In our Brand Spotlight, we feature Abound brands who are ready for retail. This week we sat down with Antonella Nardi and Desirée Chance, founders of Yourlixir Multi-Functional Superfoods. Yourlixir is based in Miami, Florida, and has been in business for two years.
Robin: What do you sell?
Antonella + Desirée: Multi-functional superfoods.
R: What is a multi-functional superfood?
A+D: Multi-functional superfoods are all-natural supplements derived from the Earth with a multitude of benefits! Yourlixir specifically chooses top quality powders that can be used topically, ingested, and are completely safe for your body. Our products are intended to supplement a healthy lifestyle and regimen with the focus on bettering your overall wellness and beauty, from the inside out.
R: Why did you decide to start Yourlixir?
A+D: We decided to start Yourlixir because of our own struggles with finding healthy options during travels. Our passion for health and wellness brought us here. Our mission is to help spread the word on feeling your best self, everywhere, anytime.
R: How did you meet each other?
A+D: We grew up in Boca Raton, Florida together. We kept in touch after high school, shared the passion of traveling and met in incredible places all over the world. Then we decided to share our passion for wellness through creating convenient options of products that changed our lives.
R: How do you navigate the power dynamic of having two founders?
A+D: We naturally flow into what our strong points are. We communicate our opinions fully and allow for whomever feels more passionate about certain areas to take the lead in that. In the beginning, it was challenging to figure out who would do what, but with time and some strategy, we’ve figured it out nicely.
R: How did you make your first prototype? What changes have you made to your product since then?
A+D: Our first prototype was by hand. We sketched the products, used ingredients we sourced from farms, and handmade the labels. From there we brought on suppliers for our first run. Since then, we’ve upgraded our packaging to be more eco-friendly by sourcing packaging that is made of recycled materials, can also be recycled, and is BPA-free!
R: How do you make your product? Yourself? A manufacturer? What’s your process like?
A+D: We source our supplies from independent suppliers and farms. Then we label our pouches, blend our powders, fill our pouches, seal, and off they go! As co-founders we’re very much part of the manufacturing process. Quality control is up to us.
R: How do you find the independent farmers and suppliers? How do you check to make sure their products are high quality?
A+D: We always take recommendations from our original trusted farms and contacts. From there we do a ton of quality control and testing of the products and decide if they’re the right fit. Quality, taste, sustainability, and service are our main areas of focus. We pride ourselves on making sure we’re giving our customers nothing less than what we are taking for our own health!
R: What was your initial investment? How did you get the money?
A+D: We started Yourlixir with $5,000 of our own money. We literally did everything from build our website, source the products, create our logo and branding, and all of the manufacturing! We made sure to know every angle of the job fully before we hired others for a specific task. When you’re bootstrapping and starting a business, I feel the most important part is to stay as lean as possible in your expenses because the goal, well, our goal, was to grow.
The only way we could do that was with our profits. We didn’t mind wearing all the hats in the beginning phases but it’s definitely so much more liberating when you have a great team of people inspiring you and helping along the way.
R: What were your previous careers?
A+D: I worked in the fashion industry as the director of production & design. I helped major retailers and designers place their apparel lines in the right textile factories at better prices with more sustainable practices. I also helped them in the design process; from branding, to translating their vision, etc. I mainly directed the production process from start to finish.
Alongside that, I had my own portfolio of brands & licenses which were redesigned by my team and I, then re-introduced to consumers. I sold this company to a major retailer in 2013.
Desirée has spent the last 25+ years in entertainment as an international model, actress and on-camera host, with a background in competitive sports. She also contributes to various publications, as well as her own online resource for unique travel destinations, wellness and lifestyle.
R: Where was the first place you started selling your product, and where do you sell now?
A+D: The first location was our own independent online store! We now sell at multiple mom and pop health stores, online stores, and Amazon online.
R: Where would you love to sell your products in the future?
A+D: Airport concession stands, hotels, major health store chains.
R: What’s your marketing like? Is social media an important part of your business? If so, how?
A+D: Our main marketing tactics include email marketing, activations on-site at places like Whole Foods & Erewhon, latte & superfood bars at major events like Coachella/TedX, and in-store collaborations (we just finished one with Kiehls LA).
Our daily marketing tactics include a heavy focus on social media posting, Instagram stories, Pinterest, Facebook, and email marketing. We run promotions and giveaways as well.
R: Which TEDx brand did you partner with?
A+D: We were very honored and proud to collaborate with TEDx Boca Raton late last year. As a Visionary Partner, Yourlixir was introduced to their audience and an elite panel of speakers as an innovative brand in wellness and official nootropic boost sponsor for the event.
