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Founder + CO-CEO
Lots of little kids dream about what they want to be when they grow up. But what Peter Spiegel dreamt of, as a grade-schooler in Long Island, NY, was how he could make the world a better place for everyone. A specific career path was yet to emerge, but his inner consciousness spoke clearly: He should be of service to the world and take on its greatest challenges.Graduating from high school, Peter became immersed in a quest to understand his life’s purpose and how to achieve permanent happiness. He lived and worked on an organic farm in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Seeking to improve himself –– and to enhance the lives of others and help them thrive –– he studied and taught meditation. He learned Chinese medicine with world-renowned doctors in London and lectured on alternative medicine in New York City. He then rolled all of his experiences, plus coursework in anatomy and physiology, into a degree in Human Development from the State University of New York. After graduation, desiring to earn a living consistent with his values, Peter bootstrapped a small natural foods company into a successful business, which he sold in 1989.Seeking to have a bigger platform for his ideas, Peter then became a pioneer in the emerging television direct to consumer marketing channel, coupling mass communication with first-of-their-kind product innovations –– providing real solutions to real problems. His innovations were in such demand that they were sought out and sold at big box stores like Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target and Costco, making them accessible to everyone.In 2007, Peter bought out his business partners and committed to dedicate his product innovation, marketing skills and all the resources of his company to improve the health and quality of life of his customers. On that principle, he was joined by his life partner, Katie Williams, to found Ideal Living, an ethical and socially responsible company with the mission to ensure everyone has access to pure air and water, and a solid foundation for wellness. All these years later, Peter Spiegel has found the happiness he searched for in his life’s purpose of serving others.
What compelled Katie Williams to hop on her bike and become the very first girl in her upstate New York hometown to have a paper route? Probably the same reason she cycled all the way to Nova Scotia at just 17, spent two weeks snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains in subzero temperatures and traveled the world immersing herself in meditation and service. She’s a seeker. Someone who lives her values, and leads with an open heart. She walks the walk when it comes to socially conscious initiatives, donating her time and financial support to projects that educate and uplift communities in need around the world. But being an adventurous, genuine and caring human being is really just one item on Katie’s long list of accolades.An entrepreneur and trailblazer for women in the workplace, Katie Williams has helped define the direct to consumer and wellness industries for thirty-four years.She earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics at Cornell University in 1983 before rising to success early in her career. With a keen eye for telling compelling stories and connecting with an audience through direct response television, Katie founded Williams Television Time, Inc in 1987, becoming the first woman to own a Direct to Consumer TV marketing agency. She expanded into global marketing just five years later, founding Williams Worldwide Television and had the largest women-owned business in Los Angeles.With her expertise in positioning products in a way that makes consumers at home feel at ease and engaged, Katie continued to make her mark, earning awards across the cable TV, satellite media and online direct marketing arenas, including being honored with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Electronic Retailing Association. But it’s not awards Katie is most proud of. It’s being a mentor and providing so many opportunities to women, men, minorities, immigrants and people of color –– watching as they’ve gone out into the world to start their own successful, impactful businesses.These days, as Co-CEO of Ideal Living, Katie loves trying new things and diving into data to find out what works best. But at the end of the day, she just feels fortunate to lead such a dedicated and diverse team of people as dedicated as she is to creating proven and affordable wellness products that improve lives and help others thrive.
Gabriel grew up in Maryland, near Rock Creek National Park, its woody creek extending into downtown Washington DC. It was while spending time in the park as a youth that Gabriel was instilled with a love of nature. The fact that his father was a cancer research scientist fostered an interest in health.
Gabriel returned with his family to England, and during the year before he went to university spent six months in Paris. It was while working in the city that he made a friend who introduced him to macrobiotics, a way of eating and living in harmony with nature, according to the principles of yin and yang and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Macrobiotics led Gabriel to study and train in TCM, shiatsu, and acupuncture, and later herbal medicine and aromatherapy.
Gabriel’s professional life has centered on his work as a clinical practitioner of these disciplines; as Principal of a London-based aromatherapy institute since 1990; and as Co-Founding chair of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA), a UK-registered non-profit with 2000 members. He is an author and educator and has lectured around the world, and his book, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, has been translated into several different languages.Gabriel is committed to the conservation and protection of aromatic and medicinal plant species as a director of the California non-profit Airmid Institute, which promotes the sustainable sourcing of essential oils and the protection of indigenous cultures affected by the potential loss of endangered plant species.Gabriel’s love of essential oils and natural aromatics is multi-layered in origin — inspired by their amazing fragrance, their effect on our vital Qi-energy and Shen (Spirit), and by emerging scientific evidence of their profoundly beneficial pharmacological activities. It was a journey he started over 35 years ago, and which he continues to enjoy sharing to benefit the wellbeing of others.Gabriel’s commitment to AromaTru is inseparable from his dedication to natural healing and essential oils as a whole, such is the life-enhancing potential of the product and experience. He is enthralled to be at the heart of the development of a tool with the potential to deliver real health improvements.