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One Stripe Chai was crushing it… And then the pandemic hit. Farah Jesani shares her lessons

Today we’re chatting with Farah Jesani, founder of One Stripe Chai, we’re chatting through the B2B side of the biz and what happened when she need to pivot last march, and her advice to entrepreneurs in the beverage space coming into 2022.

One Stripe Chai is a woman-owned South Asian beverage brand that offers authentic, small batch masala chai concentrates and blends, crafted to be enjoyed from the comfort of your home or at your favorite coffee shop.

Using tea sourced directly from a small organic and biodynamic family-owned farm in Assam, India, One Stripe Chai is brewed in Portland with a focus on taste and simplicity.

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

Yeah, my name is Farah Jesani and I am the founder and CEO of One Stripe Chai

00:03:28Edit We are a company first but also a south Asian beverage company and we're kind of rooted in wanting to bring kind of more of an authentic dialogue about try and other South asian beverages we are located and headquartered in Portland Oregon. I personally just moved to L. A. But the rest of our team is in Portland. Oh, that's exciting. L. A. Nice change of scenery. Did you move specifically for work or just needed a change? We moved here to be closer to family and a little bit of change and from the east Coast L. A. Is not the east coast, but I think I needed to be in a bigger city and also for work. I think it's going to be a great opportunity to network and meet other founders in another region, so I'm really excited. Yeah, I bet that's super exciting, congrats on the move, let's Rewind, let's go back to you know pre-2015 when you launch this company, where does your entrepreneurial stories start and what got you thinking about starting a try company.

00:04:35Edit Yeah, so I mean if you asked like 20 year old me, you know, would you ever start a try company? I would probably think that's the most random thing ever. But I think for me, my parents came here when they were very young from India and my dad's an entrepreneur. My mom has been an entrepreneur in the past and so kind of entrepreneurship, this idea of being your own boss was always ingrained in myself and my sisters from when we were very young, my dad always has been kind of like, you know, you should really think about owning your own business one day because there's just no other feeling like being your own boss and really like kind of controlling your destiny and so it's always been on the back of my mind as like, hey, that's something that I could do, I would definitely be supported and probably something maybe like I would like to do, I was living in New York City in 2015 and I was working at like a small boutique consulting firm doing kind of like tech consulting and I really didn't enjoy it and well it's a pot, I think a part of it was, you know, I didn't really enjoy the work um but also I just felt like I was often looked at as a woman who spoke too much, asked too many questions pushed back a little too much and so I felt like the environment wasn't really conducive to giving feedback and really taking like ideas and rolling with them, which is really difficult in a really corporate structure, right?

00:06:06Edit Because there's so much red tape and so I, you know, I was always thinking about quitting my job, I was always like waiting for the day that I would quit my job, it wasn't really sure what I would do, and around that time I was getting very interested in specialty coffee. This was around the time when stumptown was kind of becoming really big. Um this idea of craft coffee was really popping up and I, you know, living in new york city, I would work from home a lot and so working from home in new york city, your apartment's usually a closet, so I would be working from different coffee shops. I was just, I was completely in love with the whole culture of craft coffee, but as I was kind of drinking really amazing coffee, I was also asking myself What justifies the cost of, you know, an $8 latte what is the craft behind this? Folger's is essentially the same exact commodity product, Why is it so cheap and why is this cough, like what is the craft, what's going on in the supply chain that's justifying this?

00:07:11Edit And so also from a business perspective, I was very interested in what is this, like, what's really going on? What's the answer to that? Um I think coffee should probably cost more after really learning about what happens in, you know, really in craft coffee and especially companies that are really thoughtfully sourcing direct from farmers, there's probably way more money that can go around to farmers and with, you know, the cost of freight and things like that and just everything that happens with roasting the amount of intention from like when that espresso is in your latte, there's just so much intention and time put into there. There's definitely more money that could go around in food in general. But as I was doing that I met a coffee shop owner who owned like a beautiful boutique and I realized that you know she was having fun every day and she loved what she was doing and I think she was like a year older than me and I was like I could do this, I could totally do this. So I quit my job a few months later and I decided to spend some time in Portland Oregon.

