We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikkie Bendross and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nikkie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
First off, when you take a risk you go against self-doubt and all the supposed logic that has been instilled in you. What’s more, risk taking should be calculated, otherwise, it is simply acting out in a reckless manner. I was never one to take any sort of risk, that is until I met Eric Bendross, the man who would become my new husband and bestfriend. I was just 5 1/2 months out from having my divorce finalized after suffering nearly 20 years of emotional and spousal abuse in my first marriage when Mr. Bendross came on the scene and began to really shake things up a bit. We met and became fast friends over social media while he was living in California. An actor, entrepreneur and bona fide adventurer [in my eyes at least], I immediately became aware that this man was a risk-taker. And that was solidified when Eric up and moved back to South Florida. Long story short: we started dating in February of 2015 and were married by November of that same year. We even started our own business, Nikkie’s Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle, LLC while we were only dating! Who does that?! From the very beginning I was consistently urged to step out of my comfort zone. Whether it was purchasing equipment, a new HD camera, going back to college, going on national television, traveling cross country and even getting a passport [for the first time] to fly over to Japan where I’d star in a reality TV show there, becoming a gluten-free baker, internet radio show host and plus size model or most importantly, changing my entire mindset – I began to come into my own because for so long I was told what to do…what to like and dislike. But now everything was different, and all things were possible. So, I stated all that to say don’t be afraid of failure or defeat. And at the risk (no pun intended) of sounding cliché, just dust yourself off and try again and repeat, if necessary. But make sure that for every so-called failure [which are actually nothing but temporary setbacks] you turn them into learning experiences that prepare you for your next endeavor. You see, it hasn’t all been roses, but at some point, I had to learn to trust the process and walk by faith. Disclaimer: Eric and I’s experience is unique. With that said, I would not recommend that you move as swiftly as we did especially if you have not matured and lived life to the point where you are definitely ready to settle down. Eric and I knew exactly what we wanted at that stage in our lives, we were done playing the games and I actually heard on high before I ever picked up the phone to utter one word to him. Call it divine intervention or fate… either way, I KNEW it was right.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
MISSION: Nikkie’s Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle, LLC is a family-owned and operated company, brand and movement. Our mission is to demonstrate an optimum lifestyle through Spirituality, Health & Fitness coupled with Clean-Eating.​Nikkie Michelle Bendross (AKA “Nikkie B”) is a professional plus size model, internet radio show host, inspirational speaker, life coach, and gluten-free baker at Nikkie’s Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle, LLC. Born in Miami, Florida, Nikkie and her loving, supportive husband Eric and two talented sons, Winston Elliton III and Xavier D. Elliton constantly strive to live their best lives despite the current world-climate. Nikkie began her career in entertainment and public speaking in October of 2016, going on to work with brands such as LifeLock, Sharecare, KetoCycle, CWP Apparel, and Voyage MIA Magazine. She has been featured on numerous online platforms and has appeared in many regional, national and international television programs including OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Checked Inn; Tokyo’s Diet Japan; CBS’s The Doctors; TVOne’s ATL Homicide and The Mel Robbins Show! However, there is so much more to this budding mogul as Mrs. Bendross is a survivor of domestic violence, enduring 19+ years of spousal abuse throughout her first marriage and then going on to beat cancer of the reproductive organs in her thirties. And if that were not enough, Nikkie was then diagnosed with massive food allergies, but because of the bona fide champion she is, Nikkie has even managed to turn that around for her and a lot of other people’s good as well. Enter Nikkie B’s Treats & Cuisine, a prepared foods brand as well as Nikkie B’s Natural Essentials, an all-natural topical products brand, both under the Nikkie’s Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle umbrella which was created especially for those with gluten sensitivity. Hence, Nikkie’s vast and profound life experiences have fully equipped her to tirelessly care for, encourage, enlighten and INSPIRE others. And as a 2019 honoree of Tye Live Ent. LLC’s annual “Sister I Have Your Back” awards, her strides in the way of women’s empowerment and self-worth building have become even more evident. She says, ‘I want to be that shining example for those suffering from low self-esteem, low self-worth and low self-confidence. I want to be a beacon of light in this dark world. I don’t allow the measurement of my size or weight to determine my degree of happiness and that is also what I want to impress upon others. It’s never too late to try again, to turn your pain into triumph. And it is never too late to utilize your past suffering and so-called failures to propel you forward into your destiny.”​What’s more, Bendross hosts her own internet radio program, The Nikkie B Show on Facebook Watch and Z100TheBeat.com twice a week with her husband serving as co-host. This is where Nikkie truly thrives as she earnestly spreads insightful messages of hope, self-improvement, body positivity and realistic, results-driven methods to navigate your marriage and relationships. As Nikkie B always says “The Struggle Is Real, But The Journey Is Worth It!” Every obstacle that I have faced has been overcome by Faith, Hope and Love.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Although, I live in Central Florida now, having recently moved here from North Central Georgia and South Florida before that, I envision my good friend(s) visiting me in Japan where Eric and I plan to retire. I would purposely avoid Tokyo (no offense, but the big cities are just too busy and bustling for me). So, I would take them on a train ride and hike up the trail to Mount Mitake where we’d have a traditional Japanese dining experience and watch the sunrise. We’d then travel to Toyama to enjoy the various fireworks festivals and float-races. I’d also like to take my American friend(s) to various other restaurants to taste authentic Sushi and more Japanese cuisine. The Kobe beef and Kakigori (Japanese shaved ice flavored to your liking) are absolutely exquisitely delicious and refreshing!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I am exceedingly grateful to my Creator, The Most High. And I also have to give credit to my husband and bestfriend Eric Bendross. Because at first glance we are polar opposites. He wakes up bright eyed and bushy tailed, as if he’s had 10 cups of coffee with an attitude that says, “I’m ready to conquer the world!” while I’m pulling the covers above my head, snarling at the intrusion of the morning sun(light) and obviously not ready to surface until noon. However, I’m getting better. And shoutout to my two sons, Winston Elliton III and Xavier D. Elliton, who have always been there for me especially during my darkest hours when my ex walked out on us and I didn’t know how we would make it through.

Website: http://www.nikkiesguide.net
Instagram: https://instagram.com/nikkiebendross
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikkie-bendross-375335117/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NikkieBendross
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NikkieMBendross
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSuq7Qe082oXvVw75BclHpw
Other: Nikkie B’s Natural Essentials online store: http://www.nikkiesguide.net/store/c3/www.nikkiesguide.net/NikkieBsNaturalEssentials.html Plus Size Model website: http://www.nikkiesguide.net/Plus-Size-Model.html Company Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/NikkiesGuidetoaHealthierLifestyle https://www.facebook.com/NikkieBsNaturalEssentials Company Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikkies_guide Company Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nikkies_guide Company YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCauhpSd3ToJRYgPpE9UgKjA

Image Credits
Eric Bendross, Xavier D. Elliton

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