Interview with Craig Elbert, Co-founder and CEO, Care/of
It’s time to ditch the Flinstone’s vitamin gummies -- a new kid’s in town and they’re packing a punch when it comes to wellness. We sat down with Craig Elbert, Co-Founder of Care/of, to learn about the vitamin and supplement company that’s putting the personalization into your wellness routines and delivering it straight to your door.
What are your backgrounds?
Before starting Care/of, I was at Bonobos, a men’s clothing brand. At Bonobos, we thought a lot about building great customer experiences, which got me thinking about what a more delightful experience in the vitamin world could be. Akash Shah, Co-Founder and Head of Product, comes from Hometeam, a healthcare startup helping senior adults. He’s passionate about the healthcare space and has spent a lot of time thinking about how personalization can shape the Care/of experience.
What is your company's mission?
We aim to make healthy living easier with honest guidance, better ingredients, and a personalized approach. We produce our own line of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and specialty supplements, all made from the best ingredients out there and without any unnecessary additives. You take a short quiz about your diet and lifestyle on our website, and we recommend the best vitamins for you based on your diet and health goals (along with clinical research and input from doctors). And then we mail your vitamins to you every month in convenient daily packs with your name on them.
What problem is Care/of trying to solve in the wellness/healthcare industry?
If you’ve shopped for vitamins before, you probably know how confusing it can be. I was trying to shop for vitamin D for myself and prenatals for my wife, who was pregnant at the time. I was overwhelmed in the vitamin aisle, not sure which product to choose or which brands to trust. It was clear that there was an opportunity to create a better-designed experience that would make the process easier for people simply looking to do something good for their health.
Self-care is a huge component of our company's mission and values. How do you promote a life of wellness and self-care?
We’re making it easier to find the right vitamins for your needs made from the highest-quality ingredients, but we’re also changing the vitamin experience itself. We’re designing a process that makes remembering to take your daily vitamins easier. Each month, we send you a box with your vitamins in thirty daily packs. It’s easy to grab your pack to take with you if you’re on the go. You don’t need those weekly pill containers anymore. Each pack has your name and an inspiring quote or fun fact on it, and the box comes with a different design each month. We’ve tried to make taking your vitamins and making choices for lifelong health a little easier and a little more fun.
How do you deal with the stresses of being brand founders in such a saturated industry?
It does require a lot of energy. I keep rhodiola rosea, an adaptogenic herb favored by Siberian astronauts, in my daily vitamin pack. It’s been studied for combating fatigue and supporting stamina under stress, and for centuries people have used it to keep their energy up.
What are other ways you promote a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle?
We see Care/of as a friendly guide to helping people achieve their health goals — short-term and long-term — and support healthy lifestyles, whatever that means for you. To us, it’s not just about supplements, but rather about holistic ways to achieve better health. We try to make that part of the overall Care/of experience, by creating content about broader health themes to send to our customers, or making nutrition experts on our team available to customers to have one-on-one conversations about their individual health needs. By equipping our customers with knowledge about health that goes beyond supplements, we hope it can be a great tool for well-rounded health. Outside of our own brand, there are tons of health and wellness brands we admire — from clean beauty brands to inclusive yoga studios like Sky Ting.
Do you have any rituals that help you de-stress?
I love relaxing with my wife on a Friday night, with some music, a drink, and takeout. The little things help me unwind.