wellness brand founders

We asked the founders behind this year’s Gift Guide brands to weigh in on what they’ve learned in this incredibly unique year — and where they’re headed in the next! While challenging, many of them agree that, this year, their teams became tighter, their missions stronger, and their goals for the coming year clearer than ever before.

Looking back through out gift guides over the years, they read like a “who’s who” in the wellness space; incredible brands, clean values, and products that we’d want to give or receive year after year!

We never grow tired of supporting the brands that make this space what it is. Here are seven powerhouse wellness brand founders on what the year has been like for them…

Jade Eknaian | DEHV Candle Co. Though 2020-21 were challenging years, as a small business owner I have never felt more supported. It has been so encouraging to see both new and loyal customers continue to support DEHV by purchasing our products as a way to add comfort and a sense of calm into their own homes, especially while our worlds were turned upside down.

This year’s unexpected price increases, supply chain issues and other challenges could set any business into a panic, but they have actually made me a stronger leader. If I have learned anything through this time, it is that when you create a brand with integrity, it is loved unconditionally and there is no challenge you can’t overcome.

We are getting the “what’s next?” question a lot from our customers. Our goals have changed during the pandemic and we are redefining what ‘scaling’ means for us as a business. At DEHV, we believe in slow and steady growth. Keeping our values clearly at the forefront, we are continuing to build our community and support the causes we love.

We have also been working on a new, highly requested vessel for about a year and hope to introduce it before spring, along with a number of other seasonal scents. Get DEHV candles (one of our all-time favorites for lush, calming scents!) for 10% off with code TCM10 through 1/21

Jade of DEHV | Jenni of Jenni Kayne

Jenni Kayne | Jenni Kayne Our mission has always been to inspire women to live well. The past year and half has certainly been challenging, but it’s also been so rewarding to see our customers seeking out more ways to slow down, live with intention, and really embrace the Jenni Kayne lifestyle.

Now more than ever, people are embracing quality over quantity—we’re able to provide that without compromise.

In terms of the industry in general, I’m always inspired by brands backed by values. I think that’s something that’s going to continue to define wellness in 2022.

From new retail locations and exciting product launches to interiors projects that bring the Jenni Kayne brand to life in new ways, I’m so excited for what’s next in the new year. Shop the Fisherman Sweater and more from Jenni Kayne for 15% with code TCM15 this holiday! 

Kiana Reeves, Chief Brand Officer | Foria Being a sexual wellness company in the middle of a pandemic has certainly been an interesting experience! At one point during last year there was a shortage of condoms, and vibrator sales were through the roof. We’ve been at the forefront of the sexual wellness industry for nearly 7 years, and we’re just starting to see this category embraced as a staple part of the wellness industry. We’ve seen tremendous growth over the past 2 years, alongside many other sex-focused brands.

Sex is the final frontier in the wellness industry, and as more people embrace the beneficial impacts of having more sexual pleasure in their lives, and more open-ness around their bodies – we’re excited to help educate, and re-write history around how we relate to sex, intimacy, and pleasure.

The last two years have shown us that humans rely on sex as a way to find comfort, connect with each other, and decompress from stress during difficult times.

As a business we’ve been lucky enough to be able to support our customers’ needs for deeper intimacy and more pleasure.

In 2022 we’re really looking forward to expanding our line of multi-botanical Intimacy formulas in a way that brings more pleasure to more people. We’ve been at the heart of the CBD industry since it emerged, and while cannabis and CBD will always be an essential part of our brand and history, we’re staying true to our plant-loving roots and bringing other effective botanicals to the forefront to share the limelight, and offer people who don’t necessarily want to work with cannabinoids an opportunity to experience our formulas. Shop Foria’s Quickie Kit,  natural, but revolutionary supports for sexual comfort and pleasure people everywhere are talkinga about. Use code QUICKIE20 for 20% off. 

Kiana of Foria | Shiza of Our Place

Shiza Shahid | Our Place At Our Place, we’re focused on our mission of building a bigger table. We’re going to continue making it easier and more joyful to cook at home through game-changing cookware and kitchenware actually designed for home-cooks and telling stories that bring the disparate edges of our world closer together.

We learned to never take the important things for granted: to hold our loved ones tighter, to celebrate traditions and make new ones, and to cook and share nourishing meals as often as possible. Shop Our Place’s cult-status new cookware.

Romain Gaillard | The Detox Market I have been stunned by how resilient and strong our team has been throughout the pandemic. We had to face many challenges — to say the least, yet the team was very resourceful and creative. We continued to ship on time, deliver the best in-store experience, and put together fantastic digital events and initiatives. We were also touched by how loyal and supportive our clients were.

We are very excited about what is coming for 2022 and beyond. We have new stores opening, notable brand launches, and continue to maintain a significant focus on education. There is a need to reconnect with nature more than ever, and this is our mission as we continue to grow and expand. Shop The Detox Market’s Best of Beauty Box for yourself or as an ideal gift! 

founders brands

Romain of Detox Market | Juraj of Somavedic

Juraj Kočar | Somavedic 2020 and 2021 brought a lot of challenges on almost all levels of our lives. This long period brought us closer together as a team. Even during these turbulent and uncertain times our team has been so engaged, supporting each other as our customer base grows at a fast pace. 

For us, the next year will be about entering the corporate wellness programs and improving working conditions for employees in both office spaces and homes. People spend a lot of time at work, and we’d like to make these environments optimal for productivity and health. This means introducing Somavedic there as an “active harmonization” device.  

slumberkins toys founders

Kelly and Callie of Slumberkins 

Kelly Oriard and Callie Christensen | Slumberkins In 2021, families needed early emotional learning more than ever. Slumberkins was uniquely positioned to support the entire journey most families went through this year from ‘how do we cope with big scary feelings’…. and find ways to stay connected … and deal with family members who couldn’t be together… then create routines when it was time to head back to school.

We have seen a continued focus on mental health and emotional wellness for the entire family as we all continue to navigate the ever-changing environment. Slumberkins supports mental and emotional wellness for the entire family. We can speak to that more boldly now and it is so well received.

From a business perspective, we’ve seen tremendous growth. The work-from-home learning curve completely shifted our thinking. We’ve brought on amazing talent that may or may not have been willing or able to move to the Pacific Northwest where we’re headquartered. In fact, we’ve grown from about 15 employees pre-pandemic to more than 55 employees now! It’s been an amazing and wild experience.

We are currently in co-production with The Jim Henson Company, developing a children’s series and excited to see our characters come to life on television sometime soon.

As early education teachers at heart, we have always known Slumberkins would bridge the gap between home and school early emotional learning. Many elementary schools are now requiring social emotional learning (SEL) as part of their programs. We launched our Educator Curriculum in 2021 and will continue to integrate programs and materials into the schools. Educators are in desperate need of this type of content and are eager to empower their students with these important tools. Explore Slumberkins books and toys for your own family here! 

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