Our team recently got the amazing opportunity to connect with Founder and CEO of pursoma, Shannon Vaughn. Shannon founded Pursoma with the intent to create self care solutions for a modern world after her personal experiences with anxiety, PTSD and chronic illness.
While on this journey of finding healing alternatives other than surgery and medication, she discovered the powerful healing properties of cleansing bath rituals and mediation. In 2014, Pursoma was born offering a boutique and mass line of all-natural bath and body products that encourage digital wellness and detox health.
Keep scrolling to learn more about Shannon's entrepreneurship journey, the future of wellness and more.
Can you walk us through your entrepreneurship journey and what led you to create pursoma? Did you always see yourself becoming an entrepreneur in the wellness space?
I am a purpose driven person, and my entrepreneurial efforts stem from this. My purpose is to create wellness practices that will enable others to live a calmer, more focused and less anxious life in modern society. I was reading a quote where a mother was telling her daughter that life has no purpose if you’re not in service to others. That’s a noble purpose, but it felt like that was too hard for me to obtain…almost out of reach.
For me, finding balance in my life - working and having a family and being successful at both - feels more honest than curing world hunger. I think that, selfishly, my purpose to create wellness practices was driven by how I work and live and wanting to offer solutions to other women in my expanded community.
In what ways has creating your own company impacted your life? And what has been the most satisfying moment since creating pursoma?
My wellness journey didn’t happen overnight. I came face to face with a health crisis, so I had to make some changes, but I dove so hard into it that it got to the point that it wasn’t sustainable. People will hit a wall with wellness if it’s not a sustainable practice in terms of finances and time. My advice is to always take baby steps, because if you go cold turkey, your body freaks out.
If you have someone who lives an unhealthy lifestyle and you insist that they change everything all at once, they are miserable. That’s why we sell a single-serve detox product. Try it once, maybe twice, and see what you think. Our goal is to demystify the world of wellness and make daily rituals accessible to everyone.
pursoma’s mission is to create a path to wellness, which I assume might look different for everyone. Are there any foundational or core wellness tips / suggestions that you have found to be universal?
Our culture lives like this: wake up, drink caffeine, eat carbs, sit at a desk in front of a screen where you’re overstimulated constantly, eat easy food, and then try to get to sleep using meds and or alcohol. That type of life means we are performing at half capacity. I know that because I lived that way. Edging into wellness means adding in some balance, for example if you sit in front of a screen all day, stop from time to time and have some conversation. Use a stand-up desk or sit on an exercise ball instead or take a five-minute walk every hour. When it comes to drinking, decide that you’re going to drink only once a week or once a month. Change your habits and you will become clearer.
Wellness went wrong because it became a trend, and it became very elitist. Take for instance someone who goes to a $45 yoga class and has a $12 matcha and eats a $7 avocado, but they wouldn’t know the first thing about how to grow their own food. That’s why at pursoma, we produce the highest quality products possible without gatekeeping via price or retail placement. The wellness industry has become disconnected from the source, which is nature. People just need to have a connection to nature. Just go take a walk! Also, drinking enough water is low-hanging fruit and a great place to start.
It’s fair to say that a shift to wellness has been heavily highlighted since the start of the pandemic. Do you foresee this wellness mindset to continue? In your opinion, what does the future of wellness look like?
It looks like people taking back their lives. By that, I mean people are no longer letting the consumption machine tell them what is healthy. We have the answers: connection to nature, clean water, basic food and movement.
All of these pair with mental health activities that are easier to implement because you are not battling a tired and toxic body. Going back to basics, (movement, mindful moments, drinking water, bathing) always works for me.
For pursoma what has been the most successful key to branding and how do you differentiate from other wellness brands?
I am dedicated to accessible solutions that people can do on their own at home. So they can become their own teachers, and they don’t need me anymore - they become the guru. We shoot real women for our marketing materials and we never photoshop. We tap into our local community at every level, from employees to models to ingredient sources.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business or is there a piece of advice that has resonated the most with you along your entrepreneurial journey?
Make sure you have good people around you that are going to cheer you on. You will need fans. Make sure you have smart people, those that are and have been successful entrepreneurs, and those who will also steer you and cheer you on. Make sure you sleep enough and take care of your health or you won't be able to manage the mental and physical toll that starting and running a company takes on your health.