Is there anything Leah Landon can’t do? Not only did the business maven found the super popular Southampton Sweat (The Sweat Festival), she also serves as the Vice President of Brand Experience at Juice Press. Yes, THAT Juice Press that you’re totally addicted to and is on every New York City corner.
Before her current endless roster of projects, Landon spent more than a decade in the music industry managing and helping launch the careers of stars like Lady Gaga, Eve, Fat Joe… the list goes on. But it doesn’t stop there. Landon also produced several reality shows for E! and VH1. The quadruple threat then transitioned out of entertainment to focus on wellness and is a certified yoga instructor, health coach, natural food chef, pilates instructor, spin instructor and has a master’s in clinical social work. No big deal, right? Certainly not for Landon, who makes it look all so easy. We sat down with the force of nature to chat about her upcoming fitness festival and what makes her so good at everything!
You have been with juice press from 5 stores to 100 stores, how do you feel you have contributed to its growth? LEAH LANDON: First. A big shout out to my CEO Michael Karsch and founder Marcus Antebi for allowing me the space to contribute to their company. Michael and Marcus trusted me to help build the brand both internally and externally and offered me a seat at the table. Internally, focusing on our mission and values of the brand and carrying that spirit in each of our stores with both staff and our customers. Also, with product development, I am proud to have created 5 of the top selling smoothies enterprise-wide, including our #1 and #2 sellers Blue Magic and Green Light. The Cleaning Plan was another personal initiative that offers our customers great value... I also made sure to develop a personal relationship with as many of our customers as possible. Much of our success has come from listening. I wanted to also make an impact externally by developing healthy relationships and maximizing opportunity with all talent and influencers in our network and cultivating our relationships with Equinox, Soul Cycle, the US Open and many other strategic partners.
The Sweat Festival is now in its 5th year, tell us what’s special about this year and reflect on its growth. LL: First. Another big shout out to Jennifer Bandier and Simone Levinson who believed in me and supported me when I had an inspired idea in svasana one day over five years ago. They took a risk and championed the inaugural year of SWEAT. The SWEAT festival carries the spirit of a traditional music festival having the focus on health and wellness - featuring the most relevant and impactful fitness methods, brands and experiences.
We have grown over the last 5 years both with the consumer and alongside the fitness brands we partner with. We are thrilled to partner with The Surf Lodge this year in Montauk and have the event hosted by Victoria Secret Supermodels Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes who have launched an incredible wellness platform called JOJA.
Last, a big shout out to my entire family. Sweat is a huge family affair. My mom ran aerobics conventions in the 80’s and showed me the way. My dad is on the production team. My older brothers sponsor the event. My younger brother is the MC and my younger sister is my muse. All the cousins, nieces and nephews are put to work as well. Brooklyn Work Ethic - The younger generation are checking people in and selling merch just as we did at my mother’s events. It has come full circle.
What is your future vision for The Sweat Festival? LL: Sweat is a merging of all my passions and interests. My desire is to contribute and help evolve the music festival experience with a holistic focus on wellness is the anchor for SWEAT. We plan to scale to larger activations in cities across the country. New York, Miami and Los Angeles are on my hit list and I’m looking for natural strategic partners to help execute the vision.
What is the craziest thing that happened to you this year? LL: Turns out my mom had a 6th child that she gave up for adoption and never told a soul. I now have an older sister who just so happen to grow up with a home in Southampton. Southampton Sweat as taken on an entirely new meaning for me. Ancenstory.com is real, people.
With all of your projects (and insane success), how do you stay grounded? LL: Gabrielle Roth said, “It takes a lot of discipline to be a free spirit”. Another wise elder taught me: “Before enlightenment? Chop Wood and Carry Water. After Enlightenment? Chop Wood and Carry Water”