In conversation with

Chloé Pierre

Founder of thy.self

Introduction

Introduction

Type the phrase ‘self-care’ into Google, and you’ll be met with over 3million results. It’s a term that’s entered millennial vocabulary with full force.

To take advantage of this, hundreds of brands are trying to commodify self-care – whether by selling candles, face masks, spa days. Or wine.

Chloé Pierre, founder of wellness platform thy.self, is doing things a little differently, approaching self-care through community and conversation rather than through product.

And as someone who has worked in PR and brands for years, Chloé knows the value of a good story. She also knows a lot of the messaging and entry points into the wellness industry needs to changes. She says: “My goal and main objective is to make wellness accessible”.

We spoke to Chloé about content creation, building community and what makes for a compelling and authentic campaign.

Question and Answer

Part of thy.self’s mission is to diversify and democratise wellness – what is it about this industry (and the brands who participate in it) that made you want to do this?

My goal and main objective is to make wellness accessible. Throughout the Western world, many people – especially those of colour, from less-elite/ wealthy backgrounds and households and those with disabilities – have been excluded from being part of the movement, are often out-priced and made to feel unwelcome in the physical spaces and the conversations. Not only did I find this disgusting but in my heart, I knew it was not right, but it’s also contradicts what wellbeing actually means. Something needed to be done so I threw myself straight into it and began building the foundations through the brand you see now – thy.self.

You’ve also launched thy.self Men – why was it important to create a different channel for this audience?

It’s important for men to have access and to take further initiatives to not only benefit from wellness and wellbeing conversations, but for there to be representation. Everything we do at thy.self is focused around doing right by yourself and your wellness, in order to help someone else. As the founder, I’m very much in tune with our audience, our reach and what they wanted. Very soon into thy.self’s journey, I noticed through data and stats that our male audience was growing and that they might need content that would speak directly to them. We created thy.self men for this purpose.

Which brands are getting it right when it comes to community and storytelling?

I’m really happy to see brands stepping up their content, storytelling and actually driving community, especially since the start of the pandemic and more so after the resurgence of the global Black Lives Matter movement. Although there is much further to go in these areas, I’m delighted to see brands like Nike (global) and Bumble making an effort, but I’m also excited by platforms that are growing during these uncertain times like Feminist Co and Black Minds Matter. That sense of change is really here and we might see platforms out perform brands.

“Far too often, brands create campaigns and budgets to look like they're in touch with and respectful of their audience's values, but if this isn't represented in all other communications or through their internal values, it simply won't resonate.”

How do you approach content creation when working with a new client? What do you need to know for the content you create to really resonate?

It’s really simple for me: I need to know who the client is, their history, their scandals as well as their achievements, what the client ultimately wants, why they want to create the project(s) in question and what impact they want to have on their audiences and their communities.

Far too often, brands create campaigns and budgets to look like they’re in touch with and respectful of their audience’s values, but if this isn’t represented in all other communications or through their internal values, it simply won’t resonate. I ultimately believe this is damaging to the brand. In my opinion, campaigns and content is only half of the journey.

As a marketer, there needs to be more of a holistic way of working and practices adopted within a company or department to deepen the understandings of audiences and the gravity of the work, campaign, or message at hand. This needs to represented both in campaigns and out of campaigns too.

What makes for a great campaign?

Direction, strategy, less cooks in the kitchen, data analyst, visual intellect, community, intention and heart.

Where do you go for insights and inspiration when it comes to creative campaigns and brand building?

I’m inspired by other platforms in my field like Ethel’s Club and Sad Girls Club but more importantly, I’m inspired by brands that don’t get it right. I dissect and examine their losses and mentally take note to apply that to campaigns I work on.

You’ve hosted a lot of events for thy.self. Now that social gatherings are few and far between, how are you keeping up with your community?

We’re more connected than ever and we listen in so many ways. Our methods of extracting insights are untraditional and that’s what makes us disruptive. This was important when crafting the brand when we launched two years ago. It’s always going to be a journey – just like your own wellness journey, it’s a work in progress, but our community are practically connected 24/7 and on a range of different platforms. thy.self is always there for them and they know that.

What three things do brands need to build long-lasting and authentic communities?

Data, action and communication.

Chloé's Storylist

Books

  1. The Source Of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison
  2. Love In Colour by Bolu Babalola
  3. Natives by Akala

Magazines

  1. ASOS Magazine
  2. SELF Magazine
  3. Kinfolk
  4. Women's Health
  5. Courier

Newsletter

  1. The Word by Sonder & Tell
  2. WorkParty
  3. Slow Stories & Self-Care Sis by thy.self

Podcast

  1. Slow Doses
  2. The Daily
  3. WorkParty
  4. Slow Stories & Self-Care Sis by thy.self

Digital Platforms

  1. Ethel's Club
  2. Sad Girls Club
  3. Feminist Co
  4. BYP Network

Website

  1. Google
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Pinterest
  4. Patta
  5. The New York Times
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