athena hewett & monastery made

athena hewett & monastery made

From Med Spa to Natural Skincare Innovation

we're creating space for the brains behind the brands we love, and asking good questions along the way. the result is a deep dive into the how and why of brand-building, from blueprints to launch day, customers as community and the detours in between. big lessons, easy listening.

In this episode of Read Receipt, we are excited to welcome Athena Hewett, the creator of Monastery Made, a skincare brand renowned for its small-batch, botanical formulations. Athena's journey began in San Francisco, where she transitioned from art school to beauty school, eventually becoming an esthetician with a passion for aromatherapy and natural ingredients. Drawing inspiration from her grandmother's practice of pressing oils and her decade-long experience in a med spa, Athena founded Monastery Made to bring pure, effective skincare products to a broader audience. Join us as Athena shares her story of building Monastery Made, the challenges of running a business, and her dedication to maintaining high standards of quality and sustainability.

Tune in to discover Athena's entrepreneurial journey, the inspiration behind Monastery Made, and what's next for this botanical skincare brand.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation!

the Show Notes


Athena Hewett, founder of Monastery Made, shares her inspiring journey from art school dropout to creating a renowned botanical skincare brand. With over 20 years of experience as an esthetician in San Francisco, Athena combines her love for aromatherapy and natural ingredients to develop effective skincare products. Monastery Made's formulations are inspired by Athena's grandmother's practice of pressing oils and her desire to provide pure, plant-based skincare solutions. Athena discusses the evolution of Monastery Made, the importance of high-quality ingredients, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on her business. The conversation explores her entrepreneurial experiences, the development of Monastery Made's products, and her vision for the future.


botanical skincare, entrepreneurship, brand building, natural ingredients, aromatherapy, Monastery Made, Athena Hewett


  1. Athena Hewett’s journey from art school to founding Monastery Made is driven by a passion for natural, botanical skincare.
  2. Monastery Made focuses on creating high-quality skincare products with pure, effective ingredients.
  3. Building a brand involves understanding market needs, listening to consumer feedback, and maintaining a clear vision.
  4. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges, but also opportunities for brands like Monastery Made to adapt and thrive.
  5. Athena’s dedication to quality and sustainability drives the success of Monastery Made.

Sound Bites:

  • "Monastery Made started as a way to bring pure, botanical skincare to a broader audience."
  • "Our goal is to create skincare products that are both natural and highly effective, using the highest quality ingredients."
  • "Building a brand requires understanding market needs and staying true to your vision."
  • "The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of adaptability and innovation in business."
  • "Monastery Made is about providing high-quality, natural skincare solutions that people can trust and feel good about using."


00:00 - Athena’s Background and Journey-
Athena introduces herself and shares her journey from art school to becoming an esthetician and founding Monastery Made.

08:01 - The Inspiration Behind Monastery Made-
Athena discusses the personal and professional experiences that inspired her to create Monastery Made and the early days of the brand.

12:30 - Transitioning from Med Spa to Entrepreneurship-
Athena explains her transition from working in a med spa to starting a botanical skincare brand and the lessons learned.

23:17 - The Importance of High-Quality Ingredients-
The conversation delves into how Monastery Made emphasizes the use of pure, effective botanicals in its products.

25:30 - Challenges and Opportunities During the Pandemic-
Athena talks about the challenges of pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic and the opportunities it presented.

27:26 - Commitment to Quality and Sustainability-
Athena highlights Monastery Made’s dedication to creating high-quality, sustainable skincare products.

31:23 - Building a Strong Brand Identity-
The discussion explores the importance of a strong brand identity and connecting with consumers authentically.

36:02 - The Vision for Monastery Made-
Athena shares her vision for the future of Monastery Made and her goals for the brand.

47:37 - Patience and Persistence in Entrepreneurship-
Athena emphasizes the need for patience and persistence in achieving long-term success.

51:43 - Final Thoughts and Insights-
Athena wraps up the conversation with final thoughts and valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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