Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Waxman, Founder and CEO of At The Well, located in Washington, DC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

At The Well is here to support your journey to wholeness throughout every stage of your life. We are spreading the word about Jewish rituals that can help you connect more deeply — to yourself, your body, and your community.

Our community is for all who identify as women or nonbinary, inclusive of all races, classes, abilities, life stages, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, and gender expressions. Our mission is to connect women around the world through transformative practices inspired by ancient Jewish wisdom. We envision a world where all women are connected to their bodies, spiritual practices, and community. At The Well has a deep love for Rosh Chodesh, the start of each new Jewish month. This holiday is celebrated by coming together monthly with a community of friends or family to story tell, connect to themselves and others, and create space for meaningful conversation.

Among people who have been part of our programs say that it:
increases their psychological, spiritual, and emotional well-being and offers a Jewish space where they feel they belong no matter their practice. Empowers them to create well-being rituals and provides support during important times and transitions.

We’ve taught many people how to start and lead their own monthly gatherings, and we’d love to teach you too. We have lots of free resources to help start the conversations in your circle. We invite you to attend our virtual Big Gather and check out the other programs that we have–there is always something new!

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in Washington DC, and I studied sociology and played D 1 Lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania. I hold numerous certifications in integrative nutrition and mindfulness training. I started At The Well 7.5 years ago after realizing through my own personal exploration of a mind, body, and heart connection that I was missing a Jewish voice in the wellness industry. I also realized that in most of the Jewish spaces I was in, I had a hard time finding a woman's voice that empowered my spirituality. So, I decided to start exploring what Jewish wellness practices were and how to incorporate them into my life. After three years of exploration and the cultivation of a Rosh Chodesh practice, I knew it was time to share them with my friends and peers. At The Well was born as a newsletter for about 20 of my friends.

I am motivated by human potential and models of collective community care. I am inspired by practices, like monthly women’s circles, found in almost every indigenous community. When I see similarities across cultures, it makes me curious about what type of health benefits we get out of these ancient practices. My contribution to this conversation is to look at wellness and well-being through a Jewish lens. What are rituals and teachings that can help women, and non-binary folx, find the wholeness that is rooted in Jewish wisdom.

Personally, I am motivated by the resilience of my ancestors and my commitment to my future. I am by far their wildest dream, being the most educated, most free to express my identity, gender, and religion, and have access to capital and privileges that they did not have. With that framing, I can commit to being as powerful as I can and as much service to the world as I can be.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Growing from a passion project into a 501c3 business with over $1.5 million in revenue. For the first three years, At The Well was a volunteer position for me. Now we are a nonprofit organization, and this is my full-time job, along with a small team and hundreds of volunteers that work together with a commitment to our organization's values of Courage, Wholeness, Inclusivity, Community, and Joy. We strive to bring these values into our work culture and impact our network.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

In the nonprofit world, it is about getting buy-in from ALL of your stakeholders. That means the people we serve, including designing experiences for people who are not usually centered in organizations, it includes our board, our staff, our funders, and our need to be financially sustainable. All these stakeholders can have different and sometimes competing “needs,” and as a founder and CEO of a non-profit, you need to steward everybody towards the same mission. It takes a lot of commitment to long-term relationships, trust building, and resilience to stay on the path, even if it means you go slow in order for your work to be a powerful social change.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Build a personal spiritual practice that you can go to for strength and perseverance, and help you stay rooted to your big WHY of what you are building. It is not easy to be the leader of an organization, especially one with a social impact mission and earned revenue bottom lines. However, that commitment to your inner voice and world can help you stay the course through hard times and make sure you take care of yourself.
  2. Find great accountants to be by your side as you build. You don’t need to have all the hard business skills to bring a good idea out into the world. Find your consultants to help you reinforce and then lean on them for guidance.
  3. Try and take time for personal reflection. Likely you are doing a million things quickly. Taking time to just reflect will help your nervous system and your soul.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Likely if you are reading this article, let me remind you that you are the one you are waiting for. Go forward and know that doing something new takes guts, strength, and constant adaptation. Find people around you to help you feel love and joy, so you don’t need to do it alone.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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