00:08:16Edit I've never been to Portland Oregon prior to that I didn't know anybody in Portland Oregon. I'm still really unsure how I landed on Portland Oregon. I think somebody told me that I would really like it. Um And so and I knew it was it was a huge coffee city. So the pacific northwest and the U. S. Is really big with craft coffee. And so I thought it would be a great way to kind of like really think about my next move but also kind of learn about coffee. I've never been a barista. So you know when I told my dad I was like maybe I'll open up a coffee roastery or a coffee shop, he was like that's great but you've never waited tables like you don't know you know you don't know how the service economy works and so I suggest you go and learn about it to make sure that something you want to do. So I spent the whole summer in Portland and learned just kind of like took in everything about coffee. I shadowed people roasting. I was training to be a barista at a coffee shop just to kind of learn like what happens like what's the logistics of running a coffee shop very quickly.

00:09:21Edit I was like, I don't want to own a coffee shop, this is not what I want to do. I love going not the dream. No, it was like, no, not at all. And I wouldn't be good, it's something I wouldn't be good at it. I feel like I would be very enclosed in one shop and that would be my life. And what I really enjoyed about coffee was I loved meeting different people, I loved going to different coffee shops. I love learning about different types of coffee and around that same time as I was drinking really amazing coffee, I had a realization that I grew up drinking chai, so I'm a first generation indian american and we drink chai at our house twice a day. My parents cannot function without their try. It's an excuse to not do something seriously and it's been a huge part of my life from, you know, my family, my community, it's just, it's something that it's almost so obvious that it's been around me, but you almost don't notice it because it's, it's so every day.

00:10:26Edit But I, I remember this very distinct day where I was at a very well known coffee shop, very well known for their coffee and I remember I wasn't in the mood for coffee And I used to never ordered try from coffee shops because I'm not going to pay $6 for something I can make at home, so I, I would never do that. And I never felt like, I really tasted like what I was used to. And I remember at this coffee shop, I had this moment I sat down and I was like, you know, I don't feel like drinking coffee. This coffee shop has amazing coffee. They're so intentional about what they do, they're chae must be super amazing. Once I ordered the tribe, I remember having this like, moment with the barista where, you know, I ordered it and he put it down, and then before I could pick it up, he picked up a shaker of, it must have been either nutmeg or a cinnamon and just completely covered the entire mug, and I was like, what? Why did he do that? Then I sat down and I took a sip and in that moment I was like, oh he did that because this drink tastes like absolutely nothing.

00:11:35Edit It tastes like it tastes like warm milk. Um maybe like t was kind of involved in like, maybe cardamom was kind of involved, but I don't taste any of it, and that's when I kind of had this like really like breakthrough a moment where I realized that you know, I felt like I wasn't being represented in a very authentic way, it was very obvious that some of the ingredients that were being used were very well thought out and that's why this flavor wasn't developing in this drink. And also just from a personal standpoint, I think the history of chai and the history of tea in India is very controversial. It's rooted in colonization of India by the british and there's a lot about it that people don't know and it's essentially a drink that you know India is a country that's so vast, it's so large, there's so many different religions, so many different languages, but no matter where you go in the country you can order a cup of guy and you'll get a cup of chai and it might taste a little bit different, but it's something that almost kind of like unifies so many different people and it's a lot of people, so I kind of felt like, oh this is like a disservice and I started thinking like I wonder if anybody that's doing try in the coffee world is actually south asian or actually understands these flavors and maybe not.

