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Coca Cola ripped off this beverage brand & we’re mad, with Agua Bonita’s co-founder Kayla Castañeda

Updated: May 27, 2022

Today on the show we’re learning from Kayla, the founder of Agua Bonita.

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

Agua Bonita is a Latina-owned beverage company making the first better-for-you aguas frescas on the market. A modern take on a traditional Mexican fruit drink, their aguas frescas come in ready-to-drink 12oz cans, made with real fruit, low sugar, and fun flavors (like mango habanero). And this story is a wild one. I actually came across a post of Kayla’s on LinkedIn sharing a pretty crappy story for any small business owner to go through. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of takeaways in this episode because she’s just so insightful. We talk through those initial 6 months of building the brand. Agua Bonita launched conceptually in July 2020, but those first months were really stealth mode. You conceptualize your brand, identify your values, and what makes you different from the whole market. A lot of thinking through that for the first 6 months. What do we want to do that’s different, how can we do this sustainably, and how do we communicate that?

And we can confidently say this initial stage was a success, with 10,000 units flying out the door in the first month. Kayla talks us through how exactly this came about, this complete wildfire response. Firstly, the people were ready for Agua Bonita. This product was just completely absent from the market, and people wanted it. On top of that, Agua Bonita was ready for the people: extensive research into where they can find their consumers, and then showing up in their life throughout the day. Kayla also shared some pretty key know-how around a concept called free-fill when it comes to giveaways in retail. Heard of it? Check out the full chat for the low-down.

You should stick around to the end of the episode, where Kayla shares the number one piece of advice she's ever received, and some of her own advice. When it comes to the first, everything takes way longer than you expect it to. Even when you allot a lot of extra time, add even more time onto that timeline. In business, time really does equal money. So you'll need money to make sure those things work out in your favor. When it comes to Kayla's own piece of advice, she's a strong advocate for leaning into your community. You will find so many other founders and resources, so many people that really want to help you. When you’re building a brand, that’s all your really trying to do as a brand. Lean into the community, there are people that want to help.

So my name is Kayla Castaneda, I'm the co founder of Allah bonita. We make real fruit frescas. So always frescas are a traditional mexican drink usually made with fresh fruit, non sparkling water and a sweetener. A lot of hours use no added sugar or just very little sugar in general and we help fight food waste with every um blend that we make. And we also give back to migrant farm workers via nonprofits with every purchase of our products. I am so excited to try like all of the flavors, but particularly the watermelon chili and particularly the spicy mango because these speak to me spicy, anything is my vibe. Yeah. You know, we're like, I was dead set on putting out some spicy skews from the very, very beginning. So I'm so excited that we like made them come to life and we've gone through some different iterations of them.

00:03:45Edit I mean sometimes they came out way too spicy, sometimes not spicy enough. Um but I think that these latest versions that we have going out are like the ones the happy balance. It's so funny because actually a few months ago I was saying to my husband, I was like someone just needs to bring out spicy water. Like I just want spicy drinks that are kind of good for you but have spice instead of sweetness. And I'm so, I mean I know these have sweet in them as well, but I'm so excited for spicy drinks, you know? Yeah, me too. I love a little bit of spice and everything, so I definitely understand. Me too. Let's go back to where this brand and this business starts. What was the light bulb moment for you and your co founder? Like how was this coming to life? Yeah. So I've worked in food and beverage for the better Part of the last 10 years. So I actually used to work for coca cola back in the day and then um left coke to really kind of pursue things that I could be a little bit more intimately with.

00:04:51Edit And so I started like consulting the last consulting job that I said yes to was the week that the global pandemic started um so it's like terrible timing to take a new job, but as the pandemic kind of you know rolled through town, everything closed down and I found a lot of time on my hands, but we like to joke that like when life gives you lemons make aguas frescas because that was really the moment that I felt prepared enough to like, okay I have enough corporate experience, I have enough startup experience and I want to just do my own thing and like let's create something that's missing From the market 1st and foremost, but then also like a reflection of ourselves and of our culture and something that we love and would drink all the time if it existed in like a ready to drink format and is like really fit that bill and we wanted to do something, you know that we can make a better free version of, without having to sacrifice any taste and yeah and Ala Benito was born mid pandemic, oh my gosh, that is so cool.

