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Ep.119 Exploring the Benefits of the VitaVoice ‘Optimise’ Supplement for Voice Users with Carrie Garrett

Alexa is joined on the Singing Teachers Talk podcast by Carrie Garrett, who is a BAPAM registered SLT and vocal rehabilitation coach, singer and co-founder of the company VitaVoice. Through VitaVoice, Carrie and her team produce supplements to support the vocal health of voice users. Carrie has over 25 years of experience as a singer and singing teacher, and she is on the podcast to discuss physical well-being and supplementary products for singers.


Carrie views well-being as encompassing comfort, health and happiness. When it comes to vocal health, these are the ultimate goals for singers and individuals undergoing voice therapy. The aim is to ensure that individuals are comfortable and healthy enough to achieve everything they desire with their voice, while also finding happiness in the process.

VitaVoice is a daily food supplement capsule designed to support your well-being and health and maintain your voice. Their product includes key vitamins, minerals, and botanicals, including lion’s mane mushroom, ashwagandha and ginseng.

If you have a healthy lifestyle and a good diet, you generally don’t need to take supplements. However, there are other factors that impact this, such as the lack of sunlight in the UK at certain times of the year. This can lead to people lacking in vitamin D. As singers, we also live irregular lives, often on the road where it’s hard to eat healthy.

Adaptogens are a class of plants and herbs that help your mind and body adapt to a wide range of stressors (physical, mental, emotional and environmental) and restore balance and function. Adaptogens can also boost your energy levels.The term ‘Nootropics’ refers to substances that have a positive impact on mental skills such as memory, creativity, motivation and attention. They increase blood circulation to the brain, providing increased energy and oxygen flow.


‘The Singing and the Actor course completely opened my eyes to what vocal anatomy is’

‘Well-being is not just the physical side of things’

‘If you want to look after your vocal health, live well and everything else will fall into place’

‘I wanted people to maximise their body function for creativity’

‘You don’t need a multivitamin if you’re getting everything you need’


Website: &

Social Media: 


Relevant Links & Mentions: 

Vocal Process (Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher): 
Declan Costello:
Singing Teachers Talk Podcast: Ep. 87 How to Manage Allergies and Upper Respiratory Infections with Laryngologist Declan Costello
The World Health Organisation:
Tim Ferriss:
Podcast: Feel Better, Love More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee
The work of Jessie Inchauspé
Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep.25 The Performers Health Starts from the Inside with Nutritionist Stephanie Moore
Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep. 60 The Best Nutritional Do’s and Don’ts for Singers with Stephanie Moore
Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep. 100 The Truth About Singing and Dairy with Nutritionist Duncan Rock
Singing Teachers Talk Podcast Listen here
VitaVoice Contact Email:


Carrie is a UK-based HCPC registered health practitioner working in the field of Voice. She is a BAPAM Registered SLT and Vocal Rehabilitation Coach and has over 25 years of experience as a singer and singing teacher, adding to her skillset when she qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2012.

With a wealth of knowledge in diagnostic and therapeutic interventions related to her specialist field, she splits her time working in independent voice therapy practice, is clinical lead for Voice at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, and is co-founder of VitaVoice: a wellbeing company with health and prevention of voice issues at their heart…Good health for great voices!

She holds a degree in Popular Music Performance, is a qualified teacher of music, and spent 9 years working in FE/HE music education alongside recording and performing original music and working in tribute and cover bands across the UK. All of this alongside her classical singing training at Birmingham Conservatoire as a teenager has contributed to her empathy and compassion for the demands which exist for vocalists everywhere.

VitaVoice is a passion project developed with her husband and their colleague following recognition of a need for holistic health and well-being advice and products to support people with hard-working voices. Having been inspired by the nutritionists she worked with in the development of their hero product ‘VitaVoice: Optimise’, any free time she has available is currently spent researching and studying towards her diploma in Health and Nutrition to ensure the information she shares with others relating to health and wellbeing is evidence-based and up to date.

Link to podcast presenter’s bios


Ep.119 Exploring the Benefits of the VitaVoice ‘Optimise’ Supplement for Voice Users With Carrie Garrett


Alexa Terry, Carrie Garrett

Alexa Terry  00:00

Hello for this week’s episode of the Singing Teachers Talk podcast I’m joined by Carrie Garrett, who is a BAPAM registered SLT and vocal rehabilitation coach, singer and co-founder of the well-being company, VitaVoice, through which Carrie and her team produced daily food supplements to support voice users in vocal health and the prevention of voice issues. Carrie has over 25 years experience as a singer and singing teacher and is with me to talk about physical well-being for the singer and her VitaVoice Optimize product. So let’s get into it Oh, Carrie Garrett, a very warm welcome to the Singing Teachers Talk podcast. How’s everything going?

Carrie Garrett  00:43

Very good. Thank you apart from the heat today, it is an incredibly hot day. Now things are going very well. Thankyou. 

Alexa Terry  00:50

I just hope that the the flush from the heat is making me look a little less like a Casper. I’m quite transparent. So I’m hoping you know, it gives me a little bit of colour.

