Have you ever wondered how you can create a health balance in your hormones and nutrition? In this episode, Camille welcomes Cody Sanders, a holistic health practitioner, co-founder of Mixhers, and podcast co-host of It’s Hertime podcast.
In episode one, Cody shares her journey in creating Mixhers to develop products made by women for women to help them better live with their hormones. She gives her advice on how to use social media to help leverage Mixhers, how to build a successful business partnership, and how she was able to build a community of women globally through women’s health education.
If you’re interested in learning more about Mixhers and women’s health, tune into this episode to hear Cody’s advice on how you too can give your body the nutrition and balance that it needs.
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CODY SANDERS [00:00]
With my background, I know that hormone imbalance happens for three main reasons: nutrient deficiency, chronic stress, and then an overabundance of toxins.
CAMILLE WALKER [00:17]
So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
Welcome back to Call Me CEO. This is your host, Camille Walker. And I am so thrilled you are here. We celebrate women, mothers building businesses, and how they manage both family, business growth, taking care of themselves, and all of those amazing things.
And my favorite thing is connecting with incredible women doing amazing things that in many cases helps support and grow women in healthy ways, which today, my guest, I'm so thrilled because it's Cody Sanders, someone that I have known and loved for a while now. This is a relationship that I love. She is the co-owner of Mixhers that is all about women's health and creating a healthy balance of hormones, nutrition, all of the things. I can't wait to dive into it. So, Cody, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Hi, Camille, and everybody. It's so good to be here.
Yeah. It's funny because the very first time that I heard of Mixhers, it was from my friend Brittany, who does Get Out There Girl. She's been on the show before. And we had come to my cabin, and we were buying food for the trip. And there were sodas there and other drinks. And she pulled out a packet from her purse.
And she's like, "There's this new company. And it's all about getting in the right nutrition for women." And at that time, it was Hertime. So, it was specifically about period health and hormone health in that respect. And I was like, "What is this? This sounds amazing." She's like, "I'm obsessed, you've got to try it."
And so, that was my first introduction. And I'm so grateful for that. Because it was a brand-new baby because you actually were connected with her husband for your marketing. So, it was just barely getting the word out there. And I would love for you to tell our audience about the story and how it came together creating this product.
Yeah. You really are talking about right at the beginning. So, yeah, we officially launched Mixhers in August of 2019. So, we just celebrated our fourth birthday. But the product that you're talking about, Hertime, was actually created probably more like seven years ago. So, it was a product that I had created.
And a little background on who I am and why I was creating this is I'm a holistic health practitioner, and I'm a functional nutritionist. And I've been in private practice, I had been at that time, for about 25 years, working with women and their hormones and their hormonal health.
And Jess Toolson who's my business partner was one of my clients. And she was like so many of the other women that I had been working with that were feeling so frustrated because they had felt so many symptoms that were really getting to the point that they were feeling sidelined from their life, just the heavy bleeding and cramping. And for Jess, it was all of that plus it was this acne that just really was messing with her self-esteem. And that's what finally I think was the final straw for her.
And we luckily had a conversation because she had gone in and talked to a bunch of different practitioners, other doctors, had different prescriptions and things, all trying to address the symptoms that she was dealing with. But when we started talking, we started talking more about how it's so important to not just address symptoms, but to actually address why we're having the symptoms. And that's called a root cause approach. And that's what my training and specialty is in.
And so, I had her try this formula that's now known as Hertime, she was one of the first 100 women that were trying it. I was going through my own testing and studies. And after she'd stayed consistent for a month, she started seeing all these great results. And I said, "Keep going. Keep going." She stayed consistent for three months. At that point, she was like, "What is your plan with this? What are you doing with this? And I said, "Literally, I am just making it for women one at a time. I don't really know. I'm so busy right now. I don't even know what to do with it."
So, luckily, Jess is awesome. And she had the bigger vision and really put a plan into action about how we could get this into the hands of every woman. So, that's how this all started was that, yeah, we just saw that there was such a need. Unfortunately, there just wasn't anything that was given to women that helped them other than just like here's a pain pill or here's some anti-anxiety medication or here's like an antibiotic for your acne, things like that.
