Beverly Nguyen, Founder of Joshua Tree Kombucha
Beverly and I met 10 years ago when we were paired as Big and Little in our sorority, Tau Theta Pi. From the get, Beverly has always had a WILD mind. A creative one, to note. Her thoughtful approach has always inspired me to be a better woman and entrepreneur. From a site developer to a series of trial-and-error businesses ventures to now: building her own kombucha empire out of California. Who would have thought? I am so excited to share Beverly's story with thecnnekt community today!
Beverly, what is more important to you: fulfillment or success?
Fulfillment is definitely more important. Otherwise, success without fulfillment is just empty.
It’s training yourself to appreciate small wins and the process. To enjoy the experience while it’s happening. It’s a practice. Stop to smell the roses kind of thing. That’s fulfillment.
You have many skills and have had a few business ventures, why Joshua Tree Kombucha and what has made this your most successful venture yet?
I’ve attempted at many different ventures, but they didn’t really stick or succeed. The main reason is because I always let fear get in the way. Joshua Tree Kombucha is more successful because I had no other choice, but to make it work. No excuse, no distraction, no other cop-out reason. My back was against the wall. Survival mode made it work. I was going to make it happen or die inside. Straight up.
What has been the most enjoyable and frustrating part of creating a business?
The first thing that comes to mind is creating. Being able to come up with an idea and make that idea come to life is the coolest thing, enjoyable, but also one hell of a frustrating process if you let it. To make the imagination in your mind become a reality isn’t easy to do. Sometimes, the further I get away from the image in my mind, the more frustrating it becomes. I call it the “gap”. In the beginning, I faced a lot of internal doubts and fears and that, more than anything blocked my creativity and inevitably became a sad and frustrating experience.
Overtime, when you put your work out there more and more, you develop a sense of resilience and those doubts and fears become smaller and smaller --insignificant. It comes with experience. I can flow through creative projects with a lot more ease now.
There are many Kombucha brands out there, does that make you feel a certain way as you’re starting you? And how is your Kombucha any different the rest?
I think it’s cool that there’s other Kombucha brands, it tells me that there’s a market for it. It’s also a young industry with a lot of people like me that’s just trying to figure it out. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in all of this. I have definitely reached out to other companies for advice and vise versa. I hope that it will become more of a community similar to craft beers.
I’ve noticed though that every Kombucha brand has it’s own approach, personality, and that sometimes it’s completely different from mine. Even the way kombucha is brewed and flavored is different. Some are into DIY kits, others are striving to be national players, while others are local shops that want to share fresh kombucha on tap. Are there ever too many coffee shops or pizza spots? Nope. And so I don’t mind that there’s many kombucha brands. We all have our place.
I like to focus my brand on bringing the freshest kombucha to people as much as possible which is why I decided to focus on home brewers. I remember the first time I had fresh homemade kombucha in Oakland and it wasn’t like anything I have ever tasted before. I like that feeling...when your mind gets expanded just a little more. I’d like to provide that experience to others too. Eventually, I’d like to have a tap room of my own.
Plus side, I get to try a lot of different kombuchas :)
What should we expect from you and your business in the next few years?
I’m a creative entrepreneur. I’m always going to keep creating and Joshua Tree Kombucha is just the stepping stone. In the next few years, I am going to continue to grow JTK by opening a retail shop and tap room. I also have fun side projects that I’ve been working on that I plan to release soon such as a meditation series.
To get started on brewing your own kombucha, you can get your starter kit right here. Stay updated on all new products in real-time? Follow Beverly and Joshua Treet Kombucha on insatgram @joshuatreekombucha
Interviewed by Chary