00:13:01Edit And so that kind of thought came over me and so I started digging into why is the chai and coffee shops not very good. And part of that reason is because coffee shops are such quick turnaround environments, You need to be able to get a bunch of drinks out really quickly with very little equipment. I don't know if you've noticed, but you might notice now, but when you go to most coffee shops, they don't have full out kitchens, they're not restaurants, traditionally chai is made in a pot on a stove top and you're boiling like the milk and the T and the spices together. And what I realized is that because coffee shops only have the steam wand of their espresso machine, they need something really quick, either liquid mix or a powder mix to be able to turn this drink around really quickly. And so then I started playing around with, why are the liquid concentrates? Why are they just not so good? And that's kind of where this idea kind of spiraled around and After being there for like five months, I started to try company and you just got down to work, got down to business like Yeah, and, and I think it was, it was a very, at that time it was, I will say it wasn't a very intentional thing, it was just like, I'm here, this is a project I need to do, I wasn't really thinking of it in an entrepreneurial way, like, oh, this is a business that I'm starting, I didn't live there.

00:14:24Edit So it was a very uh interesting kind of like, hey, let's do this, I want to learn more about it and I think the most important thing there was that where I love coffee, I don't think about coffee every day, as soon as I started thinking about try, I couldn't sleep at night, I would wake up in the middle of the night and I would write down notes and I'd be like, oh, what could this be cold? And oh, what is the thread that is similar between all of the moms and the ants I have when they make their try, what is that singular note that they all use? Or what is that one thing that they all do? Okay? Like write that down and it just, it was just very exciting. Oh my gosh, I love that and I love that you talk about this kind of profound moment that you had, where you had this thought, something like sparkled inside of you and you were like, oh my God, maybe there's something here. And I want to know about the next profound moment that you probably had somewhere in this journey, which a lot of entrepreneurs have when you actually made your first sale, Like when did it go from, you know, hobby and idea and dreaming and planning and middle of the knights to then being like, I've just sold this to a customer, be at a coffee store or be it directly to someone else, but when does that point come into the story?

00:15:44Edit Yeah, so for me, I think it's a really weird kind of timeline because we actually made our first sale? Well before I even had the realization that, oh, this is something real. It was a very interesting situation because I had a business partner at that time and we were kind of like working in this environment where he was training other baristas. So we had a lot of access to a lot of coffee customers. And our first customer was actually the coffee shop I was working at and they were like, yeah, like this is amazing. Like we totally want to support this. We're gonna be your first customer and then other coffee shops that we knew where we had kind of trained baristas and send them out. They would have their managers to try to try and so we picked up a handful of clients off the bat and that was very cool. But I didn't live in Portland. I didn't have all my stuff. And the pacific northwest is a very uh, it's really specific type of climate where it rains the entire like eight months of winter and spring basically and it's very gray.

00:16:53Edit So I wasn't very like prepared for that. And I didn't, while I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I wasn't really sure if I was like what kind of a life change I was looking to make. And so it actually took me, I ended up moving back to Atlanta where I'm originally from and spending some time at home and working in coffee to really figure out, okay, like what do I want to do, do I want to move back to new york? All my stuff was still in new york, I was like all over the place, all of my stuff was in storage in new york and I still had an apartment there, I it was, it was a lot going on and I was trying to decide, you know, was that a fun thing that I did and do I really want to move back to new york and just get a job and live a very non risky life or do I think this is a viable business and should I actually move to Portland and you know do this and At the end of 2016 I ended up making the decision to see once I've tried through and I moved to Portland and I got a full time job, so I was still working, I wasn't full time on one stripe And in early 2018 is when I actually quit my full time job and went full time on one stripe and that's when I think that really, I was like okay this isn't just hobby or a side project, that's a viable business, I think there's a need and I think we have a really good product And at that time starting out between 2018 and 2020, We were a B two B company.

