Image of Gianne Doherty, Christy Turlington-Burns and Elisa Cmahort Page at WELL Summit 2018, courtesy of Rachel Hanon Photography.
Image of Gianne Doherty, Christy Turlington-Burns and Elisa Cmahort Page at WELL Summit 2018, courtesy of Rachel Hanon Photography.

Why I Started WELL Summit

Our inside the WELL Summit series brings you exclusive content from our Summit sponsors. This series also includes content from WELL Summit speakers and what you can look forward to if you attend the event.

4 min read

As our team is heads down planning for our fifth-year anniversary of WELL Summit, I’ve been reflecting on why I started this conference in the first place, and how we’re staying true to our mission as we grow and evolve.

My Personal Wellness Journey

Seven years ago, I had no idea how unregulated the beauty + personal care industry is—until I started breaking out in hives, reacting to the traditional skincare products I was using. This led to the start of my first company Organic Bath Co., as well as a life lesson: I needed to know what ingredients worked and didn’t work for me, as well as what ingredients I was personally okay with. (We all have different shades of green.)

What I put on my body had never been a part of my health and wellness consideration before then. I thought wellness was just hitting the hottest fitness studio. But then, I started researching and connecting with wellness thought leaders. And as I became more immersed in the wellness industry, I became the go-to wellness person for my friends and family.

They’d heard that deodorant had aluminum in it—did I have a deodorant I could recommend?

Was I organic in all areas of my life? Did they have to be? (If so, count them out. They’ll take a hard pass on this “wellness” movement.)

I come from a corporate background and had attended hundreds of conferences. Surely the wellness industry had a conference focused on community + education that I could attend and recommend to friends and family. Surely there was a conference where consumers could learn from experts, meet innovative brands and treat themselves to a fulfilling weekend. Surely, there was a conference where industry professionals could learn from one another, network and gain insight on how to push their business forward.

Launching WELL Summit + 360-Degree Wellness

But in 2014, that wasn’t the case. So I created WELL Summit. Our first WELL Summit took place in Boston in 2015 with 12 speakers, 10 brands and just under 200 Attendees. It was magical! (If you were there, you still remember the farm-to-table dinner.)

Latham Thomas, speaking at our WELL Summit 2015 farm-to-table dinner.

We launched with the belief that wellness should be a 360-degree conversation, that wellness should not be one part of your life, but that you should be able to incorporate it into every aspect of your life (without spending your life savings). I still believe that.

It doesn’t matter how many salads you eat if you have toxic relationships in your life that are draining you. It doesn’t matter if you hit SoulCycle every day if you’re not also taking time to decompress, relax and be mindful. It doesn’t matter if you choose to go all in on green, organic beauty if you don’t pay attention to the way you speak to yourself, inside your head, every day. You can’t give to everyone and everything but yourself. #selfcare

That, and so much more, is part of embodying 360-degree wellness.

Making Wellness More Accessible: Why I’m Underwriting Early Bird Ticket Pricing

As we enter our fifth year, my hope is to use WELL Summit to make wellness more accessible. I hope that I can encourage people to be gentler on themselves and others, to embrace the spectrum of wellness that we’re all on, and understand that what works for me may not work for you—and vice versa. That’s 100 percent OKAY. There are different shades of wellness because we’re all unique.

As part of my desire to increase accessibility to 360-degree wellness, I am personally underwriting the cost of 2019 WELL Summit Brooklyn early bird tickets. I’m not Oprah (yet!), so the early bird tickets are limited, but this is my part to do what I can. We’re limited to 100 Early Bird General Admission Tickets, 50 Business + 50 VIP tickets. These are available until June 21st or until they sell out, whatever comes first!

A Few Things to Look Forward to In Year Five

This year, we’re bringing a few new, exciting things to WELL Summit, including live podcasts interviews, a VIP Lunch and MEETUPS! Find your community within our community for WELL Summit Meetups!

We’ve also already announced 20 WELL Thought Leaders who are speaking at the event, bringing their knowledge and expertise to our community. We have passionate and innovative brands you need to know about on board for our exclusive expo, and we’re planning a blow-out LIVE WELL party, the likes of which you’ve never seen. (Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.)

I hope you’ll join us. And if you do please make sure to say to hi to me and tell me about your wellness journey! Your stories, your participation and your presence make my journey—and our community!—as incredible as it is.

About The Author

Gianne Doherty

Gianne Doherty

Gianne Doherty is an inspirational and educational speaker, clean beauty advocate, co-founder of Organic Bath Co. and founder of WELL Summit. You can find her on Instagram @wellsummit and @giannedoherty. Her weekly series, Balanced Hustler, on WELL Insiders is a deep dive into entrepreneurship.

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