Like most millennials, I spend an unhealthy amount of my day shopping online. I’ve always done my best to resist the urge to splurge impulsively, but then I randomly came across Pearl Butter, a line of adaptogenic coconut butters that almost look too pretty to eat, while browsing the beauty section of Urban Outfitters. The brand was spearheaded by Kati Holland after she suffered from a severe lymphatic reaction to a pharmaceutical drug as an undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania.
During this tumultuous time, the 20-something turned to nontraditional practices within the wellness space as a solution and wound up seeing instant and life-altering results. “That was my foray into the world of health and the first time I had no choice but to take my own health seriously,” she says. “After having healed myself with the help of professionals through Eastern medicine, I knew I wanted to create something in the wellness space that incorporated Eastern modalities like adaptogens but wasn’t so serious or stuffy.”
Pearl Butter is currently available in five flavors: Secret Ingredient (matcha for calmness), Beauty Butter (activated pearl and shave grass for skin), Glow-Getter (turmeric and ashwagandha for focus), Smarty Pantsuit (ginkgo and protein blend for brain power) and Dirty Detox (activated charcoal and milk thistle for cleansing). While it’s easy to write off these pastel-tinted superfood spreads as “unicorn food” that will be good for the ’gram, each flavor has a unique set of ingredients for a particular purpose with specific benefits in mind.
Holland’s mission is for customers to look and feel better from the inside out so they can truly be the best, healthiest version of themselves. As these yummy products continue to spread across the market, she is determined to change the narrative of wellness. If you didn’t already get the memo, it’s officially time to ditch the avocado toast and upgrade your lifestyle. Learn more about the origins of Pearl Butter and why the brand strives for “wellness not perfection” in the interview with Holland below.
Why did you decide to use coconut butter as the base?
“I’m obsessed with all things coconut and strongly believe coconut butter is underrated. People seem to smother peanut butter and almond butter on practically everything, but haven’t really been introduced to the creamy, deliciousness of coconut butter. Another reason I chose raw, organic coconut is because it’s an excellent delivery mechanism for adaptogens due to the healthy fats.”
What are some common misconceptions about adaptogens?
“So. Freaking. Many. When it comes to misconceptions, I feel like there are the two camps: people who think they’re complete BS (that used to be me!) and then people who think if you sprinkle adaptogens in your coffee, all of your problems will immediately go away. Nothing in life is a cure-all, and adaptogens are cumulative, meaning their efficacy and properties increase as you continue to use them. But they do work, and they have for centuries. It’s really exciting that new research is coming out about them, too! For instance, scientists now know that ashwagandha can actually reduce anxiety—this shit is REAL.”
How did you learn the ropes of running your own business?
“My boyfriend started an HR software company, so he’s been a big inspiration! Beyond him, I truly have to thank my parents and the internet. And asking questions. My dad used to say, ‘The most powerful phrase is Can you help me?’ and it’s been so true. It’s really important to me to pay it forward, so if any women are looking to make the leap, please email me at email@example.com!”
How do you feel about your place in the wellness world?
“My place in the wellness world is helping women feel empowered to take ownership of not only their physical and mental health but also their voice. It sounds cheesy, but what good are strong bodies and minds if we don’t feel emboldened enough to use them?”
What's next for the brand?
“New products that aren’t coconut butters (hint: one’s still pink!) and finding ways to grow and give back to our community.”