00:18:22Edit Like, just completely only working with coffee shops selling food service products. That was the only channel that was the channel that fit. And so that's what we were doing. So we weren't even a DTC company until the pandemic. And during that time like 2018-2020, what was your approach to actually scaling and getting into these coffee shops where you literally just knocking on people's doors? Or was there something else kind of that you were doing at scale? Yeah, no, it was completely bootstrapped, knocking on people's doors. Word of mouth. We got a lot of clients just from people hearing about us or people in the coffee industry talking to each other. It was probably, I think late 2019 when we did our first trade show, but that's when we were like, Okay, we need to scale this, we need to work with other regions, we need to be outside of Portland, we need to figure out how to ship. There isn't enough within Portland's. Also during the time, one interesting thing that we did do To kind of scale is our product was a refrigerated product when we started out and we very quickly realized that that's very difficult to work with and it took almost 10 months to work on getting it to be shelf stable.

00:19:34Edit So that required working with the FADA working with food scientists to figure out how do we make this product be shelf stable? That was a huge game changer because now we could actually figure out shipping to other states and that was what allowed us to get into coffee shops around the country and not just be like right in the Portland area through all of this journey and it's something we haven't touched on yet, but how were you actually funding the business from, you know, the early days when you're just kind of making it and doing local coffee shops to then scaling it to then going through this process of scientists and development and all that tricky stuff. I personally bootstrapped all of it. Um It came from my savings, I very intentionally when I did decide to quit my job, I was very intentional about making sure I had a good chunk of money saved up and I think that was probably another reason why I felt comfortable quitting my job was because I felt comfortable with the amount of money I had and that really helped with kind of that first order of bottles, that first hiring a designer to design the bottles and also getting shelf stable, like what do we need to, you know, I didn't take a salary for a very long time and I still don't really take much of it.

00:20:50Edit I don't really take much money out of the business that yeah, it was a very good stressed and I think because it took so long to really be like, okay, this is really a thing, it didn't matter. It was just like the money coming into the business was what was funding the business got it doing here As we get deeper into the holiday season. You might be thinking about ways to keep your business connected through the madness with things like employee holiday travel by our behavior changes and Q4 wrap ups, staying connected has never been more important from marketing to sales and operations. A hubspot crm platform is ready to connect all of the touch points of your business, whether you're just getting started or scaling to what's next. Hubspot is consistently working to make its platform more connected than ever. Improved forecasting tools, give you a bird's eye view of your entire pipeline to see what's around the corner, see how your quarter is going, inspect new deals and use customizable data driven reports to improve team performance as you grow with custom behavioral events, you can get into the details of what makes your customers tick track site behavior and understand your customers buying habits or within the platform, learn more about how a hubspot crm platform can help connect the dots of your business at hubspot dot com.

00:22:06Edit Okay, so 2020 rolls around, we all know what happens in this story. Pandemic hits, You're working with coffee shops, Those coffee shops obviously close, you have to pivot or you have to shut down presumably what's happening, What's this time, like for you, it was the weirdest thing ever because right in 2019 was when it was like, okay 2018 went serious with one stripe, You know, started building momentum 2019, I'm thinking about how do we scale this? We need to go to trade shows, we need to get bigger orders, we need to scale our production X, Y. Z. Early 2020 rolls around and we're March six, I kid you not. The first week of, right before everything started, we're in new york city at the Javits center at a coffee trade show, talking to everyone. I don't even know how that trade show happened. It was like this close to being canceled, they just made the cut and come back to Portland and I'm pumped.

00:23:10Edit I'm like, oh my gosh, we're talking to all my favorite coffee shops. I used to go to these places, we're talking chains. So that was another thing I wanted to scale, we needed to be in chains and not just being one off shops and you know, in new york city is a whole different beast. Like your foot traffic in new york city for a coffee shop is so different from anywhere else in the country. And so it was such a great way to scale and a market that I wanted to be in and we come back, we're pumped, we're ready to go ready to set up and send all of our follow up emails and everything shuts down. And so one, I'm like, I can't follow up with all these coffee shops because I know they're shut down, they might not open up again and then to all of my current clients are also shutting down and it was a sensitive time, right? So you know, you didn't want to be like pushing sales and that was very scary because I've always been excited about our B2B channel because it's such a good channel and such a good channel fit.

