Just Started – Well Squared: Dr. Zobir Alexander and Amy Shaw

Plant-powered wellness company Well Squared wants to make nutrition more accessible by selling tasty gummy vitamins.

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Name of founders: Dr Zobir Alexander, Amy Shaw
Ages of the founders: 22-27
Location: Bristol
Date launched: November 2021
Number of employees: 2

What does your business do?

At Well Squared, we keep health conscious and busy people happy by providing nutrition that’s convenient and enjoyable. How? Through our plant-powered and science-backed gummy vitamins.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

The pandemic was a wakeup call and really emphasised the importance of health and nutrition for everyone. In the UK alone, tens of millions of people are not meeting their nutritional needs.

By virtue of seeing patients in the hospital on a daily basis, the discomfort associated with tablet-taking was clear to us. Empowering individuals on their wellbeing journey and helping people to stay healthy are major reasons for why we do what we do. We created a tasty, plant-based and eco-friendly solution to combat these issues.

How did you know there was a market for it?

We spent several months conducting market research. This included validating nutrition and health-related problems people face through surveys, as well as generating a prospective consumer wait list.

What were you doing before launching your business?

Amy: Finance Graduate. Zobir: Medical Doctor.

By virtue of seeing patients in the hospital on a daily basis, the discomfort associated with tablet-taking was clear to us.

Have you always dreamed of starting a business?

We both share an entrepreneurial desire as well as a real passion for health and wellbeing. As soon as we identified the scale of the problem, we realised that we can do something special and make a positive impact.

How did you finance your business?

We are bootstrapping so it’s currently 100% self-funded.

Explain your business model and how you make money.

Our priority is to educate and develop a community of like-minded individuals. We’re an online, direct to consumer business with a subscription element. We currently have 3 core products.

What are the main challenges you have faced? And how did you overcome them?

With startups there are new challenges every day. A key challenge is driving awareness of our products.

In general, there’s been many hurdles including web design, logistics, shipping and partnerships. Since we’re bootstrapping, we’ve had to navigate these problems by trying to upskill ourselves as opposed to relying on external help. Persistence and a positive mindset were key in helping us overcome these challenges.

What has your experience been of starting a business during a pandemic?

It’s been difficult, but fun! We’re now on the Natwest Accelerator Programme which will be a great way to network with other businesses and develop our entrepreneurial skills.

As soon as we identified the scale of the problem, we realised that we can do something special and make a positive impact.

Describe your first breakthrough.

Getting our first sale!

How has Brexit impacted your business? Do you think it will in the future?

It hasn’t at the moment but we anticipate this will present challenges as we look to expand into Europe.

What advice would you give to other aspiring business owners?

Be relentless in your pursuit to reach your goal. Determine what really makes you unique from your competitors. Iterate constantly and be willing to listen to feedback. Lastly, lots of people just talk about starting a business and never do it. Just go for it!

What is one resolution you have for your business this year?

Hitting our month-on-month growth targets and striving to exceed them.

How do you see your business developing in the next three years?

Demonstrate fit and demand in the UK before expanding our reach to the rest of Europe and the US.

If you're a business owner with a startup that's less than six months old, apply now to feature as one of our Just Started business profiles.

Helena Young
Helena Young Senior Writer

Helena "Len" Young is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has also previously written for a popular fintech startup.

Included in her topics of interest and expertise are tax legislation, the levelling up agenda, and organisational software including CRM and project management systems. As well as this, she is a big fan of the films of Peter Jackson.

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