Finding Your Authentic Self: The Journey of @shanarehwald and Me-est Me

Tell us more about who you are and what you do!
I’m Shana, an extroverted social butterfly turned cozy introvert, and small business owner. In March 2021, I became an accidental entrepreneur when I created a journal using the tools that helped me reconnect with myself after I got divorced and quit my established career path in the same year… which happened to be the year 2020. Since launching my seminal product, the Me-est Me Journal, I have helped thousands build self-awareness, quiet the noise of the world, and embrace short-term discomfort to move towards their true desires. While I sell a physical product, I also offer digital and IRL workshops for communities, customers, and teams to support people through their own transitions, and help them connect more deeply with themselves.
What led you to create Me-est Me?
I built my career doing social media and marketing for fashion and wellness brands like Alo Yoga and Grayson, but after a decade of working in corporate social, I was burnt out and wanted to pivot. In February 2020, I quit my job to pursue working in events. Turns out my timing wasn’t great here because one month later, the pandemic hit and event roles were no longer on the table. Around that same time, I was in the midst of a divorce with my ex-husband, who was my partner for over a decade. Suddenly, the two things I identified with most—my career and my marriage—had totally shifted and I had to figure out what to do next. I decided to take myself on a major self discovery journey to figure out what I wanted for my life. During that time, I was seeing two different therapists, listening to all the Esther Perel, and journaling all the time. After sharing that it was my life motto to be the me-est me, to show up as the most authentic, most comfortable version of me in every situation and give you the space to show up that way too, a friend said "have you ever thought about doing some sort of programming around that?” I felt inspired to explore what programming might look like and revisited the tools that helped me reconnect with myself when I really needed them. I decided to create a journal using the tools that I used so I could support others who might be experiencing something similar.
What is your favorite career highlight?
After working in digital throughout my career, I had to learn a whole new industry to create a physical product. It was a massive learning, but after starting my own business, I now believe I can do anything. Launching Me-est Me gave me the confidence to trust my inner knowing, to lean into my me-est me, and to follow what feels aligned. My life has had a hard reset since 2019, and while it hasn’t been easy rebuilding, it’s been so rewarding. I moved from LA to Austin, TX, have a beautiful and fulfilling relationship with an incredible partner, and a part time job that aligns with my business and my me-est me. I feel so grateful to be consistently affirmed that this is what I have been put on this earth to do… and press features in NY Mag, Who What Wear, and Refinery29 help too!
What are some tools outside of your journal that help you reconnect with yourself?
I have a very consistent morning practice of getting quiet, tuning in, and reconnecting with myself through meditation and working out. I’m also a part of a manifestation group called Abundant Collective, led by Jenni Adishian. Manifestation is a huge way that I’m able to reconnect with myself. Setting traditional S.M.A.R.T. Goals in corporate settings was always difficult for me, so being able to set goals through my manifestations has been such a major tool in my toolkit. 
What advice would you give to someone looking to change career paths?
It’s never easy being a beginner again, but it’s important to remember that everyone is a beginner at some point. I would recommend immersing yourself in podcasts and listening, or following people who are doing the thing you want to be doing to better understand what it takes. I also think it’s important to tune into yourself and figure out what your unique gifts are, and how you might be able to use those in a future career. Getting vulnerable and connecting with people on a deep level was always a natural gift for me. I never saw that leading to a career because I never saw people in that role growing up. Being able to see representation out in the world of people who are thought leaders, entrepreneurs, facilitators, and speakers expanded my idea of what I could do and gave me the confidence to pursue a new path.
What's coming down the pipeline for your business?
I’m leaning into corporate wellness and just launched Me-est Me workshops where I’m able to support teams in this work. Additionally, Me-est Me got accepted to the Bulletin Incubator at NY NOW - very exciting!! I’ll be showcasing a new product there and I cannot wait to share this next project with the world. 
What do you like about your Just Black Denim jeans? 
I love how soft and easy to wear these jeans are! The styles Just Black Denim offers are classic, but versatile.  I have the Everything Boot Jean in Black and the Fall Flare in White, and both cuts are different, but each so flattering. I grew out of an older pair of white flares and was over the moon to find a new pair. Now that I live in Austin, I’m always trying to add in a bit more of that western vibe.
Follow Shana on Instagram @shanarehwald
July 11, 2023