Behind the Brand
GEM was created by Sara Cullen. Having grown up on a farm in Oregon, Sara was accustomed to a farm-to-table diet and became exceptionally interested in food and nutrition. Initially intending to become a wildlife scientist or veterinarian but realizing that neither were the path for her, Sara joined Venture For America and worked in digital marketing for a startup in New Orleans. She then co-founded and worked on a functional CBD beverage brand called Plant Water for two years, learning how to build a company from the ground up. During this time, however, Sara began to experience health issues ranging from severe inflammation to breakouts. She turned to the vitamin aisle in hopes of filling the gaps in her diet, but could not find a single multivitamin she could take as all of them contained a filler, binder, additive, or preservative that would further inflame her body. As she did further research into the vitamin industry and uncovered toxic ingredients and harsh chemicals, Sara decided that she needed to create her own daily health solution.
Sara applied her learnings from Plant Water and started GEM with a community-first approach. She created a private Facebook group of about 300 women, asking the community what problems they were facing in their health journeys and what they wanted in a multivitamin. Sara learned that many women were skeptical of synthetic and overly-processed pills, questioning the true efficacy and benefits of taking them, while others were experiencing pill fatigue and disliked the form factor. From the data collected, Sara was able to build a few prototypes of her vitamin bites and sent them to her community of women for feedback. When GEM officially launched, these 300 women became GEM’s very first evangelists. Sara raised a $10.5 million seed round a few years later, leading to a full rebrand and new brand identity for GEM. Today, Sara and the GEM team continue to promote holistic nutrition and their vision of food as medicine, offering real food vitamins designed to improve whole body health.