And so, with my background, I know that hormone imbalance happens for three main reasons: nutrient deficiency, chronic stress, and then an overabundance of toxins. So, we knew we could address all three of those main root causes through nutritional therapy.
Wow. And can we brag just for a second about how cool that is that you are the inventor and creator of this? And this was just the beginning. There have been so many formulas beyond. But can you brag just for a second about the awards you guys have received? I honestly cannot keep track. I know Business of the Year, top, I don't even know, 10 growth. Can you tell us?
You're so nice. We are so blessed. We're always just giddy and shocked over these things because we work our butts off. But it's also like it's been moving fast. And we're having fun. And it's just that's what it feels like. It feels joyful to do what we're doing. And so, to have people recognizing us and giving us props for doing a good job just adds to the joy of all of this.
And it just doesn't help when a week out of every month, we're suffering. And I think for so long, women just thought that's just what it means to be a woman and we just have sucked it up. And we're amazing, we're so strong, or you can really do a lot even when we're not feeling well. But what the message is that I love to share is that we don't have to not feel well. We can feel really great every single day, whether we're on our period or not or whether we're in whatever phase of life we're in: menopause, perimenopause, in our fertility years. All of these things, we deserve to feel our best. And there's just not a lot of education or support that's been helping women until Mixhers. And so, yeah, there's just a lot of fun, good things that are happening,
But, yeah, we just were named Utah's fastest-growing company. The year before that we were top startup to watch. Jess has won major awards for being one of the best women CEOs in the world. Young Award, it's a big deal. I've received 40 over 40 award, things like that. And then just, yeah, our business, just for a lot of things. And it's been really great. And so, yeah, it's very, very satisfying. It's very fulfilling to know that not only are we getting recognized for the business, but the heart behind our business, that's what makes me even more excited, because, as cheesy as it sounds, our whole purpose is to help women be able to feel their best every single day, because women have this important work to do.
So cool. So, everyone that's listening right now, we're going to break up this episode to part one, part two. We're going to get into hormone health in the next part, because there's so much to talk about there. But in this first episode, we're going to talk about the growth of Mixhers and the successes and struggles. So, make sure you check out that second one, because we're going to deep dive into that.
But for the growth of the business, like you're saying, the care that goes into it, the heart behind the business, it is so tangible and so real. I think one of the number one things that Mixhers has done so well is working with affiliates. Can you talk to us a little bit about the idea behind that and what's been successful in that?
Absolutely. It comes down to the thought that Jess and I just really felt like we had this important message, like I just shared. And we were only two women. And we know that when women come together, we're just such a bigger force to be reckoned with. And so, it really started with just Jess and I trying to figure out how we could get this information, get this product into women's hands, and then just knowing that women are natural sharers. When we find something good that's helping us to feel better or that we love or anything, that's our natural instinct is to share it with other women in our life or the people that we love in our life.
And so, we utilize that through social media. When we first started our business, we're still bootstrapped. We're still a bootstrapped company, meaning we don't take outside funding. And so, we've just been running, doing our best to make sure that we can be very responsible with the money that we have. And so, the beginning there wasn't a huge budget for marketing. And so, we use what we had available to us, and we had our voices, we had social media platforms.
And then, we had friendships and other people who had platforms that also were willing to also share and be vulnerable and talk about some things that have been a taboo topic for a long time. It took a minute. Yeah, it took a minute to convince some women that they should feel comfortable talking about their periods or their libido or these things that we talked about on their social media platform.
But once people did, it was interesting because I think that women in particular were craving this because once women who have become an affiliate of ours started becoming vulnerable, started sharing their own personal experiences, whether it was with infertility or PCOS or endometriosis or acne or whatever, their engagement just amplified, because it can feel like this little fake box that we're looking at, that's this very curated thing, but people are on there to have real connection, to feel like they have that real connection.
And so, absolutely, we took advantage of working with women who are willing to share our message and to be the people that were willing to start the conversations, be the voices, and continue that. And it's been a huge success. I think we run our affiliate program, we started it out a little differently than other people were where it's truly a friendship. It matters to us, the relationship that we have with those that are out there. We just feel like they're part of us, they're part of the team.
