Growing up, Gina Holzer used to sit at the dinner table and wish her family of entrepreneurs would talk about something other than business.
Though interested in starting her own company, it wasn’t until she discovered the power of collagen that ideation turned into action. Holzer struggled with her skin throughout her teenage years and wore makeup any time she went out in public: to school, the gym, and even when taking out the trash.
Once she started using collagen, she noticed improvement in the clarity of her skin and thickness of her hair.
“I started feeling comfortable leaving the house without makeup on [and] I stopped comparing myself with others,” Holzer said. “I really wanted to help and empower others to get to that point of comfortability with themselves, to accept themselves instead of focusing on what they don’t look like.”
That’s how Holzer launched Wholy Dose, a superfood supplement brand that contains clinically proven ingredients for skin, hair, nails, health and wellbeing. The company launched in June after just over a year spent in the planning phase. Each of the four types of products sold is based on a formula of collagen, biotin and horsetail herb. The name, Wholy Dose, was inspired by Holzer’s realization that collagen was the “holy grail” product for her.
“What makes Wholy Dose different [is] we’re results driven,” Holzer said, “All of the ingredients that we use, we did extensive research on making sure it has efficacy. We’re not just throwing in trendy products or ingredients for the sake of being a collagen brand.”
The company has sold approximately 100 products in its first two months. Matcha Beauty Superfood and Beauty Tonic Superpowder are currently the most popular. The matcha recipe is particularly special. Holzer spent three months looking into its sourcing to find the perfect blend that wasn’t too bitter.
She said that the company’s typical customer is someone who is looking for ways to incorporate a new health and wellness routine into their diet, or who is looking to experiment with new trends to improve their hair, skin and nails.
“The most rewarding part is hearing customers talk about how our products have changed their life in terms of their hair, how they feel,” Holzer said. “We see firsthand that we are actually making a difference in these people’s lives.”
Starting a company has not come without challenges. Holzer said she was surprised by the difficulties she faced in finding a manufacturer. After reaching out to hundreds over several months, she found a manufacturer who was affordable and willing to work with Wholy Dose.
She also had to sacrifice her personal time, and time with friends and family. While Wholy Dose was in its ideation stages, Holzer was finishing grad school and planning her wedding.
“It was a tough time, but it was definitely worth it,” Holzer said.
Currently, Holzer is the sole person running her company, though she recently hired an intern. She hopes to grow her team in the future and move into retail stores. Wholy Dose currently operates out of New York City, and ships domestically across the United States.
“Our long-term goals include being that first point of contact, a first point in mind, when customers are looking for a collagen brand or to improve their wellbeing or aging process,” Holzer said.
She also added that the company hopes to expand into selling other products, such as food supplements.
“The thing I love most about the company is the mission and the brand that we carry across to our customers,” Holzer said. “Starting a company is not easy. It takes a lot of effort and drive to really reach that point where one day you wake up and say ‘I’m actually going to start doing this now.’ A very clear and proud moment [for me is] the ingredients we use, the formulas, the products, the company.”