Located in the picturesque Belmont Heights neighborhood, The Wellest is Long Beach’s new go-to shop for clean and sustainable products. Although the store opened its doors on Earth Day, The Wellest is not entirely new—founded by former actress Brandi Andres (best known for her role in the 1990s series Beverly Hills 90210), The Wellest first launched as an online business in 2021. Before this, Andres sold her products at pop-ups and street fairs around Long Beach.
The Wellest’s seeds were first planted in 2015 when Andres took a class on the conservation and taxonomy of animals and plants. In an interview with Andres, she explained that at the time, she began suffering from several unpleasant symptoms, including inflammation and glucose intolerance. Andres noted that this stemmed from her diet and skincare products, and so began her wellness journey. She bought an ingredient dictionary and did research, resulting in her getting rid of her old products and adjusting her diet.
This lifestyle change led to The Wellest, which Andres said was created to educate and “to help others understand that… there’s a better way to live.” She went on to explain, “The point of having a shop like this is so that consumers don’t have to do all of the hard work [and] they don’t have to do all of the research. They can go into one place and feel safe knowing that that research has already been done.”
With that said, The Wellest sells sustainable clothing, skincare, accessories, home goods, and more. Andres describes The Wellest as a modern mercantile or a general store where the Long Beach community can shop for all their goods in one space.
The Wellest strives to promote sustainability in Long Beach and is on the brink of receiving its California Green Business Certification. “From my perspective, it’s really important to be educated on the products that we’re using. Not only for our own well-being and for our own health but also for the planet,” said Andres.
As for how she curates The Wellest’s products, Andres said that she looks for items that have three benefits each (such as biodegradable packaging, cruelty-free, and non-toxic, for example). Andres also chooses products that are Environmental Working Group (EWG) verified, fair trade certified, or are from B Corporations.
The Wellest also has a selection of non-alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, and a lounge where guests can sit back and relax while sipping their drinks. Andres calls this lounge a community space and explained, “That’s a way for me to create an environment where I can speak to people about the benefits of shopping fair trade, about the benefits of clean beauty…it gives me that opportunity to hear from the guests that come in.”
But why did Andres choose Long Beach for The Wellest in the first place? Andres hails from Long Beach and currently lives in the city. “There are a lot of people in the city of Long Beach who care about taking care of their communities, taking care of their health, and giving back, and I think it was really important for me to not only stay in the location that I live but also [to] bring a little bit of a spotlight on Long Beach and what it has to offer,” she said.
Andres, who self-funded her store, said that The Wellest has been welcomed into the neighborhood with open arms. “What’s really nice is the response from people who have said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is exactly what our community needs; this is exactly what Long Beach needs.'”
Andres is looking toward the future and hopes to eventually hold speaking events at The Wellest to further educate consumers and Long Beach locals on clean and fair trade products. Andres said she would like The Wellest to transform “the way and why we shop by empowering people to reconnect their lifestyle choices with their values.” Andres concluded her interview by saying: “Every day is a new day to try something new or…be better.”