Meet the Entrepreneur Behind the Women-Only Island, SuperShe
When Kristina Roth isn’t busy catching flights, she somehow manages to head up an all-female island.
That's right, an island for women only.
Roth is the founder of SuperShe Island, a health-focused luxury destination off of Finland that's exclusive to women. The 7.8-acre island is part of a wider business founded by Roth that includes a lifestyle blog and networking group. The former New Yorker purchased the private island in the Baltic after leaving her job as the CEO of a consultancy business in 2016.
For Roth, the island is solely for encouraging women to build themselves up to be confident enough to do whatever they want in life. Her ultimate goal is to gather women from around the world to come together to relax and grow. But don't assume Roth hates men — she doesn’t. As she puts it, being on vacation with men can sometimes be a distraction for women — "whether it’s to put on a swipe of lipstick or grab for a cover-up."
According to Roth, women tend to be sidetracked by the presence of men and therefore she wanted to give woman another option in focusing on and reinventing themselves. The island opens June 15, 2018 and for 12 weeks, up to 120 women can expect a week of activities including yoga, meditation, healthy eating, cooking classes, fitness classes — all, of course, without men.
Roth sees the island as a way to help women to improve their lives (whatever that means for them — be it financially, emotionally or spiritually) through health and fitness. The goal is to create a space for women to spend time with other women.
So far, Roth has received interest from all over the world, with over 3,000 requests for this season alone, but it's worth noting that it's not possible to automatically book a spot on a SuperShe retreat. Applicants must undergo an interview and explain why they're motivated to join the SuperShe community. Roth explained more to TPG:
What was the inspiration behind SuperShe Island?
I realized I worked within a male-dominated field — including all of my hobbies [except] kiteboarding and snowboarding. I decided to start SuperShe because I had a deep need to meet and connect with amazing women around the world.
What was your biggest challenge in getting this idea off the ground?
The biggest challenge of the process was the construction and renovation of the island. The island is located in the Baltic Sea, so it was a lot of work to build the build the roads and ferry all the heavy materials over [on barges].
Why did you choose Finland?
I consider myself a well-traveled person, especially since I moved from Europe to New York in 2003. I love the Caribbean and I love Hawaii, but I was personally very surprised by how at home I felt in Finland. After a random trip in 2017, I visited some friends and I fell in love with the area and one of the locals. I felt that if I'm in love with this place, I'm pretty sure that world will love it too.
What was an absolute must-have for SuperShe retreat?
A must was that it needed to be close to the water. I'm really big on water. But what makes this island so special is that it features beautiful evergreens; they bring forth an awesome tranquility. It's very special and relaxing.
Who is a SuperShe?
For me, a SuperShe is someone who is really striving to be mentally, emotionally and financially independent. It's a woman who knows what she wants for herself; I’m looking for someone who is independent and has positive energy. She may be a young woman from Texas who needs a break from her tech job where she's surrounded by men; [or] the mom of three children who just needs some “me time;" or a woman who just really loves to travel and wants to be around like-minded women from different cultures.
What are the criteria for guests of SuperShe Island?
We've definitely had a lot of applications from different parts of the world and from the LGBT community. We're inclusive and we're going to make sure that if it's the right person, then [nothing else] matters. We're not looking for people in a particular profession or who live a certain lifestyle. [It's about] personality, fun and really being in sync with the SuperShe culture.
What are some of the rules of the island?
Besides no men on the island, the main framework of the island is to disconnect and be your natural self. Unlike most other retreats, there is no alcohol or sugary foods served on the island; the goal is to be completely health-oriented. Just get energy from the environment and from the people around you and have fun.
How much is the retreat?
A stay at SuperShe island starts at $3,500 and includes all-inclusive amenities. For guests willing to share a space, the rates start at $3,500; for those looking for a cabin to themselves, the rate will can go up to $7,000. The price includes helipad access to the island.
Are there trip packages in place?
No, as of now all prices are based on the room accommodations. However, I’m currently working on partnerships with airlines and we’re going to see who we can get. I love Delta and have status with Delta; unfortunately, they don't fly into Finland, and it needs to be an airline that flies directly from New York to Finland.
What are your future goals and plans for the SuperShe brand?
Seeing how much positive feedback I received through the island — and it's not even open yet! — I'm very excited to take this global. I’m looking to make smaller retreats that will be open to women all around the world. I think SuperShe Island is something that’s needed and wanted — and I am looking to expand it even further.