00:05:56Edit Life definitely gave the lemons and the aqua frescas to all of us. Did you always know that it was going to be that particular beverage or was there still like R and D and you know formulation and tossing around ideas in the kitchen or was it like no, this is it, No question, no, when we started working on a Juanita, we knew for sure it was always going to be Alex Vasquez, there had been other times in my life in the past where I had wanted to start a beverage company and I thought about doing a nitro coffee, like a canned nitro coffee and I worked on that solo, but it just helped me learn so much about the manufacturing process. So it was a great experience. It didn't really like take off or anything, but now, you know, Starbucks does like canned nitro coffees. I like to think that I've always been a little bit ahead of the curve but when it came to Albany to we always knew that it was gonna be, oh my gosh, so cool, can you talk us through like that really early time before launch, what were you doing?

00:07:01Edit What were the steps involved in actually getting this brand started? What was your day to day like? Yeah, you know, this is something that I've recounted a lot recently because I tell folks, you know, we launched conceptually July 2020 but those first six months like July through December 2020 is really like stealth mode, right? Like you have to kind of conceptualize your brand and your identity and like what your values are and like what you're unique, you know, proposition is and what makes you different from the whole market, right? Especially beverage, it's a super saturated market. Um, so I think those for six months are really a lot of thinking through that, like what do we want to do that is different than what's already being done and like how can we do this in a sustainable way and what kind of choices are we going to make that communicate those things to the consumer and then when you have that, like where do we find the partners to make it happen?

00:08:04Edit Right because most people that can something in a beverage, they don't own the canning equipment, so you have to find a co packer or co manufacturer and figure out like what those M. O. Q. S look like and then you know, figuring out insurance and how to structure your company and if you're the kind of company that is gonna want to take investment later on or if you're really gonna just like bootstrap it and you know hopefully, I mean I had a good foundation about like how the distribution process works, but if you're not familiar with it, I would definitely take, you know the initial time to get familiar with it in in beverage and then CPG so the first six months was really like a lot of that was like figuring out who do we want to say that we are, what is our identity? And then how do we find the right partners to like make that identity that we've settled on come to life And when did you actually launch, did you say was at the end of 2020 We sent the very first packages out literally December 31, 2020.

00:09:11Edit That's so cool. So we spent, yeah the first like July through December 2020 really like working and then like our first full month of uh selling things. We've created a pilot which was like maybe about 10,000 units and we thought like okay we're a new brand, it's gonna take us forever to like Get these out the door right? But in the first quarter, actually like a little over the first month of 2021 we sold through our entire pilot online, people had just come across our brand, found our packaging, really liked it, um decided to buy some and it just kind of spread a little bit and then we were like okay, I think we're really onto something, let's go back and make some more and see like if we can, you know, repeat this success. So we like made 10 times as much and then sold out like even faster. So then we did it one more time and then we sold out before we even went to production. So that's when we knew that like we were really onto something and yeah that first like That first quarter of 2021 I would say was when we were starting to pilot things online and then From like May through December of 2021, we opened like direct to consumer nationally wait, we need to rewind to you doing 10,000 units in a month.

00:10:34Edit That's crazy how I don't understand, can you like breakdown specifically the lead up to launch and like what you were doing and like the messaging that you were kind of putting out there and like how you were going about that. That's amazing. Yeah, I think our debut really speaks to just how absent this product was on the market because I was frescas are really the most popular drink in every hispanic household like across the world, right? Like all latin America. So it's just like crazy just how familiar so many people are with it but there just wasn't ready to drink version. So I think that that helped was just people being like, oh there's an al fresco. Yeah, I know always frescoes are, I'll try that. Um so that really helped. And then obviously our packaging, my co founder, this packaging is her handiwork. Um but I think that we have really beautiful packaging that like helps you know get things off the shelf catches your eye especially when it's like virtual and on instagram right, it's like a very instagram worthy kind of product.

00:11:40Edit And so that really helps. Um and then yeah, and then just using word of mouth, you know, telling some of our friends who would tell some of their friends who would share it and whatnot. And we we found like lots of opportunities to where we could give away product just to get it out in front of people and then people would take photos of our products from there and then you know share it on their instagram and it was just kind of a wildfire thing. So yeah, I mean, I think like just when you find something that is truly missing from the market, you can really get that strong early response because it just truly isn't there 100% it hits the spot and that word of mouth kind of like inherently built in that people are like, oh my God, I'm so excited to try this, telling their friends and word starts to spread when you were saying that you were doing the kind of like finding opportunities to give away products for free. Could you explain like some of those kind of opportunities for anyone listening who specifically in the beverage industry and being like, wow, that's amazing.