Carrie Garrett  01:02

Rosy Glow. 

Alexa Terry  01:04

Exactly. That’s what we’ll go with, not not sweaty mess. That’s fine. Carrie, you’re a singer, an SLT, a vocal rehabilitation coach, and now a co-owner of a health and wellbeing company, which has core values of vocal health and voice problem prevention. But can you just take us down memory lane for a second so that we can understand how you were led to where you are now?

Carrie Garrett  01:27

Sure. So, so hello to everybody who is listening. And I think like anybody who loves the voice, it is a lifelong love of the voice. So from a very early age, I was singing in the playground and my brother was telling me not to sing all the time, and you persist and you carry on. So followed the usual sort of instrumental route through school, ended up training classically, because when I was learning to sing, there wasn’t that much in terms of rock and pop. And you know what they call contemporary commercial music now, and so it was musical theater, I think Les Mis had sort of just come out and things like that. And, and obviously, classically, so I did train classically. And then I learned on the job working as a singer from sort of 17 onwards. I went and studied in Liverpool, music degree, first of all, and performance and then worked all the clubs circuits, and holiday camps and covers and original bands, and all that kind of thing, attribute acts as well. Alongside that teaching singers one to one right from sort of 1998 working for local music studios, teaching singers, as many singing teachers start out, you know, have a premises and you hire the space or whatever, or teach from home and teach singers. I lead choirs and eventually, when I sort of hit my early, early, and mid 20s, I started teaching so I started teaching in further education and higher education, I did a teaching qualification, teaching rock and pop musicians and lead a music performance department for a while. But what was underpinning all of this was all of the music, tuition, all of the singing, all the voice work was all through pure love of the voice, love of the music, love of performance. So actually how much I understood in terms of how the voice worked, how I could genuinely improve it other than sort of the music, musical improvements, that kind of facilitated technical improvements as well, just through the musical direction. I didn’t really understand what I was doing. And then I attended a brilliant course by Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher, Vocal Process team. And it completely opened my eyes to what vocal anatomy was, it was called the Singing in the Actor and it was all about changing your voice and using different pitches and tones and you know, sort of speech patterns and everything to actually sort of cultivate what you wanted, your target voice. And it just absolutely made me want to learn more and know more, I think I’ve always been had a scientific mind as well. And I actually changed track then. And I retrained as a speech and language therapist, I was really fortunate when I did retrain, because the government were funding speech and language therapy degrees at the time. So I know that quite often our life choices and our sort of pathways are influenced by what’s going on contextually. So I was really lucky because there’s no way I could have afforded to go back to uni and, and do a second degree but so it was a government funding through through speech therapy, and I knew I wanted to do voice so I was really lucky. Kept going with all those sorts of training courses that were around while I was studying. So I did sort of Accent Method and Lee Silverman Voice Technique (Treatment) and things like that. And I was really lucky. My first job was in Manchester and I worked in the voice clinics, at Wythenshawe Hospital with Sue Jones, and had a huge opportunity to work in voice clinics and endoscopy and ENT led clinics, parallel clinics, performance clinics, SLT led clinics, just absolutely brilliant, brilliant opportunity. And obviously working in outpatients as well alongside the acute work, working with swallowing disorders as well. And then from that I have always lived in the Midlands, I’m a Midlands girl. I live in Kidderminster. And actually, my husband was still in Kidderminster. So I then sort of had half a week at Manchester and half a week at my second job, which was the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where I was also a voice specialist there. So working in voice clinics again, and in outpatient, working with Declan Costello, and Cathy Gass and, and everyone, and that was brilliant. And then, as so often happens in the world of voice and life, things change and I had kids, and my priorities changed, and so had a bit of a reshuffle. I’ve now got three children. And long story short, I now work in independent practice in Worcestershire, in Kidderminster that’s called The Singers Clinic and tend to work with voice therapy. This is it’s mainly voice therapy as a speech therapist. And I also am a clinical lead for voice in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, healthcare NHS Trust, which I love, because it’s a very general caseload alongside the voice specialism as well. And I just love it working with people I always have. So I think I’ve found my place. Now I’ve got a little bit of everything and things are all working. And then the one of the reasons I wanted to set up an independent practice, because I know the NHS is brilliant. But I think as a voice therapist, we get so little time in the NHS to actually give people the space and the time to actually go on their therapeutic journey and heal, and sort of change their behaviors that actually an independent practice that enables me to do that a bit more. Behaviorism does need time, as all singing teachers know. And there’s so much we can do that’s preventative. So independent practice suits me nicely.

Alexa Terry  07:18

And part of that prevention is looking at the well-being of the singer, and what’s going on in their environment. And it struck some questions for me actually, the idea of well-being because my husband is quite keen on getting himself one of those. Garmin watches the fitness watches. And they are measuring things like resting heart rate, providing abnormal heart rate alerts, fitness, age, body battery, stress levels, sleep and hydration, I’m honestly quite surprised they don’t tell you when you need to go for a shit, to be honest. So how do we know if we’ve actually got well-being that we’re maintaining well-being what are the signs other than technology, because I’m sure AI is just going to grow even further.

