At 6:00PM, this Sunday, May 6th, Mariola Zaremba’s transformation will be complete. The former home-healthcare attendant, waitress and employment agency worker – turned super-successful real estate developer – now stands on the cusp of her new career, owner-operator of a 7,000 square foot wellness center on Manhattan Avenue.
Zaremba landed in the US, from Poland, 20 years ago, with a Masters in Special education and an immense entrepreneurial spirit. Five years after her arrival, she formed Belvedere Partners, first achieving success as a broker and then as a developer. It was during the five year process of completing her last development, Eco-Belvedere, at 605 and 607 Manhattan Avenue that the concept for her next project, Awakening New York, was born.
Awakening calls the ground floor of Eco-Belvedere home. The space will include a cafeteria serving healthy snacks, a lounge area with books (which will be open to members and non-members), two exercise rooms, a beauty studio for special events, like birthday parties and bridal events, and a massage room. Instructors came from all over Greenpoint and will offer a full range of services from Yoga and Pilates to Peruvian Shamanic Healing, Life Coaching and Nutritional Counseling.
Zaremba should not be confused for an investor or a hands-off owner, however. She is both a certified yoga instructor and a licensed esthetician and considers Awakening the fulfillment of one of her life’s goals. “I started to transform myself around five years ago,” she said. “I obtained my yoga certification to help people heal themselves like I had done for myself. I started going to spas around the world to explore what real spas looks like. My idea was to bring an extraordinary space into Greenpoint, not just another beauty salon or Yoga studio, but a combination of the many aspects of ourselves with a holistic approach.”
The Center was designed in the same spirit as its LEEDS Silver certified home. “My goal was to make the décor as ecologically friendly as possible,” said Zaremba. Of note are the magnificent woodwork, artwork from famous artists like Rafal Olbinski whose painting inspired the Center’s name and the sculpted logo in the lobby by Janet Cleveland, who is also a tenant in Eco-Belvedere.
But even a successful businesswoman needs a push now and then. For Zaremba, that encouragement came from co-founder Phillia Kim Downs. “I met Phillia and the energy between us was great from the beginning,” said Zaremba. “We started to draw the picture of what to bring, what services to provide and it all came together almost magically.”
Director of Education and Healing and Massage Therapist Ira Macner explained “the goal is to give high quality services at reasonable prices. There were so many people [Zaremba] knew who wanted to be happier, to feel better in their bodies, in their personal relationships and to advance in their professions. She wanted to create a place where everyone would feel comfortable coming.”
To acknowledge the community in which she has achieved so much success, Zaremba plans several givebacks to the community. Zaremba founded the Awakening Foundation to offer low cost or no cost classes and workshops to help build self-esteem, hope and confidence. Female empowerment workshops will be offered twice a month – in English and Polish. Contemporary dance classes are planned for teens and kids and self-esteem workshops for teenagers are on the agenda as well. Zaremba hopes community groups will use her space for meetings.
The community will get its first chance to check out Awakening New York at their grand opening celebration, Sunday May 6th, at 6:00PM. The Center’s service providers will all be on hand to introduce themselves at the event and to offer discounted memberships to attendees. Refreshments from Awakening’s cafeteria will be provided (with wine!) along with gift bags and live Afro-Columbian music.
Awakening New York
605-607 Manhattan Avenue