How Ekhos’ Saskia Topp Went From Model To Health & Wellness Entrepreneur

When the pandemic disrupted the modeling industry, Topp pivoted and founded a fast-growing digital marketing agency specializing in health and wellness

Saskia Topp is a model, ambassador and entrepreneur who’s obsessed with health and wellness. What started as a passion soon turned into the basis for her fast-growing digital marketing agency, Ekhos

“‘Work smarter, not harder’ and ‘Just Do It’ are two mottos I live by,” says Topp. “While I strongly believe in the value of hard work, and am always ready to put in the hours when necessary, I also recognize the importance of efficiency.” 

Topp’s go-getter attitude has certainly contributed to her success as an entrepreneur. 

Her journey in founding a health and wellness digital marketing agency was not a straight trajectory. Topp has a degree in brand building and management, and after working in corporate roles, she decided to pursue modeling. You can find her work in national campaigns from Under Armour to Nivea sunscreen commercials where Topp and her on-screen family have some fun in the sun. It was during her eight-year modeling career that Topp became obsessed with health and fitness 

“Modeling taught me the importance of maintaining physical fitness and overall well-being,” she says. 

When she wasn’t modeling, she was running with her Border Collie, or training at top fitness studios. Topp loved taking boxing, Pilates, yoga, and barre classes. She even got certified to teach Barre Body. 

Finding a New Calling

Combining her passion for health with her passion for digital marketing, Topp started using her own social platforms to tout her favorite brands, including  Orangetheory Fitness and F45 Training. As an influencer and brand ambassador herself, Topp has always had a pulse on digital trends.

“When the pandemic disrupted the modeling industry, I experienced a downturn in my career, which prompted me to embark on the journey of founding Ekhos,” she says. 

Saskia Topp (credit: Ekhos Agency)

The sudden travel limitations and restrictions forced Topp to stop and think about what to do next. While she didn’t necessarily know she would one day become an entrepreneur, she has always had a strong work ethic and drive, with a keen understanding that running a business takes resilience and determination. 

“To be completely candid, starting a company is not about following a predetermined formula; it’s about diving in headfirst, being willing to put in long hours, and learning as you go.”

A Finger on the Industry Pulse

Topp took a unique approach to starting her business. 

“My transition into entrepreneurship wasn’t driven by noticing gaps in existing agencies, but rather by seeing opportunities presented through networking,” she explains.

Topp is already a consumer of the products and facilities she works with, which has helped her feel extra connected to the customer experience. She explains that other agencies lack comprehensive competitor insights and the emotional experiences of actual studio goers. 

“Digital marketing in the health and wellness realm goes beyond traditional tactics, focusing on fostering emotional connections, building communities, motivating individuals, and crafting sales strategies tailored to specific audiences,” she says. ” Understanding these differences is essential for effectively connecting with customers online.”

Today, Ekhos is a full-service marketing agency working with brands across Europe, South Africa and the U.S. At its core, Ekhos offers services including social media campaign management, email marketing, automation marketing, web design and search.  The agency has developed marketing strategies for brands including Power Plate, Shred415, Vibez Fit and fourfive. Since founding her business, each week has brought its own set of hurdles and challenges.

“Ekhos is like my real-life baby right now,” Topp says. “It’s unpredictable, keeps me on my toes, keeps me up at night, always demanding attention, but the love I have for it is boundless and unconditional.” 

credit: Ekhos Agency

Leadership Learnings

When people ask Topp what it’s like to be a female entrepreneur, she says that it is indeed a superpower. 

“I would encourage all fellow female entrepreneurs to prioritize supporting each other rather than tearing each other down, because together, we form an incredibly strong force,” she says.

As any business founder can attest, there’s a learning curve in finding a balance between wanting to have a hand on every single project while learning how to relinquish a little bit of control. The key is having an exceptional team; Topp can delegate successfully and is proud of her ability to do so. 

Leadership has presented its own set of challenges, particularly in learning the fine line between being authoritative and fostering strong relationships. As a result, Topp spends time on improving her leadership skills. She does this through transparent and open communication.  

“When everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves honestly, it fosters a positive atmosphere that boosts both happiness and productivity in the workplace,” she says. 

For entrepreneurs just starting out, Topp says, “You’ve got to remember to take care of yourself and put yourself first sometimes.” She explains that if you’re not feeling good, it’s impossible to keep everything else in check. 

“I’m guilty of always looking out for everyone else and forgetting to give myself some love and attention,” she says.

Last month, Topp helped Athletech News and other fitness and wellness industry executives ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq. She never imagined she would be on a billboard in Times Square being honored for the work she does. For Topp, it was a true moment of reflection on how far she has come. 

As for the future? Topp hopes to continue partnering with more wellness brands to grow Ekhos’ current portfolio of clients. She will also continue prioritizing going on long runs with her Border Collie and hanging out with friends and family who energize her. 

The post How Ekhos’ Saskia Topp Went From Model To Health & Wellness Entrepreneur appeared first on Athletech News.


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