Let go of your ego and pride, be in the moment, and LOVE YOURSELF unconditionally.
Shari Stein Curry has a passion for making beverages that make the world a better place. Her discerning palate is what continually drives her to find that perfect balance between health driven ingredients & beyond- delicious flavor profiles. Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, PA and a Villanova graduate, Shari spent nearly a decade in her 20’s working in New York City with fortune 500 companies in the business, customer relations, and sales sector. However, in 2010, when Shari moved to Oakland, CA for her husband’s career, her calling to work in beverages started to truly unfold. She saw gaps in the industry and upon meeting her business partner in 2011, The Living Apothecary was born. Six years and a lot of research and development later, The Living Apothecary has grown to more than $1M gross revenue business and has big goals for 2019 and beyond.Shari remains a co-founder and leads the Business/Product Development and Growth Team. When she isn’t working, Shari loves spending time with her 5-year-old daughter, husband, and friends cooking, relaxing and making fun beverages on the weekends.
Where did the idea for The Living Apothecary come from?
It was inspired by the original apothecaries of 15th century England where medicine was made from roots and herbs, flowers and barks. We wanted to create beverages with the “let food be thy medicine” philosophy, but also give it a modern, progressive touch.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually wake up around 7:00am (I’m not an early riser if I can help it) and truthfully the first thing I do is roll over to my laptop and check my email. By then my daughter is up, so I jump right into the lets get ready for school mom routine. We aren’t a weekday breakfast family, it’s usually just go go go. I also try to squeeze a workout in, in the am, either cross fit or boxing and then I either head to our manufacturing plant or to my home office and work work work!
How do you bring ideas to life?
It usually starts with a single ingredient that is inspiring, or a combination of 2 or so ingredients that just taste magical together. From there, lots of notes in a text edit box, ha! Then I get feedback from our close team and start to source these ingredients to play around with in our “test kitchen.”
What’s one trend that excites you?
Probiotics, superfoods, and natural fermentation of course! But I wouldn’t consider them trends, they are ways of life that will only become more and more widespread. I also love seeing less sugar in beverages and having it be replaced with real healthy alternatives like monk fruit! My business partner and I are also very intrigued as to where this CBD world is headed.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Relentlessness. That fighting spirit. A borderline unhealthy desire to persevere, succeed and having the will to follow-through. I know that’s more than one!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Let go of your ego and pride, be in the moment, and LOVE YOURSELF unconditionally. No one can treat you good for you! And always always work on growing and becoming the best version of you, then give to others selflessly.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn is one of the best movies ever made!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Strategic delegation. It’s being a facilitator and getting sh*t done.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think much of what I said above can be reinforced here. Basically find that great, progressive idea that people can get behind, but that you can really get behind. Have that eye for what can really strike. Lay the foundation and don’t give up. Build your team, your strategy and be fearless. When you get knocked down, and you absolutely will, just keep getting back up dust yourself off, and press forward toward your goals. It’s the deepest type of belief in your brand and yourself that will get you to where you want to be and beyond.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had many failures. The Living Apothecary started out with 3 beverage lines and only one made it this far. 7 years ago my business partner and I were just so much greener, we had no idea what COGs were! But we always listened to our customer base and the market, and where it was heading.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A naturally fermented, probiotic kid’s juice box…it’s happening at some point ya’ll!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Two tickets to see Maggie Rogers at the Fox Theatre in Oakland. She brought the house down! What a force, and she’s just getting started, you can feel it.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a big fan of Dropbox for staying organized and DocHub for easy document editing and signing. I also love anything that allows me to take notes!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior. It’s a quick read, but it’s just otherworldly. The minute I read it in 10th grade it changed my life forever.
What is your favorite quote?
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams” AND “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.” – Roald Dahl (Can you tell I love Willy Wonka?!)
- Taking a dive into self reflection is a valuable tool in the journey towards wholeness.
- Work life balance is so unbelievably vital. Work focused. Work hard. Rebalance. Love. Have fun.
- There are so many exciting movements happening in the food and beverage industry right now and it’s humbling and invigorating for The Living Apothecary to be able to be a small part of it.
- There’s room for us all! Let’s build it together.
- However, life goes by in the blink of an eye and there’s no time to beat around the bush. Be direct, frank, honest, but not curt or hurtful. In short, yes be direct, but be kind. Have class when you open your mouth…words are very powerful.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.