The Journey Of An Entrepreneur: From Wall Street To Wellness

Lauren Imparato is revolutionizing the wellness industry with her enthusiasm and energy

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Lauren Imparato is revered as one of the world's top entrepreneurship experts and was at the helm of I.AM.YOU, first-of-its-kind health, wellness and fitness company. Lauren started the company in 2009, after quitting her job as VP of the Morgan Stanley Fixed Income and following her passion for impactful socio-preneurship.

Pasit VIwatkurkul

The Building of a Brand

Raised in Northern California, Lauren Imparato landed on the trading floor of Wall Street after graduating from Princeton University. Fueled by her love for work and playing hard, the rough and tumble of the trading floor was exactly what the athlete within her needed to keep going.

The more Lauren travelled across the globe to meet clients, the more excited she felt about places, stories and people. From new languages to varied cuisines, added to the thrill of building businesses for the firm, Lauren was determined to climb the corporate ladder until she realized the bigger opportunity that lay in front of her eyes.

Over the years, Lauren had relied on a mixture of Yoga, meditation and healthy nutrition to cope with work stress and rigorous routines, that she had studied deeply and subsequently personalized. Her co-workers loved consulting her on the same, and she was happy to help. This grew into weekly sessions at her apartment, growing into a "forte" from a "hobby". Watching people, young and old, leave their comfort zones and delve into the world of exercise prompted Lauren to take up her forte to new heights and tread towards the creation of a health/wellness/fitness industry.

A Step Ahead, All the Way

Lauren decided to build her fitness and health brand, I.AM.YOU, using the skills that Wall Street taught her – getting down and dirty in the trenches. Even before words like "Guerilla Marketing', "Collaborations' and "B2B Partnerships' even entered the dictionary, Lauren was using these stints to build a brand with a solid footing in the market.

She set up the first boutique fitness studio in New York, complete with digital yoga and meditation classes, a 360-degree wellness app, and more - far ahead of its time in every way. Lauren also focused on brand marketing – a concept that catalyzed both popularity and revenues of I.AM.YOU. Her company was scaling greater heights of success with each passing day, attracting global attention.

A New Chapter

With time, Lauren saw the wellness and fitness industry grow in front of her eyes from millions to trillions. Space got commercialized to an extent that led it to be more "Instagrammized" than "Innovative". Lauren found herself stuck between profits and ethics, change and self-belief. This is when she decided to move on.

After ten years, Lauren exited I.AM.YOU with her head held high and has since been advising a portfolio of companies on the nexus of businesses and brand strategies. It is the urge for creating something out of nothing, and turning ideas into reality, that keeps her motivated and driven towards newer challenges.

"At the end of the day, there is nothing better than creating something out of nothing, than turning a hair-brained back of the napkin idea no one believes into a tangible, concrete business. And even better when those ventures are true to who you are and help people forge a better future.

Lauren additionally writes on Between the Waves, acts as a Board of Advisor for Lada, Women in Innovation and The Sunny Centre Foundation, is the CMO of Delphos Capital – a women-run impact bank, and is also the Co-Founder & CEO of The Association, a first-of-its-kind global leadership community of elite, extraordinary women. Through all her undertakings, Lauren focuses on elevating women by leveraging almost two decades of business expertise, financial acumen and hard-earned personal experience to innovate in a space.