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This Entrepreneur Who Started Her Kombucha Business in an Apartment With $600 Has a Message for Struggling Entrepreneurs

You're not failing, you're changing.


How Success Happens is a podcast featuring polar explorers, authors, ultra marathoners, artists and more to better understand what connects dreaming and doing. Linda Lacina,'s managing editor, guides these chats so anyone can understand the traits that underpin achievement and what fuels the decisions to push us forward. Listen below or click here to read more shownotes.


Health-Ade kombucha is a fast-growing probiotic drink on the shelves of 10,000 stores across the country, including Whole Foods. It raised $25 million in funding and operates not one, but two plants.

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But five years ago, the company was just one of a slew of ideas brainstormed by three friends uninspired by their day jobs in an entrepreneurship club they'd formed. Kombucha, inexpensive to make and sell at farmers' markets, was intended as a side hustle to get them started, something that would fund a larger venture.

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This company launched with just $600 but quickly gained traction, taking over co-founder Daina Trout's apartment until she and her now-husband (and co-founder) were finally evicted.

"Our two-bedroom apartment became a full-on brewery," says Trout. "There was a bed and then a brewery."

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In this week's podcast of How Success Happens, Trout shares Health-Ade's early days, and how the founders pushed through any number of roadblocks, taking conference calls in her car and bartering with local businesses for brewing space.

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