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6 Quick Questions with Tara Bosch, founder of Smartsweets (part 2)

by Female Startup Club
June 21st 2022

Today on the show we’re joined by Tara Bosch, founder of the wildly successful candy brand, SmartSweets.

Since launching in July 2016, SmartSweets' mission to innovate delicious, low-sugar ca... More

Welcome Back. Here are the six quick questions. So question number one is what's your, why? Why are you doing what you're doing every day? My why in the beginning was my Oma and the conversation I had with her and it very quickly became I think so my wife became feeling like and really realizing that everyone in their lives at some point has struggled with eating something they love and feeling bad about it. Woman in particular with body image and self esteem and and just seeing the impact that smart suites is having on people's lives that was so powerful to me where like someone would go to the candy island be like I cried and now we get invitations to weddings to and so that very quickly became the why that there is everyone.

This is a universal feeling and it's so much more than enjoying candy giving people back that joy that they had when they were a kid enjoying something so special to them and really empowering them in their lives that they can have the foods they love and feel good about it and then that snowballs are feeling confident and making the decision so today that makes you feel like you're living your best life. So yeah, that's that's the line now and still my OMA of course, that's so cool. Very special. Question # two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? I think one of my favorite ones, my favorite ones are kind of ironically the funny ones are sometimes the ones that don't go as planned and in the early days like we were just, we would always say, well okay, we'll come up with a hypothesis. If you have an idea, it's a hypothesis. Let's test it in a small way. If it lands great, play it bigger. If it doesn't land, then we take the golden nuggets and learnings and move on.

So we did this campaign because our product is high in fiber, but it's really easy on your tummy and digestive and typically traditional sugar free candy uses loads of sugar alcohol that causes digestive upset. So we launched this campaign, which we thought was genius at the time called We Should You Not. And we send like shit emoji pillows to all of our influences. I don't and retail partners like literal posters with shit emoji next to the biggest smart suites, which didn't really make a whole lot of sense in terms of like what you want to be associated with. But at the time beth and I thought this campaign was just like be like next level of genius, what was the feedback most retailers didn't take it because it makes sense. Like it's a shit emoji next to like the food product, even though we were saying this will not make you shit.

And um, but some consumers, I think they thought it was funny, we thought it would go like viral and all these things and it didn't, but it gave us a good memory a good story. For sure. Question. Number three is what's your go to business resource. You've already shared so many good ones. But if you had to kind of pick a book podcast or a newsletter that you're tuning into, Oh yeah, that's a good one. You know, I think in the beginning one book that was hugely hugely impactful to me and I would literally rip out pages and just, I, I still have them like highlighted and now like framed just because this had such deep impact on me. The book's name is so cheesy and like I don't like it, but the content is amazing. It's called How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis and it's just so powerful because it really just breaks down for you that it's not this far success and the impact that you want to create in the world is not a far fetched idea that is really within your arm's reach.

If you just have the determination, the grit and um the persistence and all these things. And so I clung to those words when I was like, I have no idea what I'm doing and just feeling terrified. I love that we're going to link it in the show notes for anyone who wants to check it out. I'm going to add it to my reading list as well. Question number four is how do you win the day? What are your am and PM rituals or habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated. Yeah, it's changed a lot since the beginning of smart sweets I think mindfulness in general now much larger part of my day. However one thing since the beginning that was always served me so well in the morning but especially at night I would just sit there and lie at night and just stare at the roof and just reflect on what I was grateful for that day and like how lucky I felt to have the gift from the universe or God or whatever it is you believe in to be on this journey.

I just like could not believe it that like wow like this is actually my life. I actually get to build this candy company and and just having the gratitude for that always brought me back to like in the hardest and like darkest of days just being like you know what I've like being in gratitude and then putting it out to the world and saying you know I've done everything I possibly could have done today and now it's, it's the universe has a larger plan and that there's always everything's happening for you not to you. I found to be so powerful and to always think everything's a opportunity hidden in disguise and it always always has been so yeah, bringing yourself back to gratitude. I found so hugely helpful. I love that. So true. So true Question # five is what's been your worst money mistake and how much did you lose?

I think the worst mistake I would say which again? I don't, I can hide them. Like it's not really a mistake ended up being an opportunity hidden in disguise. We got some really great people involved in smart suites through it. But when I was launching the first manufacturing run, everyone would say to me, you know, make sure that your projections aren't outlandish, like make sure that they're realistic, make sure that they're realistic. So I made sure that I felt they were realistic and they ended up swinging way too low. And so then I was in this position a month after launching being like, shit, I don't have capital to do another run that's larger. I can't access more debt financing. And so the convertible note we did was really because I took too small amount of debt financing. So I would say yes. Have realistic projections. But the thing that you also have to have is like, what if things go really, really well and make sure you're planning for that scenario as well.

Great piece of advice. Love that. Very cool. Thank you. And question # six, last question, what is just a crazy story you can share from the journey of building this business, good, bad or otherwise. Yeah. Oh gosh, so many. That's the bad thing about startup life. I feel like it's like it's It's so crazy. It's truly a rollercoaster one hour. You're like, who? The next hour you're like in the depths of despair. But I feel like the, yeah, this serendipitous moments and just the crazy things were like, how is this even real life right now? Make it so fun. One thing that was like pretty serendipitous and just crazy was that we were still very small in Canada only like less than 100 stores. A producer from Fox business reached out and it was like, we would love to do a feature on you and smart suites, can you come to new york and film the segment next week?

And I was like needle in a haystack because we did not exist in the world. I was like shocked. I was like, I was just in complete shock again, leaning in and saying yes to opportunities when they present themselves. So we were like, yeah, of course. I went to um there the next week from this segment and like 10 minutes later I got an email from the global confectionery buyer at whole foods saying we would like to discuss the global launch and from that email at first I thought it was spam or junk mail or something because whole foods like doesn't just come knock on your door step and offer a global launch. You know, you have to go find the bio or grind, like do regional, all these things and that led to our nationwide usa launch less than a year later at whole foods and the buyer came to find out he doesn't need watch box, he actually hates Fox, he was just growing through the channels and it just happened to be on.

So that's one of those moments of just like it's too crazy to be random and it felt like just a nudge from the universe being like just keep going and that was consistent, the whole dirty, whenever things just felt like really, really hard and how are we going to possibly solve this? There would always be a match from the universe in small ways or big like this one where it would just be like we got you like keep going, keep going and just kind of helps to shepherd us a lot and I really believe that you know, it speaks to the testament of just having a really good product that people can instantly be like, I recognize what this is. I'm on board. We see the mission and you have a great product so we love it. And you know these things of course come from that. You have to have a good product 1,000% yeah Tara, this was so cool. Thank you so much for coming on female startup club and sharing your journey.

I am in awe of what you're doing and I can't wait to continue to watch you crush it. Ditto congrats again on your adventure and what you're reading in the world and the amazing impact that you're having in all of the listeners lives. So yeah, thanks for having me on. Thank you so much. If your marketing and e commerce brand, you already know that data changes everything more data means more power. And if your email or SMS tools can't handle all that data, they're probably holding you back. And that's where Clay Vo comes in. It's top notch personalization and segmentation. Help you send the right message at the right time, guided by unlimited real time data from your online store and tech stack. Request a demo at Clay Vo dot com. That's K L A V I Y O dot com female startup precincts.

6 Quick Questions with Tara Bosch, founder of Smartsweets (part 2)
6 Quick Questions with Tara Bosch, founder of Smartsweets (part 2)
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