And so, it's something that it's a priority for us to feel like we know who's out there, sharing about Mixhers, and also as a person that's trying to educate, I am very passionate about making sure that those that are sharing about Mixhers know what they're sharing and know how to share it.
And so, we are understanding what it is exactly that they're sharing about and that they're telling other people to go buy. And, yeah, so we've just worked really hard on building those relationships. And it has been a key to our growth and to our success. We have this army of amazing women out there.
You really do and just to paint some specific ideas of what this looks like, because I am an affiliate of Mixhers and I have used the product and loved it for years, is they have had themed parties. They will do special events, rent out activity centers to come to or even do special spotlights on their top affiliates and theme everything pink. If there was any brand, I think it's very akin to the sisterhood that was born from the Barbie movie. That's what I think of. When I think of Mixhers, I'm like, "Hey, Barbie." It's like everyone's like, "Yeah." We all have unique strengths. And it's all pink. I think you guys should come out with a Barbie line.
We should. I know. Yeah, we're very Barbie.
That's what I think of. It's like celebration of all women and uniqueness. And I think that you have done that so beautifully really, and then education too where when you come to these events, there is time that's not just the fun stuff. But it's like, "Hey, this is why it's important. This is what this is meant to do."
And I think that that's so empowering to afford women time to come together to network, but to also educate and to have fun. You guys have really dialed that in. I've worked with brands for over a decade, and I've never seen a company really dial that in so well in an organic way that people want to share it with the experience and also with their own stories. It's just really amazing.
Thank you, that's so great. And it goes back to wanting to support health of women in a holistic manner. And so, yes, we have products that can provide the nutritional support. But if you remember what I was just saying, the three main ways that hormones become disruptive is chronic stress is one of the big ones.
And as women, it's absolutely necessary that we feel like we have a strong social connection. And so, there is a purpose behind these kinds of events that you're talking about. We do this with affiliates. We try to do this with our community just as often because it's a place where women can come. They feel like they're loved and they have this instant friend group that they are celebrated for their unique gifts that they have. And it's fun.
We have an online community as well, for affiliates as well as for our just general consumers, where it's like our own version of Facebook. And it's so fun because it's a good place for people to come and ask questions. It's a good place to find out about what events we have coming up, those kinds of things. And there's an Ask Cody questions if they have something about their health. We just try to make connection a huge part of Mixhers as well. It's just as important to us as our actual products, as our supplements.
Yeah. Can you tell our audience about a time where maybe you learned from doing something the wrong way when something went wrong? Any business has its ups and downs. What are some things you could share with us?
You know what? The one that comes to my mind because I feel like it was the funniest one, but it wasn't funny at the time for sure. So, this was at the beginning. So, we talked about how our first product was Hertime. Then we started introducing some new products because women were having such great benefit and results from using Hertime. They started asking like, "Do you have anything for sleep? Do you have anything for mind and mood, things like that?"
And so, I think was our third product, we introduced a product that's called Hernightly. And it's an all-natural sleep aid. And it's amazing. And it was in a hot cocoa version. Now, we have hot cocoa and we have other flavors too. But, again, like I said, Jess and I were just trying to do everything we can, our budget wasn't huge. So, we were investing in the product, the packaging, all of the things. And so, we were going to launch this, but the day before the launch, Jess had been driving around to different influencers' homes and delivering this canister of Hernightly in a cute mug that went along with it, an eyemask, it was just this cute little gift basket.
And one of the affiliates looked at the packaging, which is so funny, because I think we probably had at least a dozen eyeballs on this. And none of us caught this. But she just said, "Honey, you see this, right? You see this?" And she's like, "What? What?" She's like, "You misspelled. It says Hernickly." We panicked. We had this heart-sinking moment where literally, we're on the phone, crying with each other, thinking we're about to launch and we have all of this product we can't afford to dump it or relabel it. We have people pre-buying it. And now, we're going to look like idiots. We're going to look like we don't know what we're doing, and blah, blah, blah. We just had this feel sorry for us moment.