00:24:11Edit It's a product that many food service companies are looking for, they're looking for a well represented, delicious tasting chai which so many customers are like I've been looking for this product. And the other thing about B2B and you know, food services that it's recurring revenue and I think that's something that people don't think about, but a coffee shop or any food service kind of company when they run out of a product, they will just order more. It's very hard to lose a customer unless you just don't have a good product or you know, you're not able to produce and give them product. Yeah, it's like a long lifetime bachelor high life value for that. Exactly. So your cost of acquisition can be kind of high, but like over time it's fine because you're going to make that money back and with DTC or with retail you're always figuring out how do I get my customer to make that second order and that third order and not lose interest and go somewhere else. And so it was really hard to kind of see that shut down and for me I kind of felt like, okay, well this is the end of the road, I don't know when this will end and this is such a substantial hit in the short term and what ended up happening was God, that must have been so stressful.

00:25:29Edit It was very stressful. It was a very uh, it was weird everyone was going through it. So it was, it was like we're all just are we all done. But what I think was interesting about that time is that a lot of people got a lot of time. So we just had a lot of time now to think about other things and I eventually changed my mind to think about, okay, well there's a lot of goals that I've had and there's a lot of like wishes, wish list things that I've had for one stripe type products that I've wanted to launch that are not in the same channel, but I haven't had any time just been so busy. I haven't had time to like work on development and launch that product and now I have all the time in the world and so is this a good opportunity to think about and launch those products that are different that are really important to me and so I decided to one think about my customers are not at the coffee shops, they're all at home, how do we reach them at home in a meaningful way.

00:26:30Edit Also during that time what was interesting was people are at home and they wanted to learn, they wanted to learn how to make their own bread, they just wanted to learn things and we're like well for me being you know somebody who grew up not drinking child with a concentrate and making it in a very traditional manner at home. I'd always wanted to also teach our customers kind of how do you actually brooch I at home? And so this was a really kind of exciting time. I was like well I have a lot of tea and have a lot of spices and let me start doing R and D on a loose leaf product and use this as a way to get to our customers, give them something new And everyone was shopping at that time so give them something new and teach them how to do something you know, C. Chuy in a different manner, not just as like this quick, you know 1-1 with milk but like hey how do I brew it on the stovetop and how do I have it piping hot and how do I have it in that traditional manner that I see everywhere.

00:27:35Edit And so we launched our first loose leaf blend called the chinese at home And this was honestly, this was another time where I was like we can go anywhere with this. Like I I wanted to bring color into our branding which is really hard because we had amber glass are concentrates are amber glass bottles. And so I was like, it was like the world was my oyster. I was just like, oh okay we can bring color into our branding. I want the line of blends to be really cheeky and like have like puns and just be really fun and approachable. And so we basically did an M. V. P. R. Branding was like very minimal, it was like a white bag with a sticker on it and we just launched it and people loved it and I gave us time to figure out our eventual branding. How are you actually finding the customers who would have been consuming your drink in the coffee shops? Were you kind of, did you already have a database or an email list or like a big kind of following at that point yourself or were you going back to your coffee shops and being like, hey can you put this to your newsletter or your database or like is there a way that we can target our customers through you?

00:28:48Edit Or were you just doing ads and trying to reach people that way? What was your kind of plan to attract the people who would have already been enjoying you and who would have been missing you from their daily cup of chai Yeah, I think we were lucky in that we didn't have to start from scratch with DTC in 2018. We were getting a lot of feedback that from our coffee shop customers are coffee shop clients that their customers loved drinking or try at the coffee shop, but they wanted to know if they could buy it outside of the coffee shop so they could gift it to friends or if they go on vacation or if they want to drink it at home. And so we had a very minimal kind of like shop where you could buy our concentrates in different sizes online. And so we were already kind of like shipping it and people were already buying it. So we had, we had an email database because of that. And I just started growing. So one thing that we intentionally did when we started working with coffee shops is every new coffee shop we work with gets this like beautiful wooden sign that says proudly serving one stripe, try and it's really pretty and it's wooden and it's hand painted and so they can put it up on their shop either on their espresso machine out the window.

