Velana Colón and her founding partner, Savannah James, are mamas on a mission to give kids a better option for sports drinks with their new company K+ Organics. Most sports drinks are full of chemicals, dyes and sugar. K+ is full of vitamins, electrolytes and organic ingredients—and it tastes delicious.
We sat down with Velana, mother of three kids ages 6, 7 and 9, to learn about starting a company, her successes and tips for other moms looking to start their own business.
"I have learned to ask for help instead of trying to do it all myself," she tells Mom.me. "It’s been life-changing."
What made you decide to create K+ Organics?
Health and nutrition are very important in our household. We started K+ because we kept seeing coolers full of sugary treats and neon-colored drinks containing dyes and chemicals our young athletes don’t need. So, we started with a sports drink that we could feel good about giving our own children. The market needs to change, and we wanted to start a company that could make a dent in this issue. K+ is all about offering a healthier alternative.
What was the process of going from the concept to launch like?
The most difficult mountain I have ever climbed. We built our formula in our kitchen and with a lab from the water up. We have a great team that care about this issue, but we are going up against an industry and category that has not changed in decades. We aim to change it.
When did you first feel successful?
It was actually two moments: When Savannah loved our mission and joined us as a founding partner. Second was when when a group of kids drank K+ after a soccer game and thought it tasted great, and one of their moms thanked me for making a drink without dyes.
Has there been anything about starting this brand that surprised you or inspired you in a way you didn't expect?
That this mission isn’t more of a priority for larger food and beverage companies.
The market needs to change and we wanted to start a company that could make a dent in this issue. K+ is all about offering a healthier alternative.
What's your advice for moms who are looking to start their own business?
Do the prep work, seek advice and go for it. Know that it’s going to be 10 times harder than you thought it would be. But moms are best suited to be the disruptors. Their connection to consumers, the home and our next generation make them that.
What sacrifices have you made as a mom and business owner to keep everything in balance?
I think it was realizing with other mom business owners that it’s OK to not have balance, but the ability to prioritize what’s important and rely on those around you to achieve shared balance for your kids, your partner or your co-workers. I think I’m more at peace with the notion of not having balance than I’ve ever been.
If you could have lunch with any business person/mogul/entrepreneur/nonprofit founder, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of Pepsi Co. I would talk to her about how and why the food and beverage industry can create healthier products for children and families at scale.
Are there any new initiatives or products on the horizon for K+ Organics?
We are absolutely planning on launching some new products. What I can say here is that K+ is focused on healthier fuel for active families—beyond drinks.
What is your favorite time-saving app or service you use regularly? Catherine McCord of Weelicious for quick and easy recipes and One Potato for meal-kit delivery services. It's convenient, fresh and a huge time-saver.