And then luckily, we have some good mentors. And that's something that I'm grateful for too. We have really leaned into some mentors as we've built this business. And one of our mentors, Susan Petersen. If you know Susan Petersen, she said to us, "You know what? One of the things that makes you guys stand apart and the reason that people like following along with what's happening with Mixhers is because you're real. You're absolutely just vulnerable and real," because we are. We're talking about those vulnerable things like we just talked about.
And we thought, you know what? That is actually really good advice. And that's right, so we're just going to own it. And we're going to tell the story about what happened. And we're going to just laugh about it. And so, we spun it, like you know what? This happened. We're going to sell it anyways because the product itself is still really beneficial, and it tastes great and everything. And you guys can have this limited edition collector's item of Hernightly. And it sold out. We sold out so fast.
Our community really rallied around us. And so, what felt like this absolute devastating failure actually ended up being such a great learning opportunity for us to just show up. If you're a business owner, yes, they want you to be professional, but they don't expect you to be perfect. So, they expect you to be a human, they expect you to be trying your best. And it's just one of those things that if you can own it, it can become a strength.
Wow, that is so awesome. I don't know. And that makes me think I have that canister. I want to go see if I have one of those. I don't think I even knew that.
They're worth millions now. No.
So much money, sell them on eBay. That is hilarious. Okay, I really like that. And I love the authenticity piece because, like you said, every one of us is human and to just own it and be like, "Hey." But I think that really goes to show what you had invested in the community already for them to be like, "We got you. We don't care," because you've already invested so much time and love and thought into the relationship before.
Yeah, they were just all our friends. And we're so grateful for that because they really came through for us.
That's awesome. What I really am curious about is partnerships, because I do a lot of interviews with people. I had The Preparedness Project on here just a couple of weeks ago, and it's a group of three. Anytime that there's a partnership, it takes really special people to make it work and to your level of success, holy smokes, with more money, more problems. It's just true. How have you been able to establish such clear roles? And really, you're both such incredible people. I'm a big fan of who you are. But what has really helped you to establish a really strong partnership?
Yeah, I will just start off and say that I have had other business partners who have been amazing also, but I feel extremely lucky. I feel like I hit the jackpot with Jess because I feel like she is just such an amazing person herself. I think though what helps us to work so well together is that we're very aligned in what the actual purpose of Mixhers is.
I've been in partnerships before where I am the dreamer, I have all the heart behind it. And then, I've had other people that are like, "We're making money, and we're going to sell it." And I feel like with Jess and I, we're very aligned with why we're doing this. So, I think that is very helpful.
The other thing is, is that we're very clear on where our strengths are. And so, we have been able to divide our roles very easily, we can come together, but I know I'm not going to be the CEO, I'll be the CPO. I will be over all of the product, I'll be over all of the design, I'll be over the education, I'll be over all of that. She's so great at understanding the ins and outs of how to run a successful business, how to find the right mentors, how to be smart with thinking ahead, and really forecasting all of the things that we need to be aware of. I'm just so impressed with her and her ability to do that.
And I feel like that's something that we have benefited from because, knock on wood, but I really don't foresee it in the future, we really haven't clashed because truly, we love what we're doing. We're giddy about what we get to be doing. We love each other. And we believe in one another. And I think that that's just a huge blessing.
Yeah, it really is. With looking forward to the future, how many products do you have currently? What number are you?
Yeah, we're at 15.
You have products for kids, you have products for teenagers, you have products for women. I'm curious if that's something where we don't talk a lot about men's hormones and that's just a different market. You're working with women specifically. But I think that that's an underserved market too. It's really interesting that we're starting to learn more about hormones in general, which we'll talk about in the next episode, so make sure you're tuning in for that.
But what is one thing that looking through everything you've been through in these four years, if you were to talk to yourself at the beginning, what is something maybe you would have shared with yourself or with someone who's listening that's just starting out?
That's such a good question. It feels like such an uphill battle. And you feel like when you're starting a business that you are clueless. You're like, I need to go back to school. I need to become an expert in this. And you know what? We have had to learn along the way. And we took what we knew from previous, I like I said, I'm older than Jess, she's only three years older than my son, but I'd run some businesses. I've had some experience in that.