00:12:43Edit How can I get my brand out there. Yeah, so during the pandemic and still now even uh sampling went away so like, you know, you couldn't just like pour drinks to sample and give out, which like for any food or beverage brand is a huge opportunity for conversion and we don't have that anymore. So we had to start thinking about like where does our target demographic spend their day. So it was like, okay, well maybe um the kind of person that would buy our product also goes to this coffee shop, so maybe we will give that coffee shop, you know, a free case, um, to sample out or maybe they can do, you know, a drink for a day with it and just like show our cans off or maybe the kind of person that shops our brand would also like enjoy fitness classes at this kind of studio. So we'll give away free cases to that studio. So that way they can hand them as they walk out and you know, get some consumer feedback that way.

00:13:49Edit So that's how we started to think about it was just like, where could we find our consumer? And then let's show up in their life. Uh, you know, as they go about their day. And so you just literally walking in knocking on the door and being like, hello, manager, can I stand outside and give away some drinks or like, hello, here's a case, do whatever you want with it, but please give them out. And I feel like there's this whole grassroots effort when it comes to food and beverage that like maybe more modern founders think like that isn't necessary, but it's a tried and true process for a reason. And even like the biggest companies in the world still do this, they still walk around to smaller, you know, moms and pops and um, give away free product or like tell them like, yeah, we will give it to you. So it's one of those things like when you are so new, it doesn't matter how approachable you are free will always be the most approachable to anyone.

00:14:54Edit So giving them, you know some free product is always a good thing If you have to say like what the split was like out of say you have 10,000 cans, how many of those would you allocate to gifting versus like to buy? Well we ended up Selling about 100,000 units our first year and so I would say maybe five percent of that was stuff that we gave out for free. But I will say to like if you are familiar with the beverage industry That once you start to really get going in like larger retailers and stuff, there's something called a free fill that you're expected to do. So actually like say you know the largest most prominent store comes along and they're like great, we'll put you in 500 stores and you have two flavors um and we want a free fill that means you are expected to give 1000 free cases of product to go into their source, even start to be in their stores.

00:15:58Edit So if you guys are thinking about starting a beverage company and you're not already familiar with some of this type of on goings, you know on the back end, like that's something that you have to be prepared for. So it's really just like relative to your growth, how much product you have to allocate to give away for free but it actually is like something specifically in beverage that you really really have to account for, wow, I didn't know that, I have never heard that term before. Free fill. That's so interesting. So does that mean they give it away for free in the store or they're still selling it? But they expect you to give it to them for free as a test. Exactly the latter. Yeah, so you give it to them for free and they still sell it in stores, so they will still make money off of it and you will not. Well that sounds a little unfair, right? But why? So that's why I like, the beverage industry is just super capital intensive because there's a lot of they're called like yeah refills and slotting fees.

00:16:59Edit It's really the trade spend and that's just kind of the way that the industry works. There's only ever so many slots on a shelf, right? And so they really do expect brands to give that first um Phil for free so that they take on 0% of the risk and you take on all the risk and then they test it out and then if they like it then they'll, you know keep on ordering and yeah and it's it's really a messed up kind of way to do things. Um But it is industry standard, so you have to have a lot of cash to like burn through, which is why you know like giving product out for free at community events is kind of the same way that you have to approach retailers anyway so you just always have to um allocate them. It just feels icky though. Like it just feels particularly ship for like a new business owner who is small and getting started and kind of trying to get their foot in the door somewhere if they have a great product especially you know like it kind of feels like, I don't know like if you've taken advantage of or something.

00:18:08Edit That's so crazy to me. I will say for like any um women owned businesses and minority owned businesses. Getting those certifications as like a woman owned business and a minority owned business is very very valuable to you um when it comes to this particular thing because there are some large retailers that have programs that will bypass the free fill or you know reduce the slotting fees or the trade spend for women owned and or minority owned businesses. So if you guys are listening and you haven't gotten those certifications yet, you should really check them out because they could take a while to get, but they will help you on that side of things. And where does one get those kind of certifications? And like what's what's that process? It is is it expensive or is it kind of just an online application? It's a mix of things. So there's always an online application. We are certified women owned through. We bank. It's W.

