Patience — Our target market is women over 21. Most women try new products because they were referred by a friend. We knew from the beginning that our product would grow slowly and organically. Word of mouth is powerful, but it takes time.
The global health and wellness market is worth more than 1.5 trillion dollars. So many people are looking to improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. At the same time, so many people are needed to help provide these services. What does it take to create a highly successful career in the health and wellness industry?
In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry” we are talking to health and wellness professionals who can share insights and stories from their experiences.
In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Carrie Mapes. Carrie and her co-founder Patty Pappas are busy addressing women’s wellness at all ages. Their brand, Hello Again is the only cannabis-based line specifically formulated to address the symptoms of menopause. These suppositories are helping women of all ages with all sorts of physical, emotional and cognitive challenges.
Carrie Mapes is the co-founder of Hello Again. Her personal experience with menopause left her reeling from brain fog and energy loss, but now, with her symptoms under control, she feels empowered and ready for adventure. After a curious visit to a dispensary with Co-Founder Patty Pappas, the two realized that cannabis could treat many of the symptoms associated with menopause and Hello Again was born.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?
Patty and I had different upbringings, but found ourselves raising kids at the same time in Los Angeles. The friendships between our children brought us in and out of each other’s lives for years. Eventually, we developed a close friendship and a common curious spirit. It was that curiosity that led us to our first dispensary and changed the course of our mid-lives.
Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to live a wellness-focused lifestyle? Can you tell us about your main motivation to go all in?
I wish we knew his name! The budtender at our first dispensary educated us about cannabis and inspired us to consider cannabis as a wellness option. We had no real relationship with cannabis and were full of questions. His knowledge about the plant, the ailments cannabis can address, and the sophistication of his answers led to our reconsideration of cannabis and how it can be used.
Most people with a wellbeing centered lifestyle have a “go-to” activity, exercise, beverage, or food that is part of their routine. What is yours and can you tell us how it helps you?
Patty and I do a boxing and weight training workout twice a week. We also play a game called paddle tennis. It’s an outdoor court sport played on a small court with a punctured tennis ball and thick, stringless paddles. Because the balls are slightly deflated, you can really strike the ball hard without it flying out of the court. It feels great to play after a long day sitting at a desk. Patty also enjoys hiking and painting is my way to find my flow. We swing back and forth between uber-healthy eating and a more mainstream diet. Neither of us eats a lot of sugar, but we do love our 6am and midmorning lattes.
To live a wellness-focused life is one thing, but how did it become your career? How did it all start?
The creation of our company started with curiosity. When we learned what cannabis could biologically address, we drew a direct line between cannabis and the unwanted effects of hormone change during menopause. We were sure that the product we envisioned needed to exist and set off to learn everything we could about menopause, cannabis, the cannabis industry, herbal remedies and suppositories (not to mention branding, marketing, sales…!). We Googled constantly. We met with anyone who would talk with us and committed our time and resources to creating, launching and growing Hello Again.
Can you share a story about the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting? How did you resolve that? What are the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
As first-time entrepreneurs in our 50s, the most time-consuming challenges were technological. Setting up our in-house communication systems took time away from marketing and sales. If I had it to do over again, I’d hire someone to get us up and running quickly and efficiently. Our first batch of suppositories was challenging as well. There were manufacturing kinks as well as industry-specific regulations around packaging. In my memory of that time, we were constantly reacting and adjusting to the ever-changing landscape that is the cannabis industry. We’ve now been through several cycles now and are far better equipped.
Can you share with us how the work you are doing is helping to make a bigger impact in the world? Can you share a story that illustrates that?
Our biggest joy is receiving feedback from women using our product. We personally read and answer every email submission and receive regular, positive feedback from a wide range of women. We once found a DM in our Instagram account from a woman who was in early, medically induced menopause. Her cancer treatment pushed her into menopause in her early 30s and her symptoms were severe. She was frustrated and at the end of her rope when she found Hello Again. She called our product “a life-saver” and eventually came to work with us!
Although we formulated for menopause, we’ve been contacted by women of all ages who use Hello Again for endometriosis pain, menstrual cramps, anxiety and pain. We loved hearing from a young woman working night shifts who uses Hello Again Sleep to get to sleep at 5am.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Hello Again has plans to expand our product line and grow into other states. Our purpose will continue to be to provide relief, support and to empower women to feel and be their best.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Curiosity led us to conceptualize our product. Problem-solving skills and a strong work ethic have allowed us to grow our business. Both Patty and I respond positively to challenges. Although we don’t have previous business experience to draw from, we always believe that we will be able to figure out a solution. Determination and doggedness have served us well.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. Wellness is an incredibly broad topic. How would you define the term “Wellness”? Can you explain what you mean?
Wellness is the physical, emotional and cognitive ability to live to your full potential.
As an expert, this might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons with our readers about why focusing on our wellness should be a priority in our lives?
As women in our fifties, we fully expect to have another 50 years to live. We know that in order for these to be satisfying, meaningful years, we need to tend to our bodies, our minds and our emotional outlooks. We experienced the physical, emotional and cognitive imbalances caused by hormone fluctuation nudging us further and further away from our core selves. We were physically uncomfortable, cognitively affected and emotionally off balance. As a result, we weren’t living up to our true potential. Once we realized how to address these imbalances, we knew we could help women feel like themselves once more. We believe that when women are at their best, the world is a better place.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasingly growing understanding of the necessity for companies to be mindful of the wellness of their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, can you share steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees’ mental and physical wellness?
Hello Again is a small company. We fully support each other’s personal priorities and recognize that in order for us to work as hard as we do, we need to cover each other’s responsibilities from time to time. Patty and I schedule regular long walks together, often to and from work. Because we were friends before we were business partners, we think it is also important to continue to socialize with each other without letting our business take over every conversation.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.
- An effective product. Your product does not have to be everything to everybody; it would be unreasonable to expect it to work for all people. It does, however, need to live up to the claims you are making. The wellness industry as a whole is elevated by real products doing real good. Conversely, our industry can easily be branded as “snake oil” and discounted as placebo-effect when riddled with ineffective products
- Relatability — many wellness products are represented by people who look like they barely ever leave a gym.
- A point of difference — Although our use of cannabis and the form of a suppository presents us with the challenge of having to educate our consumer, it also allows us to stand apart from other products with similar goals.
- Scientific and anecdotal support — Testimonials are powerful. Information about how the product works and why it is safe is invaluable.
- Patience — Our target market is women over 21. Most women try new products because they were referred by a friend. We knew from the beginning that our product would grow slowly and organically. Word of mouth is powerful, but it takes time.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would promote the most wellness to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
We would see a tremendous change if the American food supply were free of artificial sweeteners, additives and preservatives. We create in our children a taste for processed foods that can impact their wellbeing for the rest of their lives. Cannabis products in California are rigorously tested for impurities. We would love to see the cannabis industry raise the regulatory standards for purity in the American food industry!
We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Sarah Blakely of Spanx. Sarah, if you are out there, we watched your Masterclass multiple times. You gave us a lot of inspiration and empowered us to make our idea a reality. It is now time to grow, grow, grow!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Of course we want you to check out www.helloagainproducts.com to find your nearest California dispensary. I’m really proud of our social media presence. From the beginning we knew we wanted to present femininity and aging as a vibrant, productive, powerful and uniquely enjoyable state of being. I think our social media presence is educational, but also uplifting, playful and fun.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!