And so, I've been able to take some of that experience. But what I don't think people realize with Jess, this is like a huge shout out for her, this is her first job. Her first job ever, she was a stay-at-home mom before, so smart, obviously, just a naturally business-minded woman and so great. But I feel like we just had to just start. And we had to just recognize that there are still things.
I remember sitting in meetings, and people would be throwing out all these acronyms. And I'd be like nodding my head like, "Yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about." And then under the table, I'm just looking up, what's a KPI? I don't know, all these things. And we just want to learn as we've gone, as far as running a business goes. I have all the confidence in the world. I've been formulating, and I can create a product. That's not a problem at all.
But it's just as far as getting a business growing and then continue to keep up with that growth, there's just a lot to learn. So, if I was to say to myself back then, I would say, don't stress about it as much. You're going to learn and there's people that are willing to help you along the way. Ask for help. Look for people who you admire, people who are doing what you want to be doing, go talk to them. I have people all the time that ask me to go out to lunch, I'm always happy.
I want to see other people succeed. And I feel like most people feel like that too. So, don't be scared to do that. Be that type of person to pay it forward, all of that. Let's all just help each other do our best.
Yeah, I really like that because I look at what you've been able to build with your product and even sourcing where to get that product made. Did you start overseas or were you here in the States? I know Utah has a pretty strong facility, a few that I know of where they're creating protein, materials, and different things like that. So, you were able to start there?
Because we're a little dip because my background is different. So, my background is in traditional Chinese medicine and Native American herbology, in the functional nutrition side of things. And so, there are. We're really lucky here in Utah that there are a lot of supplement manufacturers.
But a lot of supplement companies that are out there, they actually do what's known as white labeling. So, the manufacturers will actually create the formula, and then a company will come in and put their sticker on it, their label on it. Where I formulate every one of our products from scratch, and I do it for women specifically. And so, we can talk about this next time, too, in the other episode, but it's just fun to know that this was one of the things that got us going and why we're so passionate about it and didn't do something for men necessarily.
It was because women supplements really haven't been in existence because supplements are usually formulated using studies that are done on men. And so, yeah, you've heard this, I'm sure. So, a lot of the supplements out there, they have great nutrients and stuff. But they actually aren't the dosages, they're not even the nutrients that specifically help women. Because women are cyclical, our hormones are fluctuating, so there's all these other things that you have to consider when you are supplementing. And so, that's what makes us different is I formulate it all. We then sourced the ingredients, and then the manufacturers help us bring it all together.
Yeah. Oh, my gosh, what a unique background that you have to be able to do that, because I think I heard it. Someone told me recently that it wasn't until, and you know the dates, I'm sure, but it's like 1970s that they even started considering women in the equation.
Later than that, Camille, you'll die. 2005.
Yeah, and I know you're so young. And you were probably in elementary school. To me, that feels like yesterday. And it's just baffling to me. But the reason is, is because women are hard test subjects because we are cyclical. We have this roughly 28-day monthly cycle where our hormone profile looks different day to day, where men have only a 24-hour hormone cycle. They're very predictable, they're easy to test. And so, that's what has been used in all of these different health and fitness and wellness studies.
And so, that's where a lot of the supplements come from. We have manufacturers that come to us all the time and say, "I've looked at your formula. And I feel like we could improve it." For instance, we have a Herhydration product that's high electrolytes. And we had somebody that came in and they're like, "You just don't have enough sodium in it." If you compare it, I won't name other brands. "But if you compare it to this other brand, there's this much sodium." And I was like, "I get that. We're not trying to be that hydration supplement."
And I'm like, the reason is, is because it's very hard on the kidneys, first of all. The second thing is most women are dealing with things like bloating and other things. They just hadn't even considered that. And so, I'm like, I make sure that we have the right ratio of all of these different electrolytes that actually support women, not just men.
And so, it's just things like that, that's what is a little different about Mixhers. There's even some other companies that are coming out that are starting to do what we've started, but and again, I'm not going to name names, but they're not formulated by women. And they're not considering. They're just white labeling some stuff, but yeah.
