Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeff Tezak, CEO of Tiiga, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Tiiga is a plant-based prebiotic electrolyte drink mix that provides hydration and supports your immune system and gut health. It’s all-natural, plant-based, and gluten-free. It consists of a low-calorie, low sugar, non-caffeinated, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich baobab fruit. This super fruit has been used as an energy source for thousands of years in African culture. The baobab fruit is harvested in rural areas back in Africa and provides sustainable income for women and local communities. Tiiga is for anyone looking to improve their nutrition and health with nutrient-dense, low-calorie products that not only make you feel amazing but also do good socially.
Tell us about yourself
I was coaching baseball for the University of Nebraska when one of our co-founders introduced me to the baobab fruit. I was blown away by how incredibly nutritious this fruit is for you and how good it made me feel. No one else fully utilizes the power of the baobab fruit here in the US, so we (myself, my wife Katy, and our third co-founder Harrouna) decided to create Tiiga. What really motivates me to do what I do every day is the social impact that this fruit has back in Africa. The trees that the baobab fruit grows on helps to combat climate change and erosion, and then harvesting the fruit provides amazing income opportunities for both women and rural communities. So as Tiiga continues to grow, so will the economic and environmental impact back in Africa.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been seeing the impact we have made on people. We love when our fans write in telling us their "gut has never felt so good" or they are "loving the natural energy that Tiiga provides." Our goal is to help people improve their health and lives, and we get to go out and do that every day.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think the hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is not wanting to let people down. We feel an incredible responsibility to our amazing customers to provide the best possible product and experience for them. Then we also feel a responsibility to continue to grow Tiiga to help the baobab harvesters back in Africa. Knowing we can make such an impact for people can feel a bit daunting at times, but it also is what drives us to move forward, innovate, and improve every day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- I would say first to find something you really care about. That passion is going to be what gets you through the tough times.
- Lead with a service mindset: how can I help my customers? What do they need? Lead with that, and then the sales will follow.
- Utilize social media, but it doesn't have to be the only way you get the word out. Word of mouth is huge and can be a valuable tool in growing your business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If building a business was easy, everyone would do it. Keep your head down, work hard, and keep pushing forward.
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.