00:19:11Edit B. E. E. N. C. Um And so you do an online application. Lots and lots and lots of questions. It's a pretty lengthy application then you'll have sort of an interview and then they will just kind of confirm the details that you put there and then issue your certification. Um I can't remember what the fee is. It's a, I want to say a few $100 Maybe 1000. But somewhere in that ballpark what it'll save you down the road by having the certification is definitely worth it. But it can take months to get that certification because there's always just like you know they're always busy processing new applications. Um And yeah and I'm sure that there are other bodies that you can go through. But if you just google kind of like women owned certifications you'll see the really like top players and be able to, you know, start their online process. Gosh, you're blowing my mind. All these things I didn't know. This is crazy, wow, thank you so much in these digital times.

00:20:16Edit Almost all consumers tend to search online for a product or brand before making a purchase. So it's never been as important as now to have a home for your brand or your online business. If you've been thinking about taking your business to the next level and going online with it now is the perfect time to start building your website with zero zero is the most affordable website builder on the market with beautiful designer made templates, simple drag and drop editing and business tools like a logo maker and ai rider which will save you hundreds of dollars per year that you can reinvest into your business and create your own website without any coding knowledge. Go to zero dot com forward slash F. S. C. That's Z. Y. R. O dot com slash fsc Or use our code fsc to get up to 71% discount plus three months free and a domain with any yearly plan. I want to shift to talking a little bit about the capital piece because we kind of touched on it here and there and it's something that I really love to talk about. How much did you need to invest to start the business and how we thinking about or how were you financing in the beginning and how are you thinking about bootstrapping verse funding when it came to you specifically?

00:21:32Edit Yeah, so Aaron and I always knew that there would come a time that we needed outside capital just because of how notoriously expensive the beverage industry is right for like things like this um refills, you need to be able to produce all the product, ship it all. You know, all that kind of stuff when we started we had one angel investment of $30,000 and then the rest was just mine and Aaron's personal money and we used all of that to make a pilot um pilots In beverage can be very expensive like the minimum order quantities in this industry are very very high and so even getting just you know a small amount done can be easily like $30,000. So you really have to kind of have some like seed cash that you're willing to part with and um yeah so that's how we started was like we took 30K and then we bootstrapped the rest and we knew that we were going to bootstrap for as long as we could but we set a date at about like a year and some change out that like if we are not out of place to be able to raise outside money by this time then we need to not be working on this full time anymore because we started working on it full time from the very beginning uh mostly because it was a pandemic so we didn't really have a choice um because no one had a job anymore, so we were like in it to win it from the very beginning but we did set a date that like if we cannot get more capital through the door and like we have already put in all of our life savings and stuff and into making this work Then like this needs to be a hobby and not a full time job and thankfully we were able to get to that point and we were able to raise.

00:23:25Edit We're actually um, the first Latino owned company in our industry to ever raise more than $1 million. So we are super excited about that. That is so cool. Thank you. And you raised like two million now already. Right. Yeah, yeah. So it was a big deal for us, but we, we, we gave ourselves a deadline. Mhm. And how did you find the experience when you were going through the fundraise? Did either of you had any experience fundraising before? Um, Aaron had a little bit in that she had been like around while some of those meetings were happening, but it wasn't her directly fundraising. Um, she was just, you know, a supplement to the conversation. Um, I had never fundraising before. The way that we started fundraising initially was like, I started entering into a bunch of pitch competitions and pitching our company and we actually raised like We won over $1 million dollars in pitch competition winnings and like grants.

00:24:33Edit Yeah, I actually won every pitch competition I entered into. Um, so that's how we like sustained our business for awhile. That's so cool. Yeah. So I would definitely say, you know, like make sure that you look at all of the pitch competitions that are available and like go present your business to all of them with some caution as I've learned. I feel like you're so humble over here. Like just casually dropping this in like this is so exciting, I'm like wanting to shout and scream for you thank you. Yeah, it's it's been crazy. It's it's it's crazy. Yeah, um that's so much money to win. Yeah, and so like, that is how we approach, like, bootstrapping, I can't even remember what the, the core question was, but uh but yeah, that's that's really how we approached it and just kind of, you know, doing what you have to do to make it work. That's so interesting and this kind of segues into the video that I came across you talking about because it all started from a pitch competition.

