Julie Kucinski has spent years working for beauty and wellness brands as a strategist, consultant, and creative director. The list reads like a who’s who of cool brands with a natural focus, from Mrs. Meyers to Aveda, as well as other big names like Levi’s, Target, and L’Oréal.
“With this career history, I was very aware women fell off the marketing radar around age 35 or 38—even though retailers and brands rely on us,” says Julie, who lives in Minneapolis, MN with her long-time partner David, her 8-year-old son, Charlie and their rescue dog, Foxy.
Watching women get reduced to cliches in marketing campaigns made Julie want to build something better. Then, when, a client asked her to identify opportunities in women’s health, she presented perimenopause as a huge, but untapped market—and she heard crickets.
My co-founders and I — including actress Judy Greer— shared the same insight, passion, and point of view. We all were all users of integrated and natural medicine with rebel spirits. We needed this, our friends needed this – so here we are,” says Julie.
Read on to learn about Wile, Julie’s founder story, and more.
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Was there an “aha” moment when you first decided to launch Wile?
As we’ve worked on Wile, we continue to see just how much we have not been told about how our hormones and our stress affect us. Wile wants to raise awareness and help women discover how good they can feel by working with their bodies, not against them. And by writing a new story for who we are and want to be in our 40s, 50s and beyond.
How does Wile differ from every other supplement line on the market right now?
- We’re devoted to midlife women and reframing this life stage to one of peak power and personal awakening.
- Our products are formulated with a naturopathic physician, not just off the shelf.
- We focus on mood/stress and perimenopause.
- We include cortisol as the “other” female hormone, acknowledging the stress and responsibility load on midlife women.
- We have innovative mood support around anger, worry and burnout as well as stress eating.
- We have honest discussions about issues relevant to this life stage, to Xennials and Gen X, and we seek out experts and robust points of view.
Can you please share how women can use Wile products – for instance, can they be used together?
Yes! Every Wile product can be used separately or together.
We have capsules for daily systemic support, tinctures for “trigger” moments or intense phases, and drinks to help unwind and work with cravings.
Every woman’s life and perimenopause journey are different, often with a lot of changes coming our way that no one told us about. There’s no way to know what’s coming, when or what it will be like. So, we designed the line change with you.
When hot flashes show up, cycle that in. Once the 40s pass and irritability is less of an issue (yeah, a lot of it is hormonal!) maybe Un-Anger is no longer a go-to.
One product, Perimenopause Support, offers help at every stage, from pre to peri to post-menopause by supporting endocrine (aka hormonal), adrenal and nervous systems. All essential to get us through all that comes at us in a day.
You’ve worked with some amazing brands over the years – how has that experience helped you grow Wile?
Our founding team has great complementary skill sets and personal networks with deep expertise in all the areas required to do this work. So together, we’ve been able to move quickly and with confidence.
I’ve also been lucky enough to work very, very closely with self-made entrepreneurs who created new categories and powerful brands – natural beauty, natural cleaning, better-for-you snacks, beauty devices. They weren’t investment bankers or MBAs. They helped me develop a real instinct for being 100% true to your mission and serving the customer first, not a spreadsheet.
Working with exceptional designers and creative people was another education. We want Wile to help women feel good and feel seen, make her feel good when she opens the cabinet and interested when she sees a post. Not just follow the same playbook.
Why is perimenopause so important to be informed about – and why do you think people are *just* starting to talk about it? Women tell us all the time: sometimes well into your 40s.
There’s an astounding lack of perimenopause training and awareness with MDs, including gynecologists. In a study, <10% said they felt prepared to work with perimenopause or post-menopausal women even after their residencies. Women are often told to go on the pill, an antidepressant or just deal with it—end of discussion. A recent NYTimes article looked at this and we’re dig in on our blog.
But why is this? Well, as Gloria Steinem said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
To put it plainly, our culture is very weird about women’s bodies. The U.S is one of the most ageist countries on earth. We worship youth. Women’s health is still not fully researched, funded, or taken seriously, which many studies corroborate. On top of that, we’re tasked with so much caretaking, workload and now, also looking 35 until we die (kidding/not kidding).
Put all that together and it makes sense it’s been ignored.
Perimenopause can have up to 36 symptoms, and awareness is so low. It’s hard to get informed care. Women blame themselves or suffer for no reason. It’s as profound a change as puberty or motherhood, but it’s one we’re supposed to pretend never happens.
Our generation is saying, nope. Women have always helped each other through life’s passages. Today we are doing it via IG, TikTok and yes, friends talking.
At Wile, we see this as an awakening period of conscious change, life evaluation and evolution. What do we want from here on? Like our boxes say, “Change is inevitable, make it intentional.”
Love that. What are the must-try products in the Wile lineup?
It’s hard to say because everyone’s experience is so different, but these are the most unique in our mix:
Perimenopause Support – Anyone 40ish or older should start here, especially once you see changes in mood, sleep, energy, or your period. The sooner you start, the easier any transition will be, pre/peri or post-menopause. And it boosts the efficacy of any other Wile product.
Women’s Stress – No one told me brain fog was coming. Most midlife women have sleep issues. White American women over 40 are the biggest market for antidepressants on earth – but no one thinks about daily naturopathic stress support. We did!
Un-Anger – Many of us were conditioned not to “get” angry – we’re supposed to hide it. Yet irritability is very, very common in this life stage due to hormones and life, and it can be hard for women to grapple with. To our knowledge, it’s the only product that recognizes women’s anger.
Burnout Relief – Again, as women we created what we felt women really needed. This has been a top seller as well because it addresses a truth: so many of us feel overloaded and overwhelmed and need a bit of spark to keep going.
Stave the Crave – I fought for this product because stress eating, and boredom eating is an issue for me and so many friends confronted it during the pandemic. Studies show women are stress eaters more than men. This is a very natural tasting chai that’s great frothed in warm milk or added to a ginger tea.
What are your goals for Wile?
Bold ambition, but our ultimate goal is to become the leading natural wellness brand for women in their 40s and 50s.
In the next year we are focused on opening more conversations about the changes, pressures, and power of this life stage. Because it’s not all insomnia, brain fog and weight gain! It’s confidence, greater impact, and deeper meaning. Women this age are incredible.
We want to get as many midlife women as possible to share their stories, to speak their truth about where they are, what they want and what they dream of doing and becoming.
In five years, we will have a complete line of options for women and ideally a much larger platform to reframe this properly as a time of peak power and meaning. Not “aging.”
This is such a rich time of life. We want to explore it in its full glory and complexity, inspired by all who are living it on their own terms, whatever that looks like to them.
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This story is sponsored by Wile.