The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Nola’s Naturals: more than a wellness store

Nola+Klepzig+Hagen%2C+the+owner+of+Nolas+Naturals+store+on+Madison+Avenue%2C+stocks+the+shelves.
Alexis Moore-Jones
Nola Klepzig Hagen, the owner of Nola’s Naturals store on Madison Avenue, stocks the shelves.

Nola’s Naturals is more than a wellness store; it is a place of transformation and healing. 

The store owner, Nola Klepzig-Hagan, tries to provide holistic wellness services and products tailored to support individuals’ well-being. The store’s history, evolution, services and significance in the community reflect its owner’s commitment to holistic wellness and growth. 

Before the store was Nola’s Naturals, it was called Natural Food and Nutrition, originally owned by her parents Dave and Carol Klepzig. Natural Food and Nutrition was created to help Nola Klepzig-Hagan’s brother Brian Klepzig, who has a doctorate in holistic business. 

Brian Klepzig owns Klepzig Natural Healing Clinic located at 35 Circle Drive Charleston. There he practices nutrition, acupuncture and chiropractic services. 

Because the materials Brian Klepzig prescribed for his patients were very hard to get in the city of Charleston, his parents decided to open Natural Food and Nutrition to make it easier for patients to find supplements, teas and other items prescribed, as well as providing a resource for the city that wasn’t here prior. 

Having retired from their previous jobs, Dave and Carol Klepzig used their retirement money to open the wellness store by the post office in North Park Plaza in 1999. Due to their growing success, the couple was able to move their store closer to town in 2002, making its final home 422 Madison Ave. 

At 29 years old, Nola Klepzig-Hagan suffered from a severe autoimmune disease. Her condition negatively affected her so much that there was a time when she could not walk up the stairs of her home or keep up with her house.  

“I was so sick that my husband at the time, we lived in a two-story home, he would carry me downstairs in the morning and carry me back stairs at night.” Klepzig-Hagan said. “We had to hire someone to help with the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning and to help care for our two children because I could not do it.” 

Eventually, her brother noticed something was not right with her condition and told her to seek medical help. 

“What they told me was, they gave me some pain pills and looked at me and said, ‘When your kidneys fail or these don’t help you anymore, then give us a call. But otherwise, there’s nothing we can do for you,'” Klepzig-Hagan said. 

Having gotten nothing from the doctors but a prescription and countdown to kidney failure, Klepzig-Hagan turned to her brother to seek holistic help. 

“He did an allergy profile and found that I believe it was I was allergic to 87% of all foods that they tested, whether it was mildly or highly allergic to them, so I went on a strict diet for two years,” Klepzig-Hagan said. 

Having gotten the allergy test results, she was placed in a tough position because she couldn’t eat most of the foods sold in stores. 

“I couldn’t eat regular eggs, but they (her parents) were able to get me duck eggs, goat’s milk and goat cheese.” she said. “Those things were not regularly available here, so they did a lot.” 

Klepzig-Hagan was placed on an extremely strict four-day rotational diet for two years. At the time, she stayed in Taylorville but tried to drive out to Charleston every week to get the materials she needed from the store to better her health. 

The results of this diet were that her illness went into remission, and her health began to improve. It increased so much that she was given the go-ahead by doctors to try for another child if she chose to do so.

Merchandise at the Nola’s Naturals store on Madison Avenue in Charleston Ill,. March 5, 2024. (Alexis Moore-Jones)

Although her health improved, it never stayed that way. Over time, her health would fluctuate from good to bad to worse regardless of what she did. 

It was not until she began researching trauma and the role it plays on the body, both internally and externally, that she was able to take complete charge of her health. 

Nola Klepzig-Hagan had suffered traumatic events throughout her life, and those instances followed her everywhere she went. The negative energy took a mental, physical and emotional toll. 

She decided to leave her old life behind and return to Charleston to start anew. With family, a support system and a wellness store on her side, she had nowhere to go but up. 

After 10 years of working at the store, Dave and Carol Klepzig decided to retire for good and pass the store along to an interested buyer around the summer of 2009. 

It was then that Klepzig-Hagan moved back to the area, but she came back too late and missed the opportunity to buy the store for herself. 

With the hopes of one day owning the store, she kept her eye out for 10 years. 

In 2019, Klepzig-Hagan bought the establishment and became the new owner of her family business. 

During those 10 years she spent waiting to buy the store, she began her healing journey, which led her down the path of numerology, feng shui and, most importantly for her, Reiki healing. 

According to Reiki.org, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by ‘laying on hands’ and is based on the idea that an unseen ‘life force energy’ flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s ‘life force energy’ is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.” 

Having found these practices on her journey of self-discovery and acceptance, she began to see improvement both inside and out. 

“To heal from trauma, you know, there’s a bit of an emotional journey to go through, but there are certain changes that you must make to be able to sustain the healing that comes with it. And so, Reiki supports those changes,” she said. 

Since buying the store in 2019, Klepzig-Hagan has been able to make the store her own for almost five years now. Her newest addition to the store will be a mural painted by an Eastern alumni. 

With the help of her youngest daughter working in the store and her eldest daughter working on the marketing side of the business, Klepzig-Hagan can run the store in a way she believes will keep it afloat in this economy while also giving her the space to practice what she wants. 

In a small room in the back of the store, Klepzig-Hagan performs Reiki services on those who seek her help. She offers 30- to 45-minute sessions for $36 and an hour to an hour and a half sessions for $63. 

Her goal is to train her youngest daughter to the point where she can run the front of the store, allowing Klepzig-Hagan to do what she loves and help others in the back. 

“I’m just really looking forward to working with people individually you know, through that modality, getting to know more about them and then helping them to help themselves change to fix their lives for the better,” she said. 

Klepzig-Hagan said the store needs more products, renovations and charges, which makes it a work in progress, but the same can be said about its owner, Nola Klepzig-Hagan. Only time and patience will bring about the true transformation of Klepzig-Hagan and her store. 

Those looking to shop at Nola’s Naturals can visit the store during operation hours or shop online using the Nola’s Naturals website. Those interested in reiki services can give Nola Klepzig-Hagan a call at 345-1130. 

  

Alexis Moore-Jones can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]  

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About the Contributor
Alexis Moore-Jones
Alexis Moore-Jones, Feature Reporter
Alexis Moore-Jones is a senior broadcast journalism major. This is her first year at The News.

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