After draining workweeks and wild weekends, New Yorkers are pursuing wellness with characteristic—albeit ironic— intensity. When citygoers aren’t dressed for the office, they’re sporting premium athleisure at one of the city’s thousands of fitness studios (and then flocking to brunch in droves). Forget finance and nightlife: Manhattan is emerging as a new health capital. Offering everything from in-home meal prep services to online workouts, here are five entrepreneurs who are transforming the city’s wellness landscape.
Melissa Wood-Tepperberg: Melissa Wood Health
Melissa Wood-Tepperberg is the founder of the Melissa Wood Health (MWH) Method, an online subscription of workout videos comprised of slow movements to create “long, lean lines.”
A qualified health coach, yoga and pilates instructor, Wood-Tepperberg has developed an online wellness community around her low-impact method, meditation practice and signature spirulina smoothie: a cult favorite replicated by Instagram’s health junkies. “I’m not a believer in no pain no gain,” she says.
In 2016, Wood-Tepperberg began streaming her workouts on Playbook (formerly Fitner). After transitioning to her own exclusive platform this April, she saw “substantial growth” in her global audience and now reaches thousands of women with her accessible and approachable videos. “I felt called to create and grow my own community of likeminded people,” she says of her move to a self-managed business.
Since signing with DBA four months ago, Wood-Tepperberg is focusing on growing her team—she currently has one full-time hire—and expanding her brand to include equipment and apparel. She is currently pregnant and working on a pre- and post-natal program. Beyond filming online workouts, Wood-Tepperberg works with two private clients and occasionally hosts pop-up fitness events.
In a world of influencers and insta-famous trainers, Wood-Tepperberg prefers the title of ‘teacher’. “I’m teaching you how to use your body and build confidence, not only in the way you look but also how you feel.”