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Nicole Gervace of Infinitea Kombucha on being a Successful Entrepreneur
Nicole Gervace, founder of Infinitea Kombucha, spoke to a full house of future entrepreneurs about about the life of an entrepreneur, what it takes to be successful, and the importance of a firm financial understanding of one’s business.
By: Will Dodd Presents...
Humble beginnings. Nicole started Infinitea Kombucha in her home kitchen three years ago solely for personal consumption. But like most entrepreneurs it wasn’t long before the beverage, a raw, natural and purifying energy drink that tastes like sparkling wine to some and apple cider to others, was being made for family, friends, and eventually strangers. Since then Nicole has moved production to an industrial kitchen, added four new flavors, has distribution in ten states, and can be found at retail locations such as Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage.
How do you know if you’re an Entrepreneur?
But it takes more than support and a good idea to be successful. Like most entrepreneurs Nicole simply acted on her idea for Infinitea Kombucha. Because Infinitea began in Nicole’s kitchen she wasn’t thinking about marketing or distribution or about production and costs; the capital raised via family and friends was enough to get her started. This initial capital put the product on a few store shelves and eventually a larger facility, but it wasn’t enough capital for mass production. That’s when Nicole realized that to be the success she wanted to be, and grow the company; she needed a larger capital investment to move forward. And that meant she needed a business plan and benchmarks to communicate and highlight the direction, opportunity and growth of Infinitea Kombucha.
“Don’t get crippled by the big picture.” This is the advice Nicole gives when talking about finding an investor or writing a business plan. Nicole says, “If I knew then what I know now, I may not have started Infinitea Kombucha because I would have been overwhelmed and crippled by the big picture. I think that’s why more entrepreneurs don’t start off with a marketing plan or business plan but instead jump into it.” One of the most discouraging discoveries for Nicole was that most Venture Capitalists would only invest in companies making more than $1 million in sales. This put Nicole in the old but familiar conundrum of which came first – the chicken or the egg. “How do you grow to a $1 million company without a big investor to help you do it,” Nicole still asks. However, determined to attract new investors Nicole pushed forward and found that having a business plan, budgets and benchmarks helped show would-be investors that she meets her targets, deadlines and objectives, and it’s an approach that’s proven successful.
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About Infinitea Kombucha: Infinitea Kombucha was founded in 2005 by Nicole Gervace who was hoping to treat a digestive problem stemming from dairy allergies. Dating back to 250 BC, or the Qin Dynasty, Kombucha has been called the “Immortal Health Elixir” believed to balance the Spleen and stomach (Middle Qi) which aids human digestion and allows the body to heal. Keeping with tradition, Infinitea Kombucha is made with live/raw food fermented with bacteria and yeast and comes in four flavors. Infinitea Kombucha can be found in natural and organic retail outlets across the country. To learn more please visit http://www.infiniteakombucha.com or call 303.258.7373.