Founders often have interesting stories, but Tero Isokauppila, the founder of the cult company Four Sigmatic, has a truly fascinating background. He grew up in Finland on a farm that has been in his family for thirteen generations. He founded Four Sigmatic in 2012 and launched in the US in 2015, they are now a Finnish-American company based out of LA. In just a few short years, Four Sigmatic has become a pioneer and the gold standard in all things healthy living, beauty and beyond.
What sets Four Sigmatic apart from other wellness companies is their dedication to products and ingredients that are scientifically proven. Meeting Tero, one can immediately feel his passion for health and his deep knowledge of superfoods. He is the picture of health, and lives the brand in a truly authentic way, speaking in detail about different mushrooms and their healing properties, even joking he hopes to call his first daughter Schisandra, a berry with endless beauty benefits.
Four Sigmatic’s growth has been nothing short of extraordinary, and it’s clear this is due to Tero’s amazing leadership. Since their launch, Four Sigmatic has released a number of delicious refreshments (including matchas, elixirs, and coffees) geared toward hydrating the skin, anti-aging, relieving stress and building one’s immune system, among other benefits. Each product is infused with healing mushrooms and other superfoods perfect for getting your daily dose of protein, fiber and vitamin B on the go. Their success is a testament to the incredible products. For example, Four Sigmatic is one of the few internal beauty brands to be sold at Sephora, a huge accolade.
What is so inspiring is Tero’s goal to make these superfood ingredients more accessible for people. He has clearly ingrained this ethos and his kind nature into the heart of the company, putting an emphasis on education and positivity. The company even has an adorable Mushroom Mobile, Mauri, that pops up around the country spreading the Four Sigmatic love. We sat down with Tero to discuss building his brand, mushrooms and his new book, Santa Sold Shrooms.
Tell us about your inspiration for founding Four Sigmatic Tero Isokauppila: I grew up in Finland, foraging for mushrooms on our family farm, which we've had since 1619. I went on to study chemistry and nutrition, which helped me better understand the healing powers of nutrient-dense foods. Four Sigmatic was founded to help popularize about 50 of the world's most researched foods, many of which are functional mushrooms, adaptogens, and now popular superfoods (e.g. turmeric).
What's been the best part of growing your brand into the powerhouse it is today? TI: Being a part of the community we’ve built with the like-minded people who we've met along the way. It also feels good to do good, so being able to serve people in a positive way is quite rewarding. Finally, through Four Sigmatic, I’m able to learn something new every day and mushrooms still surprise me all the time.
What's the best way for people to learn about Adaptogens? TI: I recommend the book Adaptogens by David Winston and Steven Maimes. For adaptogenic mushrooms, my own book (shameless plug) Healing Mushrooms and the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Academy are both great sources. Even though you have to be careful about vetting the information out there, you’d be surprised how much valuable information about adaptogens can be found online.
What are some of your favorite superfoods for beautification? TI: The Schisandra berry might be the top beauty herb in the world, which also happens to be an amazing adaptogen for energy. Black foods like coffee, cacao, charcoal, Chaga mushroom, and black olives are all great for beauty, as well as herbs and mushrooms that support the liver like Tulsi (holy basil), shiitake mushrooms, and milk thistle.
How do you stay healthy while traveling? TI: I nap every day, eat a lot of mushrooms, and take care of my gut. It allows me not to be afraid of picking up harmful bacteria. In fact, I haven't been sick once in almost 11 years!
Tell us about your new book! TI: My new book, Santa Sold Shrooms, will be released in early November and it is an illustrated bedtime story that shares the true story of arguably the world’s most famous person, Santa Claus. Whatever you thought you knew will be challenged and you’ll be surprised by the origins of our holiday traditions.