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I’ve never experienced the phrase, “your vibe attracts your tribe” as much as I have since signing on to become an ambassador for this year’s W.E.L.L. Summit taking place November 3-4, 2017. Founder Gianne Doherty has managed to cultivate a powerhouse group of diverse, talented and genuinely nice women in wellness that surpasses any group I’ve been included in thus far. Gianne and I recently met in New York City (NYC) for some quality time (and some amazing Jamaican food from Ms. Lily’s I might add!) Never did I imagine that I would one day be having dinner with the founder of the first and largest wellness consumer conference in the country!

Named “Wellness Guru” by Improper Bostonian, Gianne, and her brands have been recognized in Boston Magazine, Organic Spa Magazine and on Refinery 29, Style Blazer and Hope Magazine. She has appeared at Nantucket Yoga Festival, Love Yoga Festival in Cape Cod, Foundation for Love in Maine, Vegan Beauty Affair and Mass Women’s Conference. With W.E.L.L. Summit quickly approaching, I thought this would be a perfect time for you to get to know this bubbly beauty behind the brand.

 

Tell us about your background. What kind of work were you doing before you started W.E.L.L. Summit?

I was working on my first company, Organic Bath Co., an award winning organic skincare line.

 

Tell us about how W.E.L.L. Summit first started.

Organic Bath Co., started when I was breaking out in hives. I figured out through trial and error that I was reacting to the products I was using. That made me realize that your beauty routine is linked to your health. I’d never really thought that the products I was using could negatively affect me. It was pretty eye opening and led me to research more about how unregulated the US personal care and beauty industry was and continues to be. W.E.L.L. Summit stemmed from my experience with Organic Bath Co.

I spent the last few years of my corporate career as a road warrior, traveling to conferences nearly every month. I looked around for an event in the wellness space that was educational and didn’t really find anything. Most of the events were shopping events. I couldn’t find an event that was education based and focused on consumers. After getting so many questions from my friends and family that were outside of my area of expertise, I was convinced that an event like the W.E.L.L. Summit was needed. I wanted to create a space and a community where we can come together and learn from one another as well as top experts in all areas of wellness.

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Why is wellness important to you?

Wellness is such a buzzy word, but what we’re really talking about is health–all encompassing health–from what we eat, to what we put on our skin, to the thoughts we feed ourselves and the company we keep. The W.E.L.L. Summit’s goal is to drive a 360 conversation around wellness. I founded WS on the core belief that no one should be made to feel like an outsider when it comes to their health! Community, education, and empowerment are the driving forces of that mission.

I founded W.E.L.L. Summit on the core belief that no one should be made to feel like an outsider when it comes to their health! Community, education, and empowerment are the driving forces of that mission.

What have past attendees of W.E.L.L. Summit taught you?

The importance of creating inclusive community is not only necessary but desperately needed. I’ve had attendees pull me to the side with tears in their eyes saying how much they needed our W.E.L.L. Summit weekend. How much they needed to hear from our thought leaders, how much they appreciated being nourished throughout the weekend by our partners, how things have shifted and opened for them.

 

Being a woman of color behind the brand what challenges do you see for people of color in the wellness space?

Great question–and something everyone should be thinking about, no matter their background. The biggest challenge is seeing myself represented in clean beauty and wellness. I’m Irish American and Afro Caribbean, born in Belize. I come from a globe-trotting family: my mom is from Belize, my father is a native Bostonian and a US Diplomat, so I moved around the majority of my life. I’ve lived in Belize, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Honduras & El Salvador. I come from diversity, so I naturally seek diversity, personally and professionally. For those of us in decision-making positions in the green beauty and wellness space, it’s really crucial to take a look at our team members; to look at what we’re posting on social media. Do most of these women look like us? If so, then let’s think about what we can do to try and represent more women. Think about not just race, but also age, body type and background.

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Photo by Thoughtfully Magazine for W.E.L.L. Summit

For those of us in decision-making positions in the green beauty and wellness space, it’s really crucial to take a look at our team members; to look at what we’re posting on social media. Do most of these women look like us? If so, then let’s think about what we can do to try and represent more women. Think about not just race, but also age, body type and background.

For those of us in decision-making positions in the #greenbeauty and #wellness space, it’s really crucial to take a look at our team members Click To Tweet

Tell us a fun fact about you.

I read about 2 books a week…fun books for me, mysteries and thrillers.  I absolutely LOVE reading. My boyfriend would say that reading is my hobby. I carve time out each week to make sure I can curl up on the couch with a book I can’t wait to get my hands on.

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What are some things that make you feel your best self? Do you ever forget to take care of yourself? Airplane Mode.

