Othership cofounder and chief executive officer Robbie Bent kicked off his presentation by having attendees imagine a secret garden with lavender, a hearth and smiling people.
“You see an ice bath, 32 degrees, freezing cold. You may be a bit scared. Once you jump in with the support of your community and while you come out you are feeling transformed,” he said. “You’re feeling alive. You’re feeling brave. Now it is a real space that exists.”
That is what Bent is hoping to create with Othership, a Toronto-based social wellness concept that provides sauna sessions, ice baths and emotional wellness classes and has global expansion on the horizon.
“All the pieces at Othership is about constructing belonging in a recent way,” he said.
Coming out of a primarily virtual world following the COVID-19 pandemic, persons are still struggling to seek out in-person connections. In response to a 2023 advisory from the U.S. surgeon general, loneliness is a public health concern and “the mortality impact of being socially disconnected is comparable to that attributable to smoking as much as 15 cigarettes a day.”
Bent is attempting to counteract that along with his business. “People, especially within the 20- to 40-year-old demographic, want experiences. Persons are lonely,” Bent said. “People wish to be seen. They wish to belong. They wish to connect.”
This recent approach to socializing is aiming to offer individuals with a method to connect without having to go to a bar or devour alcohol. “There’s another choice,” Bent said. As an alternative, Othership has three flagship offerings: guided sauna and ice bath sessions, emotional wellness classes and social hours. “You come into the space. You employ the sauna. You employ the ice bath. It’s at all times guided, nevertheless it’s a method to connect. No person’s on their phone.”
Apart from jumping from sauna to ice bath, Othership offers focused emotional wellness classes, akin to its Rose Thorn Bud session, which focuses on the great, the bad and the long run.
“It is a whole recent way, a guided class format to experience your emotions, like the long run of group therapy in a way that’s accessible and lightweight,” Bent said.
Because the brand goals to compete with bars, social hours have grow to be a core tenant of Othership, during which guests can experience the tea lounge, music and live performances. While it’s early days, if the Toronto location is any indication, consumers are hungry for these sober social sessions.
“There’s a secret that we’ve found. It’s really emotional health and wellness and so this isn’t fringe,” Bent said. “It’s not for those that have traditionally been occupied with yoga and spirituality.”
Because the brand has built out the model in Toronto, expansion is now top of mind. In response to Bent, in relation to expansion Othership has “$18 million in-built the pipeline,” and can soon to open in Flatiron and Williamsburg in Latest York.
While Othership also has a well-liked guided breathwork app, the social component really thrives throughout the live events, of which the brand has hosted greater than 50. Recently, Othership has doubled down on a lot of these live events, even outside the studios. For instance, because the app received 100,000 downloads in Latest York, the brand hosted a concert in town in partnership with Daybreaker to offer Othership users a spot to fulfill in real life.
“The true magic comes from allowing people to create their very own communities,” Bent said.