Welcome to another edition of “People Pulse.” Always aiming to bring you interesting folks doing even more interesting things in the Orlando and Central Florida area, we introduce Julie Wordell. Julie actually came to us by way of a recommendation from one of our readers (see – we pay attention!). In addition to many other cool and interesting things, Julie owns a few health spas in the Winter Park area called Perspire Sauna Studio. Julie sat down and took the time to respond to some of our questions so let’s take a few minutes to get to know her….
Q. What brought you to Orlando, and how long have you lived here?
A. My family moved to the Central Florida area in 1984 from Chicago, IL. My father’s job brought us into the Sunshine State. And, I have lived in Orlando since 1992.
Q. What’s one of your favorite things about living in Central Florida?
A. One of my favorite things about Central Florida is its people. Honestly, I believe our area is populated with some of the most diverse, forward-thinking and inspiring people around!
Q. You came to us by way of a glowing recommendation from one of our readers! You own several businesses in the Winter Park area – why don’t you tell us a little more about that.
A. I am the proud owner of Perspire Sauna Studio, Winter Park and Lake Mary. My team and I opened the Winter Park location in July 2020, and then followed that up with its sister location in Lake Mary in November 2020. I am beyond thrilled to have opened a business with the sole purpose of providing transformative health results to its guests.
Q. What’s one of your favorite things about being in the self-care space specifically here in Central Florida?
A. Self-care is incredibly important. Caring for your body, mind and spirit is our greatest responsibility. It’s about listening to the needs of your inner soul and honoring them. And, here in Central Florida, I think we are seeing a rapid growth of that mindset (thank goodness!) Our infrared sauna therapy can be life-changing for people. I have seen it first-hand and continue to be motivated by our guests who have experienced these major health improvements.
Q. How has the pandemic impacted your business(es), if at all?
A. We opened the Perspire Sauna Studio Winter Park location in July, right in the middle of the pandemic! Crazy, right? Well, as you might imagine, it has certainly put a unique spin on how we conduct day-to-day operations at the studios. We execute an extremely detailed and involved disinfecting & sanitation process after each and every guest exits our saunas and sauna suites. We feature a 16-step disinfecting & anti-bacterial cleanse after each use. We also stagger the times in between our saunas being used, so that we have ample time to complete this process. This is of course, a common practice in our business structure (based on the nature of our services) but has also been amplified since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. With these increased efforts, we aim to put our guests’ minds at ease, with the assurance that we are doing everything possible to keep them safe and healthy while with us.
A. Everyone should practice self-care. Our bodies need time to replenish and restore. And, when we deny it that opportunity, we deny ourselves the opportunity to heal.
Q. Orlando has “grown up” so much in just a short time. What has been something you’re most surprised about?
A. It really has! It has been fun to watch. Orlando has evolved into a mature city with so many amazing features (aside from attractions & theme parks!) I’m probably most surprised with the evolution of the restaurant scene. I used to think that you had to travel out of the area to have an authentic meal, or experience true farm-to-table dining. And, that may have been true 15-20 years ago (let’s be honest, we did seem to be the land of chain restaurants!) but that’s certainly not the case today. My family and I love experiencing what Orlando restaurants today have to offer.
Q. Do you have any “best kept” secrets for things to do in Orlando and the Central Florida area?
A. In our family, we love: Smyrna Dunes Park in NSB with our pups, Huckleberry & Peanut Butter; The Old Spanish Sugar Mill pancake restaurant at De Leon Springs State Park; biking on the West Orange Trail; and the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour.
Q. What’s one thing you’re always sure to do or share with someone’s visiting from out of town?
A. Well, of course I like to give my theme park “best practices” or suggestions. That’s usually what’s at the top the list of questions from our out-of-town guests. I used to work in the tourism industry, so I gained some valuable insight from working in the industry. I also advise venturing outside of the tourism district and checking out towns like Winter Garden, Winter Park and Downtown Orlando.
Q. OK – one of our favorite questions: What are your go-to and just-can’t-live-without food places in town?
A. Yes, here we go:
- Go-to Asian: Mamak Asian Street Food; There’s just something for everyone in my family there.
- Go-to-Breakfast: Briarpatch; The Pancakes! Ugh. SO good.
- Go-to-Date Night: Prato; My hubby and I can’t get enough.
- Go-to-lunch: Create Your Nature (the Lacey Caprese!)
- Go-to-Dessert: Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream (Cookie Monster!) My vice!
- And we love all the vendors in the East End Market. It is around the corner from our house, so we are there often.
Q. What are some of your favorite places in Orlando to be inspired, or just to be motivated?
A. I am most-often motivated and inspired in the early morning hours before my family has woken up. I like to walk in our neighborhood and am usually fortunate enough to catch the sunrise over Lake Virginia in my hometown of Winter Park. This is always such a bright spot in my day. On a Saturday morning, I like to venture over to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market. The “buzz” and the community vibe and friendliness of the people (both vendors and market goers alike!) get my juices flowing. And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my members at Perspire. They inspire me beyond measure each and every day!
Q. What is one thing you personally hope to achieve during 2021?
A. In 2021, I am hopeful to find a greater balance for my work; life and family. As a wife and momma to two teenage boys, I oftentimes feel the pull in one direction or another. I am beyond dedicated to my work, but my children are growing so fast, so I don’t want to miss a minute of their progressions. I plan to continue to work at creating a more evenly balanced and healthy day-to-day lifestyle (for myself) so I can be present for all who count on me!
What did you think? Enjoy getting to know Julie? If you know someone who is “doing their thing” in the Central Florida area and might be a great consideration for an upcoming feature, drop a note telling us who (that’s how we got to know Julie, remember?) and why using the following form: