we hold each other accountable and we actually stick together and look out for one another. We cannot do this alone, but we can do it together. We need to stand together in unity, that is really what we need. For many people that may not know about the West End here in Atlanta, in my opinion, the West End is rich in culture and yes it has been fading out, but it is in fact rich in culture. If you really want some seriously delicious food and you want to experience the love of the community and witness what loving thy neighbor looks like, to see how everybody looks out for one another…that’s where it’s at. The feeling of togetherness, of community is slowly be taken away the closer you get to the city. We understand that it is all about location, but once it has been taken from us then where do we go? The best way for us to change the communities is to come together, recognizing that we are stronger together.
Gigi: Absolutely, I would definitely agree, and with that being said I hope that you all went and voted (she is referring to the run-off election there in Georgia, the significance of which could tilt power in favor of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate. Georgia turned “blue” during the Presidential election, something that has not happened since the 1970’s). We have a situation now and we need to get out and vote. We need you to go out into your community and speak up, go out to the town hall meetings, and city council meetings. It is important that we get involved, go to P.T.A. meetings (Parent Teacher Association).
We are in the Covid-19 era, that is how it will be referred to in the history books, and being in this time, (social) media has…where we need to be coming together, it has pulled us a part. We are now relying on devices and technology, I grew up with dial up, I have watched this whole thing evolve and so the people that are coming after me are true millennials, they are locked in, our children do not know anything else.
So, I definitely say that coming together in unity, and love is what this was built on.
H.O.R.: Yes, we have to keep it going, it was built on love, and compassion towards one another, and it has been brought to us with all of that love. So, now it is time to take the baton and keep the marathon going. It is a cycle of love, and life and as long as we do it with a pure heart, then that is what counts. We have to keep others in mind, like you mentioned earlier, we cannot be selfish…unity is the way that things will work.
Gigi: Crabs in a barrel.
H.O.R.: Yes, but at the same time, who placed us there?
Gigi: Oh absolutely, I get that; we won’t talk about what this land was really built on (she says as they both laugh), that is another story.
H.O.R.: You are so encouraging, and you are a light Gigi, are there any words of wisdom or advice that you would like to share with our youth, up and coming entrepreneurs, and even some of the older folk?
Gigi: Have a plan. “A man who fails to plan, plans to fail.” (Benjamin Franklin), so have a plan. Every entrepreneur has had some type of plan, when you did not, you quickly learned that you were failing, and you quickly figured it out, so you plan accordingly. Find your passion, find your passion…did I tell you to find your passion, and when you are finished, find your passion! Find your passion and run with it, take it, and just go…paint the whole town with your passion, and I say that because when you find what makes you twinkle because I have no idea what you see when you see me, I just know that I work on the inside.
Work on you! Work on you daily. Well I do not know how to work on me…read a book that says work on me, read a book that tells you how to break a bad habit, read a book about how to develop a good habit…whatever that looks like once you have found your passion…work on it, do the research and learn about it, become an expert in it. Once you become an expert in it, then you tell any and everybody who will listen. Because that is when your work from your passion and your purpose put together will enable you to go on and start your own tribe. Always be sure to protect your light and I say that to my adolescents, and my teens, everybody is not your friend, and they are not meant to go everywhere that you go, that is why your mama used, I do not know about “them” kids, they are not my kids, I am worried about you. Everybody is not going to be for you, and that is okay.
For my adults out there know that it still is okay, we are still learning, we are still growing, we are still here. So, as you are here, your light is supposed to shine bright because somebody, somewhere had a light shining for you and lit yourway so in turn, you need to have your light shine in order to light someone else’s way.
H.O.R.: Exactly. Thank you for that, the more people begin to be in tune with who they are, they will become pure in their purpose. I always do this in the end Gigi, are there any shout outs that you would like to make because House of Ramirez is really big on shout outs?
Gigi: I want to give a shout out to my damn self (H.O.R. gestures her support of this). I want to give a shout out to everybody that has had a hand in helping Juiced Inc. be what it is right here, right now. There are way too many names to mention. I want to give a shout out to Shameless Dwindle (Black owned vegan business in metro Atlanta), that is my big little sister. She is growing, she is a plant-based chef, and she is growing. I would like to give a shout out to my daddy…he is rocking 80, so shout out to G-man, aka O.G. and I am O.G. Gigi, that is what we call each other. Shout out to my baby grandmama, she is the best(est) in the whole-wide world. I would also like to shout out my best friend, she has been my rock, motivator, cheerleader, my truth…that’s my girl!
A special warm magical shout out to you my darling for having me in this time, in this place, and in this space.
H.O.R.: Thank you, I appreciate that. I was so excited to have you on my show. Once this article comes out, shawty will have it published everywhere (she says with laughter and excitement). I want everybody to know, it is beautiful to see somebody walking in their purpose and who is not being stingy but truly walking in their purpose, not only loving thyself but others as well. Thank you so much!
GiGi: Cheers to a Juiced-Up day!
H.O.R.: Until next time.
<p class="font_8">Leslie has always had the ability to speak in front of thousands at such a young age, and has always shown fearlessness when speaking to anyone from any walk of life. She put her personable abilities and the way she was brought up together and has decided to use that to help others. She believes it is important to fire up the trail you, yourself, pave. Letting others see you luminate the way to your own success. Do not wait for opportunity, create your opportunity!</p>
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