Q) Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
A) Fred: Leaf & Hive is a new style of brewery located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. With plans to sell our Honeybrew produc nationally. We have created, an essentially new concentration of alcohol. A honey fermented probiotic tea that has a super unique inebriation and contains many elements that have been proven to benefit human health. Providing a different experience for those who want to enjoy alcohol with a new energic vibration.
Q) Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
A) Andrew: We are two of six siblings, Fred being the older brother of us two. Andrew studied psychology and sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For Andrew, this is the first business he has started, unlike Fred who is a serial entrepreneur. Fred’s prior responsibilities left Andrew with a lot to learn. Before, Andrew was traveling South America working numerous bars.
Q) What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
A) Fred: “I have essentially been brewing the Honeybrew for nearly a decade. I finally decided that it was time to bring the drink to people and to the world. Jun is a relatively obscure culture and drink, aside from its much more know Kombucha competitor.” We ran into a fork in the road, where we either decide to create a healthy soda or a new kind of alcohol. This is the point where Leaf & Hive saw imagined.
Q) What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
A) Have money. Take it one step at a time, conquer each problem as it arises and handle it one thing at a time. Tackle each obstacle as it comes to you and do not get set behind, because you cannot do it all at once.
Q) What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A) Patience, Adaptability, and Perseverance. You’ve got to plow through when things get difficult. Recognize the people around you and what they are capable of, everyone has something to offer.
Q) How many hours do you work a day on average?
A) 10-12 hours a day, but it feels like all day long. We go to bed and wake up thinking about Leaf & Hive.
Andrew; I love it, but I have really noticed a need to take a day off here and there. Your mind will always wonder back to the business but you need rest.
Q) To what do you most attribute your success?
A)In our eyes, we are not successful yet. However, we are still standing, and we attribute that to our consistency and attention to detail.
Q) How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A) We work directly alongside 360AXS, a marketing and technology firm that allows us to market directly to our ideal customer. We find that if you can provide the right experience for someone, then they’ll come back and bring a friend with them.
Q) Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from, and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
A) Andrew’s personal money and a lot of help from family & friends.
Q) What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
A) Adapt to the challenges and consistently provide an excellent level of service to your customer. Trust the process and understand that failure is apart of it.
Q) Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
A) Fred; Ideally, Leaf & Hive will be franchised locally across the United States, possibly in other countries, while sourcing local products to help the communities that we’re in. Our model is to have as little environmental impact as possible while expanding those local economies. We see Leaf & Hive and the Honeybrew being the go-to beverage for the music scene.
Andrew; We want to be the Redbull of the music & entertainment industry. Since Redbull is a household name in sports & gaming.
Q) Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
A)It’s hard to say, we admire different businesses for different reasons.
Q) How important have good employees been to your success?
A)Literally everything. Good employees make every bit of difference and once you find that golden employee, it changes the game.
Fred; the employees have taken the stress off of Andrew’s plate. Helped free up time and shown us a new appreciation for hard work.
Q) How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
A) We are consistent until the very end. We do not just pick up and run with any random idea, so when we do, it’s a lot of work before we give up.
Q) What motivates you?
A) Andrew; The people that come into the tasting room.. seeing the reaction of someone trying the Honeybrew for the first time. It’s a huge affirmation when you see how happy someone is to drink what you’ve created.
Fred; I draw a lot of motivation from the dedication we have to help humans be happier and healthier. Even when stuff doesn’t seem to be working out, we step back and look at the bigger picture.
Q) What are your ideals?
A) We want to help people, and we want to see people happy. Leaf & Hive was founded on the ideals of the customer before our own.
Q) How do you define success?
A)Putting a smile on the customers’ faces, we will never be satisfied.
Q) How do you build a successful customer base?
A) By producing a product that makes people feel good. We treat people as good as we’d like to be treated as customers and people keep coming back.
Q) What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A) Fred; There is not a lot of pros to being an entrepreneur. It consumes every waking moment. We have the freedom and control to create a high-end product; that is what we love.
Q) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A) Everytime that we overcome something big… developing a new product, fighting against the industry standard, and battling with regulations that really aren’t in place for a product like ours.
Q) What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
A) Owning the business allows you complete control over integrity, honesty, and quality. It is sporadic to find an hourly employee that can control all 3 of those.
Q) What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone, and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
A) The Honeybrew quite literally builds a culture of its own. You have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone, and we find a lot of free-spirited people coming into our tasting room
Q) In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q) If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
A) Definitely, but hindsight is 20/20.
Q) How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
A)Absolutely, negatively and positively.
Q) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
A) Our biggest fear is the shortage of honey. We are afraid that we will run out of materials to create our product.
Q) Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
A) There is no formula; you have to get used to failure.
Q) If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
A) We honestly can’t say. There too many minds to explore. However, we would both love to go back in time and see live music.
Q) What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
A) The Dune books by Frank Herbert are our favorite. We have found a lot of information from many inspirational books about business, entrepreneurship, cultivation, evolution, and much more.
Q) What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
A) The bottling line for Leaf & Hive. We have been overly emotional before being strategic when problems arise.
Q) How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Q) What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
A) Andrew; I like to read a lot and shoot guns. Obviously not enough.
Fred; We both love live music. I like researching healthy aspects of life, nutrition, hiking, and anything that benefits me spiritually. I love making bean-to-bar chocolate.
We both love to cook and try new recipes.
Q) What makes you happy?
A) The look on someone’s face when they first try one of our products.
Q) What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
A) Time. More than anything, we have sacrificed time with friends, family, and loved ones. It’s not necessarily a sacrifice, but a lot has changed.
Q) If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
A) What is the end-game? What would you define as being entirely successful in this adventure?