Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Phene Wardlaw, CMO, and co-founder of UNITY, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We wanted to make CBD more approachable and friendly to consume when starting UNITY. But we didn't stop there; we fortified our formulations with three powerful adaptogens to further aid in stress and anxiety relief. But now, we are more than just a drink company. We have built a community that champions mental health, and in doing so, we bring people of all ages together.
Tell us about yourself
Before starting UNITY, I worked in several industries. But my interest in the CPG space was sparked when living in Los Angeles, and I had the opportunity to work for a start-up. While I loved my corporate job, I realized by starting something with a mission; I had the chance to make a more significant impact. I had always struggled with mental health and found that CBD was helping my symptoms, but there wasn't a glamorous, tasty, or accessible way to consume it. We wanted to solve that problem. Now UNITY has opened the door to having more challenging conversations about mental health, and as a business owner, that makes all of it worthwhile.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Not only did we survive the worldwide pandemic, but we grew the company significantly. We launched the products at the beginning of 2020, and then the world shut down. If we can survive and flourish under those conditions, imagine what we can do now that the world has opened back up.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Honestly, you will be your own biggest critic. Of course, there will be naysayers and supporters, but at the end of the day, the biggest battle is the one you have with yourself. There are a lot of reasons it would be easier to just quit and get a job somewhere. But you have to continue to remind yourself to persevere even when it's looking grim.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take the leap. You have to trust your gut and take the risk because if you wait too long, someone else with the same idea will make it happen.
- FIO. This stands for Figure It Out. There is only so much you can plan and theorize. A lot of entrepreneurship is just figuring it out as it happens.
- Celebrate the little wins. If you are too hard on yourself, you will forget to celebrate the mini victories.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
As a female entrepreneur, there will be a lot of hurdles but if you know your stuff, own it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.