Home #Hwoodtimes Meet Co-Founder of @AltwellCBD Nikki Brown 

Meet Co-Founder of @AltwellCBD Nikki Brown 

By: Valerie Milano

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/30/20 –


Nikki began her career in 1997 with Champion Nutrition. In 1998, she joined her father  and  brother  to  add  her  expertise  to the successful start-up of Cyto Sport / Muscle Milk.  Here she  was  instrumental  in creating the  infrastructure  of  their  operation  which became a 200,000 square foot headquarters housing business operations, marketing and a  state  of  the  art  manufacturing  facility.  She began to direct the Brand in early 2001 and was named Chief Marketing Officer in 2009. She led   all   brand   activity including innovation, packaging,   advertising,   sports marketing, collegiate programming, lifestyle marketing, national events and sampling. Her efforts resulted in unprecedented revenue acceleration in the protein category and acknowledgements   including Beverage   of   the   Year(2008), Best   of   the   Small Companies Under 1 B (2009), Packaging of the Year (2009) and Most Innovative Brands (2013). In  2014,  the  family  sold  the  business  to  Hormel  Food  Company,  where  Nikki stayed in her role. In 2016, she joined her father and brother at Flavor Insights, a start-up  specializing  in the functional  food  and  beverage space helping companies  with flavor,  innovation  and  application. Nikki  serves  as  CEO. In  2019,  the entrepreneurial family launched the ALTWELL line of CBD products where she has led the brand and marketing  efforts.  She  is  a  graduate  of  University  of  Southern  California  and  lives  in Alamo  with  her  husband  and  four  children. When  not  running  from  sports  to  dance, they love to travel.

Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I graduated from USC and went to work for my dad days after. Our family has been in wellness and sport nutrition for decades and soon after I started with him, we started Cyto Sport (my father, brother and a few others). A few years in, we founded the Muscle Milk brand. I led our brand efforts from packaging, messaging to customer collecting. I grew into the CMO role leading all brand building and consumer facing efforts. We sold the business in 2014 to the Hormel Food Company. I stayed in the CMO role until 2016. I left to help my father with his latest start up, Flavor Insights, which specializes in flavorings for food and beverage products. While we love the flavor business, we knew we would get back in the branded space eventually. In 2018, the idea behind Altwell was born with our first products launched early this year. In addition to the businesses, I am a mother of four active kids that range from 13 to 6. We enjoy our alone time as a family and so love getting away with    

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story    

While building the Muscle Milk brand was the highlight of our careers for all of us (our family), I think selling a family company to a food and beverage giant was an interesting and memorable process. The process itself is a huge learning. It wasn’t easy and you learn more than you want to know about all the different parties involved along the way. For entrepreneurs, brands and their businesses are like a baby and learning to step back and let others raise your ‘child’ doesn’t come naturally for most.

When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

It goes without saying, we all have lots on our plate. It’s hard to disconnect given how our world is wired. When you vacation, you still have the ability to connect. It really never stops. We wanted to get into the CBD space in hopes that we can be a part of this bigger movement towards alternatives in health and wellness. We need more balance and calm. I visited my doctor shortly after turning 40. I shared similar complaints as many women (working or at home). I wasn’t sleeping well, feeling anxious, etc. I tried some of her suggestions and found that it was a short-term fix for me. I turned to alternatives like CBD and revised my routine. I am pretty sure I will need to routinely reevaluate and modify.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

On Instagram at @AltwellCBD.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental wellness. I am learning that my needs are changing, I need more sleep, I need more calm. I feel like I am changing biologically, and I need to embrace and support it. I need to make tweaks to my normal. Be in touch with yourself. The change or unknown sneaks up on us. With little ones we are generally trying to survive. Be empathetic. I have also realized that everyone has a little something they are dealing with. Some are big and some are small. A little grace goes a long way.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? 

  1. Eat healthy
  2. Try and move around and or workout every day
  3. Take a minute or two for you- even if it’s an extra 10 minutes in the shower as you start or end your day
  4. Drink more water and tea and less alcohol
  5. Keep up with people that keep you laughing

Website: Altwell.com

Previous articleThe Kids Were Alt-Right
Next articleOpinion John Lewis
Avatar photo
Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at The Hollywood Times, a showbiz/promotions aggregate mainly for insiders. She has written for Communications Daily in DC, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International in NYC. Valerie works closely with GLSEN, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign (Fed Club Council Member), LAMBDA Legal, NCLR, and Outfest. She is also a member of the LA Press Club. She is a lay minister and parishioner of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hollywood. Milano loves meeting people and does so in her getaway home in Palm Springs as a member of the Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs Center and DAP Health (Partners for Life member). For years Valerie Milano had volunteered as a board member and one of the chief organizers for the Television Critics Association’s press tours. The tours take place twice a year in Beverly Hills/Pasadena.