In Conversation with Ehime Eigbe of Sweetkiwi
Describe your business in a few words?
Sweetkiwi makes the best tasting CPG foods that are low in calories, taste amazing and are packed with functional nutrients. We currently launched a whipped greek frozen yogurt and a Protein & probiotic granola. We can be found in grocery stores within the mid Atlantic region.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I had a health scare that made me change my diet, this led me into discovery of eating nutritious food so I started making my own foods. As a big ice cream eater, it was hard to give up ice cream so I started playing around with my own recipes and this is how Sweetkiwi was born.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I used to work at Citigroup as a Bankruptcy litigation specialist.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No, I never thought I would be an entrepreneur, I always wanted to work for the UN, and was very interested in International relations.
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?
When I first launched my business, I did a lot of direct marketing and social media marketing. I think it went really well as we were able to close a lot of business within a short time.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
When we first launched, I printed so much packaging which was designed differently in a bid to be innovative and then later found out retailers would not accept it because it did not fit their set. I had to design something different so we lost a lot of money because the first set went to waste. I learnt to listen to my consumers before making final decisions, it’s great to be passionate but it must fit into what consumers want.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Our launch into Whole Foods Market.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
Among the people you’ve worked with, who do you admire and why?
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The food industry has been hit severely by COVID, we were unable to carry out catering activities for the whole of 2020 and had our store launches delayed for several months. We had to let go of team members and downsize for a while but we have been resilient and put in a lot of work to overcome the challenges.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We are looking to keep growing across the US, we are currently building distribution across the mid-atlantic and plan to grow into the other regions until we are saturated nationally.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
I learnt that life is short, to just do the things God has placed in my heart. I learnt to be flexible with my business, be willing to pivot, make necessary changes and go with the flow.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
There isn’t anything because I have learnt experience is the best teacher and so even the things I wish I had done right, I am thankful for those experiences as they have shaped me and my business.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
I have really held on to my faith and it has really helped me be centered.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I do believe in work/life balance and lately I have been more intentional in scheduling time for my selfcare and taking time away from work. I have realized it makes me more productive and I burn out less.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
My favorite sport is English football.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Have a schedule.
- Outline your must completes for the day.
- Be intentional about creating an interruption free workspace.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista means being an impact focused female leader who is resilient, willingly to break down doors and hold them open for other women.