Carrie Garrett  08:10

Yeah, and I think it’s really important to note that, you know, these fitness watches, they’re trying to find physical symptoms, they’re trying to find they’re sort of giving us a bit of a measure on what’s happening with all the different aspects of health and physical fitness and wellness in that way. I like to think of well-being and I think the definition of well-being itself is that someone is comfortable, healthy and happy. And vocally, that is obviously the ultimate goal for any of us when we’re teaching singing, when we’re doing voice therapy, we want people to be comfortable, healthy enough to do everything that they want to do with their voice. And happy in that as well, which obviously has its own sort of performance boost and boosting benefits as well. I know that the World Health Organization has, they have a definition of wellness, which has nine different dimensions and it includes the physical side, as you’ve mentioned, with the with the Garmin watch, but it’s also all the other aspects of things like intellectual side of wellness, the emotional well-being the relational sort of well-being, how are we how are we in our relationships, our vocational well-being cultural, spiritual, financial, and environmental as well. So the nine pillars are there. And I think it is really important to, to never just isolate one or two of those dimensions, because actually, all nine are really, really important for someone’s overall well being. And, yeah, and I think, you know, if you’re thinking about a voice that is well, I think I mentioned it just a minute ago, I think it’s always a voice that can achieve all of your goals. So, you know when when there’s a problem for singers and they have a voice problem. It’s not just a voice disorder, it’s not just a physical problem, actually, the impact of that goes wider. And it sort of goes into the other dimensions, which the World Health Organization has set out there. So, for example, the emotional impact of not been able to do what you’re used to doing, you know, your self identity changes your role, you know, maybe your lead singer in a band, and you can no longer be lead singer or your soloist or you require leader, or you’re a teacher, you know, singing teachers as well, obviously, and if you can’t do that, it has massive implications on those things, social relationships, you know, you might find, you’re not able to speak as frequently because of the physical impairment that you have. And obviously, the livelihood the impact on livelihood, if you’re not able to work, you’ve got no money coming in. And that can have massive repercussions on all sorts of things and knock on effect with other relationships, and all sorts of things. So it’s really important, I think, to think well-being is not just the physical side of things. So 

Alexa Terry  11:09

We know that voice problems and vocal injuries are made up of multiple factors, as I mentioned, just at the beginning of this section, but as an SLT, what are the most common issues that you see singers experiencing? And do you think there is more of a regular contributing factor,

Carrie Garrett  11:25

The main thing that we would always say in terms of physiological changes would be overuse, misuse, and new use as well. And we’re human, like I said, with nothing happens in isolation. And actually, when when these things happen, it might be because there was a causative factor. So it might be that somebody I’ve given an example here and just sort of arbitrary example. So someone might have caught a cold, they might have had to sing through because they’ve got concerts, they have sort of obligations, they have responsibilities they have to continue with. And that might mean that there’s changes. So there’s changes in the way they use their respiratory system changes and changes in the way they use their muscles in the vocal tract. And it might be that actually, they’re not taking, because it’s getting them down about the fact that they’re exhausted vocally, at the end of every day, it might be that they’re not looking after themselves, so their self care goes down. And which leads to further changes, because they’re not sitting well, when they’re then speaking on the phone to people. It’s not the knock on effect, it just goes on and on and on of potentially what could happen. You know, when people are experiencing problems, in voice therapy, we start to apply the context and support individuals to build strategies. So for daily living, so I know that lots of people currently are very keen on developing a vocal health, sort of accreditation at the moment, which is fantastic, because awareness is amazing. And I think there’s still a place for singing teachers to look after people’s health and be aware and, and responsive to red flags and know what to do. And I think there’s a place for voice therapists specifically as well. Because the we are behaviorists. And and actually sending teachers are but in a different way. It’s more in the context of the whole life, the holistic approach, you know, giving people strategies, which can be ramps, to support rehabilitation. So, you know, for example, it might be using amplification. I mean, these are really common things. But if you’ve got a singing teacher, or classroom teacher who teaches assembly every week, in a huge hall with hundreds and hundreds of kids, and they’ve had a cold and inflammation and all those things, but they’ve still got to project their voice. Sometimes just having somebody who’s from the outside, just go and write okay, what sort of ramps, “What strategies can we use to help you improve this situation such as amplification?” I mean, it’s a very basic sort of example, but there’s many things that voice therapy and speech therapists can do to to help that as well. I mean, I think I think the the fundamentals always of voice care, just go through everything, you know, in terms of physical care, it’s obviously the physical side of things is having great hydration, you know, no unhelpful tension patterns and to help that, and to help with reduction of inflammation and an all and boosted immune system and things. You’ve got to have great sleep, you’ve got to be moving frequently, a good diet, all those kinds of things, good, healthy relationships as well. So the stress and anxiety aren’t building up. You’ve got people to talk to people who will support network as well. So all of those things underpin, I suppose, resilience, resilience, and if you want to look after your vocal health, it’s To live well, live well and aim to feel better, and everything else will fall into place because your body will start to work well. So

Alexa Terry  15:08

I’d love to talk about VitaVoice and the Optimize daily supplement that you and your colleagues have produced. And I hope that this will provide listeners with the information to maybe kickstart their own research as to whether this is something that they’d like to check out for themselves or not. So can you tell us about Vitavoice and what the catalyst was for you and your colleagues for actually setting that up?