R: Do you feel like you’re able to tell what marketing is effective? If so, how?
A+D: Reviews, word of mouth, and results are the classics that still work so well. With all of this new technology, we find social media and email marketing to be our best tools. Facebook, Instagram & re-targeting ads are also a no-brainer.
R: When did you start prioritizing healthy eating in your own personal life? Why did you make that decision?
A: I personally started becoming aware of food and how it made me feel around 11 years old. I experienced issues with my digestion at a very young age and thoroughly researched ways outside of seeing doctors since that didn’t work for me.
I found spirulina which completely changed my life. Since then, I dug deeper and did trial and error with a ton of different methods. (Did the Master cleanse at 14, completely cut out soda at 15, added probiotics at 16, then cut out processed foods and gluten at 19, and so on!)
Not everything worked for me but the experiences allowed me to understand my body enough to figure out how I can balance between getting enough nutrients, eating enjoyable food, and still feel great after.
D: Growing up in a holistic household, we were the kids who never had things like soda, sugary snacks or too many processed foods in our house. My parents were big into fresh foods and much to our chagrin back then, we always took daily vitamins and different supplements like emu oil, colostrum, or elixirs my father would create with things like niacin and his favorite superfoods.
Although he comes from a large family of chiropractors and natural healers, my father journeyed down a slightly different path and now sits on over a dozen patents in wellness, with hundreds more pending. Needless to say, we grew up as his guinea pigs, but as I got older it also set the tone for a more open minded approach to functional medicine, especially throughout my time playing competitive sports and my career in entertainment, as both can be extremely taxing on the body in their own ways.
Then, when I started suffering from the effects of hormonal imbalances and stress, it really started me on my own path of wellness, self-discovery and healing using natural methods, and eventually, to creating Yourlixir with my best friend and fellow superfoodie, Antonella. It’s such an honor to us to share our secrets to a happier, healthier life with others and hear such great feedback from our customers.
R: If you could give everyone one piece of advice about eating healthy what would it be?
A+D: There’s a difference between always dieting and just sticking to a clean-eating lifestyle. If you remove processed foods, sugar, and supplement with nutritiously packed foods – you are already making a big difference in your overall health.
Besides that, listen to your body. At the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where I received my holistic training, the main focus was on bio-individuality and working/eating/doing what works best for you, as an individual.
One person’s medicine is another person’s poison. Not every diet and piece of advice will work for everyone and I think it’s up to us as individuals to take responsibility in paying attention to how we feel, not just following diet trends or hot products.
R: What are some of the most frustrating challenges you’ve had with your business?
A+D: The most frustrating challenge with our business is putting out products that get copied immediately! We’re a small niche brand and we do a ton of R&D for our new products. Copying is part of the “in-trend” game but it’s still frustrating to know that it’s going on, especially when we’ve worked so hard on our special products.
Besides that, not being able to reach the amount of unhealthy people we’d like to. It takes a village to get the word out. It’s sad for us to see so many people living less than happy and healthy lives when a simple change in their diet/lifestyle can change their mood and lives in a major way. We hope to reach more and more with time.
R: What are some of your greatest achievements and victories you’ve had with your business?
A+D: Partnering with the TEDx brand was a great achievement for us. We’re so honored to be affiliated with such an inspirational brand.
Also, being part of W Hotel’s Fuel Weekend was an awesome personal achievement for us as founders. The W was on our vision board during incubation and it’s so exciting to see our products in the places we would go. It’s a great feeling.
Last – the absolute best feeling is reading our reviews. The personal comments from our customers who feel the difference after taking our products mean the most to us. There’s no better feeling than making a difference in other’s lives. It reminds us why we do what we do.
R: What advice do you have for people who want to sell a product?
A+D: Solve a problem. Be die-hard passionate about your product. If you don’t believe in it, it will be very hard to convince others to love and buy it.
R: Is there any business advice or quotes you’ve heard that you think about often?
“There are no mistakes in life – only learning opportunities.” I just heard this on the Wayne Dyer – Everyday Wisdom video. At Yourlixir, we aim high and there are no ceilings for our opportunities. We allow ourselves to dream big. We don’t let rejection or our mistakes get in the way or discourage us. We simply take constructive criticism, sit with the advice, and grow.
R: What’s your favorite thing about being a business owner?
A: Being in charge of your own business puts you in the driver’s seat of your own life. Every decision, what you put out into the world, and who you affect along the way is an incredible but challenging process.
The absolute best part of being a business owner is being able to put quality products into the world for people to use and ultimately feel better with. It’s our way of showing love, by sharing our health secrets for people to feel happier by feeling healthier.