Once I committed to launch Follain, the next big decision was: WHERE. Many people advised against Boston, because it's apparently very tough on new retailers. They also mentioned that “healthier” cities would warm to my Follain concept faster than Boston might. On the healthy front, at least, these people were wrong, wrong, wrong! I'm so happy with the decision to launch Follain in Boston. I really couldn’t have picked a better time to enter Boston’s health + wellness scene – which has been popping over the past year, and is truly thriving now. Boston has recently welcomed the following, INDEPENDENT, BOSTON-BASED health+wellness businesses and concepts with open arms:
- November Project – 500+ people ("the tribe") voluntarily climb 37 sections of stadium steps at 5:00 and 6:00 Wednesday mornings and do other free workouts together up hills and in parks on Mondays and Fridays.
- Spinning - ReCycle Studio did so well that it opened a second location, on Newbury. There was enough demand in the city for Handle Bar to open too!
- Brooklyn Boulders - The NY success story chose Somerville for its second location, and is getting tons of hype already.
- Hubway – there was always a love of the back roads and PanMass Challenge, but now everybody’s doing it
- Mother Juice, Juice Bar Boston, The Ripe Stuff, NourishYour Soul, JOOS – there used to be maybe 1-2 spots to find cold pressed juices in town. Now there are bars, trucks, or cleanse pick-up locations popping in every neighborhood!
- NYSM, Perfect Fuel, Cocomama, Energy Bits, Biena Foods, Budi Bar, 88 Acres (coming soon), and others – literally ALL of the healthiest, tastiest packaged goodies are coming out of Boston these days.
- Clover, Life Alive, and VeggieGalaxy were always awesome, but ROOT in Allston saw demand for more healthy dining. Add Providence's Grange to the repertoire, and a meal on the town doesn't ever have to make you sacrifice nutrition anymore.
- Follain – Now Bostoners can round out their healthy lifestyles with the first truly healthy beauty store! 25+ brands of spa-grade, U.S.-made products, free of any synthetic chemicals whatsoever.
If that's not enough proof for you, others have measured the cold hard facts - including fitness indices - and Boston still lands on top for healthiest US cities. Boston popped up on the following top 10 healthiest US city lists: Huffington Post (#1); Forbes (#3), Travel Channel (#3); Daily Mail (#6), and others. Looks to me like this is the exact right time to join Boston's burgeoning health scene. People are eating healthier, exercising more often, and now they can find the last piece of wellness, through healthy skincare, at Follain. Plus, being the stubborn woman I am, I really just want to prove those skeptics wrong. Wish me luck!