Carrie Garrett  15:30

Yeah, sure. So my colleagues are my husband, Scott, and our lovely colleague, Jack as well. Essentially, it all began from during lockdown, everybody’s trying to keep themselves healthy, we just were trying to keep ourselves, just had more time just to reflect on what we were doing and how we might be able to bolster ourselves to feel better. We have three young kids, we get extremely tired working all the time, as many, many people do working all the time life, life is life, isn’t it? My husband loves supplements. So he was always listening to podcasts and radio shows and reading articles and things about what is the latest thing to take what’s the latest sort of hype, and he was trying different things. And he genuinely felt an improved sense of well-being from certain ones of these supplements. And so we thought, right, we want to do something about this and actually apply it just as a side project. In all fairness, it wasn’t sort of any grand plan. So we we wanted to support creatives, because actually between us, it’s not just singers we work with we work with musicians we work with, you know, drummers, in all sorts of different types of musicians and dancers and different things. So you’re between what we do. So we wanted to support creatives, and we thought about doing targeted products. As almost like what happens in the world of sports nutrition. Well exactly like what happens in the world of sports, nutrition, let’s face it, because we felt well, singers and people use their voices extensively are athletes, we, you know, you’re using your body to a much greater level to a greater extent than then sort of in normal daily function. We could have gone with anything to be honest, we could have been the drummer’s side of things which may be in the plan for the future product. But actually, because voice is my specialist area, and I was super passionate about oh my word this was so work for, for people who use their voices. This is such a great idea. In my mind, I thought, this is such a great idea. We can help people. When I was, I think, you know, as you as you look at the shelves in a supermarket, there’s supplements for kids, their vitamins and minerals. For kids, there’s vitamins and minerals for pregnancy, menopause, 50+, you know, all sorts of things are out there on the shelves. So we just thought, Well, why not do something that can help maintain great voices and well-being for people who use their voices regularly, so that their overall performance and their vocal performances have the best chances of being optimal, maximizing everything, so it works really well. And I think it’s sort of correlated with what I was doing clinically. Because so often, when people come into clinic, after seeing the ENT, part of their journey is to reflect upon things like diet, sleep, you know, like said nutrition, reflux management, all those kinds of things. And so it’s sort of it’s a natural, complementary addition to what I was doing already clinically, and all voice therapists do.

Alexa Terry  18:40

And then you were really interested in the nutrition side of things. And even though you’re not a nutritionist yourself, you have spoken with lots of nutritionists and looked at research in your own time. So what did you find out from that about our own nutrition day to day and the state of it.

