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Multitasking and Staying Fit On The Move with Alissa Benishai of Phat Buddha

By Emily Chiang | Oct 14, 2019
Multitasking and Staying Fit On The Move with Alissa Benishai of Phat Buddha

Ever wish there was a brand that was cozy, comfy and chic? Well, we had the luxury of chatting with the queen of just that, Alissa Benishai. Alissa Benisha is the CEO of Phat Buddha and an NYC native. Phat Buddha is all about fashion meets function - something we’re especially passionate about as multitasking Wanderesses. It’s trendy, yet comfortable being able to move with you and your hectic days.

Tell us who you are and what you do?

My name is Alissa Benishai. I was born and raised in NYC, I’m CEO of Phat Buddha and PBX Wellness. In short: CEO, singer and NYC kid.

Phat Buddha is the definition of cozy, but chic. What led you to fill this gap in the fashion industry? Tell us how the brand came to be.

From the start, I have been in business and a creative entrepreneur. Working at WWD (think "Devil Wears Prada") to real estate development, I was able to create something from nothing. Hard work paid off as a result success came to me very quickly.

I graduated from college at 19 and started working and singing professionally. As is typical with an NYC kid, I enjoyed the club scene and the hustle of the day. My life looked like a dream from the outside but on the inside, I was broken and lost. I was on a merry-go-round, spinning out of control. After a hard look in the mirror, I opened my eyes to seek peace elsewhere. It was at this time that I left NYC for yoga training in Hawaii.

This experience enabled me to see my inner and outward beauty and restore my faith in myself. With that revelation, my mission was to give back to others by passing on what I had learned. Phat Buddha was born. Phat Buddha is a fitness brand, where "size" does not matter. Phat Buddha is one size or as we call it, "sizeless." No matter what shape, or size you are, our clothing allows you to "get out there" and feel good… in a chic way, of course. Within a short period of time, the "world was my oyster," having sold Phat Buddha products to both domestic and international retailers. Phat Buddha graced A-List celebs and the covers of VOGUE, Shape, and The NY Times, just to name a few.

What is one staple piece from your line that you would suggest being in everyone's closet?

Do I really have to pick one?! I live in my Sugar Hill tee and Vandam Crop hoodie. They are cool basics with an elevated flair and yummy fabric.

What is the biggest challenge you encountered when starting your business?

I face challenges every day in business. It’s how you navigate through them that is the real test. My biggest challenge so far has been my inability to see what I have accomplished. I am super hard on myself and strive for the utmost perfection, making it difficult for me to bask in the glory of what I have created.

Any tips for entrepreneurs looking to create their own company?

Surround yourself with good people, mentors in and out of your industry, that will help guide you when you feel stuck, anxious, or need to vent. Do one thing for yourself a day that does not involve work or feel like work.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Give back what was so freely given to me. I have had a tremendous amount of help from successful CEOs and they just wanted to see me succeed. When I asked them what I can do for them because of all the advice they gave me, they said to just help others that need guidance.

As a CEO your time is pretty limited. What are the things you will always make time for?

Dating. Singing. Family. Meditation. Working out. Wellness.

Fashion and beauty go hand-in-hand. What is your everyday beauty routine?

Cafe Bustelo. Brush Teeth. Wash Face. Moisturize with Wander Beauty’s Dive In Moisturizer. Asics on. Dressed in Phat Buddha, of course! Out the door.

Name one beauty product you absolutely cannot live without?

Clean and Clear Face Wash and Wander Beauty’s Beach Balm to pretend I am constantly on the beach!

Where can we find you?

Singing at Manhattan School of Music. Strolling on Madison Ave for fashion inspiration. Coffee Fix at Greenwich Hotel Library. Dashing to and from almost every Wellness Spot in NYC! Oh, and you can also follow @phatbuddhawear!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Grateful and excited for this year - I’ll be spending 2020 coining the phrase "humanizing the social experience."

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