Q+A W/ CO-FOUNDERS, SHARI + MICHELLE
Sticking needles into various parts of your body may not sound like the key to relaxation, pain relief, and glowing skin, but Dr. Shari Auth and Michelle Larivee, co-founders of WTHN, are here to prove to you wrong. Shari and Michelle were inspired to start WTHN through their shared love of acupuncture, and belief in the healing powers and health benefits that acupuncture can provide.
WTHN truly melds the ancient and modern by ensuring all Healers have a graduate degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, while also providing clients with an easily digestible “menu” of treatments. Complete with beautiful branding and a perfectly curated selection of skincare, herbs, and wellness products, WTHN is a dream for anyone interested in #selfcare.
By CHLOE: Hi Shari & Michelle! Thanks for chatting with us. Please introduce yourselves.
Dr. Shari Auth: I’m a holistic health practitioner of over 20 years, I have a doctorate in Chinese Medicine and am obsessed with all things wellness related.
Michelle Larivee: Hi! I’m Michelle a former investment banker turned wellness entrepreneur. I love all things Brooklyn, travel and wellness. Acupuncture changed my life and I co-founded WTHN to share it with more people!
bC: When were you both introduced to acupuncture? Please talk about your personal experiences with acupuncture and natural healing programs.
DSA: I received acupuncture for the first time in Osaka, Japan is 1991 from a friend’s family acupuncturist. I was immediately hooked and not only did I integrate acupuncture into my wellness routine, I had to know everything about this amazing form of medicine.
ML: I was introduced to acupuncture 4 years ago after a ski accident left me with chronic neck pain, and my doctor suggested acupuncture. The pain relief was immediate, but over time I also experienced improved sleep, less stress and fewer sick days. Acupuncture also helped me get pregnant with my son Sam. Acupuncture opened my eyes to the power of prevention and that there are tools out there that enable you to take control of your health.
bC: Why did you decide to launch WTHN?
DSA: We wanted to share the healing power of acupuncture with more people by making it more accessible.
ML: After my amazing personal experience and transformed health, I tried to convince everyone I know to try acupuncture, but realized there was no easy way for people to get started and no trusted go-to place. WTHN makes acupuncture accessible and our mission is to help people feel better and stay healthy, everyday.
bC: Please discuss each of your roles in WTHN.
DSA: I select the best acupuncturists to work at WTHN. Even though they have 3-5 years of training including a graduate degree in Chinese medicine they also receive additional training from me. I curate our wellness boutique with super pure products, to help you maintain, heal, or glow.
ML: As any start-up founder can attest, I wear many hats every day! My days include everything from working closely with our awesome and growing team on marketing, to fundraising and investor management, building partnerships with other like-minded brands, and implementing our short- and long-term strategy…
bC: What are your goals for WTHN?
DSA: To help a lot of people through the power of natural healing by making it easy to integrate in their health regime.
ML: To create the next major category in wellness and provide acupuncture for all… and in doing so build a community around wellness and natural healing and living our best lives that includes our team and our clients.
bC: The interior design is beautiful! And so relaxing. Who was behind the designs? And what was your inspiration?
DSA: Hyphen did our interiors and Shadow was our architect. We had so much fun designing WTHN. There was so much synergy and positive energy that went into creating a much needed healing oasis in NYC. Our inspiration was simple, to create a space that gets the healing vibes going the moment you walk through the door.
ML: We wanted to design a brand-new acupuncture experience that activates and engages all five senses and is a healing oasis to escape the hustle of NYC. WTHN is about being fluid, alive and accessible. Acupuncture works by unlocking the body’s powerful internal healing defenses. A lot of the design elements were inspired by organic textures and materials that reflect the organic movement of the brand.
bC: Please talk us through the treatments offered at WTHN and the benefits.
DSA: Our prevent menu of treatments addresses what we are all walking around with; stress, anxiety and fatigue. That’s the amazing thing about Chinese medicine is it a system of health and it’s designed to keep you well.
Our heal menu is the more common use cases for acupuncture, such as pain or fertility. This was the hardest one to write because acupuncture is good for so many things and we narrowed it down to pain, women’s health, sleep and digestion, but this is definitely the short list. Our acupuncturists are trained to addressed hundreds of health complaints.
Our glow treatment is incredible. I’m personally addicted. It couples the power of acupuncture with LED light therapy. Both enhance collagen and elastin production, so you exit this treatment with that glow. But the best part is that it’s a holistic treatment so you’ll leave looking great and feeling totally relaxed. It’s a smart way to spend 45 minutes every week.
ML: One of the key questions that people have about acupuncture is “What is it good for?” So we designed a treatment menu that is easy to understand – Prevent, Heal, Glow – with fun treatments like “The Ladies’ Room,” “Sleepyhead,” and “Face Time.” The treatment point is just a starting point with some of the most common conditions – all of our treatments are customized for your unique health goals. All of our treatments are 45 minutes long, on a heated table for total comfort and accompanied by custom sound therapy by Nate Martinez that deepens the relaxation.
bC: What do you both do during your free time? Any Hobbies?
DSA: Gardening, yoga, being a mom and wife.
ML: Cooking and hosting dinner parties with friends, spinning and pilates, running around the playground with my 18 month old son, date night with my husband at our favorite Brooklyn restaurants.
bC: Favorite things to do in NYC?
DSA: Chaperoning my daughter’s field trips. Going to our incredible museums. Walking, the beautiful part of living in NYC.
ML: Spending time in Prospect Park or at the Brooklyn Museum, or seeing a show on Broadway.
RAPID FIRE: Dr. Shari Auth
Favorite place on earth? Wherever my daughter is.
Secret talent? Twisting balloon animals.
Early bird or night owl? Early bird… I’m a parent..
3 favorite restaurants? Too hard. I live in the West Village and commonly frequent Joseph Leonard, Hudson Clearwater and Café Clover.
Choice superhero power? Telepathy.
Juice or smoothie? Juice.
3 objects you can’t live without? A bathtub, some bath salts, and something gorgeous to rub on my skin.
RAPID FIRE: Michelle Larivee
Favorite place on earth? Sitting outside on my patio in the summer.
Favorite meal? My mom’s homemade lasagna.
Early bird or night owl? Early bird.
Choice superhero power? Flying.
Juice or smoothie? Smoothie.
3 objects you can’t live without? iPhone, passport, and Bosu Ball.