Meet Shara and Hettie, founders of DOSE, who bonded over a shared love of wine, workouts and start-ups. Almost two years ago to the day, they met at a Nike event at the top of the Gherkin. They’ve since set off on a journey to create the online lifestyle destination for healthy hedonists living in London. Here they discuss the brand philosophy behind DOSE and what the future holds…
How did you first meet?
Hettie: Unknowingly in 2012 at The Bulgari Hotel. I was programming yoga for a spa consultancy, while Shara was listing the venue on her online fitness class booking aggregator, Fitness Freak. I met her colleague at the time, but looking back, we were copied on quite a few emails.
I also remember being desperate to snag a place at her Sweat Mob raves but could never get a ticket – they were always sold out. The next time we met was at Nike’s NTC Week when I attended her spin class at the top of the Gherkin.
How did you get into business together?
Shara: I was working at 1Rebel while Hettie was working for an agency supporting the brand on strategy. We had one of those chance meetings that led to dinner, where we bonded over a shared love of wine, workouts and generally working 150mph (while juggling start-up ambitions on the side). Ultimately we were likeminded people who wanted to get our teeth into a new project. We spent our first year developing the idea while taking consultancy work on the side.
What is the philosophy behind DOSE?
Hettie: I remember coming back to London after a music festival and feeling the same rush of euphoria in Shara’s spin class as I had felt on the festival field. The combination of music and movement, in an experiential group environment, to me, was a hedonistic experience. People shy away from the word. But if you look it up, it simply means ‘the pursuit of pleasure’, which is totally subjective. In our interview with Ben Branson, founder of non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip, he describes his form of hedonism as being out in the fields in the country air with his dogs.
It dawned on me that our brains already contain the formula for feeling good. It’s just understanding how to tap into it. The more we started investigating, we stumbled on four hormones; dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphin – that all, in their own way, contribute to feelings of happiness.
Dopamine is linked to motivation and reward, oxytocin is released when we’re with our friends, serotonin regulates mood, while endorphins give us that rush of euphoria. We broke it down to a simple formula of ‘work out, eat well, balance’. The hormones just so happened to form the acronym – DOSE. Everyones ‘dose’ (i.e. definition of feeling good) is different that’s why our company is called whatever your dose.
Describe your backgrounds before DOSE
Shara: I have been working in marketing for over ten years specialising in online, partnerships, PR and events for global retail, technology, health and fitness startup businesses in London, Sydney and New York. Both a full time and consultancy career. Brands include; Ralph Lauren, Facebook and fitness startup 1Rebel. I also founded and launched the UK’s first online fitness class booking aggregator and am a part time spin instructor.
Hettie: I started out working in PR and business development for design agency Seymourpowell. I then went on to work for a spa entrepreneur / columnist who I’ve been supporting for several years. During the consultancy days we were programming wellness into luxury hotels like The Bulgari and Faena, which led to the creation of a new fitness/beauty startup called FaceGym.
What does the future hold for DOSE?
Shara: We are on a mission to become the online destination for healthy hedonists living in London. Expect more content on where to work out, eat well and drink better. We will be taking on more writers, running more events and workshops, and will be branching into wellness travel so stay tuned!