Category Archives: blogging

Seven Surprising Facts About the Garden of Life Company

I recently had the pleasure and honor of attending an invitation-only event hosted by the Garden of Life® company. Garden of Life Logo I was one of ten business owners and bloggers invited to spend three days as guests of Garden of Life. We spent two days at the Garden of Life headquarters, visited local eateries, were treated to a Lagree Method workout, received tons of swag and a very generous spa gift certificate, and had one glorious day to ourselves to enjoy the sun and sights of Palm Beach Gardens. During the event, we were treated to cutting-edge education about Garden of Life’s company, philosophies, and commitment to quality; were blessed to meet many members of the Garden of Life staff and leadership team; and were pampered like crazy.

I have been a huge fan of Garden of Life products for more than ten years. Visiting their corporate office and getting to learn more detailed information about their products and philosophies strengthened my desire to use their products myself and to recommend them to my clients. I was also impressed at how readily their leadership team shared areas they are working to improve, and how open they were to receiving feedback.

Here are seven facts about the Garden of Life company that may surprise you:

Garden of Life is committed to creating supplements that are USDA Certified Organic and Verified Non-GMO via the Non-GMO Project:  

This makes Garden of Life a true oddity (in a wonderful way) in the natural products market. There are currently approximately only 265 supplements on the market that are both USDA Certified Organic and Verified Non-GMO. Garden of Life has 29% of Non-GMO Project Verified Logothose products. That is an impressive market share that is higher than any other individual company’s. Garden of Life is committed to making sure their future products continue to make it easier to find certified organic, non-GMO supplements. You’ve committed to eating 100% organic food, shouldn’t your supplements be the same? You can learn more about Garden of Life’s commitment to organic, non-GMO products by visiting Why is Garden of Life® the #1 Certified USDA Organic Supplement Brand in the Natural Products Industry?

The enthusiasm and dedication of the Garden of Life staff is amazing:

We were blessed to receive education from various Garden of Life staff members and to hang out with others. I was blown away by how obvious it was that every person there was excited to be at work and loved his or her job. I’ve never before seen that in a corporate environment! Regardless of whether the staff member worked in product development, IT, or finance, their job satisfaction and their excitement to be there was obvious. It was also obvious they were all united in their desire to live and promote a holistic, organic lifestyle.

The Garden of Life slogan of Empowering Extraordinary Health® isn’t just a tagline, it’s an absolute way of life for the corporation and its staff:

I was also impressed by Garden of Life’s commitment to intentional, holistic living in every way possible. Their commitment to “empowering extraordinary health” extends from the products they create to the well-being of their vendors and suppliers and to the health of their employees. The company is so committed to only using organic ingredients that they have programs in place to help farmers convert from traditional growing practices to organic. The company’s corporate office also has innovative perqs such as a Meditation Room, Smoothie Bike (see pic), Supplement Bar (see pic), work out facility with showers, and a “living wall” of plants that serves as a backdrop to the amazingly well equipped employee break area.

Garden of Life Smoothie Bike

Fellow attendee Chelsea Gilson of Traveling Fig demonstrates the Garden of Life Smoothie Bike

SBarupplement

Garden of Life’s “Supplement Bar” where employees have easy access to a wide array of supplements. (Photo courtesy of fellow attendee Roshini Cope of Glamazini.com.)

 

Garden of Life relies on research and clinical trials to verify the efficacy of their products:

The amount of research that goes into the development of every Garden of Life product is staggering. Extensive research is dedicated to every ingredient, including those providing therapeutic nutrients or herbs, and also the flavorings. (Their products do not include artificial colorants.) Once a formula is developed, the research doesn’t stop. Garden of Life products are third-party tested to gauge their effectiveness. This dedication to research is amazing and helps increase confidence in the products.

The Garden of Life company is dedicated to free trade and to supporting the communities their farmers and suppliers live in:

I’m impressed by any company who actively shows a commitment to giving back. Garden of Life definitely fits that category! The company is firmly committed to ensuring all trade arrangements made with suppliers and farmers are fair and that ingredients purchased from small providers ultimately benefit the surrounding community. Sales of some Garden of Life products are used to help support organizations such as SOS Children”s Villages USA, The National Parkinson Foundation, Vitamin Angels, and others. In addition to that, Garden of Life employees are encouraged to actively support organizations that are near to their own hearts. One example of that includes Rhonda Price, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, who helps support Special Olympics. 

Garden of Life’s commitment to high quality ingredients is so strong they have decided to not go mainstream:

There are approximately 7,000 health food stores in the US and over one million mainstream department stores and groceries. Garden of Life evaluated the market and their ability to obtain the highest quality organic ingredients and made a conscious decision to limit the sale of their products to health food stores. While some might consider limiting their potential profit a crazy business decision, Garden of Life recognized that maintaining the highest possible quality was priceless. The fact they only sell in health food stores also enables the company to provide advanced training to health food store employees to ensure that those directly responsible for recommending their products have a solid foundation of knowledge about the products. 