Carrie Garrett  18:58

Like I said, when we formed VitaVoice, we wanted to do some good and I didn’t like say, I didn’t know anything about nutrition, apart from what I just knew for myself, and what you what you only know from your own experiences in life, I wanted to help people achieve physical wellness. So as I said, they could stay well and maximize their body function for creating and performing and just generally good mood and everything. We all want to put a positivity into the world. Don’t we, that’s part of what we love to do our legacy as such. Okay, so some of the things that we found was if we regularly access a healthy, balanced diet, you’re not likely to need vitamin and mineral supplementation. You don’t need a multivitamin if you’re managing to access everything you need. But as you delve further into it, what you find is that you can be accessing foods of fat, carbs, protein, so all the macronutrients that you need in a diet, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that your body is accessing and able to get hold of all the micronutrients that you need for normal functioning. And remembering that we are aiming for normal functioning through through Vitavoice, it’s our bodies are miracles, they are just so good at looking after themselves. If we give them the opportunity to, we wanted to help the body to maintain its own balance. So homeostasis is one of the things that the body does itself brilliantly. So if we’re too hot, it will find a way to cool ourselves down. If we’re too cool, it will find a way to warm ourselves that we always across the every single system in the body, we’re always trying to find that homeostasis, that balance. Now, what we found is that actually some common factors in the way we live in the western world in the UK, remembering we’ve targeted this for UK based people initially, it does actually mean that there’s some common factors means you’re not accessing the accessing the required amounts of nutrients for your body. And only you will know because you know, if you are feeling lethargic, fatigued, irritable, you’ve got low energy, catching all the bugs that are going you know, so low immunity, your moods, you know, low as well or you’ve got trouble focusing, then your body isn’t working as effectively as it could do. And there are things that you can do to, to improve that. I think some of the key things that we found in the research and it’s right at the top of our science document on the Vitavoice website is that anybody who is deficient in nutrients and wishes to stay well may potentially benefit from taking additional supplementation. Now, bearing in mind, we’re just like, so going for normal, optimal function. I come from a family of skeptics, because you know, they’re from the medicinal world, my brother’s a doctor. And immediately it’s like, oh, you know, really do need to take supplements, I don’t think anybody really needs to take supplements. But what we found in the research is that actually, there is good reason why people might be nutritionally deficient. The fact we live in the UK, we, let’s take the winter blues, you know, over the winter, and through the pandemic, everyone was advised to take vitamin D that’s a supplementation. And, and so taking a good quality form of vitamin D. And ours is of great quality is from from algae, it’s a vitamin d3. So really, really, really accessible to the body that can really help banish those winter blues and get more energy and all that kind of thing. If we’re female, we might have iron deficiency, you know, we menstruate. So, you know, it’s one of those things that sometimes women benefit from having iron supplementation. I think if you ever feel like it might be a serious concern that you speak to your GP first I’m not advocating you just take vitamins and minerals, sort of willy nilly. But if you if you genuinely feel there’s something that’s not just a sort of a mild lethargy and things then do you’re gonna get a blood test that definitely would be the way forward to know if you are actually deficient in anything, but the day to day deficiencies. So things like stressful times being you know, if you’re stressed, you’re less likely to sort of process the magnesium the B6 the B12, iron, vitamin D, vitamin C that’s coming your way from your food. And actually the the the other thing which Vitavoice can give as well is there’s loads of antioxidants. We’ve got loads of botanicals in our Vitavoice formula as well, like elderberry and lemon balm. And there’s also selenium has a role in combating stress as well. So one of the other things is diet choices, let’s thinking about singers thinking about performers, teachers will all of us let’s just be honest, I mean, who accesses a really healthy diet all of the time. Maybe there are people out there who do I don’t think I’ve ever met one. I’m sure we all have, you know, sweet things and alcohol and all sorts of things that are just a part of life, there’s celebrations. Food is such a sociable thing that actually we can make poor diet choices because of social occasions. We can make poor diet choices because we’re on we’re traveling and there’s lots not much access to decent sort of nutritious food out on the road and in service stations and things. Rehearsals grab a sandwich and a packet of crisps because there’s a meal deal at the local Co-Op. You know, it’s really it’s one of those, isn’t it? How often do we really genuinely have the optimal nutrition for our bodies, performance runs as well, you know, bag of chips, that sort of thing. And the other thing which really surprised me actually and I, I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan, but what really surprised me was that if you are vegetarian or vegan then there are certain micronutrients which are not as easily easily absorbed from plant based sources. So actually, there is more of a likelihood that people would need additional vitamins and mineral supplementation. So the multivitamin aspect of Vitavoice is a perfect example of things like iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and zinc as well, though, you know, get a bit of a benefit from those. And that’s all in the research. I knew nothing about this two years ago. And this is all through the research. And speaking to the nutritionist as well, to get that picture of why would people be lacking? What can we do to help them? How can we support people in a new way?

Alexa Terry  25:37

You’ve mentioned some of the ingredients there. Can you actually talk a little bit more about the formula and the benefits and why it was those that you picked? The ones that maybe they haven’t mentioned?

Carrie Garrett  25:47

Yeah, sure. So yeah, I think the vitamins and minerals I’ve explained why we chose those because they’re all in the evidence. And then so we had those essential vitamins and minerals, plus, the blend of plant extracts, adaptogenic, herbs and antioxidants to support metabolism, energy and our abilities to adapt to stress as well, as well as sort of the cognitive boost as well that the evidence base shows for some of the ingredients. So jumping back to what we were saying before with Scott, my husband, spending his time in lockdown and beyond having access to podcasts, which we’re recommending certain things. For example, Lion’s Mane mushroom, I think it’s Tim Ferriss who just raves about Lion’s Mane mushroom. So Scott got on the case and tried it and he really genuinely felt that there was a benefit. So obviously, me being slightly more scientific, and wanting a bit more proof all the time, I wanted to look at the evidence as to what was going on and, and what the evidence base was for, for how these things help, which we’ve gotten I won’t talk about now it’s all in the science document is what our findings are, it took two years to do. And I don’t sort of store it at the front of my mind, unfortunately. But some of the other things that we found were incredibly beneficial. Were things like ashwaganda. So we’ve got something called ksm 66, organic ashwaganda, which is really high quality ashwaganda. Because it again, quality is it matters so much when you’re creating these formulas, as we found out from the nutritionists and the manufacturers as well. We’ve got turmeric, which is turmeric, which is curcumin as well, and piperine, which is black pepper. So all those different things which have those adaptogenic and antioxidant sort of benefits. Obviously, the vitamins and minerals are crucial for a well functioning nervous system. And they’re crucial for the building blocks of strong immune system. So one of the key things was I really wanted people to be more well, so that they’re, they’re able to fight off the illnesses so that you know, because we all know that if we’re not looking after ourselves, if we’re not just functioning very well, we’re more likely to get poorly. And we don’t want to we want to be there all the choir rehearsals, we want to be involved in all the shows, we don’t want to be away because we’ve got a cough and feeling rubbish and things. So immune system boosting was obviously a huge part of what we wanted to do with VitaVoice make people feel better. And then the other things which I felt were important and what kind of additional things that I found along the way that there was evidence for was the anti inflammatory effects, we have this this sort of inflammation that comes from use. So functions of the vocal folds, you know, banging together and vibrating and, and things so that you get some inflammation from the overuse, misuse, new use or that kind of thing. So to sort of thinking anti-inflammatory, like what would the benefits of anti-inflammatory be to vocalists, reducing inflammation from that type of thing, reducing inflammation from allergies, you know, that side of things. So whether that sort of hay fever, and asthma and things like that, just genuinely reducing that inflammatory effect, will hopefully have that benefit on the voice. Collagen boosting, tissue repair, we want our tissues to repair really speedily if we’ve been using our voices really energetically and athletically. You want the vocal fold tissues and cells at a cellular level to be repairing more effectively. And so we’ve included ingredients which have been proven to improve or be involved in tissue repair, not specifically on the vocal folds because they haven’t been they haven’t been the research for specifically the vocal folds but there has been the proof that things like we know vitamin C and vitamin D, vitamin K, zinc, even black pepper, the piperine and things they’re all sort of involved in that anti-inflammatory collagen boosting, tissue repair type of effect as well, which is where we’ve targeted, you can see we’ve really tried to target it for voice users. Because those are the things which may concern voice users, the anti-inflammatory as well key one as well as the sort of decongestant effect. So when we are inflamed, we may feel a bit more stuffy. You know, mucus may be a bit thicker, harder to clear, we might end up coughing a bit more frequently. So the idea behind taking something like VitaVoice is that it kind of reduces that inflammatory effect and hopefully reduces along with better hydration, better sleep better living generally, it will boost overall wellness so that the body can function effectively and performances are optimized and out of this world.

