In Conversation with Ashi Jelinek of KidsLuv
Describe your business in a few words?
KidsLuv is the first ZERO sugar, vitamin enhanced beverage for kids. KidsLuv is Vegan, Kosher, Gluten Free and Non-GMO. It comes in a recyclable, resealable, straw free drink carton.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
After having my son I was searching for ways to keep him hydrated without all the sugar. I also discovered that the gummy and hard chewable vitamins he was taking were giving him cavities. I thought to myself why isn’t there a product that keeps kids hydrated and a way to give them their vitamins without all the sugar. This question piqued my curiosity and inspired me to start my business.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I was a stay at home mom with my son and before that had worked in hotels and restaurants in every role imaginable.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No, I think I have always wanted to solve problems and I am passionate about health and wellness – these two things combined have led me down the path to becoming an entrepreneur.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
We first soft-launched online on our own website. We were very grassroots about it and it didn’t make the splash I had hoped. I learned a lot from that experience and thankfully one thing that was great about it was that we were able to make tweaks to the problems we were having early on. I think that is so important to Beta test and make sure things are flowing and working properly before you officially launch.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Besides my kids ? I am most proud of getting into the stores we have gotten into in a relatively short time. It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to get into stores and I am proud by what my team and I have accomplished so far.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 has impacted us all on so many levels. For an emerging brand it is so important for customers to discover us. Brands like ours thrive on customer engagement in stores and sampling at events. Thankfully we do have an online presence and are continuing to look at that and grow in the channel and activate virtually whenever possible.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Growing KidsLuv as a nationally recognized brand. We’re working on new flavors and we are working on some exciting R&D projects. Our goal is to give families access to more innovative, convenient products for the whole family.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
To stay flexible and at the same time keeping persistent with your goals.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Haha, that the work never ends… even if it does for other people. When you own your own business you are constantly working, it’s truly like having a baby. And you are passionate so sometimes it is hard to stop working.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Great question, work/life balance is a tricky question. I think the idea of balance sets an expectation and ultimately a failure when it is not met.
For me it’s all about that sometimes work takes more attention and sometimes life takes more attention and it is really about not feeling guilty when you don’t find the balance ?
I know for myself I have done a lot around unraveling the mom/work guilt I feel when I don’t meet the “balance” and it isn’t worth it.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
That I used to bartend and I can make a mean margarita ?
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Taking some time in the morning to say a prayer and meditate. This keeps me calm and centered. Making sure I have a space that is set up for work. It is so important to make sure wherever you are working that you are creating a productive environment to get work done. And my final tip which is actually the most important, is don’t procrastinate. I am the queen of procrastination in many ways, but I have learned this the hard way and now I find if I get the harder tasks I have off my plate first the rest of my day is way more productive.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista means being innovative, ground breaking, flexible and being an excellent multitasker 🙂 As being a woman, especially during this time, we have been pushed to balance it all.