Meet Hope Williams of OtherNature
Hope Williams is the co-founder of OtherNature — a New Zealand brand designing medicinal mushroom-based solutions to promote personal and planetary health. Not your average wellbeing product, OtherNature’s evidence-based formulations are ethically sourced, purposefully designed and scientifically grounded. Their first product, Focus Elementals, is a daily nootropic formulation scientifically designed to actively support deep focus, mental clarity, resistance to stress, and overall brain health.
Tell us a little about yourself - who are you, where are you based and what do you do?
Hello, thanks for having me. My name is Hope – I'm a kiwi girl, born and raised in Christchurch. For the past 10 years, I have been living in Melbourne, Sydney and most recently London working in digital advertising. I moved back to New Zealand this year to spend some time with family and launch my brand, OtherNature, which I have been working on as a side hustle for a few years as I was looking to invest my time in a creative outlet that had purpose. At OtherNature, we design premium mushroom-based supplements for the mind and body. To balance my career and work I love travelling, fashion, fitness, beach days, and I’m a big fan of a long lunch with friends.
What led you to create OtherNature? Can you share a little something about your journey?
The idea for OtherNature came to Matt (my life and business partner) and I while living in London. While we loved our time abroad, being ambitious people, we found the lack of balance and disconnection from a more natural lifestyle had a tendency to take its toll on our physical and mental health. And we saw it in our friends too. Imbalance isn’t something you notice immediately. It slowly chips away until you’re suddenly highly stressed, burnt out, and have a strange sensation of not feeling sick, yet not feeling well.
For years, we were looking for natural solutions to avoid harsher, chemical-laced pharmaceuticals. When medicinal mushrooms became part of our daily routine, we immediately noticed the effects and took note. With modern science catching up to what traditional medicine has known for thousands of years, research is not only proving the real health benefits of mushrooms but also discovering that they can be safer with fewer side effects than many modern pharmaceuticals.
What’s the purpose of OtherNature? How important was it to you to create a truly sustainable, purpose-led brand from the beginning?
The purpose of OtherNature is to harness the power of fungi to promote personal and planetary health. We want to use the brand to help redefine our relationship with nature. To find balance, challenge norms, solve problems, and provide essential tools for modern life that benefit people and the environment.
As a proudly New Zealand brand, we hold a strong connection to the natural world and a commitment to protecting the health of it. Although we’re just at the beginning of our journey to help aid our planet’s environmental crisis, it was important to us to launch the brand with some concrete actions already taken. These include offering a circular packaging and refill model, operating as a carbon-neutral business, partnering with 1% For the Planet, and working towards a B Corporation status.
Further, fungi have so much untapped potential. Not only are they responsible for everything from bread to beer to antibiotics, they also have a vital role to play in addressing our environmental crisis, thanks to their ability to sequester carbon and encourage biodiversity. With mushrooms being at the heart of our brand, we want to explore innovative ways to leverage their potential in our business much more as we grow. For example, how can we look to mycelium (the root structure of fungi) as our main biodegradable material for all packaging.
What you see is only the beginning, we have a range of products planned and a few key ones in development at the moment. There is a lot planned for the future and we haven’t even scratched the surface of where we’d like to take the brand.
What makes OtherNature different from other mushroom-based supplements on the market?
We’ve focused on providing the highest quality products that are clean, potent, and proven.
Our medicinal mushrooms are USDA & EU certified organic, 100% fruiting body with 30% beta-glucans, making our extracts some of the purest and most potent on the market.
And although medicinal mushrooms are the hero of our products, their benefits can be amplified with other nutraceutical ingredients (including those from NZ) that work together synergistically. Our proprietary formulations are crafted by our team of naturopaths, mycologists, and industry experts with ingredients that are supported by scientific evidence, using the clinically correct levels of bio-actives for therapeutic results.
Design was also a big factor for us – we worked with the amazing creative team at DDMMYY to create a refill model so that you can look after yourself and help reduce the environmental impact your routine has.
Who’s your dream collaboration?
To be honest, after starting a business I'm in admiration of so many brands doing amazing things there are too many to name. If we’re talking dream collabs I would love to collaborate with an amazing fashion designer like Jacquemus – using mycelium as an alternative to leather or a luxury hotel partnership like a Soho House.
How do you practise self-care; through rituals, movement, mindfulness, or by doing things you love?
Movement is so important for my mental wellbeing. I love HIIT, spin, and pilates. To unwind, I run or go for a long walk and listen to a podcast.
How do you like to start and end your day?
I check my emails, then get up and go for a run or walk around the park with Mum. Home for a shower, quick skincare routine, dress then I’m out the door and off to our workspace. Matt makes us a coffee to have while we prep for the day ahead and I (naturally) take 2 of our Focus Elementals capsules to get myself in the zone for the day ahead.
And then during the evenings, I TRY - try being the operative word - to disconnect from technology an hour before bed. Shower, skincare routine, and then read my kindle for about 30 minutes each night before bed. I’ve also been getting back into meditation in the evenings, which has been great!
What are your favourite local spots for coffee, food and activities in Christchurch?
Vics on Victoria street is my local whenever I'm home. It's a bit of a Christchurch institution. They make amazing coffee, and their fresh bread is incredible. I’m an oat latte girl. We also love to go to the beach in Sumner during the summer and hike the Port Hills that overlook the city.
What are you currently reading?
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. It's a coming-of-age novel set in Minnesota during the great depression. It follows four orphans who escape from the Lincoln School, a place where hundreds of Native American children are sent to be educated after being forcibly separated from their parents. It’s one of those novels that completely transports you into their world and the American countryside. It's so heart-warming - I would highly recommend it.The below are on my reading list this summer.
- Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
- To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
Lastly, where can we find you?