We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Maatta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
This question really took all the ones before it and put them together. I was NOT happy, which is exactly why I chose to start a business creating retreats. Toward the end of 2020, I needed my own retreat desperately, and I knew I couldn’t be the only one. I needed to attend an event with other people and learn about myself, learn modalities that I could use when I wasn’t feeling all together, and take those back to my every day life.
When I was first getting the idea, I decided to jump in not only with both feet, but with my entire being. I created an LLC and a website within a week and began to hold monthly meetings with likeminded women. I knew that I could get a core group together that would be interested in health and wellbeing. I called my meetings BYOB events (Be You Only Better). Women could get together to learn about the latest and greatest in spirituality, health, astrology, shamanic healing, breathwork, meditation, and more and then have a glass of wine and socialize afterwards. I figured these would then be my clients to feed into my retreats.
I was very ambitious at first, deciding to host my retreats only 4-5 months after the idea popped into my head. And not only that, I was going to host one a month for at least the first three months! It turned into two retreats in February and April 2021 (I canceled the one in the middle because I needed the break!) I brought together experts from the valley to help me organize a 3-day Finding Clarity retreat where you could stay on property or commute.
It came together and I was really proud of it. I was able to introduce different ideas to the community…ways they could feel better, ways they could know themselves, ways they could change their lives. We had breakthroughs, tears, and a sense of togetherness.
I ran other events during the year, hosting a teen retreat, more BYOB’s, and a Self-Care Saturday. Women (and a few men) really wanted to know more. Turns out, they were seeking happiness just like I had been.
Helping others feel better was always the key to the retreats, the monthly events, and now my Positively Shop store. I am always learning and always seeking new modalities. Currently, I am doing training in sound therapy with singing bowls and gongs, teaching Pilates at Civana Wellness Resort in Carefree, and Health Coaching (as I was certified with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2020.) This constant need for new information is definitely what keeps me going, keeps me grounded, and keeps me happy.
I have my routines that I keep to (cold showers, journaling, meditation, acupressure mat, grounding outside), but I often get out of routine and create new ones. I am always learning and won’t stop! That’s my goal and I love sharing the knowledge and new information I learn with those I encounter! That is my happiness.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
First of all, I have never considered myself a creative person. Positively Shop was started with many items that I sold at my retreats…candles, skin products, jewelry, shirts, etc. For my birthday, I was given a candle in a recycled champagne bottle and I loved it, it was so unique! I wanted to try and make one myself. I decided to learn the process and set out to make my very own candle with 100% soy wax and all-natural scents. I knew that candles could be toxic, and I love burning them, so if anything, I thought I could just make healthier candles for myself.
A lot of trial and error happened with breaking the bottles, finding the right wicks, figuring out the pouring temperatures, etc. Luckily, quite a few bar managers (and even friends) were able to hold bottles for me, so I had a lot of inventory to work with when I was getting started. Once I turned out a finished product, friends started showing more interest…I was asked to make quite a few for gifts. It turned into something that I can do on my own at home. Even better, I find the whole process very satisfying…taking bottles that would’ve been thrown in the recycle bin and making them into beautiful candles that people actually want!
I’m excited to start on a new candle lines for specific Intentions. More than ever, I just want to make and sell products that bring joy to others. Some of the other products sold at Positively.Shop are geared toward spirituality, some towards health, but it has always been of interest to just find things that make me (and now others) feel better!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I might be biased now because recently, I started teaching Pilates up at Civana Wellness Resort in Carefree. This resort is truly special and offers all kinds of classes in one spot! Much like many resorts in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, it offers a great spa, restaurant, pool, accommodations…but it also goes beyond with 25-30 classes throughout each day. These are not your typical fitness classes…of course, they have classical, authentic Pilates classes on Wednesdays and Fridays 😉 but they also have a walking labyrinth where you can do a guided meditation, hydrotherapy pools, intention and gratitude circles, breath-work, meditations, yoga, hiking, mountain biking, myofascial release, sound healing…I could go on and on! This is all in the very relaxing, serene environment of the desert surrounded with so much natural beauty.
I love so much about what the Scottsdale area has to offer, but you can get nightlife and restaurants almost anywhere. This is a truly unique experience where you can connect to yourself in nature.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Meeting Dona Morgan and Juliana Bishop really shaped where I was back in 2019. I was going through a lot in my personal life and seeing Juliana (Astrologer & Herbalist) at the time. I mentioned something called Ho’oponopono to her, and she immediately put me in contact with Dona Morgan (Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Tarot Reader). I continued to see both women and both were instrumental in my BYOB events and retreats…immediately agreeing to help and be a part of them however they could. You canNOT do things alone (no matter how hard I tried.) It’s easier and more fun when you have others anyway!