Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jing DiPiero, founder of Plants by People, located in Portland. OR.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Plants By People is a plant-based food and beverage company that brings ancient plant medicine to life with modern health science. We are proudly a woman and person of color owned business with an inclusive and diverse team. Deeply committed to social responsibility practices, we know that the world doesn't need more single-use bottled beverages – it needs greater wellbeing. With our tasty and transformational plant-powered wellness tonics, you’re able to incorporate more superfoods and adaptogens into your day in an easy and ethical way, bringing you a bit more energy, and a bit more joy.
Our customers actively seek to lead a healthy, happy and green life. They fully understand health is not a quick fix, but self care day after day. Overall physical and mental health comes from a holistic approach to life, just like how we curated Plant by People tonics.
Tell us about yourself
The inspiration behind Plants By People has been a lifetime in the making. Growing up in Beijing, the capital of holistic medicine, I was amazed by the power and intelligence of plants first hand from a young age. I developed resistance to antibiotics at age 5 and my 70-years old grandma was on deathbed after being a chain smoker for decades. The pungent drinks made of herbals saved both of us.
Fast forward a few years, now grown, I fell in love with photos of human body and nature taken at molecular level when working for a life science multinational. The beauty of life led me to start my own company in 2013 to improve global access to high-quality medical education. We held international conferences and training programs on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
COVID travel ban unfortunately put it all to a halt. With more time in my hands, I founded Plants by People to help nourish our body and soul with nature. Our team of food scientist and herbalists curated the wellness beverages that have transformed time-tested herbal remedies to suit our modern palates and lifestyle. They are loaded with superfood and adaptogens while reducing single-use bottles and supporting organic farming. This is dream-come-true.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
From a corporate number's person to become an entrepreneur is not easy. I am proud of myself for following my heart and being brave enough to dream big. My biggest accomplishment has to be building Plants by People. We have a team of experts, in particular including a seasoned food scientist who has created over 1000 products, a professor and practitioner of herbal medicine and nutrition with 30 years of experience. We created delicious and powerful wellness drinks made of 100% organic fruit and botanicals. When we went to farmers markets and events, people from 2 years old to 85 loved the flavor of them, the vibrant color of our packaging and the convenience of being able to bring them everywhere. Nothing could be more rewarding than knowing consumers love our plant tonics and these plant tonics are good for them and our plant.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It can be a hard and sometime lonely journey. As an owner, I am responsible for all aspects of the business and everyone on the team. It is a huge responsibility and an honor. I have found it the most challenging that I am the ultimate decision maker even for subjects I am unfamiliar with. Having a small team, I am wearing the hat of IT, product R&D, supply chain, quality control, manufacturing, branding, digital marketing, public relation, HR, sales and so on. No one is good at them all. But decisions have to be made in a timely manner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1. Love what you are creating and get better at it everyday.
2. Don't be intimidated by the unknowns or competitors, but motivated.
3. Plan strategically and stay nimble.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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