Alexa Terry  30:42

What was the process like then from the, from the very beginning, when your husband was listening to the podcasts through to actually holding the products that you created in your hands? 

Carrie Garrett  30:52

Yeah, so all brand new, you know, I mean, you’re already given my life story at the start of this podcast. Totally brand new, I always say, I know, we need to be business people as well, when we’re running our independent practices and singing things and things. But this is this is like, retail business, this is totally product based, new to me. My role is my goals, our goals, as VitaVoice were to support people’s health and well-being so that they could perform better. And that’s a general perform better their body, their mind, their focus, their immunity, their energy can, they can perform better, and hopefully recover better as well, because their body’s working optimally. So I’ve obviously talked about we wanted to reduce some of the common contributing factors, invoice problems developing. So the illness, the allergies, we didn’t want the cough, we didn’t want the inflammation, we want people to have better focus, better energy release reduction, better motivation for self care. So reduction of that sort of non engagement, we wanted that motivation. So we started with what we take and why we take it, which I think you’ve got to sort of start from a place you know, haven’t you and then go away, you don’t know. And we were taking herbs, botanicals, mushrooms, you know, as well, all you know, as part of, which was supplements that you could purchase. But there were lots of packets, you know, there were lots of packets and lots of powders, capsules, different things. So we researched which multivitamins and minerals people might need so that the supplementation that people might need, why people might need supplementation, considering the context of singers, like we said, the late nights, the performances, that rehearsal schedules, poor diet, or living in the UK, all those type of things. So essentially, we planned our ideal formula. And that was where we started, it was a big list of lots of research. But when it comes down to it, we knew nothing about the amounts that go into the capsules, you know, I’ve VitaVoice is a capsule is a daily capsule, it’s not a scoopy powder or anything. So it is a multivitamin capsule. We didn’t know anything about the amounts, we didn’t know anything about the weights of things and what how much active ingredients, you know, we needed in things, the potency of different types of product, the absorbability, the quality, the options in quality, we just knew nothing about any of that. So this is where the nutritionists and the manufacturers both came in and obviously supported us to create the product that we wanted. We knew we wanted it to be vegan. We knew 100% had to be allergen free, because obviously we don’t want histamines causing people to have those effects. We want it to be exactly the opposite. We want it to be beneficial to people reducing inflammation and things. We knew we wanted it to be non GMO and non genetically modified. And we wanted it to be made in the UK we thought you know, it would just be a good thing to promote British manufacturing as well. So obviously we spoke with the nutritionists, we’ve spoke with the manufacturers and much like any other product that gets brought into development, be it a type of straw for vocal health, be it a nebulizer, you know, this is a food product. We sourced a manufacturer and we honed the product many sort of months of backwards and forwards several different manufacturers. And we came up with the one that worked for us. We really wanted it to be one capsule, not two. We wanted it to be a certain sized capsule so it wasn’t too difficult to swallow. We wanted it to be one you could put into smoothies so you can break it open put it into a smoothie if you don’t like swallowing capsules. So it was all really really thoroughly thought out with the support of the people who know, not me. And then once we had our product, we’ve got the added benefit of my wonderful husband has design, background and packaging. So he did all the design and packaging. And then Jack and Scott dealt with the business side, and hey, presto, that’s that’s how we had VitaVoice. And so they take the business side forward, and I’m here to sort of do the content and the clinical side of things, you know, to make sure it’s achieving the kind of things we want it to achieve and doing good for people.

