You’re a wellness expert. What inspired you to pursue this path?
I started my businesses because I’m passionate about providing more women and their families with safe, effective and luxurious products that they can feel good about using daily. That passion drives my team and I every day. When your mission is greater than you are, you find a way to overcome any obstacles in your way and keep moving forward.
The W.E.L.L. Summit has been a natural extension of this mission. While my skincare brand, Organic Bath Co., focuses on beauty, I didn’t have the answers to the questions that my friends and family were asking about the broader world of wellness. Having spent a great deal of my previous corporate career attending conferences, I knew what worked well, and what didn’t. And I didn’t see an educational conference that focused on wellness at all. I created the W.E.L.L. Summit because I wanted to bring world-class experts together from across the spectrum and look at health and wellness from a 360-degree perspective.
What was the biggest lesson learned in your first year of running Organic Bath Co.?
Patience. Coming from corporate America, I was used to navigating and relying on multiple departments within a company: technology, finance, marketing and so on. Starting a small business, you have to wear many hats – all the hats! – and figure out fast how to do the things you previously depended on others to handle.
Starting a small business, you have to wear many hats – all the hats!
What have been the standout moments of growth for the company?
There are two standout moments that come to mind. The first moment was coming up with our hero product and then refining it. Our first product, Drenched Body Butter, didn’t start off as an award-winning product… we worked hard to refine it and make it perfect. We are always looking for ways to improve our processes to get the result we are looking for. The second moment that stands out is getting into our first retailers. When we first started the company, we went knocking on doors to get people to carry our products. We are now in a position, having built brand awareness, where people are coming to us. That’s a great feeling.
What strategies have been most effective in building your personal brand?
- Authenticity. I personally believe nontoxic beauty, self-care and wellness should be accessible to all. If you come to any of my events you will see all sorts of women and men represented. If you go to any of my companies’ blogs or social media accounts, again, everyone is represented. So many leaders or brands out there talk about diversity, but when you go to their events or look at their marketing you don’t see the diversity they talk about.
- Hustle. I believe in the power of prayer and manifesting – all of those good things. But, those things must go hand in hand with hard work. I’ve been told that I’m a hustler and I love that my hard work is recognized. I don’t accept every meeting request, I don’t have a full dance card if you will – I am, more often than not, head down working my butt off! I have created two national brands that resonate with thousands of people without financing or connections. Hard work and persistence will get you places.
- Networking. I approach interactions with the thought of “what can I offer?” and I don’t believe that anyone owes me anything. Generosity in networking will get your further than working an angle ever will.
How have you integrated wellness into your lifestyle as an entrepreneur?
I believe that wellness is a 360-degree conversation – from what we eat, to the products we put on our skin, to the company we keep and the thoughts we feed ourselves. It’s what I practice on a daily basis. We have the opportunity to make dozens of choices daily, adding up to hundreds of choices every week. Part of my wellness practice is being mindful of these everyday decisions. What am I feeding my spirit with? My mind? My body? Who am I choosing to spend my free time with? It’s not only okay to let go of stagnant relationships, whether they’re romantic or a friendship, that no longer uplift you or don’t help you be the best version of yourself – it’s an integral part of living well.
What are 3 strategies our entrepreneurs can implement to prevent burn out?
Learn what replenishes you and schedule time for that. I am a classic extrovert, yet I have introvert tendencies. I try to look at my week and month and feel happy with that snapshot and make sure the snapshot includes both my introverted and extroverted tendencies. I implement three specific strategies to ensure I meet that goal:
- Schedule self-care. I love reading and typically read about two books a week – not business books, but mysteries. This love affair started with Nancy Drew back when I was a kid. Taking time to curl up with a book on the couch is definitely something I schedule! The key to this is making your time for self-care just as much of a priority as conference calls.
- Work-free zones. The role of an entrepreneur can be 100% consuming, especially in the early years of your business. In my case, my business partner is my significant other. We both make a concerted effort to have work-free moments and dates. You have to take a break from your day to day to see things clearly and to come up with new ideas in order to give your all when needed.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments. I have a great network of friends who are also entrepreneurs that have accomplished amazing things! And yet, I’ve found that our focus tends to be on our next goals, what we haven’t accomplished yet, or the next milestone. When I think of what I’ve accomplished or what my friends have, I’m amazed! It’s so important and gratifying to take moments to acknowledge how far you’ve come and pat yourself on the back. I have a gratitude journal and re-reading it never fails to uplift and center me.
You also founded the W.E.L.L. Summit. Tell us about the Summit and what inspired you to create it.
I saw a need in the market and stepped in to fill it. The need I saw was 3-fold:
- Education. A lot of conferences on the market are focused on selling. The W.E.L.L. Summit is about learning from world-class experts and leaving with actionable steps that you can apply to your life. There were a lot of conferences but nothing focused on wellness from an education standpoint.
- Community. The corporate conferences I’d attended in my former sales career weren’t necessarily nourishing to the soul. With the W.E.L.L. Summit, I want every attendee to leave feeling inspired, positive, uplifted and connected to one another. I think attendees feel that genuine spirit, and they respond to it. There’s nothing like hearing about a friendship that was started at a conference you created, or watching attendees cheer each other on via social media. The #wellsummittribe is alive and thriving!
- Diversity. I noticed that there was a lack of diversity in the wellness space and I wanted to create a conference, tribe and movement geared to being 100% inclusive. From novices to wellness veterans to the well-curious, The W.E.L.L. Summit has something for everyone. No one should be made to feel like an outsider when it comes to their health! So, community, education and empowerment are the driving forces and the true heart of The W.E.L.L. Summit.
What tactics did you use to generate excitement and awareness before your first event?
The inaugural W.E.L.L. Summit took place in Boston. As the owner of a Boston-based company, I had an opportunity to meet a lot of our partners and speakers in person and share my vision with them. We call our community “The W.E.L.L. Summit Tribe,” which is made up of our speakers, attendees, and brands. Everyone in our community is passionate about learning from one another and gathering with other like-minded individuals. The buzz around the W.E.L.L. Summit has really been organic and word of mouth.
How does W.E.L.L Summit engage with audiences on social media?
We have a private Facebook group for attendees and love hanging out with our community over on Instagram.
What are your top 3 tips for developing your brand’s story?
- Write your mission statement. Let it guide all of your actions when building your brand.
- Be authentic. Too many people try to “fake it till they make it.” Be authentic with your journey and your story.
- Check in with your community/customers – ask for constructive criticism and be ready to hear it. At the end of the day, go with your gut and what you set out to do.
What is the most exciting part of the W.E.L.L. Summit for you?
This is such a hard question to answer because I’m excited about it all! Our speakers and brands make it such a magical, unique experience. Being in a community with those looking to live their healthiest, best lives is what I get most excited about. The power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people when you are trying to make shifts in your life cannot be understated. I love seeing the life-long friendships that have come out of the Summit as well as business collaborations. But most of all, I am thrilled that every attendee will walk away with actionable, attainable steps on how to infuse wellness into their daily lives.
What does #EmbraceAmbition mean to you?
Own it. I have big goals and dreams that at times may intimidate me, but I own my ambition and my goals and don’t let anything stop me from working towards them every day. I will let anyone know that I am building my empire. And I encourage the same ambition in you: Give yourself permission to want more, then work toward getting more. Do not be scared to unleash the greatness that is in you and the big goals you will bring to fruition.
Give yourself permission to want more.