In a bustling corner of LA’s fitness landscape, a wellness brand by the name of ELAVI has quietly been making waves, by making superfood cashew butters.
A chance encounter at a gym in San Francisco brought together two kindred spirits, Michelle Razavi and Nikki Elliott. The pair began as friends, both of them instructing fitness classes. They were in their mid-twenties and feeling unfulfilled by their office jobs, seeking to build careers in wellness. Serendipity at its finest.
ELAVI's genesis can be traced back to a pivotal moment in Yosemite. The co-founders' shared love for the outdoors and a burning desire to promote wellness converged in that granite wonderland.
"ELAVI emerged from a moment of inspiration atop Half Dome in Yosemite,” Michelle said. “We dreamed up the idea while hiking."
The duo's fervent belief in conscious nutrition forms the cornerstone of ELAVI. The founders highlight the disheartening state of mainstream food and the detrimental effects of fillers, preservatives, and cheap ingredients — emphasizing that profit often trumps consumer health.
"Learning about gut health, elimination diets, and food intolerances opened my eyes to how impactful food is to fixing health issues," Michelle said.
Every ingredient ELAVI uses (and avoids) in their superfood cashew butters is designed to make you feel your best. “No diet culture, no shame,” ELAVI states on their website, “Just real ingredients that keep your belly happy.”
ELAVI’s Blue Spirulina Vanilla Superfood Cashew Butter features: cashews, hempseed oil, blue spirulina, organic dates, vanilla, monk fruit, and organic natural vanilla flavor.
While the ingredients in their Dark Chocolate Superfood Cashew Butter are: cashews, dark chocolate (cocoa beans, coconut sugar, cocoa butter), hempseed oil, dates, vanilla and monk fruit.
The brand's foundation is rooted in a deep appreciation for movement. "I absolutely love yoga,” said Michelle. “My body craves it daily and I feel more connected and grounded when I do it."
She begins her days with a rejuvenating yoga flow and meditation, while evenings are dedicated to either teaching yoga or engaging in mindful treadmill walks. "It's a routine that not only nurtures my body but also centers my mind," she added.
Nikki loves the efficiency of teaching or taking a great fitness class and lifting heavy dumbbells! But miles on her road bike fill her up the way no gym class can. Her passion for outdoor movement further underscores the brand's commitment to holistic well-being.
Amid the chaos of entrepreneurship, the co-founders have discovered solace in laughter and spontaneity. From quirky TikTok videos to unconventional food pairings, these moments highlight their shared light-hearted essence.
"Running a small business is non-stop chaos,” said Michelle. “Sometimes we'll let loose filming Tiktok videos in the name of 'marketing' and show our silly side.”
Nikki's perspective adds a layer to the ELAVI story. "My outlook of what we're capable of as a team has expanded significantly," she said. "What we've managed to accomplish by putting our heads together… Google searches, Youtube videos… tapping our personal and professional networks, and surrounding ourselves with amazing advisors is nothing short of impressive. We are writing the playbook as we go, in our own unique style, amidst a lot of adversity and very limited resources; I could not be more proud of our grit and resilience and know it will continue to lead us to success in the future."
"ELAVI has transformed our lives, infusing us with newfound empowerment and resilience," Michelle added. For her, running a business has inspired a mindset shift, “What's the worst that can happen? They say no?”
As a last note from Nikki, she reminds us: “Do not let perfection hold you back from getting started. There will be a lot of iterations and pivots that happen, but you need to take the plunge first to get really close to your idea and fuel the passion behind it."
Ace Curtis is a plus-sized outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys hiking in Northern California and taking photos of many tree-covered hillsides. She was born and raised in Mt Shasta, CA at the base of a 14,163’ mountain. She is currently working with her husband on creating an off-grid lifestyle on 2.5 acres just a few miles from where she started life, 36 years ago.