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Aliza Polkes
Copywriter & Editor @ Yotpo
January 21st, 2020

The Love Club With Lo Bosworth [TRANSCRIPT]

Bosworth breaks down the Love Wellness approach to owning their brand community

Table Of Contents

At Yotpo’s Desination:D2C Conference on September 12, 2019, Lindsay Silberman, Lifestyle Blogger and Contributing Editor at Town & Country, sat down with Lo Bosworth, Founder & CEO of Love Wellness, to discusses how she was inspired to create The Love Club, an on-site community for customers to connect and share experiences.

Video

Transcript

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Lindsay Silberman: Hi, guys. Welcome. Thank you so much for being here. I am very excited to have with me Lo Bosworth, the founder of Love Wellness, which is a health care brand for women that is doing some amazing things in the industry of female health and female health issues, and really destigmatizing an industry that has historically been considered taboo and really not talked about. So I think we’ll just dive right in. So for those who aren’t already familiar with Love Wellness, tell us a little bit about it. How did the brand come to be and where was the concept born?

Lauren Bosworth: Yeah, absolutely. Hi, everybody. I’m Lauren. It’s nice to meet you all. So at Love Wellness, we really think about women’s wellness as a journey to love yourself well. And the thing about Love Wellness is it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, right? So we really think about foundational changes that women can make, whether it’s to some aspect of your lifestyle, whether it’s your sleep habits, or maybe it’s a foundational change to your perspective, which is a really interesting thing to think about. That’s really the world of Love Wellness. We’re a total body care company for women that helps them on their journey to their version of their best health ever. I started the company a couple of years ago when I personally was not very well. I was dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety and I was at my gynecologist all the time and nobody could really help me or figure out why. I probably went to like 8 or 9 doctors. And it wasn’t until I really took my health into my own hands and became my own health advocate, my own best health advocate, that I was able to really figure out what was going wrong. And it turns out that I had a number of vitamin deficiencies that were really severe and some other things going on that I only found out once I was willing to educate myself and to seek out doctors, naturopathic healers who were willing to help me, who were willing to go beyond the “Oh, you must be stressed out.” You know what I mean? I feel like you go to the doctor and that’s a really common response that people get. They’re not really willing or want to go beyond that. You’re in there for 30 minutes, maybe even less. They send you emails with your lab results with no follow-up. I had mono earlier this year and my doctor literally emailed me, “So your test results came back. You have mono. Avoid contact sports. Good luck.” Is that really the kind of response that you want to get from your healthcare provider? No. So when I say that women are their own best health advocates, that’s really what I mean. You have to take your health into your own hands and be willing to educate yourself and figure out the story because you know if your body is telling you that there’s something wrong.

Lindsay Silberman: Getting into the health care space is an incredibly ambitious task. How confident were you that there was a real gap in the market and a real opportunity for your brand?

Lauren Bosworth: When I wasn’t doing so well a couple of years ago, I was at the doctor all the time like I said, and they kept writing me prescriptions and I was also at the drugstore constantly. I was in the women’s personal care aisle at every drug store. They call it something different. And buying products of that nature felt so embarrassing. It’s always felt so embarrassing, right? You literally run in and you hope your neighbor isn’t there and you buy it. You ask them to put it in like 3 Duane Reade bags so that nobody sees what you buy, and then you go home and you use the product in shame and then you hide it in your bathroom under the counter or whatever. I very acutely realize that being a woman and needing products to take care of yourself was really an emotional experience. And it was one that felt really negative and it has always felt really negative. And I thought to myself, “My goodness, I’m just trying to take care of my body. Shouldn’t there be a company, a brand, or something that supports me in that and makes me feel positive about these good decisions I’m making for my health?” And there’s nothing like that. All those products, they haven’t been reinvented or thought about in decades. I feel like everything that’s available has just been sitting on the shelves since 1955 and they’re not speaking to women in the right way. They’re not formulated with natural ingredients, which all women are interested in at this point. And a lot of the messaging and marketing felt really anti-feminist to me, in the undertones, the underbelly of it, you know what I mean?

