Interviewed by Lauren Carlstrom, COO of Oxygen Plus
Published October 28, 2020
Q: How does it feel for your company, Oxygen Plus, to be 17 years old?
Christine: "Honestly, it’s really hard to think that it’s been 17 years. Given the science and benefits of breathing oxygen in everyday life, I imagined Oxygen Plus to be in every boardroom, every household and every ski jacket pocket by this time. The regular challenges of an entrepreneurial business, such as fundraising and people development – coupled by the challenges of creating a new category, like regulatory barriers, and unfair competition – requires incredible persistence. However, my founding inspiration continues to drive me forward."
Q: Even though the category is not what you had hoped it would be, what does it mean to you - personally - to be the pioneer of the growing, now established category of portable recreational oxygen in the United States?
Christine: "It’s exciting. I feel like I’m part of an energy wave. There is something about having an idea (making portable oxygen more available) and making that idea a tangible reality - that you can hold in your hand - that’s very satisfactory and life-giving. It’s still a “wow” for me when I see O+ on the shelf or hear how it’s helping someone live their life with more relief, energy, safety and wellbeing."
Q: Could you define the single greatest challenge you’ve had in your quest to grow the category of recreational oxygen via Oxygen Plus?
Christine: "Initially, I think the greatest challenge was educating people about the benefits of oxygen. Now, it’s shifted to understanding the retail world, and trusting that there is someone who knows the retail landscape well enough to make it a mainstream product."
Q: 17 years is longer than a lot of relationships! What has been your sustaining source of inspiration as you continue to take the Oxygen Plus brand into mainstream?
Christine: "What keeps me committed to building Oxygen Plus is my founding belief that every person on the planet deserves the right to breathe easy. In this day and age, no one should worry about whether oxygen is accessible to them - whether that’s for recreational or medical purposes. This strong belief is what keeps me engaged in the business and encouraging my team to fulfill the mission and vision of Oxygen Plus."
Q: Speaking of mission and vision, what is one legacy or lesson you want to leave a future generation of entrepreneurs?
Christine: "If you have a great purpose-driven idea that you and others truly believe in, commit to it and put actions behind it. Don’t be dissuaded by distractions, which can include other great ideas or nay-sayers. Learn how to maintain the calm in the chaos of uncertainty. Go with your calm and know your focus or you will have nothing."
Thank you for sharing, Christine. I know I speak for the entire Oxygen Plus team when I say how grateful we are you started this company and invited us to join you as entrepreneurial pioneers of recreational oxygen. Every day, we're inspired by you and O+'s mission: "To make a significant contribution to the wellbeing of humankind."