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Mari Llewellyn Rejoices in the Fitness Community and Announces New Bloom Nutrition Partnership with Target

Prior to finding fitness, Mari Llewellyn was adrift. Her self-esteem was at a perilous low. “My life before my transformation was a little bit goalless. I was someone who kind of was okay with being mediocre,” she admits. “I never had big aspirations for myself. In fact, I thought that I was someone who wasn’t meant for success and that it wasn’t something I’d ever be able to achieve. I was also really in a bad place with my mental health. It controlled everything I did, whether it was the way I took care of my body or the way I treated other people. I was just at a really low place and I didn’t keep my own promises.” Things finally came to a particularly bleak nadir, forcing her to confront some home truths and vow to make a change. “ I had dropped out of school. I had no job. I didn’t know where my life was going and I just needed to find something to rely on. I realized that the only person that was going to pull me out of this place was myself. Fitness and health seemed like the best first step because I knew it would help me feel better mentally and physically. I wanted to change my diet. I wanted to start moving my body more. It definitely took a long time, but just by showing up for myself each day, whether it was for a workout or cooking myself a nutritious meal or sticking to a habit that I told myself that I would (like going to bed early or drinking a certain amount of water), that built my confidence over time. I think it helped me in every area of my life over time. It was the first time in my life that I really committed to something and I was showing myself that I could do hard things. I carried that through to my work and it’s something that I still use today.”

Choosing to share her journey publicly brought her an entirely new level of fulfillment as she discovered the power of connection. “It took me about nine months to actually talk about it publicly. For a while, it was very much a private journey, but then I think I reached a point where I felt like I had so much to share. It brought me so much joy in my life, finding fitness…I felt like it really saved me, and I wanted to speak to other women who were in the place that I was in. For me, it was really dark and it felt like it was never going to get better. Fitness was the thing that showed me that things could improve and I could be there for myself. I really just wanted to start sharing tangible tips for people because I felt like I had this secret path that I could share with everyone on how you can make your life better. If it came from someone that they could relate to, then it would be more helpful than listening to other people who maybe didn’t understand that struggle.” 

Frustrated with the lack of nutritional supplements for women, Mari endeavored to make her own, ultimately creating Bloom Nutrition. “Bloom came about in January of 2019. All of 2018, we were testing formulas and tasting different pre-workouts because it was the one thing that I felt like I couldn’t find on my journey. I wanted a supplement that made me feel good, tasted good, and didn’t have tons of caffeine. Back then, there were a lot of male marketed products. Everything had a ton of caffeine. It was really intense and full of ingredients that I didn’t love. So I wanted to create something for female beginners to fitness and Bloom was exactly that.” It turned out to be a group effort. Her audience’s guidance was indispensable throughout the process. “I really brought my community along the journey with me. They helped me pick labels and colors and flavors. They were really a huge part of creating Bloom. When it launched, I felt that support and have felt it ever since. We just launched in Target a couple days ago and it was such a big celebration for us and the communities. It’s been a really special journey and it’s such a special company. It feels good to be helping so many women on their journey and to create a supplement that I really wanted in my routine too.” Finding your niche is crucial to any big life change, says Mari. “That’s a big piece of advice I give people when they start is to find that community, whether it’s online or in person. I think it can be so helpful to just have people to speak to while you’re in a challenging place and you’re pushing your body to those levels. I think it’s really nice to have people who get you.” 

That ideology was originally put into practice by the Slay App, another brainchild of Mari. “Slay was actually our first ever business,” she says. “When I launched my page, I had a lot of requests for workout plans and nutrition plans, so I whipped together a PDF guide, which basically laid out every workout I was doing. I laid out grocery lists and inspiration for healthy meals, and those were just $5 PDF guides that I would email to people. That has evolved over time into the Slay App. Obviously PDFs are a little out of date now, so we need to update things and make it easier for everyone to use. Slay is an amazing community of women. A lot of the Slay users use Bloom as well. It’s definitely cross-community. Slay is a workout guide for anyone from beginners to intermediate to advanced weightlifting, ab workouts, and also just healthy recipes and inspiration. For me, I love cooking. A huge part of my journey is finding good ingredients that make me feel good. So Slay has been incredible as well.” Her empathy is key to meeting her audience where they’re at. “I think it helped that at the beginning, I was looking for things like that. I was able to create things that I knew would’ve been helpful for me at the beginning. And that was what brought about everything that I’ve done in my career, is knowing that I was at that place once too.” The app has fostered countless bonds. “Everyone who’s using the app chats on social media. I know that they’ve met up in person before. We have a Facebook group where everyone asks for advice or shares something that they’re struggling with. I think it’s really good to keep an open dialogue throughout your fitness journey. And it’s okay to have a slip up or to make a mistake or not be sure of what you’re doing. Having other women on that journey with you is so incredible. I’ve also really enjoyed doing in person meetups ever since the pandemic has ended. It’s been really nice meeting people face to face and having that connection in person. I think all of us just feel like one big community and even if we haven’t met each other before, it’s just this connection that’s always there.”

Mari is secretive about the immediate future, but remains eager to devote herself to authenticity. “I’m definitely working on a few projects where I’m able to dive deeper on topics. I can’t quite say yet, but I’m entering a new form of communicating on a new platform so I can connect deeper with my audience. I’m really excited for that. That’ll be in the new year and I will be continuing to be vulnerable online and sharing everything that I can and not just showing the highlight reel. I think that’s really important.” Social media may not always reflect real life, but the friendships it creates are as genuine as they come. Bloom is now in Target nationwide. 

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Mari Llewellyn Rejoices in the Fitness Community and Announces New Bloom Nutrition Partnership with Target. Photo Credit (in order): Carmel Samiri and courtesy of Mari Llewellyn.

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