00:30:09Edit So that customers who really like chai Can kind of associate to try their drinking with one strike. And so I think once people started not being able to go to coffee shops, it's very easy for them to just look us up and be like, oh I can actually order this, it already subconsciously put that into their mind. Yeah, and it was like a two pronged, like unintentional approach Um that luckily we already had that going, and in 2018, late 2018, we also introduced an unsweetened version of our product, which is vegan, and so we already had these two very, very, like, we didn't sell much of it online. Once the pandemic hit, people were like, cool, let me get this, let me gift it to my friends, like, my mom is at home and you know, she has nowhere to go, like, she loves chai, let me like send her like two or three bottles of this, like, beautiful concentrate. So now we had, we kind of had this like, cool thing where people could go on our website and be like, Oh try two ways, I don't want to do the whole brewing thing, it's a mess, I don't want to do it, I don't want to strain my t it's already made, I'm going to buy it or people who are like, oh I already love the concentrate, but I want to try it in this different form and it kind of gave our customers to different options.

00:31:29Edit Mhm, wow, gosh, amazing! Love that for you, love that, you didn't have to shut down my goodness when you have to look at where you are today, we're obviously kind of coming out the other side of everything that's going on, everything is reopened or reopening and you know, we're finding our, our new feet in this current landscape of the pandemic. Where are things today? Are you back in all the coffee shops? How are you acquiring your customers through? Direct to consumer? What's the situation now? What's the split between your ddc verse coffee shop customers? I think right now it's half and half coffee shops came back with a vengeance. Like everything opened up really fast, I would say like we were like, oh wow, like this is happening again and that's great. So, you know, that's still a big part of our business, but dtC also did so great last year we've now on four new blends. We have two more coming out this year.

00:32:33Edit There's just so many ideas there. We've done a lot of collaborations. So, another thing that I really wanted to do during this time and our customers love it because I think it's new and it's exciting and it's fun, is doing collaborations. So we do ceramic collaboration drops with different bipac artists that might be kind of small and like, you know, nobody knows about them and we've done some really fun ones and they're very relevant and we call them the cooler drops. And so you might only have, we might only make, you know, 25 we might make 100 like it's very limited and people like, they're really beautiful, they're handmade and alert is actually like one of those clay cups that you kind of quintessentially see chai in India and like the little tiny clay cups. And so I love that idea of like, well how do we modernize that and bring kind of like bring that here and teach people about it. So we've done four of those drops, all of them have been completely different personally for me, it's just really, it's a fun thing to do and it keeps freshness to our brand.

00:33:36Edit We, one of my like one of my dream collaborations was the chocolate collaboration and so my dream company to work with those Raqqa chocolates, their ethos with how their sources very similar. So we did that this year, we did a rose chocolate chai bar with them as we launched our rose chai blend heaven. We just did a puzzle collaboration, We don't look at all this, that one is so cool. And that was really, I mean that really came out of, you know, this idea of the pandemic started, we were doing puzzles at home and it just hit me, I was like, well, puzzle time is so similar to like try time, like hanging out, talking over, you know, doing something what if we bring like this idea of like doing a puzzle and try like together, but also with this whole element of like when I do puzzles, I rarely see a puzzle. I've really done a puzzle that kind of like, reminds me of like my roots and who I am, and so we worked with the south asian artists that I really love to kind of like do this depiction of women of color hanging out, drinking chai, gossiping, making trouble, and we've had customers who've come back and been like, I've never seen myself in a puzzle, like this is so cool and so I think we're going to continue doing our DTc.

00:34:57Edit Um it's very new to me, so that's something where I'm having to learn a lot about How to really grow and scale that our B2B has come back and I think now that goal of like, I want to be in all the coffee shops in the country is kind of coming back. I you know, we've been bootstrapped from day one, I think now I'm toying with the idea of raising money because we have these amazing products, we have more than viable products, We have huge product line, but now of course we're like, how do we truly scale these? How do we produce more at the same quality and be able to kind of get to all of our customers that we want to get to exciting times, very exciting times. I love it and I loved the puzzle collab, I did see that on your instagram and was like, this is very cool, very, very cool, What do you think is your best piece of advice for entrepreneurs who are entering the beverage industry in 2022, I think you should be very intentional about where you want to be, what type of leverage you want to be?

