Hayden Slater found the key to his future in lessons from his past.
The LA native grew up surrounded by health and wellness, but never took the principles to heart. Then, years later, he was awakened to the power of a healthy lifestyle during a college yoga class, and finally decided to apply those lessons after working long hours as a young adult.
Once he discovered the efficacy of cold-pressed juice while traveling abroad, he partnered with his childhood friends, Carly de Castro and Hedi Gores, to launch Pressed Juicery. What started as a fledgling idea has grown to a full-fledged national business.
Here, Slater explains why bringing nutrition-rich juice to all brings him a sense of personal well-being:
Live the Process: What eventually moved you to prioritize health?
Hayden Slater: Growing up in Los Angeles, I was always educated about health and wellness; I just never practiced it. It wasn’t until college that I truly began to realize just how intensely that these practices could change my life. While I was at NYU, I had a required 8am yoga class with best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer survivor, Kris Carr. Kris was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer and given months to live; 13 years later she is still alive and fighting. I think for me, this was the first wakeup call that truly showed me the power of nutrition and wellness.
LTP: What led you to found Pressed Juicery?
HS: After graduating from NYU, I worked in production at HBO. I was working extremely long hours, not getting the nutrients I needed and was living in a fog. I never studied abroad in college, which was a regret of mine. So, when the show I was working on went on hiatus, I took some time off and traveled to Southeast Asia.
While I was there, I embarked on a juice cleanse—what was supposed to be five days long turned into thirty. Although a bit excessive, by the end of it, I had never felt better. Once I experienced firsthand how these habits could affect my overall being, I knew I wanted to take this newfound knowledge and share it with others.
LTP: How has the company grown?
HS: After I returned from my trip, I came together with two of my childhood friends, who were also positively affected by incorporating cold-pressed juice into their lives. In 2010, Pressed Juicery was housed in a broom closet in Los Angeles. Today, we have nearly 40 stores open or under construction in California, Washington, Hawaii, New York, Nevada and New Jersey, and we’re continuing to expand.
This project was started out of passion because of the positive changes each of us witnessed after incorporating these wellness habits into our lives, and we are excited to see that so many other people feel the same way. There have been so many surreal moments on our journey as the brand continues to grow, and it’s important for us to take the time to enjoy every second. We started Pressed because we wanted to make these high-nutrition juices a realistic option for all people. In order to support our mission, we constantly focus on our mantra: Make it taste great. Make it accessible. Make it affordable. Make it for everyone.
LTP: What are your own personal wellness rituals and creative outlets?
HS: For me, it’s all about balance. As you can imagine, my work schedule is insane, so it’s important to me to fill the time outside of work with activities that fulfill me. I try and do something active four to five times a week, whether it’s hiking with my dog or boxing. My hashtag that I just started for this year is #AllOutdoorsAll2016.
I also try and learn something new whenever I can: I'm currently taking pottery classes. I’m a pretty spiritual person at my core, so continuing to work my spiritual muscles by meditating or attending a Marianne Williamson lecture is key. Also, to find time to give back.
When I lived in the city, I used to volunteer in the ER once a week, but, since moving to Venice, I’m finding things that give back to my community. I’m working with the community gardens; I’m also part of a mentor/mentee program. And, lastly, I make sure to make time for my friends and family.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
HS: I love to laugh and to make people laugh. I often say, “If we all laughed more, the world would be healed.” For me, if I’m laughing, I’m happy.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
HS: I’ve come to realize that the purpose of life is to be happy. Our work is to continue to better ourselves and know that there is no finish line, and also figure out how we can contribute to the world in a way that is bigger than ourselves.