Lindsay Silberman: Totally. I think one of the most interesting things about Love Wellness is that you have successfully created this community of women that are your customers, and they’re having conversations and they’re telling stories and exchanging tips about topics that women might not feel comfortable talking about. How did that happen? Was that part of your plan or did it happen organically?

Lauren Bosworth: It happened very organically and I would say that Yotpo has been one of the biggest reasons why we have been able to create this really interesting community. I think that when women discover the brand, they’re really encouraged by the conversations that we have as a brand with women. We do a lot of education on our website and basically teach women how their bodies work. We’ve all probably had 30 minutes of sex ed in our whole lives. And we haven’t had any education unless you go to medical school about how your body actually works. So we try to do that at Love Wellness. That’s step one. And I think that when you speak to women in that way, they become empowered and they are willing, and they want to share their own stories of wellness with us, and with this community of women. When we started using Yotpo, women started leaving these comments on the products. And they were 4, and 5, and 6, and 7 paragraphs long about how relieved they were to have finally found a brand that was speaking to them and making products that were addressing these chronic issues that they couldn’t ever find a solution for. We realized really quickly that there were so many stories to be told, and we continue to see that play out over and over and over again, whether it’s through emails to Amanda, who’s our VP of Customer Experience, or through the reviews, or through Instagram. I think that we started using Yotpo about a year ago. And we have over 5,000 reviews already, and something like 95% of them are 5-star reviews, which is crazy to us. What’s interesting about the community is that I’ve also realized that women are really looking to have conversations like this because we have broken down the wall. We’ve broken this barrier and we have created a conversation that feels really positive. And I feel like we’ve encouraged women to really take care of themselves in a very forward-thinking and female-first way. For the first time ever, they’re in charge of their own health journey and so they’re really excited to tell that story.

Lindsay Silberman: It feels like there’s something about it being a safe space, and all the women are in the same boat, as opposed to some other social platforms that are much more mass and much more exposed – and it’s called the Love Club, right?

Lauren Bosworth: Yeah. We just launched our beta version of the community. It’s called the Love Club and we wanted to house the community ourselves instead of just creating our group on Facebook or whatever because these are intimate stories, right? And we feel like when we create the community and create walls around it, women feel supported and encouraged because it’s a very obvious space, and it’s very clear why you should be having those conversations. As a brand, our community is our lifeblood, so why would we want it to live somewhere else?

Lindsay Silberman: Totally.

Lauren Bosworth: I think also what we’re able to add organically to our community really speaks to the long term goals of the business, which are not just providing women with great products. Like I said, we do a lot of education, we eventually want to move our events to in-person live stuff, and from a technology standpoint, we have some really exciting stuff that we’re working on, that I’m not going to reveal, that really enforce what we’re doing.

Lindsay Silverman: So talk a little bit about the branding of the product. I know you mentioned these over-the-counter products that you would get at a drugstore and they looked like they haven’t been refreshed since the ‘80s. One thing about Love Wellness is that your branding is really beautiful, and people are Instagramming it. People are proud to have it on their shelves. How important was that for you in the development of the product and the brand?

Lauren Bosworth: I knew from the very beginning that looking and feeling different would be a huge leg up for us. Not even a leg up – I think that Love Wellness is really the first and only brand to be doing what we’re doing, which is really interesting. We sit in a category of one, to be honest with you, because of all the things that we touch. But I knew coming from that personal care aisle, that it couldn’t look or feel like anything that was already there. And I really wanted to tie in directly to that emotional experience of being a consumer and using different kinds of products. And I knew that I wanted women to hold these products in their hand and actually feel something.

Lindsay Silverman: Yeah.

Lauren Bosworth: I wanted them to feel good, and that really drove me to create a brand and products that were totally unique in a space. If you go to Duane Reade and you look at the vitamin aisle, everything is in this standard white bottle or dark-brown glass bottle with a stick-on label that could use a refresh, right?

