Digital Sunsets, Wellness + Business - How the CEO of Namaste New York spreads wellbeing in NYC
JULIE WALD is the Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Namaste New York. She began her career as a clinical social worker 25 years ago and has been immersed in the world of wellness since 1993. Combining her clinical background and decades of experience as a yoga teacher, meditation teacher, Reiki master, and mother of three, Julie advises and implements extraordinary self-care for Namaste’s clients.
Julie and her Co-Founder husband, Michael, have worked with high-performing executives, celebrities, families, children and those coping with chronic or life-threatening illness to help them navigate and optimize their day-to-day lives. Close to their heart and integral to Namaste’s purpose is a commitment to service. Namaste NY provides complimentary yoga, massage, and other wellness services to a wide variety of underserved and disenfranchised New Yorkers in schools, hospitals and city parks.
Q: We’re curious about Namaste New York. How and why did it get started?
Namaste began as a response to a need that busy New Yorkers had post 9/11 to dive more deeply into self-care and receive guidance and support, as well as access to the best fitness and wellness practitioners. Curated, in-home wellness was the key to mental and physical wellbeing for those with a packed calendar and specialized needs.
Q: What have you learned as an entrepreneur?
I have learned the importance of being clear about our value, setting limits and saying “no” when needed, and how to talk about money, which was so hard for me for many years. I was so focused on the product and helping people but I realized that a thriving business was essential in order for me to actualize the potential and help the most human beings possible.
Q: Some people might think there’s a difference between teaching celebrities and teaching “average” people. How might you respond to that?
People are people. Outer appearance is not an indicator of a person’s inner world. The most successful people crave authenticity more than anything.
Q: To what do you attribute Namaste New York’s success?
Authenticity, high quality wellness services and customer care, and treating our clients with love and respect. We have also been working on our business for many years - not giving up through the ups and downs, and instead learning every step of the way. This has been a hugely important variable.
Q: With all your responsibilities, how do you make space for self-care?
It can be a challenge! I wake up at 5:00 am for my personal self-care practices and take time on the weekends as well. I think about the short term gains - if I move and breathe and meditate this morning, my day will be exponentially better as a result.
Q: Your business is practically 24/7. How do you shut off/disconnect?
I have a digital sunset and plug my phone in the kitchen in the evening. I take nighttime for myself and my family, and have a team that manages our clients during those hours. They take breaks at other times. I try to remember that I want to be a model for my kids and that once I really disconnect, I don’t miss being digitally connected! I fill that time with things that I truly enjoy, like playing with essential oils, taking a bath, and just hanging with my kids and husband.
Q: Why is wellness so important?
Wellness is where healthcare and lifestyle meet. It’s preventative self-care for both our minds and our bodies.
Q: What might you tell someone who’s interested in building a business in the wellness industry?
In order to build a business in the wellness industry (or any business for that matter), you must focus on what you are truly passionate about. Try not to focus on the competition or whatever everyone else is doing, but in cultivating your own knowledge and truly building expertise.