Posted on 3/20/2017 |Remarkable! People
Business woman, kombucha brewer, and Girls on the Run supporter Daina Trout boldly pursued her dreams by starting a business alongside two friends. Daina’s kombucha business, Health-Ade, recently collected donations and inspiring notes for GOTR girls when they traveled across the country for a yoga festival. We recently caught up with Daina to learn more about her bold decision to start a business, her passion for quality kombucha, and her heart for supporting Girls on the Run.
What is Health-Ade?
To start, let’s talk about kombucha. Kombucha is fermented tea, naturally containing probiotics and healthy organic acids. It’s been enjoyed for thousands of years across countless cultures to promote health. For those who’ve never tasted kombucha, it’s delicious—slightly sweet and tart at the same time, a touch effervescent, and makes you feel good. Health-Ade is unique because we stop at nothing to make the best tasting and highest quality kombucha you can buy. We make it the REAL way, the way nature intended, and do things like: ferment in glass to prevent plastic and metal leaching, brew in super-small 2.5 gallon batches for premium quality, and flavor with only the highest quality ingredients, like cold-pressed juice from organic produce. We’re proud to make real food and real kombucha. In short, no one makes it quite like us.
What made you want to start your own business?
While in graduate school at Tufts University for Nutrition, I discovered my love for holistic and fermented foods, like kombucha, and developed my philosophy on health: that it really comes down to what makes you happy. I used to ferment everything in my tiny apartment kitchen, from kombucha to sauerkraut.
In my late twenties, I found myself in corporate America and knew deep down that I wanted to make a more substantial mark on the world. I formed an entrepreneur club with my now-husband, Justin, and my best friend, Vanessa. As we sat around trying to come up with the next big idea, we would sip on my home-brewed kombucha. We suddenly realized the idea was sitting in front of us all along! And thus, Health-Ade was born.
What has been your proudest accomplishment with Health-Ade?
Oh man, that’s tough. There have been so many! I guess if I had to pick one, it would be growing from less than 10 employees to almost 75 in four years. Or maybe opening our new brewery where we’re making kombucha the same way we did when we started - never compromising on quality and still in 2.5 gallon glass jars. Honestly, every day is new and different but I always feel pride in the company we’ve grown and our mission to provide our customers with real food.
Your slogan is “Follow Your Gut”. What does "Follow Your Gut" mean to you?
Funny enough, "Follow Your Gut" started as a catchy reference to the health benefits that probiotics offer while nourishing healthy gut bacteria. Little did we know, this slogan would come to mean so much for the business. Along the way, every fork in the road has forced us to follow our guts, and it has become a major business practice for us, not just a tag-line. The slogan has morphed into a deeper purpose we want to share with our consumer: we want to inspire people to trust in themselves, to believe that everything they need to succeed is already inside of them. We want you to follow your gut—afterall, we think it’s got a pretty good head on its shoulders.
Girls on the Run encourages girls to boldly pursue their dreams. What in your life has helped you boldly pursue your dreams?
What’s funny about this question is that when I think about the biggest influence of me following my dreams, I don’t think of the people that encouraged me as much as I think about the people who tried to hold me back or tell me I couldn’t or shouldn’t do it. For me, the strongest influence came from within—knowing deeply that these people were wrong, and finding the fire within to prove them wrong. My advice to everyone out there with a dream (isn’t that all of us?): the falls are just as important as the wins; the downs are just as important as the ups; it’s not always about how hard you hit—it’s more about how hard you come back after you get hit. Embrace the hits and get back on that horse. You can do it.
Health-Ade has generously worked with Girls on the Run in the past, promoting the program at events and fundraising for Girls on the Run. What drew you to Girls on the Run as an organization to support?
GOTR is a perfect fit for us in so many ways. We’re all about supporting confidence and self-drive, and we know this starts early. Treating yourself with love and giving yourself the gift of wellness is such a good way to build a healthy foundation. Our company was started by a trio in a tiny apartment in LA with a small credit card and a big dream, and we’ve been able to build it to a nationally relevant brand that people all over the country know about. The best mark I could make is to spread the lesson—follow your gut!