00:36:06Edit Do you want to be ready to drink? Do you want to be, you know, what is your channel that you want to be a part of something we toyed around with last year was launching a ready to drink, try or ready to drink beverages, I think I want one stripe to eventually be more than a try company, be more of a salvation beverage company. I think those flavors just don't exist in the mainstream, but there's a lot of competition there and you really, really need to make sure that like, you know one, do you want to raise money or do you want it to be a lifestyle brand? How long can you go without taking a salary? How can you bootstrap, what do you need to even make your minimum viable product? Is it going to take, you know, is it something you can quickly make at home or is it something where you need to hire and consult with a food scientist? So just being really intentional, also being intentional about your team, do you want to work alone? Do you want to co founder, where do you work best? What do you think would be the best for you think that's something that we don't talk a lot about and you know, really, really kind of being intentional.

00:37:09Edit But I'm all for taking the plunge because if you don't, you won't know. Um So I think being intentional but also just take the plunge. It's okay. Like you'll figure it out. I love that. Gosh, very cool. At the end of every episode, we asked a series of six quick questions, some of which we might have covered, some of which we might not have, but I asked them all the same. So, question number one is what's your, why? Why are you doing what you're doing? I think I really, really enjoyed being my own boss and being able to make decisions as I kind of would like to see fit. I think selfishly something is you know, this company in like specifically really, really allows me to learn more about my identity and I think that's something that's really important to me and I absolutely love, I get to do something where I get to talk about something that I love talking about every single day. I could literally have an offline conversation about chi and its history and you know why I think it's important and like what are the different cuts of tea that are you know, will give you different flavor profiles.

00:38:21Edit I can talk about that all day. And so I think that's why it's fulfilling to me, even on like the bad days? Mm hmm. Yeah, you need to love it on the bad days? You need to love it every day of the journey? Totally Question number two is what has been the number one marketing moment that made the business pop? So, I think we've gotten a lot of really great press. That's been really fun. But I think oddly one of like the craziest marketing moments was um Mindy Kaling posted a story with our It was a story. Just a story. Wasn't a post Withholding Arch. I saying like this is you know, like this is the most This is such a great way to have like really legit try and people. It was it was wild. Like it was you know, people I hadn't spoken to in like years who I didn't even know like followed us. We're like coming out of everyone's just like, oh my gosh, Mindy Kaling, this is amazing.

00:39:25Edit And it was I mean I love Mindy So it was just like a very cool moment. But it's also very cool. Because I feel like for a lot of people, they were like, whoa like Mindy is talking about try and she's talking about one strive try. Like this is so cool. So that was definitely a moment that was like I it was like, whoa uh was very validating that is huge to follow up questions to that. What kind of like actual sales does something like that drive to your channel? And to where did she get it? Like how come she knew about it? Like was it from her coffee shop? No, I mean we are publicist had reached head like somehow through the grapevine, met somebody that knew her and it's, you know, can we send her some? We didn't think anything would come out of it was just like, you know, whatever. At the end of the day it was like if somebody we really like, yeah, I think it's cool even has seen our product like that's cool. Um, but but she liked it and she posted about it and it was, it was like nothing ever, you know, expected what's the kind of impact on revenue?

00:40:35Edit It's, I'm still trying to figure that out because that really impacted sales. It was like people were like mindy Kaling posted about this. I don't care what it is, I'm going to buy it that impacted sales. Certain press will really, really impact sales. Certain press that we think is very awesome, doesn't really impact sales. Um, We've had, you know, sometimes I think what's interesting is we've had, when we launched an arrow on in L. A. And into L. A. Market last december. I mean there were days where we would just have like spikes in revenue and in sales and we realized later that somebody who is a blogger or an influencer that I've never even heard of had picked it up at the store and liked it and posted about it and it really depends on like they're following like how committed is they're following and how trusting is they're following of like this person like hey if you're recommending this I'm down to try it. Mm Gosh that is crazy.

