Konstanze is talking to Lauren Berlingeri and Katie Kaps

HigherDOSE is a one-of-a-kind spa experience
at the intersection of wellness, health and beauty.

HigherDose is combining the benefits of infrared and healing light therapy, there Infrared Sauna Blanket and Infrared PEMF Mat give you a natural high that makes you glow from the inside out.

A DOSE session promises to leave you feeling euphoric, beautiful and rejuvenated – the ultimate takeaway.

 


Interview transcript with HigherDOSE!

Konstanze: Hi, guys. It’s so good to see you. Hi, Katie. Hi, Laura. I would love to ask you some questions.

Katie: Yeah. That’d be great. Thanks for having us today. It’s good to see you after so long.

What inspired you guys to launch HigherDOSE?

Lauren: I know you can’t see me but I’m actually in my sauna right now in my home, Upstate New York. We launched HigherDOSE mainly because Katie and I both fell in love with infrared saunas. The benefits are just exceptional. You immediately feel it. You feel euphoric. The first time I try it I slept through the night. It’s great for skin. It was just a no-brainer and it was definitely needed in New York City. You know, New York is such a go, go, go kind of place, nonstop, that we really felt like New Yorkers needed this. I am a holistic nutritionist and health coach and was working for a wellness startup at the time, and one of the most amazing doctors that I highly respect, Dr. Frank Lipman, told me about the infrared sauna when I was working at this startup.

I went and tried the only location which was this colonic center in New York and it was like in the basement. It was a really weird experience, behind a curtain. And when I tried it, I absolutely fell in love with it. And I was actually introduced to Katie through a friend of mine who was pitching her on different business ideas. I kind of ruined his meeting with him and pitched Katie on the infrared sauna. I always let Katie kind of take it from here because she has an interesting background and also experience with health and wellness stuff.

Katie: It feels like so long ago but, yeah, I can remember very clearly coming out of finance, investment banking career, and then moving into wellness startups, and I wanted to start my own at some point. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be around but I loved like the addictive high of running. And when I met Lauren and tried the infrared sauna, I kind of felt that same runner’s high from doing the sauna and just thought, “Wow, this product is a homerun. Lauren, I’m ready to go. Let’s do this.” Once I tried the product and met Lauren, it didn’t take much convincing to go for it.

Konstanze: Did COVID affect your business model?

Lauren: We always say that COVID didn’t necessarily affect us where we needed to pivot but rather accelerated what we were already doing. So luckily enough, even though we had 11 Infrared sauna locations, about 2 years ago, we also launched our first product, which is our infrared sauna blanket, and this was inspired by the infrared sauna actually being quite difficult for people to purchase, own, afford. So we really wanted to create something that really brought benefits of infrared to the masses, which was our infrared sauna blanket. So it’s the same technology, the same benefits as the sauna, but in a much more compact, easy to travel with, easy to purchase sauna blanket.

So we launched that two years ago and it did really well immediately. And we just continue to watch it grow. And we just knew that our main mission was to bring infrared to the masses. So we knew that we wanted to focus more on selling the sauna blankets and ultimately coming out with more products like the infrared sauna blanket. By the time COVID hit, we already knew we wanted to more double down on that side of the business and create more products, and we already had other products in the pipeline, so even though we did take a hit from COVID, where we had to close most of our locations, we only have one open, it also allowed us to focus our time and resources into the product side of the business, which we’re extremely passionate about. And we actually saw that side of business grow at 400%. So, in a way, COVID has been really difficult for us but in a way it’s also been very supportive as the future of HigherDOSE was more product-based.

Konstanze: When we met, you guys decided to collaborate with me and create COCORAU Bite, one of these raw cacao bites where I started my company with, with no sugar, no dairy, no soy, like a healthy kind of chocolate, but what is raw. What inspired you to create DOPATONIN and that’s how you named the bite with me?

Katie: I’ll let Lauren go into the formulation. But just so you know, I was a fan of your brand. I think even before we opened  in The Alchemist’s Kitchen, I saw you at a pop up in the East Village, and I tried the So Hum/ Lavender Bite and I was just like obsessed.

And I found I was spending all my money on your product, maybe if we create one with you, I’d get more of a deal. And then Lauren is so knowledgeable in ingredients and used her background as a health coach to collaborate with you, so I’ll let you guys talk about the actual formulation.

Lauren: Yeah, so just with my background in nutrition, I quickly learned about the benefits of cacao and chocolate and how it’s pretty much like a delivery truck for nutrients. There’s so many benefits of cacao but also there’s so many mood-enhancing benefits. And not many people know this or realize this, but HigherDOSE, DOSE stands for dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, and those are your four main happy chemicals. So we just thought creating a chocolate with you would be actually a perfect addition to the experience going into the sauna and ultimately feeling great. And what we wanted to do on top of the chocolate was add other ingredients that naturally release dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins.