00:25:38Edit So do you want to kind of introduce us to this wild story that is happening for you and your business right now? Yeah, so at june of last year I was in a pitch competition and it's actually like the biggest pitch competition of the beverage industry. It's hosted by Bev Net um it's called best new beverage showdown, so like the winners of this pitch competition have a track record of going on to like some really big success and so yeah, so it's, if you're in the beverage industry, it's like one of those things that you want to compete in and that you also want to win, right? Like it's just a really good publicity moment for your brand and so last year I competed in in this competition, it was hosted by Bev Net and um put on by the VB team at coca cola, which is the team responsible for partnering with and investing in new brands and new concepts to launch into the market and so yeah, so I won this competition and some of the coach team um, was a part of the judging panel.

00:26:51Edit So last year we, we won and then we had just like a killer year and the marketing campaign that we ran was around a f so we ran around the whole like play on words like as fuck and right, so kind of this like cool af So we made a lot of like t shirts that said like real af Yeah, you know, it's like, I feel like you could do that when you're a startup, right? Like you don't have to play by these big corporate rules, you can kind of say whatever you want to say. But I mean last year, in terms of publicity, we had like one hell of a year, like we were on the Today show, I made it to the Forbes list. We won best new beverage, like just, we were on so many like really big public platforms and yeah, and we were really the first like ready to drink a la Frasca to market. So then fast forward a few months and it's announced that coca cola is debuting Alex Vasquez under their minute maid brand.

00:27:54Edit So we're like, okay, cool, like, you know, it happens like there's always gonna be more competitors in the category and like quite frankly like you need competitors for it to even be considered the category, right? Like if you're the only person, it's not really a category. So that was cool and we've met a lot of other Vasquez startup founders now that are like coming to market with, there's so like cool, you know it happens. But then I was on twitter the week of Cinco de Mayo and I was scrolling and I came across an ad that was targeted to me for minute Maid Alice fresquez and the marketing campaign was built around this play on a s and very very very similar to the marketing campaign that we had run last year, you know after presenting our brand where the team responsible for these new things that cook was part of the judging panel. So could it be a huge coincidence that you know, after we presented our brand and do our marketing campaign that the next year they are doing the same or very very similar.

00:29:08Edit Yeah, absolutely. Could totally be a coincidence. Ah I do say that in the spirit of like anything is possible, you know, but like what is most realistic, I don't know, you know, I wanna I don't wanna be too accusatory here, but I just think if you look at a lot of the similarities, they are very very pronounced similarities. Yeah, yeah, let's call a spade a spade. Like it's the same. That's crazy. I hate that for you. And but I feel like it's also not the first time that we see this from these big brands, like coca cola and Pepsi seemed to be in these kind of, I've come across posts on linkedin for four from other founders, like the droplet founder about, you know, her brand and what happened there. And it's like, it's so weird specifically because you were in that competition and you were part of it and they were judging you. And then have you asked them about it?

00:30:10Edit Like, do you go to them and be like, hey, like you saw me pitch that competition, Like, what the heck is this? Well, I know that you worked there as well. Actually. I just connected that. Oh my God. Yeah, I Yeah. And so that that is something to, like, there's been definitely some men that have tried to man Splain to me like, well, this is how coca cola puts together their campaigns and stuff like that. I'm like, dude, I know I used to work for coke. I probably know better than you how things work there because I worked there. Um And so yeah, I mean, that's that's a whole other topic. Um But yeah, and I think like, for us, the thing is like, we're not upset that they have, like I said, like, you have to have a category when you have to have a competition to have a category. So not upset about that. I just think about the impact that we could have made had we partnered together with them or had really they partnered with us because Like we have certain things built into our, you know, our company, like our 1% back program where we support migrant farm workers with every purchase.

00:31:25Edit Like think about using the Coca Cola resources to like spread our distribution, like the kind of impact that that could have made on the community and then like, you know, we tried to rescue produce to make our drinks. So like think about just that sheer volume of produce that we could have, you know, worked hand in hand with them as a large company to like get off the streets and stuff like that too. It's just unfortunate that instead of finding a partnership opportunity. Um, you know, it was more of just like, okay, well, we're just gonna do it our way. Yeah. I don't know. There's, it's hard, there's not, there's only so much I can say about it and I will say like picking a fight with, you know, the biggest company in the world is not on my 2020 to, to do list. Um, you know, and it's still really is not, but it's just really unfortunate just how well what it looks like totally.