Lindsay Silverman: Yeah.

Lauren Bosworth: And so in that category of our products alone, I thought, “I’m going to do something totally different.” And so, we created this concept of these bottles that are all monotone. The cap actually matches the bottle and everything is screen-printed on. And so it has this elevated look and feel that you don’t really see with products of that nature. What’s interesting is that nobody’s copied us.

Lindsay Silverman: It’s only a matter of time.

Lauren Bosworth: It’s only a matter of time, but it’s also really challenging to make packaging of that nature. So we were willing to make the time and investment into it and I don’t think a lot of brands are. I would say that that is something that has definitely been a differentiating factor for us. With everything that we do, we are willing to make the time and effort and I think that you see that when you’re on our website and when you actually use the products.

Lindsay Silverman: What do you think it takes for a brand to really thrive in today’s generation of consumers?

Lauren Bosworth: I think a distinct point of view is really important. I don’t want to say you have to go be a disruptor and think of something that doesn’t exist, but if you happen to do that, it’s great. But I would say that if you have a really meaningful brand story and you have a very specific point of view, that absolutely helps. And I think that if you are lucky enough to have the knowledge and skillset where you can implement the technology pieces from the beginning that are best in class and really useful, that also is extremely helpful in moving the business forward and which is tough for a lot of people, whether they’re an entrepreneur with experience or an entrepreneur doing it for the first time. Thankfully, the internet exists, so it has democratized a lot of that information. It’s easy to plug and play with these different pieces of technology that can really turn your brand into an actual business overnight. So I think it’s those types of things. And I think also, you have to be able to tell the story of your customer, whether it’s 5 customers, or 5,000 customers, or 50,000 customers, you have to enable them and encourage them to tell their stories because that’s what’s most important online. You go on any website and you read a little bit of the product page and you immediately go to the reviews. And more often than not, it’s the reviews and the customer story that actually –

Lindsay Silverman: Convince you.

Lauren Bosworth: – that actually gets you to buy the product.

Lindsay Silverman: Yeah. Talk a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey, how you got started. You started the brand in 2016?

Lauren Bosworth: Yeah.

Lindsay Silverman: And prior to that, what was your experience in starting a brand?

Lauren Bosworth: I was on television for a long time, but after that I was running my own content site. It was like a media site. I worked with brands to create content for them and to do a little bit of strategy. I had always been a business of one, and so when I started Love Wellness, I was also a business of one. I started it on my own and ran it by myself for a while.

Lindsay Silverman: For how long?

Lauren Bosworth: Until early last year. Got a great partner. That was in the beginning of 2018. I started ideating in May of 2016 and launched in October of 2016. I did it by myself from then until the beginning of 2018.

Lindsay Silverman: And what have been the most challenging or most surprising aspects of launching your own company?

Lauren Bosworth: I wouldn’t say that it’s a surprise, but you start your own business because you have a story to tell and you’re on your own personal journey of growth and exploration. And so I would say that building this business has really been a personal journey that has enabled my own life to really come full circle in a certain way. I’m so excited to go to work everyday because I really feel like we are truly making positive changes for women. If you’re doing something that you’re actually passionate about, it helps you become who you’re supposed to be. It changes your perspective on life and the way that you want to live life and what’s important and less important. In a lot of ways, running this company has also shown me how important my social life is… I mean my relationships with my family, my parents, my boyfriend. You know what I mean? In New York, our social currency is how busy you are. But I have realized that for me, taking time for myself and really investing in those relationships is just as important as investing in my business, because when you feed one, the other benefits and vice versa.

Lindsay Silverman: Knowing what you know now, three years into your brand, is there anything that you would’ve done differently or wish you knew back then? Or any advice you would give to people who are at the very beginning of launching a brand?

