A chat with Andrea Horwood, co-founder of WelleCo.
What makes WelleCo so unique?
Our aim was to create the world’s best wholefood and organic supplements that make us and our customers feel transformed. Our high-grade food supplements are the modern upgrade to traditional synthetic vitamins. We believe it is vital to supplement our modern lifestyles, and our pure plant powders are the ultimate way to do so.
What is the ethos of your brand?
That good health and beauty starts from within. Our 100% organic, wholefood and plant-based supplements are consumed in liquid form, so the body is able to recognise and absorb them at cellular level, unlike synthetic or bullet-like tablets that are difficult to digest. We believe the body was not designed to absorb synthetics, and this is perhaps why our customers become such passionate devotees when they convert. First you can feel the difference then you start to see the benefits in your skin, hair and nails. This is an indication of a healthy nourished body from the inside.
Who is WelleCo aimed at?
The whole family. Twenty-somethings rave about its amazing skin-boosting qualities, mums say it helps with energy levels, children love taking the delicious Super Kids WelleCo Nourishing Plant Protein, and men love the WelleCo Nourishing Plant Protein without all the scary additives, animal by-products, and hormones.
Tell us about an early rookie mistake in business you can now laugh at?
We were derided in the tabloids for selling something expensive that looked like ‘pond water’ when we launched on the cosmetic floor at Selfridges nearly four years ago. In hindsight, an educational piece to those media outlets may have been a good idea!
How did WelleCo come about?
Elle Macpherson told me about her nutritional doctor and the murky-looking green powder she was taking every day. This started a series of late night phone calls between her doctor in London and myself, and by the end of it I was in. It was so compelling to both of us that the future of wellness and beauty was from the inside, and the future of supplements was natural, absorbable and food-based.
Who’s behind it?
Elle and myself are the co-founders of the company, we have terrific nutritional doctors and formulators including Dr Laubscher PhD who formulate our elixirs, and our own internal team at WelleCo communicates to our growing community the values of our brand and the way we can add to their lives. We don’t outsource this; it comes from us and it’s genuine. I think this shows. The success of WelleCo SUPER ELIXIR comes down to the product, the science behind it, the team and all the people around the world who now take it everyday and talk about it.
Where do you source all your ingredients from and how important is where they come from?
Because all our products are basically food, we source the best seasonal ingredients with a high efficacy from the world’s premium sources, like turmeric from India, and greens from New Zealand.
Has the business changed over time?
The business is rapidly growing because in the digital world, word of something good travels fast. We’re a 24-hour 365-day digital model with the majority of sales online through our three international websites. But grappling with this fast growth, from start-up to a global business in such a short time has been a challenge. We now manufacture in the US as well as Australia to meet our customers growing demands.
What is the ethos of your brand?
That good health and beauty starts from within. Our 100% organic, wholefood and plant-based supplements are consumed in liquid form, so the body is able to recognise and absorb them at cellular level, unlike synthetic or bullet-like tablets that are difficult to digest. We believe the body was not designed to absorb synthetics, and this is perhaps why our customers become such passionate devotees when they convert. First you can feel the difference, then you start to see the benefits in your skin, hair and nails. This is an indication of a healthy nourished body from the inside.
What’s most important to the brand?
Our global family of customers, who trust so much in our products that they take them daily as an integral part of their self-care regime. They reap the benefits and feel transformed, then share on social, and tell their friends and family. They are our very best advocates. For me, this makes WelleCo the most rewarding business I have ever done.
What’s the most challenging thing about running a business?
You have to trust your vision and defend it doggedly. Everyone will have an opinion, your enthusiasm will be dampened, and you will have many setbacks. Keep pushing through. No-one fights hard for a bad idea, so it’s a great proof test too.
The superfood industry can be a tough and expensive one to navigate – what’s your advice on this?
Look for brands you trust – ones who invest in known-source supply, science and efficacy and premium quality. Go plant-based and natural!
What do you most love about what you do?
I started in publishing as the founder and publisher of Australian Style magazine, then started Invisible Zinc, the first chemical free UV shield sunscreen, and now WelleCo. This business is direct to customer, so we have a live dialogue, we communicate directly (no agency or insta outsourcing), and therefore we share in the wonderful reward of this exchange. There is nothing better for me as CEO of a company to see and read about the positive way our products impact on people’s lives, as said by them. For me it’s the ultimate combination of a direct media connection, sharing a better product in the world and making a positive impact.