00:32:30Edit I've actually spoken to the founders of midday squares about what happened to them when her, she tried to buy them slash then sue them for a color mix up and like the approach that you have to take when these huge behemoth companies come at a small business that obviously doesn't have the same pockets as they do and it's like, yeah, you can't fight them necessarily by, I don't know how it works, but like suing them back or whatever, trying to battle it, but I guess you can have your voice and you're allowed to get out there and tell your community what's happening to you. So I'm interested to know what has it been like since when it comes to your community and the people around you learning about this because I know for me I felt really mad, I was like what the hell? Yeah, I think my approach was kind of just like, let me just show people and then let them make the decision for themselves what they think happened.

00:33:32Edit You know, I can only like give the facts of the matter and show what happened and then like you guys tell me like, am I tripping or like what, you know? And then um I think the response is like really having the community rally around us and we just had an influx of support like from purchases to offers of like how to help with certain things and you know, just words of encouragement and stuff like that and so it wasn't um all a bad experience you know? So that was really nice and I think it just like validated the strength of our community and it also helped us just reach more community members right? Like now you and I are talking and you know we can talk about the sort of like injustices and some of these like dark spaces of the CPG world and I think that that is really like what's most important is just like getting a new platform and a new way to share our voice and share our story because you're right, it happens to a lot of people all the time and I'm just lucky that I have the ability to say something and have a community that listens and also like spread our message.

00:34:49Edit Mm One 100%. Was there anything like that you learned from the experience that was a bit unexpected or like how you'll handle you know business moving forward. Um No I would say like I was told by some people like maybe you don't want to say something um and I totally get why you know I understand why especially you know earlier we were talking about like they're the slotting fees and stuff like that and there's only so many spaces on a shelf like larger companies can go in and just by your shelf space um and kind of like kick you out of the market in terms of doing that. So I know that that was you know a, a big concern for some people for me not to say anything, but I guess my stance on it was that like we're a startup and we already have the whole deck stacked against us. So the options are like have an uphill fight and not say anything or like have an uphill fight and at least have like the community behind us by sharing our story so I would still share no matter what and yeah, and I think like now it's just given us just a little bit more motivation to like keep doing what we're doing.

00:36:10Edit I think that if you are getting copied, if you're getting copied then you're getting copied for a reason right? Like you must be doing something right. And so we're gonna just like, you know keep on keeping on and it's just kind of a bump in the road and we got to just keep doing what we were already planning to do one 100% and now you just have all these people rallying behind you and happy to shout from the rooftops about what you're doing and by your brand instead of someone else's brand. Yeah, for sure, for sure. What is on the cards for the future, What's next this year that you want to shout about or tell us about? So we have some really exciting new flavors coming and I think that I'm most excited for that and then if you guys follow us on instagram at drink Albany to um you'll see some really cool flavors, Some very highly requested flavors coming out later this year that we are so excited to have um you know, get out on their way to you all and so that's the thing that I'm most excited about and then just seeing this in more places, it's so cool when you have started something in your home um that you end up seeing like on a shelf at a retailer like that is still so crazy to me is like I sit at my home office and work on this thing all the time and then eventually, you know, you get to go to this store and like it is sitting there on the store shelf available for purchase.

00:37:45Edit So we'll have some new retailers to announce as the year goes on that we're super excited to just be more available to people. That is so cool. Yeah, I can imagine the thrill of seeing yourself like on the shelves or in the hands of someone just casually on the street just must be overwhelmingly exciting and it mustn't get old. I can, I can totally feel that Never, never, ever gets old, like the first like $5 that we made and like $5,000. Like it just does not make a difference every single time that someone like elects to buy our products and then like shows us is so exciting every single time. Very, very exciting, So cool, Is there anything that you wish someone had told you before you started the business that you can pass on that wisdom to anyone listening Yeah, everything takes way longer than you expect it to. So even when you a lot for extra time, add a little bit of extra time on to that timeline because everything will take longer than you think that it needs to and in our business time really does equal money so you'll need more money to like make sure that those things work out in your favor.