The main two ingredients that we really love to talk about, besides the cacao is the mucuna, which mucuna is an amazing, amazing, natural way to release dopamine, which dopamine is one of those great, happy chemicals that just makes you feel great. And then the other one is cashews and cashews is a really interesting one because cashews actually release so much serotonin that it’s like taking a Prozac or an antidepressant. And it’s like a really great solution for people if they don’t feel great, to take a handful of cashews every day to improve your mood. And then also, we wanted to add something that released heat pretty much, which would be very complementary to the sauna, but also heat and things like chili release endorphins. So that’s where that ingredient came in. Oh, one more thing, of course, the salt. The salt is, I think, one of the best things to pair with chocolate because it just enhances the flavor while also you want to replenish the minerals that you sweat out after the sauna, which is why we thought adding salt would be also a perfect addition to the chocolate.

Konstanze: That’s why we added lava salt, since it has more minerals.

Lauren: Exactly. There you go. So I honestly feel like this is the perfect bite to complement the sauna or the sauna blanket. And off of it, it’s so freakin delicious. I have to say like my husband and friends that come and try the chocolate, they’re absolutely obsessed with.

There’s no better chocolate out there than that one.

Konstanze: Thank you. Thank you, guys. How do you guys see your perfect day right now since life changed so much?

Katie: Well, definitely involves doing the infrared sauna at some point. The one nice thing about the pandemic, I guess having more flexibility with your schedule. So I try and fit in an infrared session, maybe some kind of cold therapy. I’m in Miami now and I have access to a cold plunge. So I love doing that and just trying to like stay connected with family, obviously working on HigherDOSE, getting some reading in or a podcast. I love listening to Ben Greenfield’s podcast. Eating delicious food. Food is my new kind of hobby because I quit drinking like seven months ago so…

Konstanze: Oh, so cool.

 

Katie: Yeah, that’s been great. And then ideally getting a workout in is a pretty good day to me. How about you, Lauren?

Lauren: My life’s a little bit different just because I had twins about a year and four months ago and they keep me quite busy. But on the times that I get free, I have someone that comes and helps me three days a week, I love to do the infrared sauna. I have one in my basement. I’m totally obsessed with it. Right now I’m in it as I’m doing this interview, and I’m doing this like cold castor oil pack, and after that I’m going to do a cold shower, and then detox bath at the moment right now. I love magnesium baths. That’s pretty much like my go-to for having the best sleep ever and just like my day is complete. And then I haven’t been working out as much as I normally do. But for me lately it’s just been about getting out and doing some form of movement.

So usually I walk around my area with my twins in the buggy, which is like a total workout in itself. Yeah, it’s just about spending quality time with my kids. And work is probably the most exciting thing I have going on right now. So it’s just a mix of being a mom, being a part of a family, trying to see some friends here and there, trying to do things that are good for me, and ultimately what I’m truly passionate about which is HigherDOSE and bringing infrared to the masses.

Konstanze: Is there anything about hidden talent you guys, what you would like to realize?

Katie: If we move on from HigherDOSE and I find myself with some free time and don’t have to worry about an income stream, I’d love to just focus on drawing. So I used to do a lot of art and, yeah, that’s one of my hidden talents that I don’t really focus on.

Lauren: Yeah, and mine which I’m already starting to like invest into just because it makes me feel so good, and there’s lots of like science that backs up that and just singing in general, I feel like it balances chakras and opens up chakras. It’s like breath work on itself, the tones of like your voice and when you’re singing and how that vibrates through the body. I honestly feel the best after I sing even though I’m not the best at it, I’m not trying to be the next pop star that comes out, but I feel like it’s actually like an amazing thing to just be able to maybe carry a note and be able to sing a few songs. And I definitely, anytime I’m alone, whether that’s in the shower in the sauna, I like to just sing. And it’s really nice to sing with my kids. They’re so cute. They like repeat after me when I sing a tune or I do one of my exercises. They’re so cute. They try to do it as well. And I think it’s such a nice thing to implement in kids’ life is just music in general.

Konstanze: Is there anybody who aspire you to be?

Katie: I guess I kind of mentioned before that I love listening to Ben Greenfield’s podcast. He’s like a leading biohacker and thought leader in the wellness space. And he does a lot of research on longevity and experiments with himself quite frequently. And I think he has a very good heart and really is well intentioned in terms of educating people on how to live longer, healthier lives. So, yeah, I mean, at a certain point, in addition, like, I’d love to kind of take a more research-based and scientific approach to the wellness field and be more of a thought leader one day.

Lauren: I aspire to be a higher self and better version of myself. And as in your last two questions, what I would do if I had copious amount of income, and then who would I aspire to be? So I think once one day, maybe we sell HigherDOSE, I would love to be a philanthropist. I would love to start my own charity. I’m really inspired and ultimately inspiring kids to live healthier lives, and ultimately having tools and resources for them to feel good so that they can be their higher self and do good in the world. You know, yoga, meditation, nutrition, just like basic life skills that honestly don’t get taught in school that I think would be really important to teach kids. You know, my brother is also teaching yoga and meditation in the school board. I feel like I would love to be a part of that movement after HigherDOSE, and it’s definitely going to be the focus on kids and just giving them the tools and resources that they need to thrive.

Konstanze: Thank you guys for being here with me. And I really hope we see each other in person soon and the life will change a little bit again.

Lauren: Same.

Katie: Definitely. It was great to see you. Thanks, Konstanze.

Konstanze: Thank you. Bye.