Taking vitamins can help you supplement your diet and lead a healthier life. But navigating all of the options out there can be overwhelming for anyone without a medical degree. That’s why Drs. Romy Block and Arielle Levitan founded Vous Vitamin — to help people make sense of the multivitamin market with simple solutions. Read about the company below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Offers personalized multivitamins for specific purposes.
Levitan told Small Business Trends, “Our customers go on line and take a brief survey about their diet, lifestyle and health concerns to get product that is medically sound and suited to their nutritional needs. We also have a line of Situational Supplements for occasional use. These come in pocket size packs that are easy to take on the go when needed and include Immune Blast, Power Up and Recovery Act formulations.”
Putting people’s medical needs first.
Levitan says, “We are a company founded by two doctors who felt that their patients vitamin needs were not being properly addressed. We created a customized vitamin solution that is medically sound and is easily taken as a one pill solution. Our multivitamins are unique in that they are created by physicians, they are one pill (vs a packet or hand full of vitamins) and they are tailored to the individual based on medical research.”
How the Business Got Started
Because of patient struggles.
Levitan explains, “After years of hearing how confused our patients were about which vitamins they should or should not be taking we felt there had to be a better solution than advising each person individually. We created a computerized algorithm that could determine needs based on a brief survey. We also felt that in such an unregulated industry with little to no oversight of product manufacturing that physicians were hesitant to recommend products to their patients. We created our own high quality, independently monitored (bearing the GMP seal of approval) so that as physicians we could feel comfortable recommending safe products to our patients.”
Gaining exposure from a recent Reader’s Digest article.
Levitan says, “It has driven months of sales and really expanded our national customer base. The feedback we have gotten from this large group of customers has been tremendous. People love our vitamins so much that some have called asking us to overnight ship them a bottle when they forgot to bring them on a trip!”
Jumping into business ownership.
Levitan says, “We are two physicians with busy jobs and families. Adding a business (and book) to that did not seem practical or feasible. We also had no entrepreneurial experience. But here we are 3 years later! We felt it was too important of an idea not to do it and we have learned so much along the way. It turns out that being doctors and moms has given us many skills that translate to entrepreneurship.”
Find great IT help.
Levitan explains, “We did not really understand the complexity of our needs when we launched. Therefore we spent many months after our initial launch trying to improve and fix our website, ecommerce functionality and user experience. We probably lost many sales in the process. However, there are things that you only recognize as they are unfolding. As with anything, hindsite is 20/20 and you don’t really fully understand your needs until you are in the moment and needing them urgently. What we did learn from this was the ability to problem solve quickly and the need to get and find good help in a pinch.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Expanding the product line.
Levitan says, “We would like to further invest in broadening our range of products (we have already grown to include men and women, after having initially started exclusively for women). We would like to create more situational supplements such as something for sleep and a “brain booster”. We would also like to grow and expand our digital marketing efforts as this is how we reach more people.”
If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product you shipped too late.–Reid Hoffman