These days, there are a whole lot of wellness brands cropping up, so it’s understandable that you might not be sure which to pledge your loyalty to. Aside from learning about the solutions they sell, it can be helpful to know more about the brands’ stories and their founders. So, in honor of Women’s History Month, we’re putting the spotlight on six woman-led wellness brands at The Vitamin Shoppe that are paving the way for other female entrepreneurs.
Whether you want to upgrade your daily multivitamin, incorporate more superfoods into your diet, or take a more natural approach to your hair care, these woman-led wellness brands are some of the most innovative in the industry. Here’s what to know about their products, mission, and the brilliant minds that created them.
MaryRuth’s cheerful packaging stands out in a sea of supplements, but there’s so much more to the brand than its design. Famous for their tasty gummies and liquid supplements (you have to try the Liquid Morning Multivitamin!), the brand’s founder, nutritional consultant MaryRuth Ghiyam, believes in finding small ways every day to take control of your health. “MaryRuth’s aims to support others in their health and wellness goals by helping them create structure within each day by performing micro-actions to achieve their macro goals,” says Ghiyam.
MaryRuth credits time management for her ability to create a profitable business that gives back to its employees and customers. “I believe that increasing our quality of life has to do with learning to manage our time and fill our days with tasks that move us forward but that also bring us joy and happiness,” she says.
One of MaryRuth’s go-to time-management strategies (which she encourages all female entrepreneurs to get serious about) is time blocking. The idea is that by dedicating small pockets of time to your personal and professional priorities, you can achieve balance. “I’ve been time blocking for the last 19 years, and it has allowed me to be a partner to my husband, have four very young children, and grow my business,” says Ghiyam.
If you’re tapped into the health and wellness world, the sustainable superfood moringa is probably on your radar—and Kuli Kuli has been a pioneering force in embracing its many benefits for years now.
It all started when founder Lisa Curtis worked with female farmers in Niger during her time in the Peace Corps. After experiencing the power of moringa, she set out to improve human and planetary health while benefiting small farmers in developing countries by creating and sharing sustainable superfood products (think moringa-infused Energy Shakes and Super Gummies).
After overcoming all sorts of hurdles in creating Kuli Kuli—from creating a supply chain from scratch to being written off by investors—Curtis learned to embrace the following idea: Take every “no” as a “not yet.” In fact, it’s the biggest piece of advice she offers other female founders. “I make a list of all the investors who’ve told me ‘no’ and I update them with our progress every quarter,” she says. “During our Series B fundraise, someone who told me ‘no’ five years ago ended up investing $2M into Kuli Kuli! Persistence truly pays off.”
Body Complete Rx
After embarking on a wellness and weight-loss journey, Samia Gore couldn’t find weight-management and healthy lifestyle supplements that lived up to her standards (think high-quality, plant-based ingredients). She also struggled to find brands that consumers from all walks of life—particularly Black and Brown communities—could see themselves in and relate to. So, she founded Body Complete Rx, which offers a full system of supplements to support weight management and healthy living, to fill those voids.
Gore, who witnessed many family members suffer from chronic health issues, has always been motivated by helping people live their longest, healthiest lives. “Our brand stands for living,” she says. “We want our consumers to go after their best and healthiest life.”
Being a female founder is not without its immense challenges, which is why Gore offers other women entrepreneurs two key pieces of advice. First, “know your ‘why’ and never lose sight of it,” she says. Staying connected to the motivation behind your hard work is what keeps you going when the going gets tough. And second, have a trustworthy inner circle to lean on when you’re in the thick of a difficult time. “It’s important to identify people early on who you can trust and talk to during those times,” she says. “Everyone has their days and it’s ok to lean on trusted friends or other founders who understand.”
On a quest for hair and body products that utilized only natural ingredients and delivered amazing results, Janell Stephens founded Camille Rose—and has been creating gourmet hair and body treatments “made with love” in order to help other women feel and look beautiful ever since.
Stephens’ passion is evident—but she’ll be the first to share that she came up against plenty of challenges in bringing a brand to life as a Black female founder. “I had to overcome the challenge of being taken seriously and to be seen as a leader in this industry,” she says. “I had to prove myself many times over to be given the same opportunities as others.”
Stephens’ go-to advice for other women pursuing their own business start-ups is simple: “Take the first step and believe!”
There are a lot of names in the CBD game, but Winged stands out from the crowd because the brand is by women, for women. Founded by Jessica Mulligan after she experienced the profound benefits of CBD and adaptogens, Winged formulates solutions for modern women who want to sleep better, stress less, have better sex, and improve their overall quality of life. (Fun fact: The name Winged is inspired by the idea when women aren’t held down by stress or anxiety, they can take flight and truly do anything.)
Mulligan has plenty of lessons learned to share with other female entrepreneurs. One big one? Focus on business-critical tasks that require your specific skill set, and delegate the rest (including anything administrative in nature).
Perhaps most importantly, Mulligan shares a reminder for any female entrepreneur dealing with all of the ups and downs that come with launching a business: “Success is rarely linear. There are a lot of ups and downs on the way to the top. Just keep swimming.”
A pioneer in the wellness world for 25 years now, NB Pure (which stands for Natural. Better. Pure.) produces natural, effective, and convenient foundations for wellness. You might know the brand for their Mag O7 Cleanse, but that’s just one of their many gut-forward offerings, all of which are designed to help consumers solve a problem or achieve a goal.
Founder and CEO Danna Pratte has been in the business of helping to improve people’s health and well-being for a long time—and knowing her work contributes to the journeys of so many people keeps her going. “I can’t begin to describe how rewarding it is to wake up every day knowing that my work and career path has such a positive impact on people’s lives,” she says.
Pratte is a well of entrepreneurial wisdom. Some of her greatest advice for others? Learn to take a step back and trust the people you’ve surrounded yourself with, and always stay true to yourself. “Remembering to remain authentic to both personal and business values is crucial to overall success, she says. “And always lead by example!”