Often on our journeys, we’re met with challenges. But, when we step back a bit, open ourselves to a new approach, reach out to others and work together, it can be the ground for something good to begin to grow …
Wehl was founded on the belief that taking a more natural, holistic and balanced approach to wellness is the best way to live well and that surrounding yourself with a supportive, like-minded community (online and offline) is the only way to sustain wellness for a lifetime. We were built for vitality and the people around us help us to live better and brighter!
Wehl's journey began from personal challenge and growth and has continued to be driven by collaboration and a passion for helping others live healthier lives. In a situation familiar to many of us, Jennifer Workman found herself living an over-scheduled life and struggling to achieve some balance between her busy job, lengthy commute and other commitments. She was active and trying to eat well but without realizing it her body was slowly breaking down and she was speeding non-stop down the road to burnout.
“Unfortunately, I was focusing mostly on taking care of my ‘physical’ (or body) wellness even after I learned through my education that there’s much more to wellness. There’s some irony here because I was working in public health and my job was to promote health - meanwhile I was struggling to maintain my own. I was horrified and embarrassed to realize one day that I was becoming the ‘unhealthy health promoter’ - something had to change!”
Over several years and different health challenges, Jennifer experienced first hand that our bodies are complex, that everything is connected and that, just as she had learned in school years before, true wellness is about focusing on all of the components of wellness – body, mind, spiritual, work, enviro and social wellness are all important.
“I knew I had solved part of my problem by re-focusing on a holistic approach to my wellness and began to make progress but I still struggled to find support for maintaining my new holistic habits. Not only was it hard to stay motivated but it was overwhelming and time-consuming to navigate through websites for quality information and research effective healthy products and services. Most of all, it was just plain lonely! I knew I wasn’t the only one and wanted to connect with others who had similar goals and challenges.”
Based on the research that indicates social support is a key driver for wellness success and sustainability, Jennifer began to realize that social networking had amazing potential to help people maintain and improve wellness.
A community of people coming together to empower each other on a platform built specifically to enhance wellness … it was nowhere to be found and all just a daydream for a while.
That was the seed for the beginning of Wehl. It wasn’t rocket science or one epiphany moment, just a collection of personal and professional experiences on a journey marked with challenges that developed an idea for a better way.
Talking about the idea with others was when the seed found dirt (beautiful dirt that is) that would actually give it a chance to begin to grow.
“As I shared my need and desire for a place like Wehl, many people identified their own desire for a wellness social community and expressed that this idea could actually become a reality.”
Many awesome, talented people have come along to believe Wehl was possible and help build the platform from the ground up. Together, as a team and as a community, we’ve worked hard to design a healthy social platform that promotes wellness through design, features, content and, most of all, a healthy culture and cooperative community.
Our journey building Wehl has been much like our own personal wellness journeys – full of highs and lows, challenges, risks, failures, opportunities, joy and excitement. And, cheesy as it may sound, it really has been social support that has helped us push through and stay laser-focused on achieving our mission. It’s been about plenty of faith and positivity and taking imperfect baby steps forward. We've learned to give ourselves permission to be different and go down this road at our own pace.
Researched – Plenty was done to inform decisions before and during development, especially related to healthy behaviour change and the positive and negative effects of social networking on our health.
Co-created – We’ve interviewed and surveyed many people, wellness professionals, influencers and business owners. We’ve listened to help us better understand interests, needs and barriers to wellness and uncover ways to create a healthy online networking experience.
Planned, Designed, Coded and Tested – From pencil drawings to digital mock-ups to an alpha and beta testing platform. Countless lines of custom code in the background keep Wehl humming along.
Gathered Feedback – Improvements and additions all came based off of community feedback.
Created Community Together – Connecting on Wehl with friends, family and people we’ve never met before gives us the motivation to keep going and helps us care for our own wehlness between work demands. We love our growing community and are so inspired by your journeys! It’s all about support here and we’re grateful for the support of our members!
We’re on this journey together. We want to collaborate, as professionals, organizations and everyday real people to not only keep ourselves accountable but also make an impact. What we focus on grows and we’re focused on growing more wehlness and good in the world.
Thanks for reading about our Wehl journey so far. We’re committed to continuing to build and evolve the Wehl social platform for and with our members. With your continued participation and feedback there will be much more to come.
We can’t do it without you and invite you to join us. We hope you’ll share moments - past, present, and future – from your journey with us on Wehl.