Garden of Life’s commitment to high quality ingredients includes an absolute commitment to only using flavoring ingredients that are organic, non-GMO and pure:

One of the most delightful people we met was Sherri Gunn, Director of Product Development and Flavor Specialist. Sherri’s enthusiasm for and excitement about her job was energizing and contagious. Part of her role is to ensure Garden of Life products taste amazing. To accomplish that, she spends hours tasting a wide variety of different organic ingredients intended to impart flavor. (She must have the most sensitive taste buds on earth to be able to discern subtle differences between multiple botanicals and natural products most of us would think were the same thing!) Sherri’s all-consuming passion for her job and for finding the best organic ingredients to make Garden of Life products taste amazing was inspiring.

In my next post, I’ll share links and info about the other attendees of the event. They are amazing women with big hearts who are changing the world by being themselves and inspiring others to live as healthily as possible. I can’t wait to share them with you!

A Naturopathic View of Blog Indiana 2012

Blog Indiana 2012Last week I had the immense privilege of attending and speaking at Blog Indiana 2012. Blog Indiana is a conference for – you guessed it – bloggers in Indiana. The problem with describing Blog Indiana is that its sessions and attendees extend far beyond the blogging community. It is impossible to condense the conference to fit into a nice, tidy box.

While at the conference, I met a diversity of people with varied interests. I met people who had never written a blog post and were there to learn more about blogging and social media. I met people who are CEOs of or who work for social media and internet marketing companies. I met many people who are considered experts in their field on a national level. I also met people who had little or no involvement in social media and blogging and who came to Blog Indiana to learn as much as they could and to network. Blog Indiana is obviously an amazing conference that appeals to and benefits a wide range of people with varied interests. I was incredibly blessed to see many old friends and to make many new connections. I learned so much that it will take several months to implement every factor I want to apply to my business.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share a “Naturopathic perspective” on what attendees gained and lost during Blog Indiana 2012. The analogy is weak, but it works, simply because Blog Indiana provides “nutrition” that helps businesses heal and which helps banish negativity. I want to give Randy Clark credit for his unique blog post: Blog Indiana’s Big Problem and for giving me permission to steal his idea of helping promote the speakers by linking back to them.

Detoxification of Toxic Information

Whether attendees learned from Allison Carter that engagement requires visual enhancement and that writers must let go of fears related to using graphics,  or learned from Douglas Karr that creating solid SEO requires eliminating outdated SEO myths, I guarantee every attendee was able to detoxify beliefs and knowledge that were hindering their growth. I also have no doubt this cleanse of outdated information equipped Blog Indiana attendees to pursue new levels of success. Other sessions that helped with the detoxification process included Steve Hill’s presentation on getting great results with rebranding, and (hopefully) my session, which explored ways to easily generate content and recognize existing content sources. (You can view my presentation at The Care and Feeding of Content Monsters.)

Regeneration of Purpose and Vision

Every attendee received cutting-edge information and research related to social media tools, programs and philosophies. Based on what I heard from most of the attendees I spoke with (and I spoke with as many as I could), the amount of information gained was overwhelming. Many attendees said their first goal was to condense everything they learned into a set of bullet points, and to then create a plan for implementing specific points each week. Summarizing everything gained and creating a feasible implementation plan is itself a daunting task.

For most attendees, the information gained not only provided the encouragement they needed to move forward, but also provided tools and techniques they can use to advance their business or their personal development.  The range of information shared was immense and included everything from essential Facebook tools (Chad Richards), how to start your own “Friend Up” for reciprocal networking (Randy Clark), how to tell your story and leverage grammar to gain respect (Jane Goodwin), or how to use social media to promote not-for-profit events and needs (Nathan Hand and Sara Croft). That’s a very tiny sampling of the sessions, so you can imagine the wealth of valuable information that was shared!

Establishing Supporting Relationships

As I said previously, some of the attendees at Blog Indiana were there solely to network. Regardless of our end goal, I know every attendee enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and find new resources for their business and personal needs. It is amazing to go to a conference where absolutely every person is friendly, engaging and genuinely wants to help. While there, I heard networking stories of people who found jobs, people who wound up dating someone they met at Blog Indiana, and more than one person spoke of finding a company they soon realized was a perfect fit for their business needs. The networking opportunities and potential to make new friends was huge. For the speakers, I know the stress level was very low, as speaking at Blog Indiana is similar to speaking in front of a room filled with family. 

Having Fun and Decompressing

Please don’t think Blog Indiana was all work and no play. Every session I attended was enhanced by numerous laughs, and it was not uncommon to hear loud laughter coming from other sessions. Blog Indiana is fun in the midst of the benefits! I very much appreciate that the organizers, Noah Coffey and Sean Plew, not only exhausted themselves ensuring every facet of Blog Indiana flowed perfectly, but also took time to organize social events before and during the conference. The ability to socialize without a schedule helped each of us get to know each other better and helped cement the relationships that had been formed.

To put it quite simply: Blog Indiana is my favorite conference every year. I highly recommend attending! For those who attended this year, what needs to be added to this post? For those who weren’t there. which session do you think you would have enjoyed the most? I look forward to reading your answers!