Ashley Selman and Britt Dougherty were co-workers and friends long before they founded heywell. After years in the alcohol industry, they’re making wellness accessible for everyone, every day, with their adaptogenic sparkling beverages.
Heywell is crafted to support energy, immunity, and focus with every sip. Crafted from herbs, minerals, and antioxidant-rich ingredients, these drinks strike the perfect blend between function and flavor.
Recently, we caught up with Ashley and Britt to learn more about their journey and hear their advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
01 Why did you start heywell?
We were great friends who worked together in the alcohol industry. We were equally passionate about wellness and taking care of ourselves as we were about making delicious beverage brands people loved. So, we founded heywell with a desire to create what we wanted in our own lives.
We found that many wellness solutions were prioritizing function over flavor and accessibility. We developed heywell with a mission of making wellness more simple and accessible for everyone, every day. For us, that meant making a good-for-you beverage that is delicious and helps you meet the demands of modern life. Our sparkling waters are made for modern consumers with adaptogens, antioxidants, herbs and organic caffeine for extra energy, and support for immunity, hydration, focus, and occasional stress.
02 What obstacles did you face along the way?
We launched heywell in March of 2020, right before the pandemic. That was really hard. Traditional routes to market were slow or closed, so we had to throw our initial go-to-market strategy out the window.
But, we knew we had a product that was perfect for the moment. People were redefining what wellness meant to them and they were taking a more proactive role in their health. They were looking for solutions to help them navigate everyday challenges — solutions that tasted so good they actually wanted to incorporate them into their routines. We knew we had something people were looking for. We just had to get creative about how we got it in their hands!
03 What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Celebrate the wins. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster that you ride with so many ups and downs. Celebrating the highs and — when you hit the lows — pivot quickly to a problem-solving mindset to help smooth out the journey. Preserving that sense of joy over what you’ve built is really important.
04 What’s on the horizon for heywell?
We have some exciting news for this year! Soon, we’ll be launching our new energy + uplift sparkling orange mango flavor. Made to help brighten your mood and give you energy, it's built with a powerful mix of ingredients including schisandra, ashwagandha, and ginseng. It’s sweet, tart and delicious — the perfect pick me-up!
05 How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?
Having your own business is a lifestyle and finding balance is always a goal. We feel so thankful to have each other on this journey. The best thing about having our own company is the ability to do it our way. We take time when we need it, and we also get to support causes that are important to us.
We were often the only women around the conference table in our corporate days. And, frankly, that’s still the case in the beverage industry. So as a (certified) women-owned business, we set out to be as inclusive as possible. At heywell, we want everyone to feel welcome. It's what inspired our name — heywell is meant to be a simple invitation to wellness.
We prioritize working with other diverse and women owned partners/businesses and we give 1% of sales to nonprofits that advocate for inclusion. It’s an integral part of our mission and it drives us to keep pushing forward every day.
- Functional beverages Healthy Living Immunity Meet the Founder Non-Alcoholic Beverages Woman-Owned