What Wellness Means: the launch of media venture Well Defined

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (peterschreiber.media)
© Getty Images \ (peterschreiber.media)

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This month spa media insiders Julie Keller Callaghan and Heather Mikesell debuted an online publication covering all things wellness for both professional and consumer audiences.

“Our wellness content provides value to both professionals and consumers,” ​affirms Heather Mikesell in her recent interview with Cosmetics Design. “We’ve always seen a connection between the two groups and a lot of overlap in the types of content and information they crave,” ​she says referring to the 15+ year history Mikesell and Well Defined Co-Founder Julie Keller Callaghan have in the spa media industry as editorial leaders of the renowned business and management publication American Spa Magazine (owned by The Questex Travel & Hospitality Group).

“The consumer and professional beauty spaces have always been intertwined,” ​explains Mikesell, adding that “This is true now more than ever with e-commerce taking center stage as companies look for ways in which to navigate the pandemic.”

A new publication is finding and defining wellness in business and in life

For Mikesell and Keller Callaghan wellness isn’t a vague or ambiguous concept but rather a comprehensive approach to living and working.

“As more and more people strive to live a more well-centric life, we’re seeing how every decision we make influences our overall wellbeing,” ​Mikesell tells Cosmetics Design Editor Deanna Utroske.

Wellness impacts every facet of our lives, from how we work to how we live. It refers to how we nourish and care for our bodies, how we pay attention to the world around us, how we manage our finances, how we handle stress, and how we treat the planet,” ​she says.

And according to a recent press release about the launch of WellDefined.com, the site includes original news, content, and reviews on topics spanning beauty, fitness, wellness travel and spa, healthy meetings and events, corporate wellness, mindfulness and mental wellness, financial wellness, and lifestyle and wellness living.

For cosmetics and personal care makers wellness is about sustainability and selfcare

Mikesell believes that all beauty brands very much can and should incorporate wellness into their products and marketing.

In doing so, she says, “Sustainability should always be front and center. For example, brands should consider how they package their products, the ingredients and the manufacturing processes they use, and of the environmental impact the products they produce have.”

“Every discussion about wellness needs to include factors that impact the health of our planet,” ​explains Mikesell. “Product packaging plays a role in that. You can’t say a beauty product is good for the skin or body without considering the impact the packaging has on the environment. It’s all interconnected. Sustainability needs to be at the heart of every conversation we have about consumer goods,” ​she says.

And she tells Cosmetics Design, in terms of consumer use, “Tying the product to a self-care ritual is another way [for beauty brands] to incorporate wellness. It’s important to think about how the product can enhance an individual’s vibration and overall wellbeing,” ​says Mikesell.  

Wellness, particularly in terms of sustainability, she says, figures into consumer purchasing decisions: “Consumers are increasingly voting with their dollars. They want to know that the purchases they make are good for the environment or at least don’t have a negative impact. In many cases, such as the Blue Beauty movement, companies are giving a portion of their sales back to environmental causes, they’re focusing on creating products that produce zero-waste or less waste, they’re focused on creating biodegradable, compostable, or recycled packaging. All of these efforts put wellness front and center and can be highlighted in any marketing strategy,” ​says Mikesell. (Learn more about Blue Beauty here ​and here​.)

The future of wellness and Well Defined

“This past year has proven itself to be a time of great change, as we learn to navigate uncertainty and focus on moving forward in a more positive way,” says Mikesell, in the publication’s recent press release. “We’re excited to share Well Defined, our deep dive into wellbeing, as we believe wellness is essential to creating a healthier and more sustainable world for us all. It is our sincere mission to make Well Defined the first and last word in wellness​!”

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