Lauren “Lo” Bosworth on how a health crisis transformed her career
Lauren “Lo” Bosworth graduated from reality television (Laguna Beach and The Hills) years ago — and founded a women’s wellness company called Love Wellness. Here’s Lauren’s story, as told to Wake-Up Call’s editor Lisa Ryan.
I grew up cooking with my mom. She made dinner from scratch almost every night of the week. I would come home from school, and I would hang out with her in the kitchen. That’s really where my love for food developed.
As I got older, I wanted to learn how to cook professionally and really understand the processes behind it, because I now have such a deep passion for food. I love going to the farmer’s market; one day, I dream of having my own small farm. So I went to the French Culinary Institute in New York City a few years ago. That experience opened me up to nutrition and how food can be healing.
It was also at this time — in 2014 and 2015 — that I started to experience a lot of mysterious health symptoms. I was really anxious. I had depression for the first time in my life. I had so much fatigue. I had vertigo. I struggled with these issues for a while — until one of my doctors finally decided to give me a blood test that checked my vitamin levels. My test came back with really bad results: My vitamin B and vitamin D levels were severely deficient.
But for the first time, I had an answer and a call to action, that would allow me to take back my health.
This was a turning point in my life. I was at doctors’ offices and drugstores a lot, looking for solutions to the variety of health problems that I was dealing with — from anxiety to yeast infections. And what I found was super disappointing.
Everything seemed to be full of chemicals, and didn’t seem to be working well or speak to me as a consumer. I wanted something that made me feel good about my body, and feel good about taking care of myself. Nothing checked all the boxes. There was a huge gap in the market for women like me — who were looking for products that are natural, doctor recommended, actually work, and allow women to reclaim the power of their own bodies. So that’s where the idea for Love Wellness came from.
Even before my health problems, I was always really interested in science and biology. Science class was one of my favorites growing up, and it’s the kind of information that I retain better than anything else. I have a degree in art history, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you about the artists I studied… though I can tell you quite a bit about the human body.
The interest in self-care came really naturally to me, and I’ve always been really entrepreneurial. Coming off of television, I had my own website for a number of years that was primarily food and wellness-based. But this experience with my health hit me so hard — and I was able to get better by changing my perspective and by incorporating natural products into my wellness routine. So I felt deeply passionate about it… and felt like I had to spread the news. It became my calling.
I started Love Wellness in 2016, and I was really excited… and terrified. At that point, from a category perspective, Love Wellness was really the first of its kind. No other brand was trying to do what we do really well, which is creating natural products for women that are personal. Educating women about how the products work and what they do was really my biggest barrier to entry. We’ve come far in the past three years, in regards to the availability of information about women’s bodies and our wellness, but there was a lot of confusion at first. That was the most difficult challenge that I had to face.
But I have never had a problem using my voice to try to communicate the truth. And in the past few years, a lot of barriers have been broken around women, their health and their rights. More and more of us are having conversations about those topics because people like me are willing to dip our toe in the waters first.
I feel like it’s my responsibility to help women change their perspectives on wellness and their bodies. A lot of people are really reactive — it’s only when something goes wrong that they react. For women in particular, taking a proactive stance on their wellness is really important. I want to spread the message that being proactive about your health is the best way to take care of yourself, and that preventative health is the best kind of health. Being able to help other women is why I get up and go to work every day.
This “As Told To” essay has been edited and condensed.
This originally appeared on Medium.com