Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. KARINA SUDENYTE is the face behind FLAWSOME! drinks brand that transforms imperfect, wonky fruit into perfect cold-pressed juice. Featured in Forbes 30 under 30 list of the brightest young entrepreneurs and leaders in Europe, Karina moved to the UK from Lithuania when she was 14 years old with her mother.
"I didn't have an easy journey and went through challenging times where I had to start working at the age of 16 to help my mom to sustain us financially. It was tough to start from the rock bottom but I'm grateful that I had a chance to experience ups and downs at a quite early age and in reality, it made me a stronger person", says she.
Karina and her husband and business partner, Maciek Kacprzyk founded the company in 2017 ”My husband and I came from countries that have a similar culture. Our childhood stories back in time were very similar, associated with spending our childhood in the village, helping our grandmothers to maintain their own orchard, picking strawberries, potatoes etc.. Flawsome! was born inspired by our nan’s tasty recipes, where we save imperfect and surplus fruit and transform it into perfectly crafted cold-pressed juice after a trip to a local farm our eyes were opened to a food waste problem - specifically the devastating effect that excessive aesthetic standards have on the food we consumer and understand to be ‘normal’. We simply decided to make a change".
Starting Flawsome! has never been only about selling juice – company founders always focused on making a positive impact on everything, starting from helping farmers to tackling food and plastic waste in the food and drink industries.
Karina started her business at the age of 22. "I was a mom of twins, student and an entrepreneur, so definitely starting up my own business venture was not the easiest thing to do. Although, it changed my life completely and I'm thankful for all those things that happened to me. I have learned how to deal with pressure, multitasking, risk, challenges. I try to ignore any negative influence from others and always think that beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity".
As a mom of twins and an entrepreneur Karina believes in a sustainable future, and she is on a mission to educate the next generation so there is no food waste and no food poverty.
IN HER OWN WORDS
My business/career is
Co-founder & CMO of Flawsome! drinks. Inspired by our nan’s tasty recipes, we save imperfect and surplus fruit and transform it into perfectly crafted cold-pressed juice after a trip to a local farm our eyes were opened to a food waste problem - specifically the devastating effect that excessive aesthetic standards have on the food we consumer and understand to be ‘normal’.
What challenges I’m facing
Due to COVID-19 we lost 80% of our sales overnight as the food industry shut down, so we had to think quickly and adapt to this new situation. We became Amazon experts overnight, changing our entire business model and started selling directly to consumers!
What opportunities I see
We all know that brands need a social environmental purpose at their heart to not only succeed but it is so vital to engage with the current generations, the millennials and Gen Z. One very interesting survey was undertaken recently by The Grocer about healthy snacking which means that we will see greater demand from healthy eating and snacks as younger generations become more health conscious in the coming years.
My top productivity tools
Our team uses Slack as a messaging platform everyday to keep in contact. This has been incredibly helpful especially during lockdown whilst people have been working remotely.
The new skill I’m learning
I’ve recently relaunched our website with new branding. Originally, we were going to hire somebody to help us out with this task but as the estimated costs kept rising, I decided to take on the mammoth challenge. Although it took me a few days to get the hang of, I’m really proud of the result and it’s definitely a new found skill of mine!
The app I’ve discovered and use a lot
There’s 2 apps which I use quite a lot for marketing which are Planoly and Photoscape X. Photoscape X is a free to use editing software for your photos. Although it looks a bit complicated to begin with, it’s very user friendly and takes your photos to the next level. Then we upload our photos to Planoly where you can preview your Instagram feed, write captions and schedule content. It’s perfect for keeping organised!
“How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. Very motivating book that gives birth to a self-improvement.
What I’m doing to overcome anxiety
I enjoy getting out with my family, whether it’s for a walk in the park or a trip to the beach (lockdown permitting). When I spend time
outside it helps clear my mind and calm me down.
What advice would you share with other entrepreneurs
I always like to go with this quote as it makes my day. People don’t buy what you do - they buy why you are doing this. What gets you up in the morning and motivates you to open your doors everyday to customers? The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. What is your WHY? What is your purpose, your cause or your belief? Why does your business exist? And why should anyone care?
My life hack tip is
I try to always ignore any negative influence from others, and always think that beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity.
What makes me happy
Quality time spent with my family.
To an endless amount of podcasts
I am passionate about exploring new cuisines, I love shopping my fruit and veg at the local markets (supporting small businesses) - absolutely love Lithuanian food, favourite cuisine is definitively Italian.
My health rituals
Drink plenty of water! Morning run, daily trip to the forest, park with kids.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org