Get to know me a bit more and you’ll realize how much I love my airplane analogies! 🙂 In an increasingly digital world, it’s imperative to take time to power off and be present. I had a bad habit of constantly checking my phone or being on my phone. What I found is that more often than not I wanted to take notes or pictures which I can do on Airplane Mode. Now texts, emails or social notifications won’t intrude on my alone time, or the time I should be enjoying with friends and family.

Date night. My boyfriend is my business partner: so date night, date day where no work talk is allowed is very important. It reconnects us, reminds me of why we are life partners first.

Sleep. I need a solid 8 maybe 8.5 hours a sleep…I am more naturally a night owl so I always keep an eye on my morning schedule and evening plans to make sure I can get 8 hours in.

Time by the ocean. Something about the water heals me…the sound of the waves breaking on the beach, the smell of the salt water….So many of my childhood memories are centered around the beach and being by the water. Maybe that’s why it eases my soul so much now as an adult. It connects me to me.

Travel. Travel is a part of me. I find experiencing new cultures, sights, cuisines help me return to my life with new eyes and new appreciation.

Yes, being an entrepreneur I have definitely forgotten to take care of myself! This journey can be all encompassing, especially year 1 & year 2!  I have worked really hard at having balance throughout my week’s schedule, I regularly schedule “Airplane Mode” time, and typically if I feel out of whack its because I haven’t made time for myself, my partner or I’m not getting enough sleep! 🙂

 

What is your “superpower”?  

Bringing people together to create powerful community and meaningful connections. I never used to think of this as a talent since it comes so natural to me, but I’ve been told it is. I grew up moving every 2 to 3 years…so I was used to being the new kid at school. I always try to make people feel welcome and I always make myself feel welcome too! Haha. So it makes sense that I would end up creating a community and conference series like the W.E.L.L. Summit. I know it’s my calling to bring people together.

 

What is one thing you want prospective attendees to know about W.E.L.L. Summit?

We’re committed to helping attendees decipher long-term wellness solutions from the latest fads. What works for you may not be what you’re seeing on the billboards or on Instagram, and that’s ok. It’s about finding how wellness applies to you, and your life, that matters. I think a lot of publications and events out there mystify the word, “community”, and the concept of wellness. It’s one of my goals to bust through that mystification process (remember, I love to read mysteries!) and make it more real. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do a certain yoga pose, aren’t crafting the perfect smoothie every day, and don’t have the perfect Instagram feed. One size does not fit all at the W.E.L.L. Summit. Our goal is to give you real-world tools to take back to your life so you can live your best life.  We achieve this by bringing together over 30 world class speakers and 40 brands who are passionate about sharing their knowledge in our interactive panels and workshops. It’s up to our attendees to take what works for them and their lifestyle and to implement them in a way that feels authentic to their life.

Beauty decisions may not always be thought of as affecting your health, but the truth is that while the EU/UK has banned or restricted over 1,300 ingredients in personal care/beauty products, the US has only banned or restricted 11 ingredients!

What are you most looking forward to this year?

This is such a hard question to answer because I’m excited about it all! All of our speakers and brands make it such a magical, unique experience and thanks to them our attendees will walk away with actionable steps to infuse wellness into their daily lives.

I really look forward to showcasing wellness in different ways. At the LIVE W.E.L.L. Party, attendees can visit Vapour Beauty’s Foundation Match Bar, get glammed up at Citrine Beauty’s Table or get a polish change at tenoverten’s Polish Bar. Beauty decisions may not always be thought of as affecting your health, but the truth is that while the EU/UK has banned or restricted over 1,300 ingredients in personal care/beauty products, the US has only banned or restricted 11 ingredients! Women put on about 12 different products daily, which on average is about 168 different ingredients. Making better choices with our personal care and beauty products can make a big difference in the long run.

 

 

Giveaway!

Gianne has generously offered a complimentary weekend ticket for one of my readers. This is a $349 value!

  • Free entry on Friday & Saturday
  • 5 Hours of Thought-Provoking Panels & Keynote Speakers
  • Gift bag filled with wellness goodies ($200 value)
  • Tea, Coffee and Healthy Snacks Throughout the Day
  • L.I.V.E. W.E.L.L. Party with Over 30 Vendors, Healthy Snacks, Custom Cocktails & Open Bar, and tenoverten Manicure Bar
  • Our Famous Tea Time Chat After-Party
  • Intimate Breakout Sessions on Saturday (Capped at Just 40 Attendees Each)
  • Recharge Lounge with Healthy Snacks, Tea & Coffee

To enter, follow @WellSummit and tag them in a comment on my Instagram post letting us know why you should go. This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents, 18+ and ends on September 7, 2017. This contest is not sponsored by Instagram. See you in NYC!

♡ Chelsea