It's refreshing to see a company that truly lives by its values. Health Via Modern Nutrition (H.V.M.N.) is a shining example of a business that is doing well by doing good.
They're changing the way people view metabolic health through education and leading by example.
When Jake and I got on a call with Taylor Maniscalchi (Head of Customer Success at H.V.M.N.) it was instantly obvious how much passion is behind everything they do!
Having recently gone fully remote and given up their office in San Francisco H.V.M.N. (like many companies) has had to adapt to a new way of work. But that's not the only thing that’s been having to adapt lately. There have been some very interesting shifts in the nutrition industry as well.
The H.V.M.N. journey
The need to create a positive impact is more apparent than ever in 2020. As H.V.M.N. has grown along with their community their individual and corporate responsibility have really shifted.
We need to be doing more and it's important that we show up for our community and that we do the right thing. Because the more companies that do the right thing the better the world will be.
Having cultivated such a diverse community over the years the call to be more socially active has increased and H.V.M.N. makes showing up for their community a top priority.
Being a company where you can show up for your people and put money towards the right stuff—that's going to be what changes everything versus the alternative.
It's really admirable to see a company that's actually doing the right thing. During COVID-19, H.V.M.N. made a large donation to a food bank in San Francisco. This then inspired them to create an even bigger donation promotion over Independence Day Weekend to give back to their community.
It’s important for companies to give back in the best way they can and donations are a great way to do this. Did you know that food banks love getting nutritional products? There aren’t a lot of options for vegetarians or people with dietary restrictions at food banks so products from H.V.M.N. are super helpful to support people in need.
It can be hard to show up in the hyper-politicized environment we're in right now. It's certainly challenging and I'm sure we will make a mistake. I'm sure we will say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, but we're really trying and that's the best we can do.
It's not just now—in a time when companies are called to stand up—that we see H.V.M.N. talking the talk. They've always been about social impact.
Even when we were founded as a nootropics company it was with the goal of making people feel and do better. It was about helping people reach their full potential.
Nootropics are supplements designed to provide energy & focus, improve memory, protect your brain and body, and/or improve sleep quality. As H.V.M.N. grew in the nootropics space they found there were more use cases for their products surfacing all over the place.
Their products were being used by overworked CEOs, travelers trying to beat jet lag, and super health-aware humans that wanted to stay on top of their cognitive abilities. Their products were making a huge difference to people from many different walks of life.
This led to a full redesign of their packaging about one and a half years ago to include more use cases. The brand imagery shifted to be more inclusive.
Their focus is now on creating an inclusive space for anyone trying to be healthier and make better decisions. If you're taking the first steps to a healthier you: "welcome to the family!"
Self-care in the time of COVID-19
I think we can all relate to the fact that the past couple months have really made us take a look at how we treat our bodies and what we can do to become healthier versions of ourselves.
Even before COVID we started to see that shift toward "I need to take better care of myself."
When COVID-19 hit it became even more apparent that a preventative and holistic approach to health is so important.
eCommerce self-care in particular has been put in the spotlight because people can't go to their usual GNC or vitamin shop. They are going to the store a lot less often to avoid waiting in line. Suddenly these people are shopping online and we've been really lucky because of that.
Health issues are exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle that's all too common in the West. So we've seen some countries being affected more than others. This has acted as a catalyst for change. It's an awakening point. Now is an opportunity to help change the narrative around how health is viewed in the world.
It's actually been really cool to see that shift. Particularly on social media. There's a lot less profanity being used. There's a lot less arguing going on.
People are not only being kinder to each other but they're finding ways to be kinder to themselves. This has shifted the focus to self-care and really making sure that we listen to our bodies when they're telling us to slow down, eat better, or sleep more.
Once someone gives up sugar, gluten, smoking, etc. and starts feeling better it's really hard for them to go back. Because feeling good's worth so much more.
Taking personal responsibility for health
In the time of a global pandemic people are really taking it upon themselves to be responsible for their health beyond relying solely on the support of their healthcare system. Especially one that is so overworked. We're looking towards alternative ways to achieve optimal health.
There's always a time and a place for Western medicine but the complete disregard of a holistic approach to health and preventative medicine is like cutting your available resource list in half. Diet is a major component [...] It's the best preventative medicine we have.
There are so many different paths to being healthy and it's not a one-size-fits-all situation. It's everyone's personal responsibility to make changes. To stop smoking. Eat less sugar. Sleep more. Spend more time with the family. Reduce Stress.
All of those little steps really add up and to see people make even the smallest step is huge. [...] Because if enough people take those steps then maybe we'll have a better world afterward.
Hearing Taylor so enthusiastically talk about the changes they're seeing in the health and nutrition space is super inspiring.
It's really not about a diet—it’s more of a lifestyle shift. You don't just cut out sugar for 30 days and then binge on it once you're done. You make that choice and stick with it. And it's a lot easier to stick with a lifestyle change if you fully understand why you're doing it and the benefits you’re getting out of it. That's really where the educational component of our work stems from.
Beyond that it's crucial to have a community around you that's doing the same thing. A community you can lean on because these changes are hard. I gave up gluten 10 years ago and giving up sugar was 10 times harder than that. You need support!
H.V.M.N. is paving the way through education. They provide tons of resources to help people make the right health choices and have a community behind them to boot! They have a podcast and blog (you should check them out!) to educate people about diet, nutrition, and how to create lasting results for a healthy lifestyle.
It's always amazing when you talk to a customer and the brand has changed their life [...] it solved a need that nobody else could solve for them and all of a sudden this lightbulb went off and they feel so much better. Moments like that mean everything in our work.
I know having an amazing company like H.V.M.N. (and Taylor) that care so much about their customers in my corner would definitely motivate me to make healthier life choices. After our chat I was ready to take on the world! Or at least go for a long hike and have smoothie afterward. Small steps right? 💪
The future of a holistic approach to health
In the last 10 years education in the holistic nutrition space has changed so much. We were talking about how even five years ago access to products like this and the knowledge around them was very little.
H.V.M.N. use no sugar, no empty carbs, minimal processing, and source the best ingredients. All key factors that tie into keto principles and further their mission of making it easier for people to achieve optimal health.
There's a holistic way to help your body function at its best[...] the moment you start feeling that 'click' moment with your body and you're like: "Yes! This is it. I'm on it. I'm feeling good." Then there's nowhere to go but up and that's where we want to help more people get to.
Since the beginning H.V.M.N. has maintained a strong focus on metabolic health and educating people about how important it is.
It would be great if we can continue to grow and continue to educate and really open up the metabolic health space because there's so much more to learn.
To contribute to the collective awakening of how to work with your body to be healthier and feel good. Not waking up feeling exhausted or as though you don't want to do your day—that’s the goal. And there's so much more work to be done.
As the metabolic health and nutrition space grows it looks like there is more collaboration rather than competition. It's "a friendly competition" as Taylor puts it.
All of us are here to grow and we're all part of this greater mission together. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter if the customer buys from us or somebody else if we're all serving a greater purpose. There's plenty of room for all of us. So it's just more brands doing the right thing. Creating the right kind of products, making the changes, pulling out sugar, pulling out the empty carbs, and taking care of the customer.
It's not just about making a dollar and getting them hooked on sugar so they keep coming back. It's giving them a product that they can't live without because it's making them feel so much better and it's actually making them better.
With more companies like H.V.M.N. that are so passionate about what they do and that are paving the way for metabolic health and nutrition the future is definitely looking bright!
I can't wait to see what's in store for the next 5, 10, 15+ years in this industry as it grows and people start to take more responsibility for their health.
Welcome to the era of modern nutrition friends!