I have a few more questions to finish up this episode, then we'll dive into hormones. How did you come up with the name Mixhers? It is so good.
I am so glad that people like it. I think that it was one of those things. Okay, so I had this formula at the time called Hertime, like I told you about, and it was at the time, I only had the ability to put it into capsule form. Okay, but my dream was to do a couple of things.
First of all, yes, get these nutrients into a woman's body. But also, I knew that there could be a better delivery method. And that would be through making it into a liquid form. By doing so when it's in a liquid form, it increases the absorbency rates tremendously, from 30% in a capsule or a tablet, to 90% to 95% if it's in a drink form. So, it's going to make our products even more effective.
The other thing is, is that there's so many women out there and it's meant to, but there's like these little moments in the day that we have this emotional connection to and they usually go along with our morning coffee or our afternoon soda runs. Yeah, they're these little feel good moments and they're connected to a drink. But unfortunately, these drinks that the people are returning to are absolutely wrecking their hormones. And it's a big problem.
So, I thought if we could create a way to allow people to still have that moment and have a drink that is tasting fun and it's just something to look forward to everyday, but also benefiting their health, then that's going to be so amazing. So, we knew we wanted it in this drink formula that we wanted it to be fun. And then, we just started playing around with we could make these little mocktails. And it just turned into mixers like little mixers. Oh, Mixhers. Anyways, it's just this whole brainstorming fun, creative moment. And I'll give Jess total credit. She's the one that came up with Mixhers. So, yeah.
I love it. It's such a good name. And it can be used for all your different formulas. You didn't just have to name it one thing. It's so many different things. I love that. Okay. And last question for this part is, what is your hope for the future for Mixhers? And I know that's a big question because obviously, hopefully, that we grow. But is there something in mind that you have your eye on?
Yeah. And it is absolutely growth, but there's a purpose behind that. We are so grateful for the growth that we've had here in Utah and the surrounding states. And we are in every single state in the United States. And we are in Canada, but we have a whole world out there and there's lots of women out there that need our products. And, yeah, so our hope is that we can continue to grow and help women and then let that continue to grow into so many other ways.
We're very big about trying to do philanthropy, a lot of service. We want to be able to provide opportunity for women. We're connected with Utah Valley University and the Women's Success Center. We want to see that grow. We're trying to help women that are in Africa that don't have access to nutritious foods. So, we donate our products to them so that we can help these women in countries who are less fortunate than ours to have healthy periods so that they can take care of their families, they can go to work, they can get an education, things like that. We have huge dreams of the things that we really want to do to just improve women's lives. And that's globally.
And so, that's absolutely our hope and our drive and our mission. And we need a whole community behind us. We need people helping to spread the word, to talk about it with the girls in their life, the ones that they love. Because, yeah, there's a lot of women out there that don't realize that the symptoms they're suffering with don't have to be. That's just not a given just because we're girls.
So powerful. I'm like, Amen over here. So cool. Because when you change women's lives, you change family's lives, you change the world. That is just so powerful and amazing. And it's just such a gift to know you. So, thank you so much.
We're going to wrap up this episode one. We're going to go into episode two, specifically hormones. We're even going to touch on the semaglutide. Everyone's talking about it. So, we're going to dig in deep with that. Cody, thank you so much for being on the show. Please tell everyone where they can find you and support you.
Thank you, Camille. Hopefully you'll come find us over @mixhers. We're on social media, on Instagram, Facebook, and all the social media platforms. Our website is www.mixhers.com For me personally, I'm on Instagram mostly, a little bit Facebook, but you can look me up at Cody Jean Sanders. Give me a follow there. If you want to message me, that's probably the best way to message me because I don't always see the messages that go into Mixhers. We also have a weekly podcast that we put out every single Tuesday called the It's Hertime podcast where we do deep dives on women's health.
Very cool. And she's super fun to follow. If you're looking for a discount, you're ready to try Mixhers, it's in the information below. Make sure you tune in to the next episode. Thanks so much.
Hey, CEOs. Thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment in a 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram at @callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss!
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