The Founders of Wellspace on Making their Partnership Work
We feel like the women from Wellspace Co are a bit like our health and wellness counterparts. Not only are they in the food industry like us, but the two of them launched Wellspace Co around the same time we launched Piquant Marketing. So we were curious to pick their brains about how their partnership worked, what's next for food and health trends, and where the wellness community that they built is going next.
What is Wellspace Co and what is your vision for the business?
Wellspace Co. is health and wellness focused website that provides accessible, thoughtful and inspiring content. We like to refer to it as an “online collaborative wellness community”, as we constantly have fellow nutritionists, naturopaths and other industry experts weighing in and contributing articles. Our main philosophy is to keep things simple, so always try to share advice, tips and recipes that people can actually use in their day-to-day life. In terms of our vision for the business, we’d like to continue to see the website grow, expand our partnerships with health and wellness brands we support and continue to collaborate with other like-minded people in the industry. We’ve also started to do some social media work with other brands, so would like to continue to explore where that goes.
You two were good friends before you became business partners. How has your relationship evolved and what have you learned?
We actually met about two years ago when we were both studying holistic nutrition. We had an instant bond because we shared similar backgrounds of growing up in the Toronto area, had both grown sick of our corporate jobs, and while being faced with health issues and challenges of our own, had discovered holistic nutrition and the healing powers of food. We were friends before we started Wellspace, but still didn’t actually know each other all that well. What we did know is that we shared a similar vision for what Wellspace could be and had different, but complementary skill sets, so thought it was a good fit. These are two things we have really grown to appreciate.
The working relationship works better when everyone knows what they’re are contributing and the skills complement each other. We also share a mutual respect for one another, and understand that life comes up, we get busy, we make mistakes, so to have someone who is supportive and understanding is important too. It’s also incredibly important to find a business partner whose values and work ethic jive with yours.
As entrepreneurs, marketers, and with your nutritional background, what do you wish people knew before they start working with you? Are there any misconceptions that partners or followers have about your content or business?
Above anything else, our goal is to always remain authentic. Because we are holistic nutritionists, and not just health and wellness bloggers, we need to always be able to stand behind the products we promote and the advice we give. We’ve had to say no to working with brands because there are certain ingredients in their product we can’t behind or because of a lack of brand transparency. This doesn't necessarily mean the product is bad, but if it’s not something we’d be comfortable using in our everyday lives then we can’t suggest other people do.
For anyone contacting nutritionists or experts in the health and wellness field for collaborations, we would say, make sure the product is the right fit and have some nutritional info on-hand to provide. Any good “expert” should have some questions. In terms of misconceptions, people often assume you eat a certain way because you are a nutritionist. We both have diets that make sense for us. Neither of us believe in putting a title on our diets, because what works one day might not work the next, in the same way that what works for one person might not work for another.
2017 was all about fermented foods, activated charcoal, and collagen supplements (at least it seemed that way to us!). What do you see as the next big health food trends for 2018?
Medicinal mushrooms seem to have really taken off this year, and with Four Sigmatic putting out a new product what seems like every day. We think they are going to continue to become much more mainstream. Adaptogens in general are likely also going to become more prevalent. Maca has definitely made its way into the mainstream, but we see ashwagandha, rhodiola and the other adaptogens becoming more popular for their stress-reducing powers.
While bone broth maintains its popularity, we’ve started to see a lot of brands launching bone broth protein powders, which we are excited to try. In terms of diets, we are likely going to see more people trying the low FODMAPs diet (to reduce IBS symptoms), The Autoimmune Protocol (as more people figure out the correlation to diet and autoimmune disease), high fat diets like the Keto diet (for weight loss, brain clarity) and a grain-free diet (to manage hormonal imbalances, avoid lectins, etc.). And of course with these diets come a bunch of new and trendy products to try.
What's next for Wellspace Co?
Most importantly we want to be able to create more content -- whether that’s recipes, interviews, restaurant guides, etc. We want to be a resource for people looking approachable nutrition advice, for the best gluten-free restaurants in Vancouver or for creative alternatives to coffee, for example. We love collaborating with brands and sharing them with our readers, so will be looking to continue expanding in that area as well. We also hope to continue to expand in workplace wellness, retreats and workshops, and really just continue to grow through various outlets and hopefully reach more people in wider audiences.