Founder Anne Mahlum sold her shares in fitness chain Solidcore to private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. for $88 million in 2023. Now she’s reinvesting some of that money to champion some women-owned businesses in the health and wellness space that she sees as innovators and disruptors.

Mahlum had built Solidcore to nearly 100 studios in 24 states before deciding it was time for her to step back.

“You start to realize, I’m very healthy in my 40s and I loved every second of Solidcore and Back on my Feet, and all of those things provided me with a lot of joy, but I want to do other things,” she said.

That includes putting money into other businesses she believes in. She recently announced a $500,000 strategic investment in Apothékary, a plant-based “farmacy” founded by Shizu Okusa that offers herbal-based wellness products. The company’s vision is to provide consumers with natural products to treat everyday ailments and enhance their well-being such as beverage powders marketed as an alternatives to alcohol. For example, the non-alcoholic product called “Stop Your Wine-ing” is a blend featuring motherwort, jujube date, acai and aronia berries.

Mahlum said she has known Okusa for years and has great confidence in both the founder/CEO and her product.

“She really gets it. She’s super smart. She understands marketing, brand positioning, and I think her timing with all of the products that Apothékary, offers to enhance people’s wellness without using chemicals or pills is a great alternative. I think just she hit the nail on the head,” she said.

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