00:41:39Edit Crazy stuff. I can't believe Mindy posted. That's so cool. I love her. Question # three is where do you hang out to get smarter? What are you reading or listening to or subscribing to? Yeah. I have recently started reading Super Maker by Jamie Schmidt who is the founder of Schmidt's Naturals, the deodorant company. I think they sold to Unilever a few years back and huge exit and I started reading and I didn't finish it but I picked it up again because I think that's a great book because I feel like a lot of big companies that we know a lot of founders have BC backgrounds or they have some you know, DtC background or brand background or marketing background and that's not something that I had and I think Jamie Schmidt is really relatable because she's active support, land based company. She started out doing this in her kitchen and selling it at the farmer's market and she had a giant exit to Unilever and she didn't have a B. C. Background and I think reading about founders like that also is really really empowering because it kind of gives you a vision into how do I do this without that kind of like knowledge it's really possible.

00:42:54Edit And so that's one, I also try to one of my goals this year has been to connect with, you know, every quarter has like a meaningful call or meeting with at least four founders that I look up to or you know, care about and like have these recurring conversations just to talk about what's going on with you, How can I help? And that's been eye opening because you're like, wow, you're going through the same struggles I am. That's a really interesting point. I love that having these calls once a quarter scheduling them in with certain people that you kind of admire or in your industry or whatever. I love that. That's really interesting. Taking note of that one question. Number four is how do you win the day? What are your AM or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated. I think the days where I wake up early and I'm able to actually have like a breakfast, it's really meaningful, is really good for me. It's like, okay, I've like started my day.

00:44:00Edit Well I know that I personally, I'm not one of those people who stays up till really late working and so I'm more of a morning person. So if I'm able to get through most of my to do list by like midday, very much succeeded. It's been harder and I'm pregnant right now. So it's now I'm like trying to figure out how do I wake up every day feel normal, but before it was, it was like having kind of more of a schedule and like knowing especially like creating a to do list the night before for the next day I think is very, very helpful for me. Mhm Absolutely. Question number five is if you were given $1000 of no strings attached grant money, where would you spend it in the business? What's the most important spend of a dollar for you? That's interesting because $1000 I think something that I took from working in the corporate world and then moving into entrepreneurship that I think is really important was this idea of like not feeling empowered or feeling seen or feeling like, hey, I have this idea like how do we encourage ideas?

00:45:11Edit So I think I would spend that money on my employees in, you know, some kind of like an event or like, hey let's brainstorm and like let's get some food and like let's have like a celebration of like what we've done, but also like, hey, like let's encourage more idea making because I think that that's something that's really valuable and I've also learned that having a good team is, you know, will make or break your business. It's equally as important as having a lot of money or having a lot of resources. Mhm Absolutely. And last question question # six is how do you deal with failure, what's your mindset and approach when things don't go to plan? Cry a lot, you know, I don't do well with, you know, bad news at first, but what I've realized especially over time is that Things will almost like 75% of time not go right and they won't go as you planned and so, and that's okay.

00:46:13Edit And so being, you know, one giving yourself to Him that 75 percent I think one giving yourself the grace to like it's okay to feel upset, it's okay to cry about it. It's okay to feel like, you know, this is the worst thing in the world, but then moving on to be like, okay, well it happened now, what can we do? And really kind of trying to focus more on, okay, we failed. Why did we fail? What happened? What can we do differently? And then how do we kind of not hold on to this and move on from here. Love it. Love it, Sarah, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show today and share your story and your insights and your learnings for one stripe, which I, I cannot wait to try it when I'm in the US next or when you go global and come to the UK. Absolutely, thanks so much for having me, this is really fun.


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