Alexa Terry  35:34

So what has been some of the results from users? What’s their feedback been? 

Carrie Garrett  35:38

Yeah, so we’ve had some really good feedback actually. So subject, I mean, this is all subjective, remember. So it’s not sort of clinical trials that have bought about these things, because all the ingredients are all created, clinically trialed. Anyway. So it’s all obviously meeting all the standards that anybody would ever need for multivitamins and minerals and supplements that are botanicals as well. So but some of these subjective opinions that people have said is improved all around performance and energy. We’ve even had people say improve their sleep quality, decongestant effects, perceived endurance, so they’ve got less fatigue, after their show runs, more energy, focus, concentration. And then we’ve even had people say, you know, everyone around me was getting really poorly, because we launched in October, so people were taking it October, November, December. And they were saying, you know, if my partner was getting poorly, everyone in choir was poorly, but I didn’t get ill. And, you know, we can’t claim that that is VitaVoice on its own. But hey, Isn’t that brilliant that people subjectively are saying, when they take VitaVoice, they feel better, they’re not getting ill as often. And when they are ill, if they’ve reported that they’re recovering faster. I mean, we’ll take it this is this is exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to put good into the world, and we want to help people. So yeah, all really positive knows things are really positive.

Alexa Terry  37:02

So when should we actually take the capsule? Does it matter what time of day or?

Carrie Garrett  37:06

It’s one capsule a day, so with each pack is 30 so a month supply? And we always say and I think this is generally the advice for anybody who takes multivitamin supplements, take it with food, because it will help the absorption of some of the vitamins and minerals. So we would say one capsule daily with first food of the day whenever that is, because I know lots of people do sort of intermittent fasting and all sorts of things nowadays, don’t we? So yeah, so it helps absorption that way and provides an energy boost, I would say, it’s really important to keep in mind, it’s in terms of the energy boost, Ginsing is in there and B12. So it does provide a bit of a release of energy, it has that sort of effect. And so we would advise don’t take it just before bed, because it’s you’re not going to get the benefits. And it may well even sort of keep you up at night. So take it with first food of the day and let the multivitamins and minerals and botanicals do their job through the day.

Alexa Terry  38:09

What would be your advice to a listener who might be considering creating a consumable product?

Carrie Garrett  38:15

Yeah, I say go for it. It’s been such an exciting project. It’s it’s something new, isn’t it? And we all need new things and new projects. I don’t want to be like a cautionary person, because I’m always like, go for it. You know, if you’ve got something in mind, go for it. Definitely think about your mission, your aims for the project? What are your goals, what you’re trying to achieve? What sort of outcomes? Are you looking to achieve? You know, is it is it financial? Is it that well-being of people? Is it to become the best brand in the world? You know, what is it that you’re trying to achieve with whatever you’re trying to do? And the same goes for podcasting and everything we’ve put out there, isn’t it but it’s the aims of the project. Research. So really research, research, research to ensure that you will achieve the goals. So look at What have people done in the past? What’s out there already? How will you achieve the goals? How have people done it in the past, get really savvy with standards, regulations, these are governmental regulations, a consumable product you asked about specifically then then you would be looking at food standards, you know, all those kinds of things. manufacturing standards tend to be dealt with by the manufacturers themselves. So yeah, following all the regulations, it’s all there. It’s all open access, you can find it out yourself. This is why it took two years to develop. Because there’s a lot to go through, legalities of you, you know, just checking that you are providing the right thing. It’s safe for consumption. And you know, the companies and the people you’re using for advice are have their own standards and are meeting those professional standards and regulations as well. Making sure you’ve got finances in place, because however much you think it’s going to cost, it’s going to cost four times, five times more, it is ridiculously money hungry. And yeah, get the specialists, you know, people who know what they’re doing, we only know what we know. And actually, we can’t really take it any further we learn through obviously, collaborating with people who know what they’re talking about. So obviously, on the on the business side on the creation of a consumable product, get people who know consult. And I definitely would say, don’t try it as an individual, that’s just a personal type of thing. I think there is no way that VitaVoice would ever have come about if it had been one person, because it’s just you need consistency. You need a different type of brain for each type of task. You know, the more pragmatic skills, the creative skills that you know, everything is just so different in the tasks that are involved in bringing a product to market. Then do it as a team and enjoy. Enjoy the process. Yeah, and keep smiling. keep finding the fun in it.

Alexa Terry  41:08

So what is next for VitaVoice?

