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FIRST FRIDAYS: ALEXIA BRUE AND MELISSE GELULA, FOUNDERS OF WELL+GOOD

Q+A WITH TASTEMAKERS OF THE FITNESS AND WELLNESS SCENE

well+goodFor this month’s edition of First Fridays, we connected with Alexia Brue and Melisse Gelula, whose lifestyle site Well+Good has been credited with foretelling the healthy living revolution. Read on for their take on “life-enhancing consumerism,” and check out more of their insights in the Body Mind Soul issue of the Cassandra Report. Please tell us a bit about Well+Good and what inspired you to found it. We believed that the fitness and wellness space needed good, rigorous journalism just like other beats. At the beginning of 2010 when we launched, Melisse and I could see that the culture of fitness and health was about to take off, and we didn’t see other publications reporting on it in a very ear-to-the-ground way. What one word or phrase would you use to describe the company? Well+Good is your healthiest relationship. In hindsight, what do you wish you knew before founding the company? Melisse and I both spent the early parts of our careers in editorial, so we couldn’t have imagined all the other parts of building a media company. I suppose it would have been good to know more about ad sales, subscriber growth, social media, technology, and design. But not knowing was almost a plus because we built these departments in ways that made sense to us and our business. For example, our ad sales program incorporates a lot of experiential marketing, and our native content feels very organic and on-message for our readers.  Who are your typical readers, and how do they discover you? Women aged 25-34, and they mostly find us through word of mouth. What marketing efforts and/or social channels have you found to be the most effective for building an audience? We have a pop-up on our website that asks you to subscribe after you’ve been on the site for 60 seconds. Our social media manager does a fantastic job of finding new readers via Facebook, Pinterest, etc. And we also do a lot of content sharing with like-minded sites. What is the one thing you want to hear most from a reader? Well+Good makes being healthy fun! Why do you think wellness is such a big part of the way young people socialize with each other today? How do you see this manifesting in their daily lives? Fitness is more fun and entertaining that it’s ever been before. Thanks to brands like SoulCycle and Barry’s Bootcamp, fitness instructors—at these studios and now far beyond—are also charismatic entertainers and motivational speakers. So attending a fitness class in most urban settings is unrecognizable from what the experience was like ten years ago, and it’s a very social experience. People don’t mind spending money on things that are actually enriching to them. We call it “life-enhancing consumerism.” What are some best-in-class examples you’ve seen of brands creating communities around wellness (including your own)? Well+Good has created an online community of people passionate about the most current, trending wellness news and information, and we’ve translated that into actual physical events as well. For many Millennials, wellness has move beyond being an “interest” to being an “obsession.” Why do you think this is? In the era when Carrie Bradshaw had cultural currency, people were obsessed with the “it” bag and the “it” shoes; these days, working out at SoulCycle and walking around with green juice is the cultural aspiration. It’s way healthier and way more attainable than what came before in terms of cultural obsessions. Instagram also feeds the enthusiasm for fitness and wellness because we share workouts, yoga poses, gorgeous salads, and sexy smoothies. That encourages other people to try it. What’s next for Well+Good? A gorgeous new website this October with lots of new ways to find and enjoy our content. Also, you’ll be seeing more large-scale events and more unexpected ways of engaging with the Well+Good brand. We want to be Your Healthiest Relationship online and offline in 2016.