Nikki Ostrower, Founder of NAO Wellness


There are pockets of gems all over the city, you just need to know where to find them. Hidden in the ground floor in West Village/Union Square is NAO Wellness. It’s name has a mystical feel and reads “now” for mindfulness. If you walk too fast, you may miss it. So move slower, and smell the Fall/Winter air in New York.

As you head down into the space, you are to remove your shoes, jackets, and leave your bags aside. All of a sudden you feel the weight of the City off your shoulders, and the noise of cab drivers no longer exist in that very moment. A beautiful silence. It’s just you in this wonderfully decorated room with positive and mindful quotes displayed on walls.

We did a tour of the facility: two private sauna rooms, additional rooms for workshops, proper shower and restroom, and a shelf with thoughtfully selected brands available for purchase. At a glance, you think this place functions like a spa, but it is not. With its robust services such as nutrition planning and workshops schedule, you are on a path for a healthy and better you.

We were invited by the founder and creative mastermind behind this thoughtfully curated space, Nikki Ostrower. Nikki is in recovery from an eating disorder and have been in the nutrition industry for over ten years. By creating a physical space that welcomes all, from those in recovery from an eating disorder to newly moms, it is a place where folks can learn about health and wellness on a deeper connected level.

Although we talked about how beautiful the place is, Nikki describes the various challenges (like an actual arrest) before it became what it is now. What we have realized in every entrepreneur, it is not easy and before the successes, there have been plentiful of failures and learning curves. Her sound advice to us was:

Letting go and trusting the process does work out in the end.

We further our conversation about the buzz worthy words including “health” and “wellness” and how it may or may not impact NAO Wellness as the self-care industry is growing more attention in the media. What makes NAO Wellness than any other brand? Nikki says in short, “Being true to myself and listening to the customers.” Nikki admits that she doesn’t pay attention to what the “competitions” are doing because there is room for everyone. And what has made NAO Wellness successful is her personal approach to her business. You get that Mom & Pop shop feel, where you are personally in communication with the owner (Nikki) and a space where it is nonjudgemental. All of that just makes the organization and brand more authentic and connected with its people.

What we love about Nikki is her passion for community! NAO Wellness hosts a monthly eating disorder support group where folks can find their voice and find support within the community versus feeling ashamed and be empowered at the end of the day. Nikki continues to describe all the goodness of the business so far and how she see the business evolve is really to grow the community aspect and to continue what they’re doing, which clearly is working.

Interviewed by Chary

Stay in the loop with NAO Wellness by following on instagram at @naowellness