There are so many inspiring female leaders in the fitness and health space, and BELLA had the opportunity to interview some of our favorites. Read on to learn what it’s like to have a dream job helping others live their best, most healthful lives.
FITNESS MOTIVATORS: Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, Founders of Tone It Up
Origin Story: Dawn and Scott bonded over their fitness backgrounds and shared desire to help women achieve their best selves by giving them the necessary wellness tools. They developed a multi-million dollar lifestyle community around their Tone It Up Nutrition Plan and inspiring workout videos.
Favorite Part of Influencing Wellness: “Seeing other women realize their potential and achieve their goals makes our hearts so happy,” says Dawn. “When we first started, the fitness world was very serious and our program has made it more fun and lighthearted and enjoyable for our followers,” adds Scott.
Advice for Aspiring Influencers: “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Stick to what you believe in and stay true to your authentic self. As long as you align your actions with your purpose and beliefs, you’ll find success!”
ACTIVE EVENTS MASTERMIND: Suzie Baleson, Founder of the Wellth Collective
Origin Story: Baleson created Wellth Collective—which hosts fitness events at gorgeous hotels like Montauk’s Gurney’s Inn Resort and Spa and Refinery 29 Hotel in New York City—after spending a decade on the road as a tax accountant, and looking for healthier alternatives while on the go.
Favorite Part of Influencing Wellness: Being able to meet so many amazing women who are on their own personal journeys: “Lifelong friendships are made, confidence is built, and people leave Wellth Collective events happier, with an uplifted spirit.”
Advice for Aspiring Influencers: “Always hold steady in your belief in yourself and remember to forget what other people think. If you truly and deeply believe in what you are doing in your soul, it will always all be okay.”
NUTRITION AND WELLNESS CEO: Julie Smolyansky, CEO and President of Lifeway Foods
Origin Story: Smolyansky’s father created Lifeway Kefir, a cultured pro-biotic dairy milk that had been popular in his native Russia for centuries, in their Illinois basement. She became president and CEO of the company when her father died in 2002. As the youngest female CEO of a publicly held company (she was 27), she boosted sales from $12 million to $120 million in 2016. She is also a humanitarian and feminist activist, serving on the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council among other roles and causes.
Favorite Part of Influencing Wellness: “I love empowering people with healthier food options, ones that were successful for our ancestors. You can really disrupt and change how people eat and live, and it is really cool to explore the various ingredients and discover how ancient people lived and ate and moved their bodies.”
Advice for Aspiring Influencers: “Know in your heart that you are super-brave and courageous. You have the power inside of you to accomplish anything you want, so dream big, but also know that there will always be naysayers. Also, make sure that you stay on top of your health even when you are working to achieve your goals.”