When Dr. Athena Perrakis, founder of Sage Goddess, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she knew she had to make a life-changing choice. She left behind a successful career in educational leadership to guide those who wished to develop and maintain a consistent and sustainable spiritual practice. I had a chance to speak with Dr. Athena about why she made this career change, what her favorite part of starting Sage Goddess has been, and what the future holds.

LM: Let's start by giving me a snapshot of you and the company.

AP: I'm Dr. Athena Perrakis and I founded Sage Goddess in 2011. Sage Goddess brings the magic of metaphysics to life for people around the world. We offer exciting online programs and classes, meaningful tools and products, and a safe, shared online community where everyone can explore their spirituality. Through expansion of knowledge and consciousness, Sage Goddess helps people experience deeper healing, joy, and abundance. If you ask most people today, they will tell you they are seeking more happiness, fulfillment, and meaning. We are collectively outgrowing the limits of our level of conscious development.

LM: Tell me about your origin story. You had a successful career in educational leadership. Why leave it behind? Why did you start this company?

AP: Like most people, I started out doing what I knew and what I was good at. That's not a bad way to go through life; if you follow your strengths you will find your purpose. The two are inextricably linked. My passion and strengths were working with people, writing, and teaching. I worked in my family business until our restaurant unexpectedly burned down during my senior year of high school. Then I kept serving in restaurants through college and, in graduate school, I began teaching college freshmen, when I was just 23 myself. By 29 I had earned my PhD and was working as a university professor when I was recruited as a corporate consultant. I was successful, but the universe course-corrected me in 2011 when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, just months after launching Sage Goddess. At that time, my children were very young. I made a life changing choice. I knew I needed to do what I loved, and not what I should, or even could do. I had been studying metaphysics for 20 years at the time I founded Sage Goddess, the history and use of gems, the art of aromatherapy, and practices of ancient religions and incorporation of their rituals. Sage Goddess ultimately became the vehicle that allowed me to bring what I know, do, and have to those who can benefit from it.

LM: What is your favorite part about starting this company?

AP: Primarily what I enjoy is seeing how dreams come true - not just my own, in starting Sage Goddess and watching it thrive, but in witnessing and supporting others as they come to realize their own agency and power to manifest what they seek. It's exciting when I/we can help by opening a door and holding it open while they walk through. My favorite part of this work is seeing people transform and become so proud of themselves in the process. They realize they can make their own dreams come true, and in fact they had the power to do so all along. Sage Goddess is a beautiful catalyst.

LM: How did you think of the concept and what/who was your inspiration?

AP: It all started with a sage bundle, literally. A friend wanted to buy one of my handmade rose and white sage bundles, so I made it available online. It sold to someone else before my friend could claim it. This repeated, and Sage Goddess grew from there. Slowly, I started to add new products. I thought to myself, well, if they enjoyed the bundle perhaps they would enjoy my favorite perfume. I had been making my own perfume, a blend of tuberose and patchouli, since I became introduced to aromatherapy at seventeen. My signature scent, Dea, was launched and became one of our all-time best sellers. My inspiration was and continues to be beauty. Beauty is magic, and beauty is medicine. The human eye seeks what is beautiful without having to be guided. Beauty is an energy stream. If you let it, you can allow beauty to guide your life path and your decisions.

LM: What is your take on the future of Sage Goddess? What's next?

AP: In the coming year my first two books will be available. They're being translated into multiple languages and audio books, which will expand our footprint in exciting ways. I look forward to touring and meeting our community and connecting in person. My online courses are exploring The World of Magic this year by focusing on one ancient civilization per month. The curriculum is rich and complex, as we explore the essential oils, herbs, incenses, crystals, gemstones, ritual history, and magical lineage of each country. I foresee the courses expanding in the coming years. Our new line of essential oils, called AroMagic, launched with great success and my online course in aromatherapy by the same name teaches the ancient art of perfuming, incense making, and herbal healing. I foresee more books, more courses, more live events with our community, and more travel ahead for me as we begin the process of designing our own jewelry line and exploring other new lines of products that are aligned with our mission to keep magic alive.

There's a lot to look forward to for this beautiful brand.