Today we’d like to introduce you to Athena Meshkin.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
About 12 years ago, during my sophmore year of college at USC, I decided to leave the women’s Rowing Team so I can enjoy life as a college student! Since I was no longer exercising 6 hour days, I started to gain weight quickly because I was still eating the same as when I was working out. I was left unhappy with low self-esteem and no self-control, so I started looking for solutions quick.
I found that cardio was making me more hungry and I this eventually led me back into yoga. I became addicted, and long story short eventually worked at the Exhale yoga studio in Venice (when it was still open :(!) and attending classes and workshops every day with top instructors like Shiva Ray, Saul David Ray, etc. I found that yoga gave me profound inner peace and inspired me to want to treat my body with more care and respect.
Naturally, I started to shed the pounds and grow much happier, more self-confident and relying less on outside resources for happiness, such as alcohol and making everyone around me happy and not myself. This really began my love for all things health, wellness, and spirituality. In college, I was always the “weird hippy one” because at that time yoga and wellness wasn’t yet such a thing.
I lived in Venice my senior year of college, worked at the hippy yoga studio and went to whole foods every day. I decided after college to move to Australia where I deepened my love for this world. I worked at vegan cafes, acai berry companies, for aromatherapy brands, lived in a commune, discovered kundalini yoga and met incredibly inspiring people along the way.
When I returned I received my Holistic Nutrition license, aromatherapy certificate worked for nutrition and organic beauty brands and most recently completed my raw gourmet food chef and detox therapist certifications to deepen my knowledge and expertise in this world.
Has it been a smooth road?
It was pretty smooth when I was in the discovery mode living in Australia where I was carefree with no worries, but when I returned to Los Angeles and noticed how saturated the industry was, it definitely left me feeling insecure and not special anymore because everyone was now into yoga and wellness because it was a new trend.
This definitely got to my head and made me confused on how to stand out against the crowd, which I definitely still feel today. It is hard not to compare myself to others and feel both excited that the industry is booming but also a little insecure about how I will stand out and be unique or know my self-worth.
To cope with this, I talk to best friends who support me, continue my studies and surrounding myself with love and support. I try to minimize social media because it still affects me a bit and gets me in “comparison mode” which I don’t like to be in.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I started Athena Wellness to help individuals reach their health and wellness goals with targeted detox plans, recipes, and advice as well as helping businesses in beauty, wellness, nutrition and health to identify their brand identity, product development, education, marketing and overall brand strategy.
I am most known for helping people target areas to optimize their health as well as helping smaller companies identify their brand essence and identity and help them to align all their marketing efforts to match this as well as creating content to best match their target audience.
What sets me apart from others is that I have over ten years experience in this industry and live the life that I am representing. I am also very personable and comfortable to be around, so people trust me easily and open up to me because I genuinely care and only work for companies I believe in.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes! It is a great place because this industry is super popular. The only downside is that it is so overly saturated that sometimes it’s hard to tell who is legit or not in the wellness world. (Are they just doing it for money because its popular or do they actually care?)
It is harder to tell in Los Angeles than other areas around the states and even the world where it is less popular such as in Australia or certain parts of Europe or even other areas in California or the states.
I think you have to be super confident to start in LA because it is so competitive and it could make you feel insecure if you don’t have a strong support system or backbone.