Today we’re chatting with Alli Schaper, the Founder of Zigii to learn more about this incredible brand and how it’s bringing wellness to wanders (especially in times of COVID!) She’ll also be sharing her entrepreneurial journey, her sacred morning routine, PLUS some fun wellness hacks!
So what is Zigii all about and who is it for?
Zigii was originally created to support health-conscious travelers by delivering wellness bundles directly to their destinations. In response to COVID-19 pausing travel and creating a remote workforce, we’ve pivoted to working with companies. We’re now partnering with employers to send employees wellness gift bundles to bring some joy to their WFH experience. Due to decreased retail footprints we’ve also launched a marketplace where you can now individually shop all your favorite wellness brands, all in one place. We’re so excited that this allows us to create a better experience for our customers, while also supporting our amazing brand partners by making products accessible online while physical retail is no longer thriving.
Where did your passion for wellness come from?
My passion for holistic well-being comes from a familiar place as many wellness entrepreneurs. I had major health issues, and was able to cure myself through the power of nutrition and functional medicine, then felt compelled to share what I’ve learned with everyone I know. I’m so passionate about sharing the wealth of knowledge I’ve uncovered about how to treat our bodies correctly, and truly believe it is the foundation for an incredible life. I believe feeling amazing has a domino effect into every aspect of life, and putting good things in your body all around makes you a better human!
How did you think of Zigii as a business idea?
I always say that Zigii was born from my woes with the healthcare system, passion for wellness, and career as a management consultant. Traveling takes a toll on our bodies, and at my old job, I was on the road four days a week for work. I thought it would be wonderful for my employer to send me a healthy wellness package at the end of my journey full of awesome products to keep me thriving, so I created it! The original idea was wellness packages, directly to your destination. However, since COVID-19 has put major stressors on the travel industry, we’ve pivoted into being a gifting service for people to send some love to those they can’t be in person with right now. We are both DTC and B2B, and work companies to send their remote employees wellness gifts. We also just launched our marketplace – where you can now shop all your favorite brands, all in one place. Plus you get special pricing for shopping through Zigii!
Have you always been entrepreneurial? What led you to taking that first step and setting up your own business?
Yes and no. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have necessarily self-identified as an entrepreneur – but after being asked this question over the course of my journey, I realized I’ve had entrepreneurial adventures and tendencies from a young age. Some of my early ventures included: At age 12 I started a dog walking business for the steal of $2/hour for my neighborhood dogs, I used to sell weird homemade clay sculptures to kids in my fourth grade class in elementary school, and have always had my brain spinning up strange concepts – such as “the keg on a rumba” that me and a team build out during an entrepreneurship course in grad school.
So, although all of the weirdness above doesn’t lend itself directly to starting a wellness company, I’ve always been passionate about creating, challenging myself, and having autonomy to design my life. When deciding to take the leap away from the ‘golden handcuffs’ of corporate America, it came down to the fact that I wanted to independently decide what to do with the time I’ve been blessed with on this planet. All while creating something that fueled my passions and truly helps make a positive impact on peoples lives. “Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” is one of my favorite quotes, and this kind of thinking made me decide that the unknowing and financial risk of entrepreneurship was minimal in comparison to the upside of truly being the CEO of your life…best decision I’ve ever made.
Has community played into the creation of Zigiii, if yes, how so?
I would go so far as to say that community is actually the foundation of both Zigii, and everything I do. I realized about 6 months into my journey that my passion for wellness had a worthy companion in my love for community-building. I describe Zigii as a “community in a tube” as we’re essentially collecting awesome stories and people that have manifested in the form of wellness products to deliver to our customers.
The absolute best part of this journey is that I have found my incredible tribe of humans. The people I have met in the last few years have changed my life, including your own founder & CEO of Pangea Dreams :), and I’m forever grateful for this path for leading me to them. I decided that after I quit my corporate job, I would make the most valient of efforts to meet as many epic people as possible. This manifested in the form of over 300 coffee dates in 2019, countless community events, and eventually starting my own community groups bringing together badass female entrepreneurs, creatives, and founders in my network to support one another.
As a wellness enthusiast, what does your morning routine look like? Do you have any daily rituals or mindset exercises?
It’s super weird. I’m obsessed with studying morning routines. My mornings are sacred to me and my absolute favorite part of the day. It’s always evolving as I learn new fun things, but my current one consists of the following ensemble of activities:
- My alarm goes off (time varies based on life stages, but I’m currently a 6:30ish kind of gal pending when I go to bed the night prior)
- I roll out of bed onto the floor and do 50 push-ups. These are baby pushups and not impressive whatsoever, but the intention is to get my body moving and drain my lymphatic system of build up fluid before I can even process I’m awake.
- I lay in a child’s pose and recite the Dalai Lama quote “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.”
- I stand up and do 30 jumping jacks (same intention of draining my lymphatic system and waking myself up).
- I coconut oil pull for 20 minutes (AKA I put a giant glob of coconut oil in my mouth and swish it around) while I do the following:
- Use a body brush to scrape off dead skin and get my blood vessels moving and grooving, plus this makes your skin super soft.
- Take a 90-second freezing cold body-shower (I wash my hair like 2x a week so this is quick)
- Make my bed
- I spit the coconut oil out, brush my teeth, chug a glass of water, and make myself a beautiful cup of Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee before sitting down to journal.
- I’m currently a huge fan of the “Artist’s Pages”, a stolen exercise from the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This is a three-page free-writing activity that gets all the random, profound, and self-limiting thoughts onto paper. This clearing is an exercise I cherish, and I believe gives me freedom. Journaling in general really seems to remove distracting thoughts from my brain that could hinder my creativity throughout the day, or pent up emotions that could show up in various interactions. Overall, writing in the morning for a few minutes helps me believe I can conquer the world, and I’ve had some of my best ideas flow out onto these pages without even realizing they were in my brain.
- I workout – usually at a park with a friend.
Any weird wellness hacks to share with us?
I’m always mixing weird potions, my favorite are my adaptogen and fungi infused mocktails. I believe functional mushrooms are the best thing you can put in and on your body on a regular basis. Companies I love: Four Sigmatic, Black Magic Alchemy, Wylde One, and all my other mushroom-infused brand partners we work with at Zigii!
What is your favorite quote and why?
So difficult to choose because I’m an inspirational quote junkie but I’m going with: “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” In the spirit of 2020 being the year of the pivot, my life constantly proves what is next is truly unpredictable and there’s so much peace in surrendering to whatever the world has planned for you. Right now I’m feeling so grateful and inspired. We’re truly all just winging it, but I’m confident that I’m tumbling in the right direction – and am wildly optimistic about whatever the future holds!
What is one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs just starting out in their journey?
I’m going to cheat and say two because I can’t pick a favorite child. #1 Don’t take advice from people you wouldn’t trade places with. #2 Optimize for joy, and design the life that you want. To my knowledge, we do not live twice.