Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Liz Sullivan, Brewmaster of Kombucha Bliss, located in West Chester, PA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a small kombucha brewing business. I supply kombucha to local restaurants and stores in and around West Chester. My customers are those that appreciate quality food and drinks, buying locally and from small businesses.

Tell us about yourself

I have four kids ranging in age from 4 to 16. I've been a stay-at-home mom since 2015. As all moms know, you get to a point where you don't feel like a person anymore because you give so much of yourself to raising kids. In 2018 I wanted something for me that would hopefully lead to a career someday. So, I started a YouTube channel. I asked myself, "what's something I love doing, I'm good at, and consistent with"? Kombucha!

I've been making kombucha consistently since August 2012. I published my first YouTube video in September 2018. What a ride it's been. It's not so much that I gained hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and I get $50,000 brand deals because I don't have any of that -haha. The personal growth I have experienced has been worth it all. Things like putting myself out there for the world to see, publishing a video even though I see mistakes, and finding meditation. If you want growth, start a YouTube channel. If you really want to know yourself, start a meditation practice.

In 2021 I decided to start selling my SCOBY's to my YouTube audience so I could make a little money and they could buy from someone they trust. During the approval process with the State of PA, I realized not only could I sell my SCOBY's, but I could also sell kombucha. I got my business license in January 2022 and made my first sale in February to a Vegan Bakery in Delaware. Now my kombucha is sold at six restaurants and at the West Chester Food Co-op.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

(Laughing) All of it. Just the fact that I was able to make my first sale was an accomplishment. And now I do it consistently. Every step has been scary because it's the unknown. I love making kombucha flavors that are unique and that you can't find at Whole Foods. Every time I walk into a new restaurant to share my kombucha, it's' an accomplishment. Because every time I do this, I'm moving past fears. Fears of being rejected, fears of being told no, fears of being vulnerable. It can be scary, but I remind myself that it's ok to be told no, it's ok if people don't like me, and it's ok if people don't like my product. I know I have a great quality product that's unique and people love. So if it's not right for one client, there are five more that it is right for.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Finding the time, I get everything done. There are so many things I still want to do. My website needs an upgrade. Right now, it's just an eCommerce site to buy SCOBY's from. I'd like to convert my YouTube videos into a blog posts. I want to do photo shoots of every new flavor for Instagram, and I love making Reels (Tiktoks, YouTube shorts). Right now, I am still learning the business side and making sure all my client's orders are filled, so that's #1. I saw a Tiktok that said, I got tired of my 9 to 5, so I started my own business, and now I work 24/7. It's very true. Plus, I have four kids, so finding the balance is difficult. I want to pour everything into the business, but my kids and family come first. The day will come when I can devote more time and energy to my business goals.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Just start. None of us really know what we are doing, but we figure it out as we go. You don't have to know everything; just start with what you do know. 2. You won't be the new person forever. 3. Fear is the number 1 thing that holds people back. If you feel like you're in the unknown and it's uncomfortable, that means it's exactly where you should be. We only grow when we are uncomfortable.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Everyone has their insecurities, and everyone feels like a fraud sometimes (imposter syndrome). Just know it's ok to feel like this, but it doesn't mean it's a reason to hold you back. I could have started this business back in 2014 if I had just made the same phone calls that I made in 2021. I didn't make those calls because of fear. Everyone has special talents. Even if you think it's not important, trust me, other people do, and they'd love to learn from you.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://www.kombucha-bliss.com/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJDXghFtjaKVQf-Nwn4PcrQ
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kombuchaliz/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@kombuchabliss?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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