“Vibrant and thriving women from 40ish to 60ish are the new face of a shame-free menopause, and they need brands and products to support them,” Gwen Floyd, CEO at Wile, told NutraIngredients-USA. “This is where Wile steps in with a chic, smart, wildly effective and clean product ecosystem.”
Floyd started the Portland, OR-based brand direct-to-consumer with partners Corey Scholibo and Judy Greer in Q1 2022, raising $3 million in seed funding and launching into Whole Foods and Walgreens by June. Revenue is expected to surpass $3 million in the first year.
“We are also rolling out into natural stores this fall including Fresh Thyme, Plum Market and Vitacost,” added Scholibo, president and COO at Wile.
“We launch only with partners who are building a destination for this woman, not just putting products on shelves and taking slotting. Our partnerships are about education. That is what works for her.”
‘The grown woman’
Wile’s target consumer is “the grown woman” anywhere along her perimenopause to menopause journey and facing any number of symptoms from hot flashes to weight, sex, sleep, skin, hair, stress, clarity and mood challenges.
“Culture still defines a woman’s life as a journey from ‘maiden’ to ‘mother’ to aging out of vitality and relevance as a ‘crone’,” Floyd said, rejecting these designations as uninformed and pushing for a new narrative about the power and promise of menopause.
“We call bullshit. Women’s lifespans have increased by 30+ years in the last century. Wile believes the life phase that starts around 40, which we call “Grown,” is the best, most aspirational time of a woman’s life.”
Floyd explains that Wile’s supplements, tinctures and functional drinks – developed with naturopathic doctors and research scientists – are clinically backed to help women manage hormonal health and stress with formulations that address actual symptoms in formats that speak to self-care more than medicine.
“Because after all we aren’t sick, we are evolving,” she added. “Our product ecosystem is fully customizable to most effectively address an individual woman’s unique and evolving needs throughout her up to ten-year perimenopause journey.”
Mixing and matching for menopause
Wile’s formulator is Jill Stansbury N.D., a naturopathic family physician and faculty member at the National University of Natural Medicine. Botanical ingredients include phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen in the body, adaptogens to manage stress, nervines for symptoms like anxiety, irritability and edginess, and nutritive herbs to improve efficacy.
“Our best-selling products to date are 40+ Hormonal Wellness, our Burnout Relief tincture and our Stave The Crave anti-stress eating drink powder,” said Scholibo, adding that there are another dozen products in the pipeline.
Products are designed to be mix and matched to support specific symptoms as they change over time or day to day. In a category at risk of “menowashing” or “menosploitation”, the company contrasts its targeted holistic approach with a single ingredient or “package by numbers” strategy that simply adds an ingredient per symptom.
Raising awareness: hormones as superpower
Central to the brand is drawing attention to and unpacking conceptions of aging as actually linked to hormones, stress hormones included.
“While few others use the word ‘hormone', Wile embraces hormones as a superpower,” Floyd said.
This includes helping midlife women feel better from inside and to understand their bodies, raising awareness about less discussed issues like midlife body image, drinking, female anger and burnout.
Scholibo says the mission is resonating and has attracted advocates including Serena Williams, who invested in this spring’s seed round through Serena Ventures, as well as Jennifer Garner, who “has talked about the importance of Wile for Grown Women.”
Wile co-founder, actress and activist Judy Greer is rallying behind a generation of grown women facing the hidden complexities of menopause while they juggle responsibility.
“We need more than candles and bath bombs for self-care,” she said. “Our generation is under extraordinary pressure with careers, kids, aging parents, Covid, and the list goes on. Wile’s ingredients are clinically backed to help us feel better day-to-day and we’re here to listen to women while helping them feel seen and heard.”