How Ritual Created One Vitamin to Solve All of Your Problems
With health becoming such a hot topic as of late, many of us have decked out our medicine cabinets with an assortment of vitamins and supplements. But the fact of the matter is, few of us know which ones are actually beneficial to our health and which are just a gimmick - and that's only if we remember to take them.
After pregnancy made Katerina Markov Schneider look at what she was putting into her own body a little more closely, she developed Ritual, a health brand dedicated to putting real, measurable benefits back into vitamins and taking the boredom of consuming them out. With pure, traceable ingredients and an innovative business model, Ritual is changing the vitamin industry as a whole and making the daily step of remembering to take your vitamins that much easier. See more about how Ritual plans on transforming all of our daily routines in our interview with Katerina below.
How were you able to make a fun lifestyle brand out of something as mundane as vitamins?
It’s true, I think when you think or see any of the vitamins in your drug store or health foods store, you definitely don’t think of them as lifestyle brands. The packaging is outdated, the messaging doesn’t speak to our generation. I don’t think they even have Instagram accounts!
Because our mission is so clear, it made it a lot easier for us as a team to build out our story and what we stand for across different channels in a real and authentic way that no one else can ever replicate. It also helps that we are a for women, by women company. So when building a lifestyle brand, we approached everything from design to the physical product from the perspective of building something for ourselves, for our friends and other essential women.
What’s a common vitamin related myth that you’d like to clear up?
That more is more. We are actually getting a lot of nutrients from our food already and it’s important to really understand what we are missing from our diets. We spent years (and continue to do so) researching what women are lacking from their diets. As it turns out, most of the 20-40 ingredients in typical multivitamins are not even necessary for supplementation and that we are already getting a lot from the foods we eat. We also identified that the forms most vitamins use are not even best utilized by the body. For instance, 90%+ of multis have folic acid in them but it turns out that over a third of women have a gene variation where they can’t effectively utilize synthetic folate (folic acid). Most people don’t know that our genes have a real impact on how we utilize certain nutrients.
"Let go of fear and take risks. No one is going to do anything for you so it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create the life and company you want."
Given all of the science that’s involved, was it difficult to create Ritual and establish it as a reputable company?
It was extremely difficult because I did not have a background in biochemistry. So I had to vet and hire leading scientists in the industry to join the team. In the beginning, we were nobody when trying to get them to buy into the vision that changing the industry was super important. I also had to work with them to challenge the status quo of how things were done. In a short amount of time, we’ve changed everything from how pills are being made, we’ve submitted for patents and we are challenging the industry to invest in cleaner ingredients that actually work in the body.
What makes shopping Ritual different than buying an over the counter multivitamin?
There is literally no friction with us. We have one product that is the only vitamin women should take daily. You buy it with one option online and it comes to your door. If you want to cancel or pause at any time, it’s really easy. We also have changed the entire experience of taking a vitamin. The product tastes minty fresh, you can trace where your ingredients are coming from online and you get fun gifts in your packages to help you to remember to take your vitamins.
What are some health rituals you can’t live without?
Taking my vitamins, buying my produce at farmers markets every Sunday, playing with my daughter in our bed in the mornings and reading to her at night, date nights at Korean baths with my husband, face oils, reformer pilates, and designing spaces.
What advice do you have for other young female entrepreneurs?
Let go of fear and take risks. No one is going to do anything for you so it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create the life and company you want.
How has entering the wellness industry professionally changed your views on health?
I’ve learned that now it’s more important than ever to take a second look at the products we put in and on our bodies and make sure what we are doing is having a positive impact over the long term. This means not just trusting a company to do the work for you but actually being a researcher for yourself and looking at the science and clinical studies around ingredients.
What do you see for the future of Ritual?
We will go from being known as a vitamin company to a habit company. We are changing the way that people interact with the products they take every day and that means inspiring healthy habits so women can feel their best every single day.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
It means having passion and purpose behind everything that you do.
Who’s your MISSBISH?
My team at Ritual is my MISSBISH. They are constantly challenging and pushing me to be a better leader and human.