Jen Du doesn’t hate Mondays anymore... She hates Fridays! She’s never felt more excited to start her workday…ever.
Why? Jen is the creator of ‘Before’ Elixir, an innovative, all-natural tonic preventing the flush and hangovers resulting from drinking alcohol.
Believe it or not, she actually developed the idea during a Business School project. During 2013, while a business student at Rutgers, Jen participated in a workshop called ‘Lean Startup Machine’. As part of her project, she surveyed hundreds of people and found an overwhelming need in the market for a product just like Before Elixir. To her surprise, not only did she win the competition but she did so with stellar reviews and overwhelming advice to make the product a reality.
Since her plan was always to work at a tech company or in consulting, she put the idea on the back burner. Not for long, though! It was in just her first year at Dell that she got serious about creating the formula and seeking funding. She attended a lot of events, including a meet-up called Co-Founders Austin, a networking event for local people involved in startups. The idea behind Co-Founders Austin is to connect sole-founders with partners who are experts in the areas they need help in. She was looking for a biochemist, and through this group, she was connected to a local angel investor who is a big philanthropist when it comes to entrepreneurship and science.
And with that investment, she was able to start her R&D! She literally made several variations of the elixir and sent them in tiny test bottles to friends, family and literally anyone who was willing to try the product. The overwhelming response was positive and her next step was finding a manufacturing company that made the elixir taste good.
In 2015, she launched Before Elixir through a crowd-funding campaign to finance a full run of the product for sale to the public. She surpassed her goal, with 110% funded and $14,000 in the bank. With those funds she was able to make changes to the taste, the packaging, some of the ingredients, and continues to find ways to improve with each manufacturing run.
Within just the past year, she has gotten Before Elixir into 8 stores in Austin, including a full-service grocery popular in Austin, called Wheatsville. In the first week there, she sold 150 bottles, coming out as the #13 most popular drink out 200+ beverages they stock!
Before Elixir has also acquired Australian distribution and is currently available in 17 countries worldwide. 2016 sees Before Elixir launching on Amazon, and a push to get in even more stores in Texas as well as a drive to reach shelves in California, where currently 40% of their internet sales are generated. In just the first year of business, Before Elixir has received outstanding press from Food & Wine, GQ, Mashable, The Guardian, Bustle, Product Hunt, Brit+Co just to name a few.
On a personal note, Jen has just launched a new site, called The Fierce Founder, where she shares her personal journey of starting her first company, including all the highs and the lows, and what it takes to be a fierce female entrepreneur. Her goal is to share as much as she can to help others accomplish something they’ve never done before.
If you’re listening to the nay-sayers, you’re limiting yourself. You have to throw that fear of failure and judgment out the window to get what you want in life. If you want to feel inspired, and learn how to have your personality shine out to the world through your brand, this episode of The Bold Life Movement with Jen Du is a must.
THE BOLD LIFE MOVEMENT PODCAST
Some questions I ask:
- What strategies did Jen use to raise the money for researching and developing Before Elixir?
- Why did she choose the IndieGoGo platform for her crowd-funding campaign?
- What factors influenced her marketing decisions? What existing product influenced her most?
- How did Jen go about getting her product into stores?
- What did the transition from a ‘day job’ to launching a start-up look like?
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- What ‘lean’ methodology is and how it compares to ‘traditional’ business
- Why it’s essential to surround yourself with people who can fill your knowledge gaps
- What bar ‘trend’ has influenced Jen’s branding for Before Elixir and why
- Why Austin is such a fantastic place to run a food/beverage-oriented company
- What new habits she’s had to create as a business owner that she didn’t need as an employee
- Plus much more…