Real Leaders

Building the Future of Daily Essentials

How I’m helping reinvent the $59-billion supplement industry from the ground up.

By Katerina Schneider

I’m a mother of three — four if you count Ritual, the health and wellness company I founded in 2016. I was pregnant with my first daughter when I couldn’t find a prenatal multivitamin I trusted. The options recommended to me were high in heavy metals, contained artificial colorants, or were lacking in key nutrients we needed during that life stage.

The more I learned, the more I realized we need supplements, but it’s no surprise people have a hard time knowing which ones to trust. There was transparency in so many other industries, yet when it came to something people are putting in their bodies every day, there was none. That was the lightbulb moment. I knew we deserved better — not just for women’s health but for future generations. 

Beyond Vitamins, Building Trust: Ritual’s Recipe for Success

I quit my job at four months pregnant, eager to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the $59-billion supplement industry. But as I took meetings for Ritual’s first round of funding, a male investor told me I could start a company or start a family — but not both. This moment became ingrained in our founding story and immortalized as one of our company values: to embrace the nos. That no became fuel for me. It wasn’t the first no, and it certainly wasn’t the last. I was told there was no way we could earn the trust of women online. I was told no one would ever buy a prenatal multivitamin from an online company. I was told that no one would pay a premium for higher-quality ingredients. Every no made me more determined to reinvent the supplement industry from the ground up. 

Informed Choices, Not Blind Faith: Ritual Empowers with Facts

We built the first visible supply chain of its kind, transparently sharing where our ingredients come from in the world and why they are there. We invested in scientific research and clinical studies to support the efficacy of our products, setting a goal to have clinical trials on all our products by 2030. We also pursued third-party certifications like USP Verification and Clean Label Project because we didn’t want our customers to just take our word for it.

None of this was required by the industry, but it was the right thing to do. We focused on not just creating transparent products but providing transparent information so our customers and community could make confident choices for their health. And it has paid off. Ritual is one of the most trusted brands in its category, one of few supplement companies to be a Certified B Corporation, and now we have one of the leading prenatal multivitamins.  

Raising the Bar for All

But the reality is people are going to buy supplements for their specific needs outside the ones Ritual makes. My goal is that through strategic advocacy initiatives and urging Congress for stricter oversight, we can have a bigger impact beyond our products. We are advocating for a future where there are health protective measures on heavy metals, and terms like clinical study are clearly defined so that consumers don’t have to be their own advocates. That is the ultimate mission — to raise the bar not just for our products, but for the supplement industry at large, and to create a better future for my girls. 

Katerina Schneider is the founder and CEO of the health technology company Ritual.

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