50 percent of women experience a traumatic event during their lifetime, according to figures collected by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Jennifer “Jaki” Johnson, the founder and CEO of Atlanta-based WellMiss, has created a virtual and holistic healing space for women of all backgrounds to work through trauma.
The goal of the WellMiss platform is to create a central place to connect with a curated wellness team online. WellMiss looks to nurture both health and wellness issues that physicians might not dive into. When clients — who are affectionately referred to as ‘WellMisses’ — first enter the app, they take a quiz for the team to understand the stage of their journey, what she’s tried, and what brings them to WellMiss. From there, a specially curated team is formed based on all of the practitioners.
The collaboration team consists of integrative physicians, naturopathic doctors, specialized therapists, wellness practitioners, and mindset coaches. Importantly, WellMiss introduces women to therapists with experiences in therapeutic modalities that many people may not know about, like somatic experiencing, internal family systems, transpersonal, and holistic psychology.
Additionally, all practitioners bring a philosophy of care to their conversations with WellMisses. “Our practitioners know that the heart, health, and preventative care are at the center. It’s essential to feel like you’re at home with the care to support and center you. And, at the same time, making sure you’re taking care of yourself in all aspects of your life.”
The platform has attracted a community of over 1500 women to date with over 100 practitioners in the pipeline. The team spent the last few months building out its I AM WellMiss Experiential Summit, which helped them secure their first paying customer. They also launched its Sacred Space community, a web-based platform offering education, care tips, and group coaching.
“People were so shocked that all of these resources were available at once, but I created exactly what I wanted on my healing journey,” Johnson said.
Launching WellMiss is deeply personal for Johnson. After the loss of her son, Johnson experienced heart issues known as Broken Heart Syndrome which prompted her own “journey to help start the healing process,” Johnson told Hypepotamus. “We merged the world of health and wellness because they are both needed on the care journey.”
During the early days of WellMiss, Johnson connected with her alma mater, Spelman College, to test her strategy with college students. While the core audience for WellMiss is women ages 25 to 45, college students expressed great interest in the unique services. “At the college, we tried care sessions on de-mystifying meditation, radical care, and yoga. Additionally, we got into the mindfulness of food and giving reverence to it for how it really takes good care of your body.”
WellMiss is currently in beta, with plans to roll out the first version in August or September. To keep the price point accessible to more women, WellMiss is ultimately looking to make sure all services are covered by insurance. “This is the kind of impact where doctors will spend hours with you, not just minutes,” she added.
As far as measuring success, Jennifer finds that the process is different for each person considering the severity and recency of their trauma. “If we only continue to look at trauma as mental issues, we will never truly heal the whole person,” she added.
Jennifer took to the stage last week in Atlanta for the Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator powered by Techstars Demo Day. (Watch a recap at 1:00:00 here).
Following a successful pitch, Johnson is ready to keep the momentum going. Johnson told Hypepotamus that the team plans to open a seed round in the coming months and to launch a HIPAA-compliant mobile app to “give our WellMiss integrated collaborative care in one place.”
About the author: Julianna Bragg is studying Political Science and Journalism at Agnes Scott College. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in broadcast or digital journalism. Currently, she’s looking to connect the stories of entrepreneurs and innovators to improve social, racial, and environmental issues of the time.