This interview was conducted in February 2020.
Four years ago, before Lo Bosworth set out to start a supplement company, she was on a path to personally find wellness. “I was depressed and anxious and I was at the OBGYN all the time,” said the 33-year-old. “I was chemically and hormonally out of balance, and I didn’t know why.”
After many doctors appointments and different tests, she found out she had a severe vitamin deficiency that was throwing her body out of balance. “Vitamins and supplements totally saved me and changed my life,” she said. Through that experience — spending many hours in her doctor’s office and a lot of time at the drugstore — she was inspired to found Love Wellness, of which she is CEO. The wellness company produces vitamins, supplements, and cleansers specifically marketed towards women. Their products are sold at Ulta Beauty and Amazon.
Last month Love Wellness relaunched and also released a new video campaign about breaking down the stigmas regarding women’s health. But before she got to this point, the entrepreneur did her research to build a stand-out brand in a congested market. “I saw a huge opportunity to develop a brand that was modern, forward-thinking and body positive and to create products that worked really well that were made from natural ingredients like organic herbs and things that people have been using for thousands of years to heal their bodies.”
So how does Bosworth keep herself sane while running a company? Block scheduling to make sure she has time for herself is absolutely key to her personal organization. “Whether it’s to go for a walk, important meetings or if I need to call my parents. It’s the only way I get anything done! I really started to implement this in my day to day about three to four years ago when I started Love Wellness, ” she told Ladders. Ladders spoke with Bosworth about the relaunch as well as her leadership skills and how she gets it all done.
Why did you decide to create a product in a market with so much competition?
I was just looking for things myself that didn’t exist. It’s a classic entrepreneur story. For me, and a lot of people, it’s hard to pinpoint that something’s missing. It’s hard to wrap your head around a tangible concept that you can bring to life to actually solve a problem.
You don’t have a background in medicine. Where did you find resourceful people and experts in this field?
It was through the guidance of doctors and naturopaths and people that pointed me in the right direction. They really changed my perspective on western health and medicine to realize that there are alternative ways that you can take care of your body that really support women’s health.
Did you — in a million years — think you would start a supplement company?
I had just been to culinary school. And so I was really focused on nutrition and wellness already — it was a really natural segway, but I never thought that I would own a company that makes a product like this. I always wanted to make something and build something.
What’s been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?
For me personally, I still carry around this stigma of being on television [Bosworth was on the MTV reality series The Hills] and creating content and the thought of, “How do you take those people seriously?” I think that that has changed recently. There are a lot of women, like Arielle Charnas, who can come out and have these amazing brands and actually be the CEO and be operating every day. But that story has been difficult for me to tell.
You have 15 employees. What do you look for in your team members you hire?
We definitely try to make great culture hires. We are a team that loves to work at a million miles an hour, but we also know how to take the day off on Friday if we need to. Everybody is very Type A and specific at Love Wellness. I think that really lends itself to the incredible speed in which we have grown our business. And everybody’s really passionate about our message. It feels good to come to work here every single day.
Who is your entrepreneurial role model?
I would say other standout female entrepreneurs that are millennial women, definitely are people that I look up to. Ty Haney, [the now former] CEO of Outdoor Voices, is amazing. Emily Weiss, CEO, and Founder of Glossier, is amazing. You look at these women who have overcome all the odds to build these massive businesses, and you realize that it is possible and that if people take them seriously, then they can take you seriously too.
In terms of following in your footsteps, what’s your secret?
People always ask me, “What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?” or “If you could go back in time, would you tell yourself to do things in a different way?” The answer is no because you only learn through experience. You have to get through your problems to come out on the other side and to be able to figure out the solutions.
Should prospective entrepreneurs quit their jobs and go all in?
I would advise not to quit your job. It’s really easy these days to start a business as a side hustle.
Just take it day by day and order by order. And don’t be afraid to start small. Most people start small. And it takes a lot of time to grow. It doesn’t happen overnight.
What’s a hurdle you’ve overcome that was holding you back?
Something that I’ve gotten much better at is managing my personal stress when it comes to problems that arise day to day in the business and realizing that not everything is the end of the world, not everything is going to put you out of business. I’ve been able to learn and manage that kind of stress. It’s been really important. Like, hiring and firing people, that’s stressful, man. But you sort of have to get accustomed to the responsibilities that come with owning a business.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, who’s the best sounding board?
Our COO, Matthew Murray, is definitely my biggest sounding board. We think in the very same way, we approach and attack problems in the same way.
What do you like to do when you’re not working? Or are you 24/7?
I like to do nothing when I’m not working. I’m two ends of the spectrum. I’m either working or I’m literally at SLT or sitting in my steam shower or binging Netflix. I’m re-watching Mad Men.