Movita Makes Multivitamins Look Good With Updated And Upscale Packaging
With brands like Ritual, The Nue Co., Care/of and Goop escalating expectations for design in the supplements segment, Movita needed to up its packaging game — and quickly did. Before its second birthday, the organic women’s multivitamin maker changed its look.
Working with Isabel de Peque, Movita transitioned from pretty standard containers to premium, apothecary-inspired amber glass bottles and tops befitting elevated positioning. Its daily multivitamin is priced at $37.95 for a 30-day supply and the same amount of replenishment tablets is sold in a paper pouch for $29.95.
“What I have learned is not to compromise,” says Tonya Lewis Lee, founder of Movita, wife of director Spike Lee, and producer whose projects include the current Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It and forthcoming drama Monster. “In the original planning, I wanted to do something about the packaging, but we made a financial decision. We wanted to hurry up and get it out there. If I had to do it over again, as much time and energy was put into making sure the vitamin was good, I would have taken that time for the packaging as well.”
The process of reimagining the aesthetics began with de Peque and Lewis Lee sorting through the meaning of Movita and Lewis Lee’s role at the helm of it. Lewis Lee explains the pair determined Movita was a vitamin brand ideal for beauty distribution that had to convince women it’s worth shelling out for through its appearance. The pills were doing their job to woo customers — Movita vitamins are filled with pure blends of fruits, vegetables and herbs that are fermented using live prebiotics and probiotics fermentation to enable them to be absorbed like food — and the bottles had to do their job, too.
“Movita is about trying to encourage women to live healthy lifestyles. Health is everything and, your experience taking care of yourself, whether it’s the products you put on your skin or what you put in your body, should be enjoyable. Women are worth it. I know I work really hard, and my health allows me to do the work I do,” says Lewis Lee. “We want people to be able to have this bottle on their nightstand and not feel it looks like a plastic bottle found in a bin at Walmart. We want it to be almost a piece of art.”
Movita is targeting upscale specialty retailers for distribution and recently landed at C.O. Bigelow, but digital outlets, especially Amazon and the brand’s website, are expected to be key business drivers. The multivitamins are offered on a subscription basis online. Movita’s product lineup is expected to expand soon with pre-natal, vitamin B3 and beauty products, a move that Lewis Lee believes will be attractive to stores interested in bringing on Movita.
Lewis Lee’s professional commitment to spreading the message of health and wellness kicked off about a decade ago, when she became spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health’s campaign to foster awareness about infant mortality. She deepened her involvement in health and wellness by introducing women’s health content platform Healthyyounow.com. While attempting to secure capital for Healthyyounow.com three years ago, Lewis Lee met Robert Sires, a serial investor, and previous president of vitamin and supplement manufacturer Unipharm.
“He was really interested in launching an organic vitamin supplement, and I was really excited about the prospect of creating a great vitamin supplement that had good ingredients that delivered what they said they would deliver,” explains Lewis Lee. “We started talking about what that would look like and how we could help women in their lives. Although I would like women to take a multivitamin for their baseline nutrients, it’s also about talking about how to live healthily. I’m the first person to tell you that there’s no one pill that will solve all your health issues.”
Movita’s development process had its share of trials and tribulations. At one point, Lewis Lee remembers the vitamins would break, and they had to be reformulated to stay together. At another point, she recalls they smelled a funky and the mint component was dialed up to enhance the odor. “I went to the company that presses the pills. I wanted to make sure that the plant was clean. I loved the people there, and I saw exactly how the vitamins are pressed and packaged,” says Lewis Lee, noting that Movita multivitamins can be taken on an empty stomach.
There competition in the top tier of the supplement market is fiercer than Lewis Lee anticipated during Movita’s infancy. “It’s a funny thing that you can settle on an idea because you see something happening, and there are other people seeing the same thing and you don’t even know it,” she says. “At the start of Movita, there might have been one of these other brands, but there weren’t as many as there are now. What got me excited about Movita is I notice the difference when I buy premium vitamins. They make me feel better. There are a lot of vitamins out there that have really cool packaging that aren’t really the best vitamins.”
With its packaging revamp completed, the main challenge Movita faces now is funding, according to Lewis Lee. “We put in some of our own money, but we have also brought in investors to support what we’re doing. We are on the lookout for other investors,” she details. “Being an entrepreneur is all about time and money: finding enough time and getting enough money to keep things going.”