They say that true beauty comes from within, which is why it’s just as important to consider what we ingest into our bodies as it is the ointments and miracle treatments we slather on our skin. Take it from Bellway founder Max Dresse, who is looking to revolutionize wellness with Bellway’s natural fiber supplements.
For a long time, fiber supplements were typically marketed towards the elderly, but lately wellness experts have been taking a second glance at fiber’s health and beauty benefits as well. Known for working with brands like Hello Fresh, Equinox, and Freshly, Dresse is no stranger to the wellness space, and with his first owned brand, he’s ready to make fiber cool again.
I took some time to speak with Dresse about launching a wellness brand during a pandemic and how fiber could be the next hot beauty ingredient.
SARAH BOYD: Tell me about why you started Bellway.
MAX DRESSE: I was on the keto diet, and my doctor told me I needed a fiber supplement, but when I looked on store shelves there was nothing I wanted to take. The leading brand is associated with grandparents and has sugars, chemicals and additives no one of our generation would take. The traditional health food store psyllium husk didn’t taste good, was messy and boring. I recognized there was a real need for innovation for millennial consumers, and white space in the market. You should hear how excited retail supplement buyers are to know there is a product to now “energize the category.”
SB: What was it like launching a brand during the onset of the pandemic?
MD: We actually closed our seed round of funding the first Friday of March, just before the markets started to tumble. We didn’t make any big announcements because we wanted to be sensitive to what people were going through, especially here in New York.
But something really crazy happened: a few weeks after quarantine began, during the over-snacking, under-exercising, Netflix binging time, people actually needed a fiber supplement. We saw unprecedented growth, sold out of product, had to establish a second supply chain during the trade embargoes, all while working from home in different locations. They don’t teach you this stuff in business school!
SB: Why are you now expanding into the beauty category?
MD: You know, all those commercials about beauty will have you believe that putting products on your body is the way to look better, but really beauty begins within. Not just who a person is, but also what they ingest. Fiber is the go-to health and wellness staple of so many [who are] “in the know”. When you add collagen to it, like we have, you’re not only clearing the digestive tract to promote clearer skin, but you’re then adding in collagen and hyaluronic acid to plump, smooth wrinkles, and help get that glow. Plus, we use organic, non-GMO ingredients. We want to have a positive impact on how people look and feel.
SB: What does the future of Bellway look like?
MD: When I started on this fiber journey, I didn’t realize how many medical benefits it had. For example, doctors say it can help to reduce the risk of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and help mitigate some of the symptoms of Crohns, Colitis, IBS and more subtle conditions like depression, lethargy and brain fog. 95% of Americans don’t get enough fiber—it takes 10 salads a day to get the recommended 30g—so our mission is to make it easier on people to get their recommended daily dose, and if they like the taste, feel and look better even better!
Learn more about Bellway at getbellway.com.