Carrie Garrett  41:11

Yeah, so VitaVoice, we’ve just got new premises, which is great. So we spent a hall of last week painting and putting in the office furniture, and all that kind of thing, which has been very exciting. But as a, as a company, we’ve got some new products in the pipeline, we have some tea, we have a performance tea, and a recovery tea, which are due to be coming into market probably next month. And, you know, we’ve also got other things that our in the pipeline in terms of the advice and support we provide to people. So bearing in mind that it’s kind of at the moment down to me for content creation. And I work for the NHS and I work in independent practice, and we’re doing VitaVoice, there’s a lot going on, and I don’t have all the time in the world, which I wish I did for creating this content and things. So I think we need to sort of collaborate a bit more get people involved a bit more in providing advice for people to prevent voice issues. So we need blogs, we need you know, all the sorts of advice, videos, that type of thing, free advice, just that’s evidence based, that people can know, spreading the word on how to help prevent voice issues, living better, its vocal well-being isn’t it, living better, so that we can all do what we want to do with our voices and live the best lives we can.

Alexa Terry  42:29

Yeah, yeah, here here. You have a really great resources on your website regarding the science behind your product. And you’ve mentioned it and we’ll make sure we put a link in the show notes. Where else would you advise that we look for information on this topic and anything that you came across nutritionally that you were like, oh, that’s quite a good read or a good listen?

Carrie Garrett  42:48

Oh, gosh, I’ve got so many things in terms of the good listens. So in terms of good listens, I would always say Dr. Rangan Chatterjee Live More Feel Better at something like that. Is this podcast amazing. He has amazing interviewees or based in science, and it’s just fascinating. I mean, he recently interviewed a lady called Jesse, I can’t say her name Inchauspé, I think it is. And she has written a book on trying to manage your blood sugar spikes, and it is just been fascinating. And one of the horror things of it is she says that it’s not sugar, which is the problem. And you know, we’re all trying to some of us are trying to cut down the sugar we have because we’re on a sugar roller coaster. She says it’s not actually having sugar, it’s problem is that it’s the peaks and troughs, it’s the roller coaster, it’s that it’s the crashes and the extent of sugar that we’re having. And she’s got some brilliant practical tips for helping us just to level blood sugar, because essentially, the, this is the horror, she said that it causes the blood spikes, but sugar spikes cause glycation and I was like, I don’t know what glycation is. But when they talked about it is basically cooking ourselves from the inside, which is horrific thought, but that’s what causes all our aging and you know, and illness, chronic chronic illness and things like that. And so, honestly, it’s a great listen, it’s a great read as well the book is, but some of the tips were to do with apple cider vinegar with mother in it as well. And oh, eating veggies first, when you have any food, any meals, veggies, then proteins, then carbs and just the simple life hacks almost to try and manage those blood sugar spikes, which is really the reason I’m talking about it as well because it’s really relevant again, for considering for vocal users because we want to stay healthy. We don’t want to have the lethargy and the things which can happen from those blood sugar spikes as well. So having this nutritious, healthy, balanced diet with the VitaVoice in there as well to mitigate for any nutritional deficiencies is one part but also looking at how everything else fits together is to go hand in hand with that as well. So, also you asked me as well about organizations, other organizations, the ones I would always say are absolutely brilliant are BAPAM. So the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine, loads of advice on staying fit and well. And also, if you have a voice problem and you don’t know where to turn, then you can approach them because if you’re a performer, you’re using your voice for a living. They are the people who have clinical medical professionals who are specializing in working with performers. So they have a vested interest, we’re not a vested interest. So they have an interest in specialism and in terms of of helping people who are working in creative industries and performance, and so they’re really the top people to go for who in then help you and advise you. So you get back to working as fast as possible because it’s sometimes going through the NHS just doesn’t tick all those boxes, unfortunately, because you maybe don’t get prioritized as much as you might need to considering all the knock on effects of having voice problems. So yeah, oh, sorry. And the other ones obviously BAST. Because that will obviously give lots of lovely advice. I’ve honestly read some of your previous podcasts have been absolutely brilliant. So definitely have a look at some of the other ones that mean there’s loads of nutrition as well and, and just everything to absolutely everything absolutely brilliant so and the other organization that I’d also recommend is the British Voice Association, which has got sort of CPD training for people who want to network and train and develop skills. It’s another good place to to look for advice and resources. So

Alexa Terry  46:41

Great, thank you so and thank you for mentioning the podcast. And just to mention listeners about the actual episodes there. So we spoke with nutritionists, Stephanie Moore for episode 25 and 60. And we recently chatted with nutritionist Duncan Rock on the topic of singing and dairy and that was episode 100. So you can find our linktree in the show notes. Carrie, where can listeners find out more about you and where can they buy your supplement?

Carrie Garrett  47:06

Ah, so VitaVoice is has its own website so We’re also available on Amazon. So if you Google our VitaVoice or go onto Amazon and put in VitaVoice you’ll it’ll come up. If you have any questions you can email us at Yeah, and if you have any direct questions that you want to ask me, then you can use that or you can contact me through my independent practice, which is

Alexa Terry  47:38

Amazing Carrie Garrett, thank you so much for being with me today. And we wish you all the best of luck with your product in the future.

Carrie Garrett  47:44

Oh, thank you. It’s been wonderful. Thanks so much

Alexa Terry  47:59

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