How wellness became the foundation of supermodel Elle Macpherson's health business

Wellness is foundation of my business, says Elle Macpherson
Wellness is foundation of my business, says Elle Macpherson

How we define beauty has evolved over time. In recent years, people have started to become more concerned with the way they feel and not just with how they look.

This is a lesson that supermodel-turned-businesswoman Elle Macpherson learned on the way to establishing her own ingestible beauty company.

"For me, what I have come to terms with is that from my personal experience as a woman, the way I feel has much more importance to me today than the way I look," Macpherson, who cofounded health business WelleCo four years ago, told CNBC's Tania Bryer last week at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 Forum in Monaco.

"And the by-product of that is because I'm well and healthy — and this was really the foundation of WelleCo, the business that I started with my co-founder Andrea Horwood."

In 2014, Macpherson teamed up with Horwood to launch WelleCo, which offers a range of plant-based ingestible beauty products and dietary supplements to consumers, that are designed by nutritional doctors. While Macpherson has been dabbling in the business world since the 1990s, WelleCo was established after she came to terms with the state of her own health and well-being.

A few years back, Macpherson realized that she wasn't feeling or looking well. After consulting her nutritional doctor Dr Simone Laubscher, the model was put on a plant-based diet and given an alkalising green powder — a product that Macpherson describes on the WelleCo website as having helped turn her life around.

"I was malnourished and not getting enough sleep. I was trying to apply the same things that worked at 20 (years old) — and they didn't work anymore at 50. That's sort of a no brainer, but it took someone to point it out to me," Macpherson told CNBC about her transition.

Elle MacPherson attends Vogue and IWC present 'Peter Lindbergh's Portofino' at 10 Corso Como on May 12, 2011 in Milan, Italy.
Stefania D'Alessandro | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

After changing her eating habits and trying the alkalizing powders, Macpherson "noticed a huge difference" in how she felt and looked, encouraging her to start a business to share this lifestyle option with other people around the world.

"Wellness has really become my foundation, and the foundation of my business," she said. "The beautiful by-product of this is that I've seen a growing correlation between wellness and beauty — particularly as I've matured."

"When I was younger, there was definitely a correlation between youth and beauty, but when I turned 50 — and I'm 54 now — I realized that actually the correlation was wellness and beauty, and that really struck a chord for me. And that's how WelleCo all started really."

WelleCo has gone on to offer products to customers around the world. As a global internet-based business, it also has products available in a number of brick-and-mortar stores in cities including New York and a number of locations across Australia.

"I feel that we have a strong business, we are weathering the economy over the last five years, we've been going from strength-to-strength and I think it has a lot to say about the integrity of the business," Macpherson said.

The supermodel added that she hopes WelleCo will continue to manufacture and distribute high-quality products that "enrich people's lives."

"Wellness is a hugely growing market," Macpherson said. "And I'm very pleased to say that WelleCo really spearheaded the ingestible beauty movement."

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Elle Macpherson: Wellness is a hugely growing market
Elle Macpherson: Wellness is a hugely growing market