By Jennifer Goodale
Have you ever noticed a gap in the marketplace and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to jump into entrepreneurship? Meet Lauren Lewis, wife of a Marine captain and business builder who did just that.
Q. Tell us about your business.
A. I started a health food company for moms while pregnant with my second child. It's called Pure Pregnancy — and our foods are tailored specifically for pregnant moms. While pregnant, I was frustrated with the lack of healthy foods for pregnant women. I wanted foods that could help alleviate symptoms, while tasting delicious and being nutritious. Since nothing like this existed, I decided to create it. My background is journalism, and I left network television knowing I wanted to start my own company. Leaving a job where I had a secure paycheck is still one of the scariest things I've done.
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Q. How did your entrepreneurial journey start?
A. I was pregnant, uncomfortable, huge, feeling every symptom in the book, and all I wanted was to be able to enjoy foods that could also help me feel better. There's a huge gap in the food market. Right now, there isn't another company that specifically designs food items for pregnant women. I decided this was what I wanted to do. It started out as an idea and has led me to launching my corporation. I developed recipes based on my ideas, partnered with a dietician and manufacturer, and launched this huge undertaking. We're now top rated on Amazon, partnered with "What to Expect When You're Expecting," and were recently chosen as a "Must Have" pregnancy item by Buzzfeed.
Q. What resources did you have while starting your business?
A. While launching my company, I did a lot of market research to make sure that what I thought was a good idea was a good idea to others in my demographic. I also found mentors that were already established within the industry I wanted to be a part of. I felt like I was in school again — I was constantly reading and researching. There isn't really a go-to website for how to start your own company, but my biggest advice is that if you have a clear idea of what you want to do, map out how you want to grow and get funding, and find mentors. Because you don't even know what you don't know when you're entering a new industry ... and believe it or not, most people want to help others out.
One of the many books I read while organizing my company was Shark Tank judge Lori Griener's book, "Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!: Make Your Million Dollar Idea Into a Reality." This was the most helpful book on the market.
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Q. What is the biggest challenge you faced when launching your business?
A. I created a totally new product, in a food space that I completely made up, so educating the public about my company and product has been a huge task, especially since I'm up against huge big box food companies. But, at the end of the day, I love the challenge. I'm okay going up against the big guys because accomplishing something as a mom who launched a company while pregnant — and also being a military spouse and dealing with deployments — is amazing and that much more fulfilling when I hit milestones.
Q. What is your best advice?
A. Don't be afraid to leave what you're comfortable with and to invest in yourself. My biggest advice is to not be afraid and find mentors in the industry.
Q. How can people connect with you?
A. You can connect with me on social media. We sell on Amazon Prime.