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Conversations with Nathalie Carpenter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nathalie Carpenter.

Hi Nathalie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
First of all, thank you so much for including me here! Although circumstances feel strange, I am grateful to be back where my roots are in Southern California after having lived in NYC for the past 13 years.

I was always fascinated by the way that luxury brands created emotional connections to their consumers so I spent close to 20 years of my marketing career supporting just that. I started my career in SoCal, working for Mercedes-Benz, and later went on to work at Audi, as well as with brands including Ferrari, Grey Goose Vodka, D’USSE Cognac, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Crumbs Bakeshop to name a few.

Newly married and two years into my career at Audi, I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. For those of you aren’t familiar, unexplained infertility is a maddening non-explanation of why someone isn’t able to get or stay pregnant. (I would learn years later in 2019 that I have “silent” endometriosis.)

Upon my initial diagnosis, I focused even more energy into my job to overcompensate for my personal failure of not being able to get pregnant spontaneously. Infertility, endless appointments and procedures at fertility clinics became my second (secret) job. By the time I was working with my fifth doctor, was about to start my fifth infertility treatment (and third IVF cycle), I was exhausted mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I was tired of carrying the weight of feeling broken and like not getting pregnant was only happening to me. That is when the first breakthrough happened… I needed to validate that I wasn’t alone and find control over something during the fertility process for my mental health.

As a result, I did two things: I started the Fertilust blog and began to build a community of other women (and men) who were facing or had challenges expanding their families. I also dove into any evidence-based research that I could find which supported how diet and lifestyle could positively impact fertility. This led me to pursuing a health coach certification which subsequently taught me about nutrition, introduced me to an anti-inflammatory diet and provided a means to control something during the journey. Then something miraculous happened; I doubled my egg count during my third IVF, got two embryos (one viable) and had my first ever transfer resulting in my now three year old child. I came back from my maternity leave changed and about a year after being back in a corporate male-dominated industry, had a second breakthrough.

I felt compelled to support others on their journey because as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t forget my experience. I also figured out how I could do so. At first, I didn’t see the direct application of my marketing past but then it occurred to me that I could apply my know-how of strategy, collaborations, events PR and digital media to help brands connect with the community which needed them as well. In 2019, I left my corporate role and founded Well + Luxe, a marketing consultancy focused on wellness and fertility. In 2020, I launched a virtual events program series called Sunday Sessions presented by Fertilust, where members of the (in)fertility and wellness communities connect with highly sought after experts who share about women’s health-related topics, many of which are not widely discussed. I am also thrilled to share that later this year, I will be launching a subset of Well + Luxe; a collaborative of wellness professionals, services and brands which authentically support preconception, ttc (trying to conceive) and (in)fertility.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My greatest challenge has been the (in)fertility experience itself. Without my experience, I wouldn’t have understood the wellness-related needs that most individuals who enter into the journey/process have. Often individuals and couples don’t readily know how to access resources beyond just the clinic component; that IVF isn’t a guaranteed path to a baby and that they also are not alone.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am most proud of and am known for being a dot connector of people, resources and ideas. I also take pride in scaling ideas to make them a reality. Helping people feel supported and amazing businesses achieve their goals, particularly in underserved space like fertility wellness makes me feel like we are moving closer to destigmatizing (in)fertility and women’s health.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I have grown my network extensively and made meaningful connections as a result of the ability to meet people virtually. Mental health also stands out as a topic that threads through just about everything, and because of mandated isolation is perhaps more important than ever to discuss and shed light on.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
All photos (outside of the one with the pineapple) Credit: Halleigh Hill Photography

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