Lauren Bosworth: I get this question often, or I sometimes get it proposed as, what would you tell your 18-year-old self? And my constant answer is I wouldn’t go back and change it. I wouldn’t give myself any advice. Because the only way that you evolve and grow as a human and decide or make better decisions is from learning from your mistakes. So why do you want to gloss those things over? I don’t. I personally love it when I’m learning something. And I feel like I have a good relationship with myself where I don’t really feel guilty about mistakes. I really see them as learning opportunities. And so I don’t really carry a lot of the negativity with me when I make a mistake. It’s all about moving forward and applying the lessons that I’ve learned to each day as it comes.

Lindsay Silverman: And is there anyone in the industry, maybe a brand founder or someone that inspires you or who you look to that give you a little bit of inspiration for your own company?

Lauren Bosworth: Yeah, absolutely. I’m friends with the founders of Sweetgreen. One of my best girl friends went to Georgetown with all of them. And I think that they have done such an interesting job of changing fast casual dining and making salads cool and accessible, and encouraging this new way of eating. And so I really admire what they have done.

Lindsay Silverman: And then just to get back to your brand, what is your ultimate vision? What are you hoping to achieve with Love Wellness? And what are you thinking about for the long term?

Lauren Bosworth: I think that there’s a personal goal and a professional goal, right? My personal goal is to truly provide women with the best available natural products so they can heal their bodies and feel positive about that journey. From a professional point of view, we want to be the Red Bull, the Coca-Cola, I’m not going to say McDonalds because gross, but like the McDonalds of women’s health and wellness. There’s a huge opportunity in this space and we know that we’re positioned to win.

Lindsay Silverman: And last question, I just want to give you the opportunity to sell everyone on some of your products. So, if someone were to go to your site or be interested in buying one, what’s the hero product, or the best-selling, or the thing you’re most excited about?

Lauren Bosworth: We really think about our products through the lens of a journey. And so we have different categories of products. We have a lot of gut health products, we have a lot of products for infection relief, for women’s issues specifically, intimacy products, and we continue to expand. I would say that a great starter product is something called Good Girl Probiotics. What’s really cool about probiotics is that there are different strains of bacteria that live in your body and that help operate all the different parts of your body. And so Good Girl Probiotics is formulated specifically with bacteria that support women’s health. So, if you suffer from UTIs, yeast infections, things like that, our Good Girl Probiotics are formulated specifically to help prevent things of that nature. Probiotics are also great for gut health. The gut is the home of the immune system, and when you increase your good gut bacteria, your whole body is going to benefit from it. I would say that that’s a great starter product that everybody could use because we live in this place where environmental factors upset our microbiome constantly. Probably more people than not have a leaky gut issue in this room. It’s because you’ve taken too many antibiotics, or whatever it is. Probiotics are a great place to start.

Lindsay Silverman: Is there a learning curve for you when you were developing all of these products? How long did it take you to feel confident about the ingredients you were putting in and that what you were creating was something that would really help women?

Lauren Bosworth: Yes, there was definitely a learning curve, but I’m also fascinated by this kind of stuff. It’s really sticky in my brain. I read it, I understand it, I love it. We have a great medical advisory board that has helped from the beginning. They help determine the products that we should bring to market. They help to identify ingredients that should be in the products, based on clinical research and white papers. And so we feel really supported by that community. They really enable us to do great things.

Lindsay Silverman: Just to wrap things up, is there any piece of advice you have for the people in this room that are in a direct-to-consumer space? Or anything that someone told you back when you were starting?

Lauren Bosworth: I would say that you should simplify, to be honest with you. Focus on doing one thing really well. Get your story down. Talk to a lot of people about what you’re trying to do. I feel like with a lot of new CPG brands, you go on their website, and you can’t quite figure what it is, or who they are, or what they’re doing. And so, I would definitely work really hard on your story, and being able to get across what you do in a really clear and straightforward way. It doesn’t have to be this complicated thing. It can be 10 sentences and boom, you understand.

Lindsay Silverman: Perfect. Well, thank you so much for being here. Thanks to all of you guys for being here, and we’re excited to watch your company grow.

Lauren Bosworth: Thank you.

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