Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brenna Kelley, Co-Founder of Lively Up Kombucha, located in Muskegon, MI, USA.

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

We brew high-quality authentic kombucha tea in Muskegon County, Michigan. Our customers are those looking to improve their overall health or try a new alternative non-alcoholic beverage option that is low in sugar.

Tell us about yourself

We started Lively Up Kombucha by accident! We were making our own kombucha at home and created a weekend ritual with our family by brewing and flavoring it together. What was one jar of kombucha turned into 20, then into a 5-gallon bucket, then into buying corny kegs? We began sharing our kombucha with friends and realized we really liked crafting kombucha and wanted to provide a locally sourced kombucha to those in Muskegon County seeking healthier beverage options. We are still motivated by helping our Michigan community by providing low sugar, high quality, and authentically crafted kombucha.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We have been in business for five years! Which is a huge accomplishment for us since we started this at the age of 21 with start-up money we came up with from both working two jobs each. Landing into larger accounts such as Meijer and WholeFoods has also been an amazing accomplishment for us as a company.

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

Organization and task management can be tough at times. When you are a sole entrepreneur, it can be hard to balance all of your daily tasks like managing finances, scheduling important meetings, and finding the time to make and deliver the product!

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

  1. Start slow - it isn't a race!
  2. Fund as much of the business as you can on your own.
  3. Expect to work another job for another 1-2 years until the business makes enough revenue to support you.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Even when times get tough and it seems like nothing is working out in your favor, hang in there! Part of the journey of being an entrepreneur is learning to trust that things will work out, even when it seems impossible. Many people give up on their first or second hurdle. It may mean you have to pivot and come up with other creative ideas, but there is almost always a solution!

Where can people find you and your business?


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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