PSFK Exclusive: Inside ‘The Ritual,' The New, Education-Focused Digital Wellness Hub From True Botanicals
True Botanicals' new editorial platform is designed to deeply educate consumers about everyday healthy living, taking the conversation about clean beauty a step further with shoppable, digitally-native content and acting as an authority in the space
•True Botanicals, the clean beauty brand known for its commitment to 100% non-toxic and natural skincare, is launching today a unique digital wellness hub.
•Called The Ritual, the site will publish editorial content designed to connect with current and new customers beyond the product purchase, educating them about not only the importance of clean self-care routines, but also living a holistic healthy lifestyle.
•PSFK spoke to True Botanicals president Meghan Higney and editorial director Maura Lynch about building a shoppable, public platform that acts as a trusted, go-to source on all things wellness.
PSFK: Tell us about the decision to launch an editorial outlet—and more than that, a digital wellness hub. What was your main motivation?
Maura Lynch, Editorial Director: Wellness has always been at the heart of our mission at True Botanicals. Our brand was born of one woman’s journey to better support her well-being: When Hillary, our founder, was recovering from thyroid cancer, she started to pay closer attention to all the ways she was taking care of herself. That included eschewing beauty products that could compromise her health—but also practicing mindfulness and movement.
Knowing that education is a powerful tool for our mission, it was only natural to start an editorial platform as a self-care resource for our customers.
Meghan Higney, President: We have so many great touchpoints with our customers to talk about product already—from our social media channels to our website and True Team; but we wanted to take the conversation a step further and talk about wellness and overall well-being. We’ve always had a vision to deeply educate our customer. We want them to have the readily available information they need to make informed decisions on the products they use and love every day (beyond amazing skincare!).
Tell us more about how The Ritual will manifest—what type of content and communities will it include?
Maura Lynch: We’ll be focusing on reported features, interviews, first-person essays and tutorials (both written and video). Aside from first-person essays, every piece of content needs proof behind it—that means links to studies, expert interviews, etc. There won’t be product announcements or a lot of the typical brand news, as we’ll be focusing on everything from an editorial lens. To start, we’re pushing roughly ten pieces a month.
Supporting our community is really important, so we’ll be launching a franchise soon after that will spotlight our customers’ transformations—we get countless messages every day from people talking about how True Botanicals has changed their skin, their confidence, their outlook.
What topics will you cover?
Maura Lynch: Our main categories are beauty, body, mind, and beyond—beyond covers community and environment. There will be a lot of content about clean beauty, naturally, but we’ll also be touching on movement, nutrition, mental health, and the environment.
How will The Ritual integrate commerce with content? Will certain content be shoppable?
Maura Lynch: Stories that feature True Botanicals products will have a shoppable element on the page as a form of contextual commerce. Rather than telling a story about True Botanicals Pure Radiance Face Oil, however, we’d rather tell a story about the benefits of face oil and the ingredients to look for—it feels more organic and less forced.
Will the hub be free to access?
Meghan Higney: The Ritual will be free to everyone. If our purpose as a company is to inspire and empower people to take the best care of themselves, each other and the planet, why would we have a paywall or make our education hub only for members? We want to give everyone the information to take the best care of themselves. Of course we want people to use our products, but education on why nontoxic skincare is of monumental importance is crucial. We want to be that trusted source of truth to consumers.
It's fascinating that True Botanicals has done the opposite of most D2C brands, moving from traditional retail back to D2C only. Could you tell us about this decision, and how The Ritual will fit into that?
Meghan Higney: We decided to focus exclusively on our direct model so that we could have a more intimate and authentic relationship with our customer.
Skincare is such a personal thing for people. We learned early on that by having a direct touchpoint to our customers, we were better able to help them on their journey to better, healthier skin. Our True Team is our first communication point to all customer questions—they provide skin consults and recommendations, and that has made such a difference in why our customers love the brand. They know there are real people helping them find the perfect products for their concerns.
We also have much more ownership of how we show up and how we tell our story through our website and store—and now through The Ritual. That can be lost when you are one of many products selling through a wholesale partner.
Can you share any examples of upcoming content with us?
Maura Lynch: Our friend and renowned breathwork expert Ashley Neese filmed a breathwork video for stress relief with us; we also have an article about how climate change is impacting our skin health; and we are kicking off our “My Rituals” franchise (where inspiring founders and entrepreneurs share their self-care rituals) with Hill House Home founder Nell Diamond. We also have a story on the importance of community and friendship for well-being, a Q+A with integrative doctor Tiffany Lester, M.D. all about endocrine disruptors, and so much more. For the latter, we’ll be hosting an event at our SF flagship as well; we want to bring education offline as often as possible.
Finally, how do you hope consumers will benefit most from The Ritual?
Maura Lynch: I want them to get a deeper understanding of what our brand is all about (helping you to take the best care of yourself, your loved ones, and the world around you) and to then really connect with that mission. I want them to walk away from each piece of content feeling more informed or more inspired—and ideally both.
Meghan Higney: My hope for The Ritual is that readers feel we are a trusted and informed friend—that we are a go-to source of truth on all things wellness that matter to them.