Growing up in a medical home, Co-Founder Cam Fischer grew up learning how to balance this and how to supplement that, safely. Flash forward to the age of modern wellness, and it wasn't hard to see things changing: commissioned sales clerks, flashy labels, overwhelming info, and quickly growing gap between overgeneralized lifestyle products and over-the-top performance products (matcha vs. creatine).
A few days into grad school, Cam met his good friend and new Co-Founder Alfred Schofield, a fellow problem solver with the entrepreneurial spirit. Together, they took a deep dive into the supplement space, trying to understand the problems and find that missing link. The conclusion? Collaboration. An open dialogue the people making products and those who take them.
We set out to do things differently—design products with health-conscious, fitness forward people like us. People who aren't looking for magical elixirs or tingly pre-workouts, but innovative, earth sourced products to help make the most of what their body has to give.
We work with suppliers we trust to hand select and source the highest-quality ingredients available. Nothing artificial. Never preserved. Additive-free without question.
In an industry dominated by buzzwords, We choose ingredients for function, not passing trends. Every product starts with a problem, and each ingredient plays a part in solving it.
We rely on people like us to pinpoint real needs & ways to meet them. From ideas to ingredients; testing to design, we're collaborators every step of the way.
We hit it off on the first day of grad school. Our energies and personalities just seemed to work really well. We weren’t afraid to challenge each other and that laid the foundation for a great partnership. We figured if we could argue in class and walk out as friends, we had something good going for us.
Cam pitched an (admittedly different and not so feasible) concept for VitalFit for his grad school thesis. Although we worked on different projects during the day, we spent most nights hashing out the ideas behind VitalFit.
The Initial Concept:A network of mobile pop-up shops on college campuses, run by nutrition and med students, where fellow students could go to create a safe-supplement regimen based on their goals. At graduation, VitalFit was a subscription box with natural products for targeting four different goals.
Between our passions for fitness, sports, and creating meaningful business, we knew we had a chance to do something great. We officially started working on VitalFit (full-time) the day after graduation. The first few months were overwhelming, to say the least. We took our time learning how products are made, where ingredients are from, and how to create something different—something we could be proud of, even without a big budget behind us.
At Babson, we learned the power of design thinking so when it came to making products of our own, the idea of collaborating with our end customers was like a no-brainer. We said, let’s invite the people who are going to use our products into the process. This way we can be create products that our customers not only need but feel comfortable using. This collaborative approach paid off, the insights we picked up led us to recovery—specifically, natural products to restore the body after a workout.
After an afternoon of meeting with studio instructors, fitness trainers, and fellow wellness enthusiasts for product insights we decided to blow off some steam on the basketball court where Cam managed to hurt his back—more specifically, herniate a disc. Sick of taking ibuprofen and having no luck finding a natural alternative we felt like something was missing. Eventually, we came across tart cherry juice, which was surprisingly effective. We began testing tart cherry with our community and finding a way to best deliver its effects.
April 1st, 2017, our big debut. We debuted Tart Cherry at Cambridge Naturals, one of the best natural products stores on the East Coast. Within a month we became their top selling product among 15,000 other products. Our journey was on its way, but this was only the beginning. In September we launched Tart Cherry with a highly selective, e-commerce sports nutrition retailer, The Feed, who named Tart Cherry "The best anti-inflammatory of 2017." We were honored, humbled and ready to go.
With Tart Cherry on its way, we switched our gears back to design. We spent the next few months gathering insights insights and developing four new products to round out our recovery line. From identifying problems and selecting ingredients to testing formulas and designing packaging, we worked hand in hand with our community to create more products we were proud to call our own.
Some people say if you want things done right you got to do it yourself. True—sometimes, but as collaborators, going solo isn't really our thing. 2018 was and is a year growing with people who look at the world of wellness through a similar lens. Throughout the year we've spent time fostering relationships with incredible fitness studios, amazing wellness boutiques, and like-minded small business owners like us. Of course there's competition, but at the end of the day if you're in the business of wellness, we're on the same path with the same goals and believe we can make great change by working together.