Tell us about your business/company or hustle. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
Our business is an Australian sports supplement company that specialises in Asian flavored sports supplements. We are currently known for our best tasting bubble tea protein powder and are proud to have the western world’s very first Brown Sugar Milk Tea whey protein isolate powder.
Rather than simply looking to produce bubble tea flavored protein powder though, our mission is to bring Asian representation into an industry where it is currently lacking and challenge Asian stereotypes and body images, hence the name ‘Far East Alchemy’. We hope to soon expand our line of products past simple protein powders and into more supplement categories such as pre workouts and intra workouts.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you got started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
As fitness enthusiasts, our journey first started in early 2019 with the idea of having a milk tea flavored protein powder. At the time, there were only a couple of companies worldwide that had attempted a milk tea flavor, and we felt that we could do better with a wider variety of flavors. From there, we spent an entire year researching and formulating our first three flavors – Brown Sugar Milk Tea, Taro Milk Tea and Creme Brulee.
During the first few months of research, we were astounded how little Asian representation there was in the industry. We could find little of Asian fitness influencers or brand ambassadors, let alone Asian flavors in the industry! In fact, research has shown that Asian males are generally deemasculated in Western society and Asian females are often fetishized. This prompted us to move the brand beyond a simple bubble tea protein company and established our mission to become the brand that represents our culture in the sports supplement industry while constantly pursuing perfection, to be a brand you could be proud to stand behind.
What specific obstacles or challenges have you faced while on your journey? What were they and how have you overcome them?
One of the main challenges we had starting out was finding a reputable manufacturer locally in Australia. Unlike in USA where most supplements are manufactured, there are limited choices within Australia. It was many months before we found someone we could trust to produce our produces. Once we found a manufacturer, we hit our next major obstacle – getting the flavor right! As we were serious about getting the best of both worlds with a quality nutrition panel and the best tasting flavor, this actually took us around 6-9 months before we finally got them to where they are today.
We actually launched in June 2020 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and this has been our #1 challenge. We initially intended to quickly expand to local US orders with a local US manufacturer within a few months of launch, however international border closures have made this impossible. We overcame this by entering into contracts with our major shipping partners which has made international shipments a possibility, albeit very delayed.
What quality or characteristic of yours do you feel is most important to you as an entrepreneur? Why?
The #1 thing needed as an entrepreneur is to never give up. Starting a new business is freaking hard and you will constantly face problems and repeatedly get kicked while you’re already down. As a new business owner, you are 100% bound to make mistakes – some greater than others and some far more costly.
What matters the most is the ability to work out a way to resolve these issues, to learn from these mistakes and get back up again. Repeatedly.
What advice would you give to someone who is just entering into your field?
Do your research! Take the time to plan properly and source a reputable manufacturer as this will be the most important relationship you need to maintain.
How has AHN contributed to your journey? Who have you met along the way? What problems has AHN helped solve for you?
AHN has been absolutely amazing as it provides a platform where you can interact with others on the same journey as yourself. The interviews provide a fresh perspective on each entrepreneur’s unique story and an inspiration and drive to keep on pushing forward. There are days as an entrepreneur where you just want to give up and it’s absolutely vital that you don’t. Listening and reading to the stories on AHN always inspire me to keep on pushing. Everyone goes through the same or similar struggles so you know you are never alone!