The Carbliss name had two meanings. One, that the beverage has zero carbohydrates, and the flavor is nothing less than blissful.
Amanda & Adam Kroener
What were the key driving forces to bring yourself into the AlcoBev industry?
When the Carbliss brand was started, we were not necessarily seeking out the industry. We found a gap in the market for a beverage that we enjoyed, and it happened to be in AlcBev. My experience has always been in male dominated industries, Heavy Industrial Energy Efficiency and Automotive. Therefore, I felt right at home when I walked into my first trade show. In fact, I had the pleasure of meeting the one and only woman owned distributor at that event, and we are now pursing a business relationship together.
How did you come up with the name for your brand?
The name was decided based on an idea I sent to my husband via text message. The Carbliss name had two meanings. One, that the beverage has zero carbohydrates, and the flavor is nothing less than blissful. Two, my husband loves cars, so I felt that was also a play on the product name. Some people have theorized the name comes from the lower carbonation, but that was again, another additional attribute that fit perfect. As marketing plans rolled out, the name has been very advantageous in our “Find your Bliss” and “Liss is More” Slogans. We also have a one-year-old that was born after the launch of the brand, her name is Carlee to continue the passion and legacy we are creating with Carbliss.
What are the secrets to your success?
Realizing that you do not know everything is the fastest way to building success. Focus on what you are good at and build the best team to complete all ofall the missing puzzle pieces. That can be carried forth to any business, in any industry. My husband and I had zero experience in the alcohol industry, we figured out as much as we could as quickly as we could. We knew if we were going to grow as fast and strong as we planned too, we needed to fill in the gaps with the knowledge needed to be successful in this category.
How did you raise funding for your venture?
Our fund-raising story is a very rare and true blessing that I still look back and am so thankful and astonished by. A local well-accomplished business owner approached us to go to dinner. At the end of that meeting, the conversation ended with “are you looking for equityWhat would it take to get equity in your business?.” At that time we were not interested in giving up equity, not but it and the question certainly sparked the idea. It was shortly after that meeting that we decided to pivot our growth plan and accelerate our forecasts. We found one of the most amazing people to share our business with and are beyond blessed. Our explosive growth and traction in each market has allowed that to be our only raise of funds currently.
What are your biggest successes and failures?
My biggest successes are my drive to get the work done, the relentless effort to find a way. I love leading a team, easily seeing gaps where tools can be put in place to make the teams job easier, and unique ability to hire based off who people are vs. what their resume says. My failures are allowing my introverted personality to keep me hidden in my office. The more I can get out, the bigger impact I can have on the world. Easier said than done, it is an internal battle of what I am good at versus who I am truly am.
How did you persevere through the tough times?
Take the challenges as they come. Every new growth milestone comes with new challenges. Planning for those challenges is helpful important but it is important to find the fine line of pushing through as to not prevent your own growth, due to in “fear of the unknown”.
What do you want to achieve next?
Carbliss has a missing mission to focus narrow and deep. Instead of chasing every state and capture a long list of customers and being “narrow and wide”. As we grow, it is important to give each customer as much focus as we can to be successful and that will result in the brand spreading organically instead of forcing the growth requiring huge marketing spend to get the word out.
What are some of the challenges you faced or are facing regarding catalyzing
Innovation is difficult in a very capital-intensive industry. The large beverage conglomerates have marketing budgets that we could never even come close to comparing with. Instead, we are going to remain focused, which in some cases means, not trying to be too innovative. Keep the consistency of what our customers are already responding positively too. Our marketing is local, women owned, veteran owned and our relationships with the customers is as close to family as we can make it. If we can make the brand personable, that is way more innovative than a big marketing budget.
What are your tips for growing a company?
Make sure you have the support system you need to be successful. That means both inside and outside the business. Days are going to be long, and the nights even longer. It is important to have people to talk to, resources to relate to, and to continue growing with others that have the same values and mission as you.
What do you have to say to the future aspiring women entrepreneurs?
The funny thing about women, we don’t often talk about our career. We usually talk about our family and other responsibilities in life. Maybe mention our title, but beyond that it is not easy or normal for women to find relationships with other women struggling in the same fields or relating to the same issues. Women do not lack confidence in their daily success in their organization, but that is often put aside when they walk away from their computer and head out into the community. My advice, talk family and also talk business, we owe to each other to thrive in each other’s growth.