Founders Interview | Olivia Wollenberg @ Livia's
What inspired you to take the leap into entrepreneurship?
I saw a clear gap in the market in 2014 for better for you treats after I was diagnosed with intolerances to many ingredients included dairy, gluten and lots of additives. Though I had no prior experience in food nor in business, I decided to take the leap neuroscience to entrepreneur!
What struggles have you run into when starting your business & how did you overcome them?
Putting it simply, business is all about putting out fires, and you get better and better at doing so as you go along! There are constantly struggles and hurdles, but nothing that can’t be overcome. One challenge that comes to mind when thinking of the early days was in regards to finding a factory to help me scale up and manufacture my products. No manufacturer who I contacted believed in the free from and plant-based sector. They thought it was just a fad and they didn’t believe that there would ever be any volume there. But I didn’t give up. I knew they were wrong! And finally I met the owner fo a factory who believed in what I was doing, and she took me on and helped me launch my company. I still work with her today!
What sort of support network should you create when taking the leap into starting your own business?
For a sole founder like me, a support network is imperative. My support network includes my family (who have always been my number one supporters), my best friends (who have never dropped me even though I find it difficult to socialise as much as they do because of my working hours) my mentors and board members (I have met some incredible people along the way who have a wealth of experience and have been instrumental in the growth of the company), and last but not least, my team (who fundamentally make Livia’s what it is today).
With working from Home here to stay how do you incorporate healthy snacks as part of your diet?
I have always been a snacker, be it at home or in the office. You can probably imagine that I am all about the sweet snacks, and there will never be a 3pm that goes by when I am not eating something sweet and indulgent. I have to say that most the time it is one of our own snacks- why would I ever have anything else when we have so much to choose from now, and they are still without a doubt the best!
What is your No.1 unbreakable brand value?
HUNGRY. We are hungry to always do better, go bigger, to learn more, to give back more. Our hunger grows and grows.
Big Question…What’s your FAVE Livia’s product?
IF I had to choose it would be the chocolate orange Million Squares but that is like having to choose between your children. I am obsessed with them all!