From Soil to City

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If you haven’t heard, Local Roots NYC CSA members this winter are receiving a Membership Benefits Card, which offers our members discounts at community-oriented small businesses.

We were so psyched when one of our CSA members, Beth Weinstein (photo above) approached us to offer our members a discount on running clothes from her Brooklyn-based company, OnlyAtoms.

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Here’s an interview with Beth about why she began OnlyAtoms, and what makes her local business worthy of our support!

Why started business:

I spent over 10 years working in fashion. But running is my true passion.  While I was working for big brands and famous designers, I dreamed of one day combining my love for running and talent in fashion by bringing a well-designed, high-quality, unique, non-mass-market running brand to life.  Since I was a kid I knew I wanted my own business. I spent most my career knowing I wanted my own business. I spent 8 years dreaming of this, knowing one day I would combine my passion and talents to follow my dream.

Running got me through the hardest time in my life, including the sudden loss of my father ten years ago. I was training for my first marathon when my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The last weeks of his life were the worst weeks of my life, but I kept on running.

I ran my first marathon only two months after his death. Crossing the finish line, there was happiness, connectedness, and positive energy from the other runners, from the satisfaction of achieving my goals, from my family and friends. Happiness, despite going that rough time in my life. It was at that moment I realized how amazing running was…realized that if I hadn’t had running, and friends I run with, I might not have been able to get through the tough times in life. In this, I found the meaning of life, true happiness, inner peace and love. I realized that running is just a metaphor for life:  if you can run, you can find happiness…if you can run a race, you do anything you set out to do.

Life is like running a marathon…mile 14, you doubt you can finish. But you keep going. More doubt and fears come again at mile 20. You keep going, you persevere. And again at mile 23.5, even again at mile 24.75. Doubt. Fears. Keep going. Eventually, at mile 26.2, the finish line, you’ve achieved a huge goal, worked through pains and challenges, and wonder why you ever doubted yourself. (And then you want to go run another marathon again!) Eventually you run, doubt, fear and keep going more and more, marathons become easy and fun and the fears and doubts dissipate more over time. Like any of life’s challenges, or goals we set, if give them positive intentions and put our hearts into them, we can overcome and achieve anything.

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How does NYC motivate me:

It’s the people and the energy! I love people, which is one of the reasons I love running (groups, races, etc). I also have lots of energy, also probably why I like running. I’ve been to 32 countries and NYC is like nowhere else. As challenging as it can be, this is also something I love about NYC — it attracts amazing people doing big things in the world (like YOU Wen-Jay!), and I love being around them. Someone also

said something to me once about “… it’s easy to find peace and happiness in the quiet out in the woods, but a real challenge is to find that same peace in NYC…if you can do that, you’re on the path to enlightenment” Ha!  I always aim to maintain peace, but I also try to get out of the city for balance. 😉

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Why important to eat local?

As an athlete who also loves to eat, I’ve always been pretty conscious of what I put into my body. And as someone who’s worked with creating new products for a very long time, it’s been natural for me to want to know where things come from, where and how they’re produced, and the thought that goes into them. This includes food!  Eating and buying local foods (and all products) not only tastes better, but it tends to be cleaner and healthier. It’s also better for the planet, expends less energy and waste to get to us, and an overall more sustainable way of living.  And on a deeper level, eating local also represents our true nature as humans to support each other, our closer communities and everyone contributing to it.

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What makes company & product different:

We are on a mission to make the Worlds Best Running Shorts — almost there! 😉  We are real runners so we know what’s needed in running and workout clothes. But we’re also Brooklyn-ites who want to look good, and go out to brunch after a run. Or gear is true function meets Brooklyn style – clean, understated, high quality and cool. But function is always first – we put a ton of attention into the details:  a big zip pocket and extra pockets that fit everything you need to run 15 minutes, or run a marathon. We use high quality performance fabrics, and have true performance details like reflective trims and all flat seams. Cool colors. Better fits. Lower necklines. All locally made in our NYC garment factory – sewn by real humans with attention and care.