00:39:03Edit So yeah, I would just say like just plan properly because this little project is going to be way more time intensive than you think that's so interesting and what is your key piece of advice for entrepreneurs in the beverage space? I would say to just like lean into your community even though we're all beverages and beverages really like a competitive space, honestly you will find so many other founders and resources people that really want to help you, I will like shamelessly plug Noah over at ruby hibiscus water, he has been such a great founder from what he's doing yeah and I love everything that he's doing and he's such a nice person and so helpful um yeah, Andrea Hernandez over at snack shots like you know these people are all about building community and I think that like when you're building a brand, like that's really all you're trying to do with your brand, but like, don't forget to build it as yourself as a founder to uh Yeah, so just like lean into the community.

00:40:18Edit There are people that want to help. I love that. That's so cool. Thank you so much for sharing that. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode. We are testing out something new here for the next while and we're splitting up each episode into two parts, the main interview part and then the six quick questions part to make them easier to listen to. So that's part one done. Tune into part two to hear the six quick questions.

Question number one is, what's your, why? Why are you doing what you're doing? My family, my family and slashed my culture? I think like I just want to make them proud and my family, my story is like the same as so many other hispanic families and latino families. So yeah, I want to do it for the culture. I love that question. Number two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? Probably this whole thing with minute maid. Um, I feel like it's kind of just validated that it was something worth doing. And um, it's honestly kind of just funny seeing like a boom arrest energy trying to pull off, you know, as far. So That's so well. 100 question number three, what is your go to business resource when it comes to podcast newsletter or a book. I don't know if I have like one in particular. Um, I would say like I always just like ask other people what they're into at the moment and go check it out.

00:01:17Edit I know like one of the places that I started years ago was Hello Alice, like just kind of going through their platform and yeah, but I think yeah, such a great resource for anyone listening. Hello Alice gives out different kinds of grants from like five K to 25 K and it seems like they're doing it around the clock and it's amazing. And then you know, many resources built off the back of that. I'm gonna link in the show notes for anyone who wants to check it out. Question number four. How do you win the day? What are your AM and PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and motivated and successful. I try to get sleep. Um, I know that that's like such a simple answer, but really, I think getting the right amount of sleep helps change my day drastically. Um, and then I try to just like make time for people like this little one um, that make me happy whenever I need a break from work because I don't just want to work so much that I forget to be here for him.

00:02:24Edit We have for anyone not watching on youtube. We have the sweetest little guests, The youngest guest we've ever seen on the show. Coming into picture with some dinosaurs and it's beyond cute Question # five, What is your worst money mistake in the business? Oh, um worst money mistake in the business was just like partnering with the wrong co packers wrong co manufacturers and like you don't get your money back from that kind of stuff. So yeah, how much do you lose? What's the kind of like amounts that can muck you up? I mean you can easily lose like um tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. It's really like find your time to find the right co packer because it gets expensive really quickly. Gosh, yeah, that's a crazy one and last question, which you have already shared many of these but in case you have another one up your sleeve, what is just a crazy story, good or bad that you can share from this journey in building a business?

00:03:36Edit I think that you just never know where your business will take you. And I think I had one of those moments, I was at a conference in abu Dhabi and I was just sitting there thinking like I'm here because of something that my grandpa, a migrant farm worker used to do and like that simple thing and the thing that he did out of necessity is now has led me here with all of these like amazing women. Like I was met like Huda Catan and stuff like that and it's just like you just never know like where something will lead you. And so even the smallest of ideas can be very, very worthwhile to pursue. That is so cool and so true and so special. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing this story with us.

00:04:40Edit This crazy story and this journey that you're on, How can people support you and cheer about you and be your cheerleader right now. Yeah, well, thank you so much for having me first of all. But yeah, follow us on instagram. It's at drink a lot of money to you guys can always go to our website and check us out there www dot drink Juanita dot com. But if you pay attention to our socials, you'll see new flavors coming out and like a lot of fun cool stuff. And I think like all of our models are hot are like merchandise is cool, our flavors are good and so we're just really excited to just bring some like fun into this space. So yeah, follow us on instagram and check out our website. I absolutely will be doing all of that and I'm excited to try all of the flavors when I get back to the US in a couple of weeks. Thank you so much. Kayla, thank you.



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