One of the best things about shopping our wellness departments – besides the fantastic selection and superior quality of the products we curate – is our wonderful Wellness staff. The teams at both stores altogether have many years of experience in wellness industries and are well equipped to assist customers with their needs. The staff undergoes regular training and learns constantly through research and vendor education. Our level of customer service in Wellness is what sets us apart from big box stores and online venues. Oryana is where people come for the best products, because they understand our strict purchasing guidelines, and for assistance from knowledgeable staff, something you cannot experience from online ordering.
Meet Our Wellness Managers, Crystal from 10th St. and Rachel from West
How long have you been at Oryana?
Crystal: I’ve been with Oryana 14 years. I began as a barista, café, Lead, Café/Kitchen Supervisor, Wellness Assistant Manager, and then Wellness Manager.
Rachel: I’ve been here since Lucky’s, when I started in 2017. I first started in the Ann Arbor store. My parents are in Northern Michigan, and I worked at Oryana when I was 19, before we had fancy computerized cash registers. I came full circle; Oryana was one of my first jobs, and here I am.
How does your team keep up with all the different products in your department?
Crystal: My team and I work and train with vendors and do independent study, as well as engaging in online trainings for products and their applications weekly. This department is such that there is learning each and every day with product handling and customer interaction as well.
Rachel: We do something we call expert voice platform where the team takes part several times a week. We have a platform of vendors we carry, and we go through trainings of different products we have and we try the products. Vendors and educators come in, reps from companies like Nordic Naturals, CBD companies, supplement vendors. We do something called aisle training, where the staff learns on their own about products they are interested in, and then they teach the rest of the staff about the product. They are the teachers who show us the talking points, the selling points, and we all dive deep into the product.
What are some of your favorite products and vendors?
Crystal: I have appreciation for all of the vendors that we carry. My personal favorite products are lemon balm, collagen, B-complex, fish oil, probiotics, and turmeric.
Rachel: Our local vendors do a wonderful job. I like facial care products, the CBD products, Great Lakes CBD Oils, Wild Flower Soap, Life Extension supplements, Hippie Twig Botanics; these companies utilize cutting edge technology with their formulas.
What’s one thing you want our shoppers to know?
Crystal: I want them to know that the teaching and learning is mutual. The respect is mutual, and we recognize our customers have options as to where they can purchase their products, so we are honored that they have chosen Oryana. Due to this acknowledgement, we work diligently on customer service, product selection, and perceptive pricing, so that our guests have the best experience possible.
Rachel: We have a vastly knowledgeable team. Some are certified in homeopathy, essential oils, and face care. If we don’t know the answer, we will find it, we will guide customers to what they are looking for. Pam has gone to school and is certified with homeopathy, reiki, and nutrition. Sheila is a certified aromatherapist with essential oils. I have a degree in holistic nutrition with a botany background, which is helpful with herbs. I learned more about medicinal properties of herbs which got me interested in the wellness industry. I wanted to know more, about the science and botany in wellness.
How does your team handle the rise in online ordering? What are some of your pricing strategies?
Crystal: We know that a lot of times we are unable to compete with online pricing, however we can offer a high level of customer service, attention, and keen knowledge of the products we carry. Special ordering is always an option, and sometimes these products become permanent staples on our shelves. As far as strategy, we’ve been working on pricing and high-level promotions with NCG and our vendors for years, offering competitive pricing that enhance the shopping experience for our guests. We do match prices when appropriate and with two stores have began working within the realms of a higher status in buying power. Due to the strength of this new buying power, we have also been able to offer “Buy One, Get One” to our customers as well as deeper sales. What’s beautiful about this is that this work is done so that our guests maintain access to clean, fair trade, eco-friendly, and non-GMO products with greater value.
Rachel: Our difference is our customer service. Amazon is our biggest competition. We separate ourselves with great customer service and knowledge. We can answer questions. We can promote certain products with in-store coupons to help with pricing. We find ways to be price competitive with NCG promotions. We do a shared promotional calendar with 10th St. so we have more buying power and get better deals, then we are able to extend discounts to customers.
What are some common misconceptions in the wellness industry and about wellness products?
Crystal: The wellness department is all about healing from the inside out through mindfulness, healthy nutrition, exercise and supplementation as needed. We meet people where they are, and enjoy being a part of their journey. We work with companies who demonstrate some of the highest levels of integrity and values in product production and who work diligently in upholding their mission, which all align with our mission and values as well. The products on our shelves are studied, sampled, and vetted regularly and we take pride in asking the hard and appropriate questions as needed. Oryana Wellness has the reputation of carrying products of high quality and we work hard to make sure we offer our guests value without sacrificing this high-level quality. This is an all-encompassing strategy from the greeted smile at the door, product selection, pricing, to the cashier and bagging. We want to create a memorable experience!
Rachel: There are many ways to health. The main way is good food and an active lifestyle. Supplements are not a work around for healthy foods, but they are one way to fill the gaps and enhance your body. We have a huge variety of supplements to support the needs of our customers. We have vetted the companies to ensure you’re getting the quality you need to help you on your path to better health. Pairing supplements with our local and organic food options will round out a healthy lifestyle.