Startup Stories: Q&A With Thrive Market Member Services Team Lead Lanae Williams

February 8, 2019

Welcome to Startup Stories, a series that takes you behind the scenes to share what working at a startup is really like. Our mission at Thrive Market is simple: to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. But fulfilling our big dreams take a team of dedicated, inspiring, funny, and tenacious people who show up to work every day eager to make a difference.

Today we’re introducing you to our Member Services Team Lead, Lanae Williams. She works behind the scenes to help our members have positive experiences every day, and empowers our hard-working Member Services team to be the best they can be, too. Read on for our interview!

Let’s start with the basics. Can you describe your role at Thrive Market?

I oversee our Member Services team and am the first point of contact within the leadership team to manage escalations and other member experiences. On occasion, I have the opportunity to personally assist our members via phone or email in regards to their order, membership, or brand inquiries. I also train and conduct one-on-ones within our team to ensure everyone’s focused and on track.


Is there anything people misunderstand about your job, or something that might surprise members to learn about your work?

Some people may feel like any Member Services–related position is extremely stressful and sometimes just downright hard work. But the truth is, being able to talk to people with different personalities every day is actually quite fun, and definitely a great learning experience. I have to maintain knowledge not only from a Member Services standpoint, but from all departments, like staying up-to-date on promotional offers, active tech issues, upcoming campaigns, affiliate offers, and sponsorship inquiries. All that said, I’ll say that this department teaches me patience and flexibility on a daily basis.

What do you enjoy most about your role with Member Services and supporting our customers?

I enjoy turning a Thrive member’s whole experience around. By the time I speak with them, it’s usually because of an issue with their order, or because they just need some reassurance. I like being able to help calm them down and provide a solution to their problem, which in turns keeps our members thriving and happy. I’m also very fortunate to be able to work with a close-knit team. We laugh, we help each other, we learn from each other, we grow with each other—it’s really like being able to work with family every day. One big Member Services family!


What does a typical day look like? Do you have any routines or rituals that help you feel your best? Or a favorite nibble to grab from the kitchen, perhaps?

I always start my mornings with lemon water and green or peppermint tea with lemon and honey. Something about hot tea always sets me up for a great day. After that, I greet and check on our morning shift team members. Starting the day with smiles and positive energy is always a plus for me. Next, I begin working on reports as well as any escalations that may have accumulated overnight from our team. The remainder of the day is spent assisting our Member Services team with any questions they may have and working on content documents that help us better assist our members.

What inspires you to live a healthy lifestyle? Is there something in particular that drew you to Thrive Market?

Due to health issues in my family, I try to eat healthy when I can. It’s hard to stay consistent at times, but I try to incorporate at least one healthy meal or snack into my day. Thrive Market’s mission is what initially attracted me. I love how we go above and beyond to make sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to afford healthy food. I also love how much our Thrive Gives program has expanded over the past two and a half years since I first started. We’re able to donate to food banks, families affected by natural disasters, and even the government shutdown all because of our awesome Mission Task Force team and donations from our amazing members.

When do you feel most successful or proud of your work?

Since my job consists of assisting both our members and my team, I feel most proud when I’m able to turn a negative member experience around by doing whatever I can to provide a great member experience. If I know someone on my team is having a rough day, I pride myself on being a leader they can always talk to, knowing I’m always here to give advice and offer up some encouraging words.


Give us a peek at what you eat during the day—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack!

For breakfast, I like to eat strawberry yogurt topped with KIND granola and honey or an everything bagel with cream cheese (and of course, green or peppermint tea.) For lunch, I like to make a turkey bagel sandwich (I clearly love bagels) smeared with avocados and Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo, and jalapeño chips. For a snack, I usually eat our Thrive Market Organic Bread and Butter Pickles (yes, they’re amazinggg, even by themselves). Lastly, for dinner, I LOVE to cook, so I’m always whipping up some type of comfort food. One of my favorites is my red wine pot roast with potatoes. It takes about five hours to cook but is SO worth the wait.

What’s one thing you want others to know about Thrive Market, that they might not learn from ordering, reading the blog, or visiting the website?

You can really see the passion for Thrive Market from every single employee in every department (Member Service, Tech, Marketing, Purchasing, and more). Everyone I know works so hard to provide a great experience for our members—you can tell that it’s something we all genuinely believe in. Working for Thrive Market is more than a “job” for us, it’s really a lifestyle that we all want to share with everyone—friends, our family, and our social media peers. Since the majority of us are also members ourselves, we too get to benefit from all that Thrive Market has to offer, and we all go above and beyond to make sure that everything is perfectly aligned with our values.


“Being that Beyonce is the greatest entertainer on the planet and my favorite artist of all time, my team thought it would be cute to put my head on Beyonce’s body for my birthday last year. It’s been on my laptop ever since!”

Last but not least, what’s your favorite Thrive Market product and why?

My favorite Thrive Market product is our plantain chips. Fun fact: These chips introduced me to plantains and I’ve become addicted since then. I probably eat about two to three bags a week. They’re perfectly crunchy and I always drizzle a little honey on top for a sweet-and-salty factor.

This article is related to:

Startup Stories

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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