Anne Mahlum Is ‘Very Bullish’ on Longevity, Alcohol-Free Wellness

The Solidcore founder spoke exclusively to ATN about her investment strategy, including her embrace of the growing ‘mocktail’ movement

Anne Mahlum is always ahead of the curve, and her latest investment in Virginia-based herbal medicine brand Apothékary could indicate the next big thing in the booming wellness space. 

The self-made millionaire and philanthropist founded Solidcore in 2013 before selling the Pilates-inspired fitness brand last year and becoming a serial investor in the fitness and wellness space. So far, Mahlum has backed The Athletic Clubs, a New York-based group fitness startup, Ice Barrel, a maker of cold plunge tubs, and, most recently, invested $500,000 in female-owned herbal medicine startup Apothékary.

“I am very bullish on the longevity and healthspan space, especially as I’m now 43,” Mahlum tells Athletech News. “With every one of my friends in their thirties and forties, it’s what we talk about all the time: how do we feel good for as long as we can?”

The Power of Going Alcohol-Free

She views her latest investment in Apothékary as more than just a financial decision, but a commitment to innovation (and entrepreneurs) who are reshaping industries while promoting healthier living. 

Mahlum knows a thing or two about well-being and driving positive change. She is admittedly a “little obsessed” about her daily practices, having recently changed her relationship with alcohol. Mahlum takes in the Miami sun every morning, powering up with electrolytes and hydrogen water before heading to the gym for 90 minutes.

“I am very determined to get the most out of my body when I am young, able and healthy,” says Mahlum, who adds that she used to be a “very social” drinker before giving it up two years ago.

“I never really thought twice about it,” she reflects. “In early 2022, I began to question why I was doing this and how this became such a big part of society. I started to educate myself. I read a lot of books on the alcohol industry and how they market to us, as well as obviously what alcohol is doing to our bodies.”

credit: Anne Mahlum

Her research and self-reflection resulted in a pivotal moment:

“I was like, ‘I can’t believe I’ve been promoting this as somebody in the health and fitness space for so long and acted like it was no big deal when this shit is poison and is actively against all of the work I do.’”

Mahlum’s new relationship with alcohol is part of why she’s so enthusiastic about Apothékary and its founder and CEO, Shizu Okusa, who has created products with herbal ingredients like functional mushrooms, including wine alternatives for sober-curious or health-minded consumers who prefer an alternative to alcohol. 

“I love that she’s created options for folks to feel like they’re having a treat (but can) put in things that are great for their body and not miss out on the ceremony of the cocktail without all the negative effects,” Mahlum says of Okusa.

In addition to Apothékary’s spirit-free tinctures crafted from natural herbs, the wellness startup also offers products to support better sleep and energy, improved cognition and digestion, skin health and immunity. A helpful ‘Swap This, for That’ section on Apothékary’s website allows customers to discover healthier alternatives to alcohol, coffee, melatonin, green juice and gut issues.

credit: Apothékary

Mahlum sees the increase of ‘mocktails’ and other non-alcoholic options listed on restaurant menus as the growing recognition of consumer demand for options that support their health and wellness.

“The mocktail industry is going to continue to become more robust,” she predicts. “People are really waking up — especially for those folks who work out — about how much alcohol is undoing all of the progress that they’re trying to make with the food that they eat and the work that they’re putting in the gym. I think I got into Apothékary at a great time, and I think they will continue to skyrocket over the next several years.”

Investing in People, Not Just Brands

In many ways, Mahlum’s investment strategy reflects her holistic approach to wellness — the Solidcore founder takes a multi-faceted approach while remaining steadfast in her promise to invest in brands that make people’s lives healthier and happier. 

“It’s not just the product. It’s never one thing,” she says. “As an entrepreneur, you need to be best positioned. Shizu is the best person to run Apothékary because of her background. She understands scalability. She’s a responsible founder, she has a great product and her timing was right.”

As for what’s next, expect Mahlum to double down on the longevity and healthspan space. 

“Anything that allows youth from a physical and functionality perspective to be preserved — I’m interested,” she says.

Nonetheless, Mahlum has taken a cautious approach to the rise of GLP-1 weight-loss drugs, which have quickly become a staple at wellness clinics across the U.S.

“I don’t think there’s enough data yet,” she says. “I don’t think anybody really knows the long-term effects of these drugs yet. We all want immediate gratification and quick fixes for things, so I’m not shocked by the skyrocketing demand for these drugs.”

As she keeps an eye on emerging trends in the market, Mahlum is selective.

“I alone as an entrepreneur would never build or create anything that wasn’t advantageous for people’s today and tomorrow,” Mahlum says, adding that she only wants to be associated with brands that are doing the same thing, such as West Village Athletic, a private member athletic club in New York City that’s part of The Athletic Club.

“Dane is a good friend,” Mahlum says of Dane McCarthy, founder of The Athletic Club brand. “He’s also a very driven entrepreneur. Same thing with Wyatt Ewing (founder and CEO of Ice Barrel). I ice bath every single day. It’s amazing for your mental health.”

Trends To Watch

Mahlum also notes her excitement about Othership, a sauna and cold plunge brand that will soon open in New York City’s Flatiron District. Unlike other sauna spaces, Othership combines a community aspect, which Mahlum adores. 

“They have huge saunas,” she notes. “Like 20-30 people in a sauna, talking and connecting. I love that aspect of it and making contrast therapy — heat and cold — and making it more communal.”

credit: Othership

At the end of the day, Mahlum still sees high-intensity, low-impact fitness – the kind practiced at Solidcore – as a leading workout modality that has staying power.

“There’s a lot of people who hate running, hate cardio, and I just think the research is out around resistance training and how much more effective resistance training is to build muscle, shape your body and increase your metabolism — much more than cardio,” she says. “Resistance training, weightlifting training, strength training I think are going to continue to be category winners for a very long time.”

The post Anne Mahlum Is ‘Very Bullish’ on Longevity, Alcohol-Free Wellness appeared first on Athletech News.


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