Chandra Davis – Founder of Drink Chia

[quote style=”boxed”]Constantly challenge yourself to grow on a spiritual and emotional level. Business is relationships and egos can destroy. Developing the tools to deal with stress, disappoint, interesting personalities is key – make it a daily discipline! [/quote]

A graduate from Emory University with a background in marketing & sales, Chandra’s life took a turn for the unexpected in 2011. Searching for a nutritional edge while training for a marathon, Chandra Davis, 38, mother of two young boys, literally turned her kitchen into a lab. Having scanned running books, surfing the web and tearing stories from women’s health magazines, one common denominator kept appearing: Chia seeds. So, Chandra packed up her two young boys and headed to her local health food store in search of what appeared to be a superfood of sorts.

As legend goes, ancient Aztec and Mayan warriors used the seeds as fuel during daily 100 mile runs. If it worked for them, surely it would provide optimal energy, while also serving as a recovery aid for her, as the seeds are derived from the highest plant source with the perfect blend of Omega 3 and 6.

But what was Chandra supposed to do with her bag of super seeds?

She began pairing fruit juices and mixing in natural sweeteners. Nothing was off-limits in her kitchen. Yes, she was taking those skills she used as a child in playing with her Easy Bake Oven to new heights.

Day by day she mixed batches of her new super drink. She had more energy going into training sessions and her knees felt better after, as if her joints were being buttered. Inflammation, aches and pains were fast becoming a thing of the past.

Her kids loved the taste of her super drink and further research showed the seeds actually served as a powerful “brain food” for the growing boys. In fact, the kids and her husband would wake each morning asking, “Where’s my Chia?”

Her brother, a foot and ankle surgeon, was in awe of her die-hard dedication, never-ending enthusiasm, ingenuity, heart and hustle.
The daily combining of the concoction, though, was taking its toll.

“Let’s bottle it,” said Mark, her fitness trainer and co-owner of a performance facility in Central Florida.

Drink Chia was born.

What are you working on right now?

New Drink Chia product line extensions, marketing strategies (always), continued product distribution plans

Where did the idea for Drink Chia come from?

From being appalled with how much sugar, preservatives, artificial ingredients were in sports beverages….

I was training for a marathon and chia seeds are called the “running food”. They happen to make a great base for a beverage because the seeds soak up liquid like a sponge which makes it incredible for hydration and chia seeds are so high in omega-3/6 which is amazing for inflammation which typically happens after one exercises.

It was really out of a personal need of wanting a nutrient dense beverage that with low calories and sugar.

How do you make money?

The margins between COGS and Wholesale pricing

What does your typical day look like?

Up about 6:30
Get myself together
Kids up at 7
Morning rituals and then drop kids off at school
Office by 8:30
Each work day can vary: meetings, conference calls, brainstorming sessions, drinking Drink Chia to keep going, laughing and checking things off my to do list or traveling
Home by 6:00
Usually a run while kids bike
Dinner /Homework 7:30 p.m.
Kids in bed 8:30
Emails/catch up/planning for the next day til 11:00
Shower/lotions and potions then…
Ah Bed

How do you bring ideas to life?

I know it is a good idea when I can’t get it out of my head and it becomes almost an obsession.

Typically starts with writing it out on notepaper or a whiteboard and dissecting all the pieces that would have to take place to make it REAL.

Then vet it with my partners and action plan then we are off and running!

What’s one trend that really excites you?

That there is so much more awareness of how important it is to make good health decisions.
That high fructose corn syrup is a “bad” word in many households that I hope continues and partially hydrogenated oil is an even “worse” word is fantastic.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Cleaning the my dad’s medical office as a teenager (toilets, trash cans, etc)…thought he was the meanest dad ever!!!! In hindsight, the best gift he game me was work ethic at a young age: work hard and sometimes you have to do things you may not want to do

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t do anything differently.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Constantly challenge yourself to grow on a spiritual and emotional level. Business is relationships and egos can destroy. Developing the tools to deal with stress, disappoint, interesting personalities is key – make it a daily discipline!  Those tools only come from committing to personal development.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I’m sort of Oprahesque with the term “failure”- any “challenges” have truly been learning experiences but it was having that perspective. Nothing is the end of the world – what can learn & how can I get better everyday from failures/challenges…

We had a terrible production run at one point but it was the best event that ever happened it was devastating at first for our small company. But it challenged us to improve our operations to minimize that from every happening again.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

This may already exist but because I travel quite a bit… an app that rates gas station bathrooms along the highways.

I’d totally hold out a couple more exits if I knew a clean gas station bathroom was a couple exits ahead.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Stop violence (physical, sexual, emotional) directed at children…

How? do I have magical powers that cures sadism, ego, ignorance or greed in this hypothetical question… because I feel like that is what is needed when I hear some horribly disturbing stories. I have become much more sensitive when I hear stories of crimes against children since I have become a mom.

So without magical powers –  I’d love to create safe havens around the world – nurturing, caring environments where these little people with so much untapped potential could thrive

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I play the cello.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Skype- the ability to communicate clearly with anyone around the world via my laptop of phone for free is incredible!!!

Google Drive- so easy to share documents around the office and to our team.

Map My Run- Love the ability to scout out a running route and know the distance especially when I travel.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Forged Coupon– Leo Tolstoy

The idea that every action positive or negative sets off a chain of events was really powerful concept to me.

It is a pay it forward concept in part of the book and then told in reverse. It makes me think twice about getting upset at anyone who cuts me off in traffic!!!! and also how a kind word and totally change someones day.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

Everyday Health- great little health tidbits throughout the day.
Moveme Quotes- Love the inspirational quips.
Huffington Post- I rarely watch TV so at least I feel like I have a pulse on what is going on in the news and then I can listen to NPR to get the details.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Two days ago…It was beyond a laugh, like a hard belly laugh doubled over with tears streaming out of my eyes
My brother (one of my biz partners) told the funniest story about a patient (no HIPA laws violated)
Not making fun of the patient but something that they said that was so unexpected– his facial expressions and delivery was priceless– I’m starting to chuckle just thinking about again.

Honestly, I can say I laugh many times during the day – life deserves that!

Who is your hero, and why?

My father… He has the classic immigrant story. Came to the US at 19 from St. Vincent after saving for 3 years for a plane ticket. He truly did walk up hill without shoes to school growing up and didn’t have electricity or running water. He worked through college and medical and wasn’t able to go home during all those years. He became and still is an accomplished empathetic physician and leader in the Orlando community. Just understanding what he sacrificed, how hard he worked and that he and my mom raised 4 children that are still close to them and with each other is quite an accomplishment.

What is one tip you can give an entrepreneur that you have found to be beneficial for growing Drink Chia so far?

Is it not a good idea or funding that brings an idea to life…it is the energy and the passion of the right team team and fostering great relationships along the way. People really are the ones that build an amazing company not a good product. And you have to love it!!!


Chandra Davis on Twitter: @drinkchia
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Chandra Davis on Linked In: Chandra N. Davil