As the co-founder and CEO of Womaness, Sally Mueller is a consummate business builder specializing in retail and brand innovation. Recognized as an industry leader, she is renowned for her business acumen in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle sectors. Her trend-forecasting Midas touch has personally crafted the vision of some of the most world’s most compelling brands for companies such as Target, Who What Wear, and Versed skincare.
Mueller’s encore is creating a revolutionary consumer hit with Womaness, a brand that is changing the conversation around menopause through innovative products that offer solutions from head to toe (and everything in-between). Womaness provides trusted advice on symptoms from hot flashes to sleep issues to fine lines, and support from an inspired community of women who exude menopositivity—a dynamic, joyful outlook that embraces who we are today.
A lifelong Minnesotan, Mueller and her husband reside in Minneapolis, adapting to their empty nest status now that their two grown children, Mary and Andrew, are out on their own.
Here, she shares her secrets for maintaining her wellness.
What does wellness mean to you?
I look at it simply: Wellness is about having a well-rounded life and finding an everyday grace to achieve your best, whatever “best” personally means to you.
What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?
A perfect, well-balanced day for me is finding time to make a favorite recipe that results in a great dinner, practicing Pilates or playing tennis, and being able to (really, meaningfully) connect with my family or friends. I also believe in getting myofascial massages every month like clockwork. It really helps me calm my nerves and work out any pressure-point issues that creep up in my back.
Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?
Tennis! I grew up playing competitively. I love watching it. I love being around tennis players. I even love the clothes. I am all about the lifestyle of the sport—it’s physical, social, and mental, and it truly forces you to be in the moment. The tennis court is my happy place.
What is your favorite healthy food, and do you have a favorite way of preparing it?
We have a big garden in the summer, and when it’s at its peak, I love to get my fill of eggplants (we grow several dozen—it’s heaven). I have a few recipes I’ll whip out here and there, but my favorite is a dish I learned to cook in Italy: Eggplant with basil, burrata cheese, and tomato sauce. The eggplant really shines, and it tastes like summer on a plate to me.
What is your favorite healthy beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and do you have any insider tips for preparing it?
Once in a while, I treat myself to a classic mojito. I’m a big fan of having a lot of muddled fresh mint and crushed ice, which you can crush quickly and easily in a food processor.
What is your greatest wellness achievement?
Playing competitive tennis into my fifties. And I’ll keep going at it for as long as I can!
What is the best piece of wellness advice you have ever received and from whom?
Make quality sleep more of a priority. I used to burn the midnight oil and operate on six hours or less of sleep a night. I found myself dragging through the day and not feeling sharp in meetings. Now, I try to get eight hours of sleep a night by focusing on going to bed at the same time every night, refraining from using my phone at least an hour before bedtime, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. I feel so much better now that I’ve been able to find my groove with a better sleep routine. It’s been a life-changer.
What do you think is the most exciting wellness innovation you have recently discovered?
I love the simplicity of Theraband resistance bands. They’re easily portable and take up such little space that you can pop them in a bag and bring them anywhere, which means no excuses to skip exercise when I’m traveling. Plus, they’re great for building arm muscle, working on my traps, and strengthening my mid-back.
Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?
Start regular strength-training in your thirties. I wish someone had told me this! That’s not to downplay the importance of cardio, too, but strength-training is crucial to have strong bones and muscles when you go through perimenopause and your estrogen drops. Take it from someone who learned the hard way.
What is your favorite place for a healthy vacation or escape?
Moab, UT. It has breathtaking rock formations, and the dry heat feels really good on my body.
What is your go-to for de-stressing?
To be honest, I am on a daily mission to find time to de-stress. It’s become a priority. My go-to activities for unwinding are taking walks (without my phone), cooking a recipe from one of my prized Julia Child cookbooks, and, in the winter, knitting. I do quite a bit of it. It’s a surprisingly great de-stressor once you get the basic stitches down.
What aspect of your wellbeing do you struggle with the most, or would most like to improve?
Taking time during the day to stretch or go for a walk. I’m constantly on Zoom calls (even though we all know not all calls need to be on video). It’s easy to find yourself sitting inside, hunched over your desk for half the day without getting up. It’s perhaps part of running a startup business, but I’d like to improve that part of my workday. Getting out and about and feeling the fresh air on my face, even if only for 15 minutes, makes a world of difference.