A Woman You Should Know: Ariel Garten

Much of Ariel Garten’s time is spent on a plane. This month, she’s in China for a mass meditation session, Abu Dhabi for the World Economic Forum, and will bounce between countless cities in North America to speak at various conferences. The scientist-turned-businesswoman raised $18 million to bring Muse, a brainwave-sensing headband that aids meditation, to the market. Hence the extensive travel. “I get to touch down somewhere around the world and tell people how amazing it is to understand and be able to improve your own mind,” Garten says. Muse tracks the brain’s stress levels and provides real-time feedback. While over-stimulation is rampant in today’s world, the headband can help us learn to tune out unnecessary noise and stress. “We blame our devices for so much,” says Garten. “Muse gives you space to pause, so that you can have a choice. It’s revolutionizing the way we understand our brain.”

On merging technology with design: “I never felt a barrier between art and science. I created very easily in the field of art and in the field of science. Even in high school, I had a job at a research lab and a job with a clothing line. The kind of creativity that went into creating a science experiment or creating a garment was very much one and the same.”

On living an extraordinary life: “Building my company is my biggest accomplishment. And with it, came Muse, which I built with co-founders Chris Aimone and Trevor Coleman. Together we created a product that’s helping people every day. Because of this success, I’ve been on CNN four times and controlled the lights on the CN Tower using the mind-power of people from across the country during the Olympics. I’ve had breakfast with Ashton Kutcher, lunch with Depak Chopra and found myself in extraordinary situations.”

On personal satisfaction: “There are two parts: one is seeing how Muse changes people’s lives. The other is what I see going on inside of InteraXon, where fifty people have the opportunity to be empowered to create. They have an outlet to fulfill their highest purpose, however they define it. They come to work because they want to be there.” On the pursuit of excellence: “I don’t think ‘Oh, I might not be good enough,’ and I encourage others not to think this way either. By removing these internal obstacles and barriers, you can throw yourself deeply into the world. To me, that’s excelling.”

Photography by Kourosh Keshiri, hair and makeup by Jodi Urichuk (Plutino), styling by Hazel Ong (Plutino).