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She 'Reverse-Engineered' Her First Company's Failure Into a Sober-Curious Brand Making $25 Million a Year Shizu Okusa ran her first company for eight years but never made enough money. When she founded Apothékary, she knew what she had to do differently.

By Liz Brody

This story appears in the March 2024 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Apothékary

When Shizu Okusa decided to start a new business, she knew where to find the best guidance. "I wanted to reverse engineer everything I did wrong in my last company," she says.

Raised on a farm in Vancouver by Japanese immigrants, she'd founded a cold-pressed juice brand called JRINK after feeling burned out at Goldman Sachs. It had nine shops and sold in two Whole Foods stores. But it was hard to make a lot of money. So in 2020, Okusa took all the lessons she learned and created Apothékary — an herbal remedy business that's now profitable, and drove roughly $25 million in revenue last year. Here's what Okusa saw go wrong, and how she made it right.

Don't Give it a short shelf life.

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