Maxwell: Hello, Naomi and welcome to the Hudson valley Style Magazine’s Editorial Team! Wow! We are really fortunate to have you and so looking forward to creating amazing Fitness, Lifestyle and Wellness Content with you! I know it all, but please, tell out readers about yourself! What is your story?
Welcome to the Hudson Valley Style Magazine, Naomi Harris!
– Interview and Photography by Maxwell Alexander (Duncan Avenue Studios)
Naomi: Thank you for having me here, I am honored! I am a true local to the Hudson Valley, born & raised in Kingston. Having grown up athletic, I earned my personal training certification at age 20 and subsequently spent six years working for gyms training individuals, teaching group exercise classes, and exercise programming. During that time I also pursued a degree at the Gemological Institute of America in Manhattan (another obsession of mine). I worked in the Fine Jewelry industry for several years, but always kept an iron in the fire of fitness. Eventually, I left luxury retail & box gyms altogether to flex my entrepreneurial muscle and opened my own boutique indoor cycling studio in Kingston, the first one in the city!
Maxwell: I love Kingston too! The architecture, the history and the food scene are amazing and I spent a whole year rowing at the Rondout Rowing Club – that was so special and had a huge impact on my life moving forward. So how in your opinion does the Hudson Valley make it possible – the unison of life, work, creativity and wellness?
Naomi: I think people here really prioritize a work/life balance; we all hustle at our day jobs, but more & more folks are recognizing the importance of physical and mental well-being. Here in the Hudson Valley we’re surrounded by incredible natural beauty which, I believe, has a huge bearing on this community indulging in the miles of hiking trails, boating on the Hudson, weekends outdoors at vineyards, & exploring the emerging art scene. There are year-round adventures to be had!
Maxwell: Fascinating! Quality of life has to do a lot with our productivity and happiness, so I am with you on that! What is your favorite thing about the community here in the Hudson Valley?
Naomi: The sense of pride we have as a community, hands down. Locals want this area to stay just that – LOCAL! If a big box store wants to set up shop, or an out-of-town investor looks to open a business that doesn’t support the community, there will be tons of pushback. Authenticity is currency here.
Maxwell: That’s great! I love the people here, you are right, everyone is so much more laid back and happy if you compare it with chronically stressed out New Yorkers 🙂
Let’s talk about style! What is your definition of Hudson Valley Style?
Naomi: It’s a combination of scenic beauty mixed with a touch of city-chic; New York artisans of all backgrounds flock here to contribute their talents, and what you experience here is a melding together of local & urban magic culminated in a bucolic setting.
Maxwell: Yep, exactly my point 🙂 What about your own personal style?
Naomi: I’m chronically over dressed! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have always loved clothes & jewelry, it’s definitely my non-verbal way of showing the world who I am.
Maxwell: Great! I heard that on top of being a fitness expert you are also a Realtor? Tell us more about that! How does this combination work for you?
Naomi: Yes! I earned my Real Estate License in 2019, an interest I’d been wanting to explore for some time. Being a Realtor allows me the flexibility to maintain my lifestyle within fitness, it’s a non-negotiable for me. It’s a blessing to pour into two passions!
Maxwell: Perfect! I am a fitness junkie myself and yes, real estate, fitness and wellness are tied very closely together and at the forefront of many decision making processes. So what is your next big thing? Goals for the 2021 and beyond?
Naomi: Next in 2021 is applying for my Brokers license, and returning to competitive running. Naturally, contributing right here is high on my list as well, I look forward to sharing much more HV Lifestyle + Fitness goodness!
Maxwell: Thank you so much for shedding the light on your story and welcome aboard! I am looking forward to seeing your first lifestyle & fitness story and pretty sure it’s going to be awesome!