Meeting Marisa Hochberg, head of wellness for the Surf Lodge, was inspirational. She began her health and wellness journey with her own weight-loss battle. She lost 75 pounds through her exercise and nutrition plan and has kept it off ever since. Marisa has created a wellness retreat for the local and visiting community in Montauk. She has recently partnered with ABCV for the nutritional component of the retreat going on this Fall in the Hamptons. Additionally, she has partnered with Camp Soul Grow for family night’s every Wednesday which include kid-friendly healthy meals, live music, and crafts activities for the children in the community.
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
My own wellness branding agency, MJHWellness has been in business for three years. The Surf Lodge has been in business for eleven years!
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I got my start through my own personal journey of losing 75 pounds which became my inspiration for all that I do in my career. Ten years ago, through a healthy diet and exercise, I lost 75lbs on my own; It changed my life so much that I knew that I had to dedicate my career to helping others do the same. I fused my passion for fashion/luxury brands thought wellness. Essentially began helping wellness companies with branding strategies events marketing.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
That I have an inspiring story that led me to go into my field of work. I didn’t just decide to work in the health and wellness space because it was trending, but rather because my personal journey led me to go into the field. When people/companies that I work with hear my story, they are inspired. In maintaining the weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle shows my credibility in the business world.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Each day, more and more people are looking to become healthier, but they don’t know how to approach the health and wellness space. Due to my extensive research, with my own personal weight loss, I feel as though I have curated the best way to approach wellness as a whole.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
I believe I show my clientele that no matter what challenges you face, you can overcome them if you put your mind to it. You can use those challenges to create a positive and inspiring program to help others. For example, I am currently creating a special fall wellness retreat at The Surf Lodge with ABC Carpet and Home/ABC Cocina. This retreat includes famous wellness figures, such as Elena Brower. This retreat will allow clients to escape the pressures of city life and come to The Surf Lodge Montauk for a inspiring wellness weekend that will hopefully inspire them to go back to city life. In this I hope they find knowledge in the health and wellness space.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Since my job includes working with many high-end luxury wellness brands, getting to bring them to life through activations and events I in-turn get to meet people. Getting to meet complete strangers that come to my programing and seeing them learn first hand about health and wellness is truly rewarding knowing that they will go home with better sense of knowledge on how to live healthy lifestyle. Knowing my story and that I am positively impacting peoples lives through my career on a daily basis is something I couldn’t be prouder of.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
The Alice in Wonderland statue in central park. Growing up on the upper east side, my dad would always take me there to play with my friends. I was always scared to climb to the top, but it was the same spot I returned to when I decided to lose my weight. The spot signifies being able to conquer your fears and challenges.
How do you benefit mamas?
I feel as though a lot of times after child birth, moms feel self conscience about their appearance. Many new moms in this situation have approached me on how to lose those extra pounds. I feel as though I am honest with my own weight loss story, new moms feel comfortable approaching me about how they too can feel confident in their own skin. Particularly this summer at The Surf Lodge, we dedicated Wednesday nights to Camp Soul Grow, and making the property more kid friendly through curated programing for mommy and me events.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
A client/follower of my work messaged me on social media telling me because of me they didn’t give up on their weight loss journey. Since they followed my journey, they had lost their goal weight and continued a healthy lifestyle.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Jayma Cardoso, founder of the Surf Lodge
Karla Dascal, founder and owner of the Scared Space & Plant Miami
Andie Mitchell, best selling author of: It Was Me All Along & Eating in the Middle
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Never Give Up, if you believe in something don’t care what other people think, just follow your heart.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Not dreading tasks but tackling them head on. Be a doer, less talk about dreams, wishes and goals and actual action. Also particularly, I have made it a personal goal not to waste time on worrying about other peoples lives or comparing myself to others. Focusing on my own goals and actions has got me to where I am today.