Karena Dawn is a trainer, wellness entrepreneur, and advocate for mental health awareness. As Co-Founder of Tone It Up and Chief Wellness Officer of ALTWELL, Karena has dedicated her life to helping others achieve wellness of the mind and body. Whether you’re experiencing a lack of sleep due to increased anxiety, learning to balance working from home with a houseful of children, or are looking for a midday snack to keep you focused, ALTWELL has carefully curated CBD products to help.
Founded in 2019 by the Pickett family (who also founded, built, and sold Muscle Milk), ALTWELL brings over 50 years of experience in the wellness industry and in-depth knowledge of the supplement, nutrition, and sports performance sectors. In 2020, the company joined forces with Karena, who will promote the brand’s commitment to helping consumers achieve optimal physical and mental wellness supported by CBD products and a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s what Karena has to say about the future of wellness, COVID-19’s impact on the CBD industry, and the advice she would give brands looking to launch a product in the coming weeks.
Hometown / Favorite Food:
Indianapolis, Indiana / Anything with Maple Syrup
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Honest, confident, productive
What makes ALTWELL different from other CBD brands on the market?
There are many CBD products in the market and like most consumers, I didn’t know which ones to trust. I’ve known the Pickett’s, the family behind ALTWELL, for over 13 years. They’ve been in the food & nutrition space for a very long time and I have always trusted their products. ALTWELL has strict requirements, they’re transparent, the taste is undeniably the best in the market and they truly care about you. That’s why I joined the team…and the family!
Why are transparent sourcing models so important? How do you maintain transparency along your supply chain?
Having quality sourced CBD is important for ALTWELL they want to create quality via transparency. Having transparency creates consumer trust which is something ALTWELL’s leadership cares about greatly. ALTWELL uses a three-step test method for all products which shows their dedication to delivering best in class CBD products for customers.
Since launching earlier this year, COVID-19 has caused significantly higher levels of stress and anxiety, have you seen a greater demand for CBD?
Yes! I’ve seen CBD really becoming even more mainstream and more people interested in trying it and educating themselves on the benefits. Right now, everyone wants to focus on things that make them feel better. For me, it’s exercise, meditation, eating healthy, and consuming CBD in the morning and before bed.
Why do you think openness around mental health is so important?
Mental health and wellness are very near and dear to me. At the age of 11, my mother was clinically diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I had to learn what mental illness is and how to cope as a kid, this was over 20 years ago and at the time, nobody was talking about mental health. I had to go to a bookstore and buy a book on schizophrenia to learn what it was, it was very difficult for me and I ended up going through a very dark time. I had a suicide attempt as a teenager and it was through rediscovering wellness practices like yoga, meditation, physical activity, and therapy that helped me heal and reclaim my life. Now, I’m an advocate for mental wellness and recently joined the board of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) in order to help reduce the stigma around mental illness and help people access support.
What advice would you give other brands looking to launch a product in the coming weeks?
Keep following your purpose and passion. This WILL turn around and you are needed. Especially right now in the wellness space. Consumers are looking to feel good and be inspired!
Does ALTWELL use data when making creative decisions? If so, how?
Absolutely, ALTWELL leverages its sport nutrition heritage in partnership with its in-house R&D team at Flavor Insights to create best-in-class CBD products that their consumers can trust! The Pickett family also operates an FDA regulated, SQF third party audited food and beverage flavor company, which adheres to the highest standards of food safety. ALTWELL also uses a three-step testing method to make sure all their CBD products are safe for use. ALTWELL’s U.S. based suppliers were selected for quality, potency, and consistency.
What’s next for ALTWELL?
ALTWELL recently released its new Topical CBD-Infused line of products including a Topical Sports Balm and Facial Serum which I am so excited about and cannot wait for everyone to try!
What does the future of wellness look like to you?
I believe that people are putting a higher emphasis on a whole-body holistic wellness approach. I’ve seen a shift where consumers are spending more on eating organic products to make them feel and sleep better, fitness apps (like the Tone It Up app). They want to feel good, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I see the future of wellness to be very bright!
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