For owner and founder of Black Business Can and InstaHealth Box, Maxine Shelton, her heart has always been for the community and she takes much pride in being able to make a small difference wherever she goes.
Since she was a teenager, Shelton fell in love with community work and volunteering her time to non-profits.
“I have been a part of non-profit initiatives, mainly servicing marginalized communities” she explains. “My heart is always for the underdog and so I’ve dedicated my efforts for the last several years and have helped erect many non-profits in the city which is something that I’m very honoured and thankful for.”
While always being an active part in her community, Shelton shares that another active part of her life has been empowering and building healthy communities, which was ignited after her personal health and fitness journey. While priding herself on living a healthy lifestyle, being in the gym and taking action steps to better her health, a mysterious health problem arose. “I ended up getting diagnosed with a deadly autoimmune disease in 2012,” she shares.
“After being diagnosed, Shelton went on what she describes as a health craze. She ended up joining a fitness company, made herself accountable publicly and constructed an intense fitness and diet plan for herself; hardcore gym regimen each day. Shelton kept persevering daily.
“During that time, I got so lean, and I felt better and stronger than I ever felt. I realized people were joining me. Essentially, my journey was inspiring people around the world to live their best life.
I thought my story was over with illness,” she says. “ I ended up competing as a brand ambassador for a billion dollar company and dominated 1st position out of 512 competitors. It was my surprise meeting with wrestler Hulk Hogan that gave me the boldness to attempt this.”
While hanging out with Hulk Hogan in Tampa, Shelton explained that when they were talking, she told him “next time you see me, I promise I will be on stage competing for that fitness contract as the brand ambassador.” she shares. “It was my challenge, to keep me focused and get me aligned with what I needed to do-no turning back!”
When all of that happened, Shelton explained that she was only 10 percent body fat.
“My doctors told me to slow down, so I slowed down and decided I would take a few months off but when I did that my autoimmune disease came back, so bad that it almost killed me.”
I reacted to everything and had to remove all toxins from beauty and hygiene products and all processed food and beverages from my life. Shelton couldn’t find products clean enough so she started making her own. She studied the latest medical studies, medical journals, aromatherapy studies, and consulted with natural cosmetic chemists to ensure quality organic products that were formulated with medicinal benefits for topical and internal wellbeing. Shelton went on a journey of learning how to grow her own foods and learning how to connect directly with sourced farms in the community with impeccable growing practices.
“After that journey, fast forward five to six years, I began making skin and hair products that are now available worldwide” she explains.
Launching her own skin and hair product line called InstaHealth Box under the brand Nnéka Artisan Creations, InstaHealth Box gives the community access to premium handmade, organic body, hair & skincare products, simple healthy recipes, local food boxes and conveniently hand delivery right to your doorstep.
“Many feel it is too time consuming to live and eat healthy. It’s an immense passion of mine, to teach how simple it is to plan and incorporate into one’s life so it can be easily sustainable. This is what we do!” she says.
While currently running her business in health, Shelton also started a new organization called Black Business Can Inc which is a group that started in Windsor-Essex to assist in closing the Black entrepreneurship ecosystem gap that exists in our region. Their online directory supports 120 local Black-owned businesses; Their mission is to connect, promote, support, equip, and advance black businesses, organizations & programs; creating a more equitable environment for Black & Indigenous businesses to thrive.