Yale and architect school graduate Tegan Bukowski recognizes a Spanish retreat center sticker on the back of tech star Hanna Madrigan’s Macbook.
“What’s that?!” Bukowski asks.
“Oh, that’s the retreat center where I practiced yoga and meditation…” Madrigan responds.
Bukowski stops her there, “That’s where I did my yoga training!”
The two marvel in the irony that out of all the holistic learning centers in the world, the they had both chosen this small, unknown retreat in rural Spain — a testament to both their adventurous spirits and willingness to try something new.
Today Bukowski and Madrigan are two of the three founders of WellSet (the third is Sky Meltzer who is the former CEO and builder of Manduka), a new booking platform that connects wellness seekers to peer reviewed practitioners. In short, it’s a platform that’s built to legitimize the wellness industry and connect the masses of people looking for wellness to vetted experts.
Not just some white collared investors attempting to break into the $4.2 trillion dollar wellness industry, the two have skin in the game, each coming to the wellness world in search of a solution. Bukowski had suffered from chronic stomach pains since the age of 18, and Madrigan regularly experienced chronic exhaustion. Like many wellness journeys, theirs started when they realized that the western medicine they were being prescribed was only a band aid solution.
Discovering that people all around them were having the same problem, they turned to technology to fix the gap in the wellness industry. “It’s not a supply or demand problem,” Bukowski shares, “it’s actually a connection problem. There are a lot of practitioners — and a lot of people who need healing — but the connecting point between the two of them doesn’t exist right now.”
To the entrepreneurs, this type of platform seemed like a no brainer; something the industry needed years ago.
Bukowski explains that today’s practitioners long to be legitimized, they want to be found. “Right now,” she says, “so many practitioners are only reaching their Instagram following, because they feel like they don’t have another way to do it.”
Aside from the additional exposure, it allows potential clients to find practitioners for their very specific area of expertise, location, and price point. Users can conduct a “broad search” which filters practitioners based on specific ailments, healing specialties, etc., or they can search through curated mini-marketplaces called “circles.” Circles are essentially a list of recommended practitioners by either a trusted brand, industry leader, or influencer.
The ability to bring referrals to the digital space from social circles you already know and trust is where the massive opportunity for the wellness industry lies. Bukowski and Madrigan quickly understood exactly what they were building very early on in the game, and it wasn’t just their proprietary scalable technology — they are building a movement of confidence in an industry knee deep in so much unknown.
This notion of credence has led the founders to not only make the wellness space a place for legitimized care but also to keep WellSet a trusted brand in itself. It’s a brand built from an authentic place of having been there themselves and having the foresight to revolutionize the industry into what it’s truly meant to be.
Brielle Pearson is a guest writer at the fullest where she writes about the latest trends on the intersection of tech and wellness. She has a background in advertising and event marketing that has allowed her to work across multiple disciplines. She is also a certified kundalini yoga teacher and somatic dance practitioner. You can find Brielle on Twitter or Instagram at @BriellePearson.