Adams Chimera, CEO of Rootd, has spent the better part of the last decade as an insider in the vitamin industry. After working for many of America’s most recognizable vitamin brands, he took on his passion for helping to create healthier people and a healthier Earth full-time, and Rootd was born. The company was soon recognized by national media, and picked up as a mainstay product in national grocery chains including Sprouts stores nationwide (April 2020). Adams is equally passionate about creating a better Earth and has committed his brand to being sustainably produced within the USA using less than 5% of plastics, and he plans to get that down to 0% very soon. Since plastics currently litter our Earth and seas, it was important that his brand be 100% biodegradable and take it a step further by planting 10 million trees and removing 10 million pounds of waste in the sea over the next decade. Visit www.rootd.com for more information.
Where did the idea for Rootd come from?
Honestly a few different places. The first was my mom actually. She suffers from having a small throat and can’t take pills as a result. She literally grinds her multi into powder every day, and then gags it down with water. It’s painful to watch. I had been in the vitamin industry for almost 4 years and was surprised that there were no gender or age specific multivitamins on the market in powder form. It had been on my mind for a while at that point, so I started to research. We quickly identified a massive opportunity gap, went to R&D to see if it was possible (it was) and made it a reality!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Typical days are perhaps something I miss the most, but it does keep every day interesting. A few things that I do every day is check our various platforms and dashboards for sales, look at any new reviews coming in, and read industry news to make sure I keep a pulse. When I can, I try not to look at my phone for at least an hour after waking up, and like to spend the first 30 – 45 minutes of those mornings reading. I find it gets my brain fired up, and I can spend the next 15 min putting my goals and my to-do list together. Those are always the most productive days.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m always looking for pain points in current categories. What’s something about an existing product that’s unpleasant, but people deal with? In Rootd’s case, that was the industry forcing people to choose between choking down a pill or chewing on a sugar gummy. I’m pretty data driven, so next step is to deep dive into all market data possible, and see if there is a gap. If there is, we go to work.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The supplement industry is really starting to boom. With new research going into various ingredients, and the huge potential they have to solve real problems for people, I truly believe we, as an industry, are on the 2nd floor of a 100-floor building (CBD, turmeric, ashwagandha, probiotics, all come to mind).
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Reading. Without question, self-learning has been the one rocket ship for me throughout my entire career.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take more chances, and make a fool out of yourself more often (aka… don’t be afraid to fail).
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There’s a high market demand for powder vitamins (although, people are coming around on this).
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Exercise and self-learning. I also like to ask people what they hate about what I do, or my product, or whatever. People are always afraid to give bad feedback, but I find when you demand it, you allow yourself to expect it and be more open, and then you can truly improve. I tell them if they don’t tell me early enough, when reviews start coming in for what we’re doing, the truth will hurt WAY more then.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Being purposeful and keeping liabilities low. I see a lot of brands that don’t really have a purposeful distribution strategy and are really open to sell to anyone who will take their products. That can push you to stretch yourself too thin, go after too many niches, get conflicting feedback, and really drive you crazy. Or worse, bankrupt.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Hiring people too fast. It’s one I’m still learning. A good example is in our brand design process. I had to go through three designers before I finally found someone who fit, and I always waited too long to let them go. That drained a lot of pointless cash and time while I kept giving excuses for what I knew was bad/wrong work. I’ve learned to embrace the “hire slow, fire fast” moto.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Mushrooms is one. It’s an industry that is only now starting to get research and attention, and you can see the growth by just going to your local grocery store. What once was a small section in produce is now 4’ wide (more space = more sales in the grocery world). You’ll also see it in the supplement section of natural stores… almost 4’ there too. Only a matter of time before the big guys (Walmart/target/CVS etc.) start adding it. While everyone obsesses over new CBD brands, not too many people are paying attention to what’s right in front of them.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My HBR subscription.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Excel and Adobe AI. Excel has always been my go-to, and just allows me to quickly crunch numbers, or go into a lot of depth if I need to. I learned AI slowly over the summer, and it has saved me a lot of time/money in this content driven world we live in.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Influence by Robert Caldini, and The Accidental Sales Person by Chris Lytle. Influence will show you the rationality behind the irrational behavior of why we do things, and the Accidental Sales Person gives you what I’ve found to be the most articulate sales process. It also allows you to blame the process for a failed sale, not yourself.
What is your favorite quote?
I never hear the word “no” in business, only “not yet”.
- If you want to become an entrepreneur, look for pain points in current products and services, and how they could be better serving their market.
- Self-learning can be a rocket ship for your entire career and life. Never stop learning.
- Direct from an expert in the industry: instead of trying to create new items, look at what is already right in front of you. That’s how the major brands are viewing opportunities.