Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicola Cartwright, Co-founder of Powderful, located in Austin, TX, USA.

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

I cofounded POWDERFUL, a women-owned dietary supplement brand containing functional mushrooms, adaptogen, spices, and Zinc. The focus of Powderful is that most people are under constant stress! It’s been normalized to work and socialize too much, then we squeeze in family, relationships, and self-care, as well as dealing with the constant stream of bad news in the media. Most people we know are stressed and exhausted.

Over time, this constant stress is damaging our immune function, digestive health, skin health, focus, energy levels, and mood. The ingredients in Powderful work to counteract this damage and help your body and mind to adapt to the stress of daily life.

So, our customers are all healthy adults who need a little support! They range from busy entrepreneurs to new moms, the wellness community, and more. Our main focus is not just to provide a great product that helps people to feel better but also to provide our community with helpful resources and information to improve their physical and mental health.

Tell us about yourself

I’m a nutritionist, and I’ve been working in the supplement industry for other companies since 2015. In the past, I’ve been asked to make products that I did not believe in. For example, fat-burning supplements don’t work and are exploiting mostly females striving for the ‘beach body’ they’ve been told they need. Most brands do not care about the consumer. They don’t test the products to make sure they do what they claim to do, and most of them do nothing. This is what motivated me to do better. I wanted to help people feel better and counteract the internal damage that our stressful lives are having on our bodies and mind.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating Powderful was tough from the word go! Our ingredient prices doubled during the supply chain issues caused by COVID, manufacturing was delayed, and my cofounder, Chamberlin Newsome, unexpectedly found out she was having a baby. Plus, while I had the knowledge of how to create products, I know nothing about marketing, building websites, remarketing, growth hacking, etc. I had to spend a lot of time researching and trial and error to get to where we are now.

So my biggest accomplishment? Pushing through each and every hurdle and never losing sight of our goals, resulting in 100% 5-star reviews and a constant stream of messages from our customers telling us how much better they feel since using our product. It’s still hard work, every day, but we are so happy we didn’t give up!

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

I’ve worked so hard, every day, for the last 2.5 years on Powderful, with no salary. I have two other paid jobs to pay the bills and put into my business. The amount of time, money, and energy you have to invest in getting to where you want to be are very challenging, and some days I wish I could clock in and out, get paid, and then turn my phone off!!! Plus, unless you have the funds to hire a consultant, no one is going to tell you what to do next. Every idea, every action (and every failure) comes from you.

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

Network as much as you can. I attend entrepreneur networking events regularly. You never know when you will meet someone who can give you advice, review your business plans, or point you in the right direction. Really make use of your existing network. Who do you know who has started a business that may be able to help you work out the details of getting investors, marketing, etc.?

Do not underestimate the time and money it will cost to start a business. When you are making your business plan, look into the costs of marketing, supplies, equipment, insurance, etc. - these things really add up, and if you don’t factor in realistic costs now, you’ll struggle later on.

Find your niche, establish your mission, and make sure you are an expert. So you have a great product or service, but do you know all of your competitors? What are you doing differently? What questions are people likely to ask about your business, and how will you answer them? People (including investors and potential partners) are always going to challenge you on what you do, so be prepared…it always feels good when someone is grilling you, and you have professional answers for everything! It is also essential to make sure your customers trust you.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If anyone is interested in trying Powderful, I would love to offer you a discount code! Use COMMUNITY10 at the checkout, or contact me at if you have any questions about Powderful or starting a business!

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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