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Founders' Series: A View into Bivo

  • 3 min read

 By Carina Hamel

Welcome to our Founders' Series, and thanks so much for being here! This is a new venture for us and we are excited to share more about what happens in our heads, on the road and in the office.

When I was young, I remember telling my parents that I would never be a business person because I’m too nice. It’s kind of crazy how business and “bad” or “cut throat” are bundled together. I am still nice (I think) and I am a good mom, partner and boss. And I have been shown time and time again that those can all go together.

People ask me how I am doing, they say they don’t understand how we can possibly be doing what we are doing while having two young kids (ages 2 and 6). And admittedly, it is a lot. Some days I wonder how the hell we thought this was a good idea. Other days, I think how lucky I am to be running a business because of the flexibility it gives me.

The ins and outs of running a business are mostly different every day. Sometimes I’m confirming details about insurance. Other days I’m picking bottle colors. Or unloading a full container with our whole team. Or planning for our next big event. I have taken the lead on marketing and guess what?! I hate social media. Like seriously hate it. (Thanks, Keaton, for taking that over 🤗). If you look at my personal account, you will see I don’t really do social media. I don’t show my kids faces because I think they deserve privacy until they can make those decisions for themselves. The amount of times I have been told to show off my kids for Bivo is mind blowing (and when I read this article,it really resonated with me as a female founder!).

I also have ZERO background in marketing. What I do have is a willingness to learn, advisors who push me, and the strong desire to do things differently. I also really like to work hard (though I do frequently say “work smarter, not harder”), so when an idea comes around that is harder than a traditional marketing route, I’m not afraid to do it. Hence, the Big Bivo Road Trip last year. Or doubling down on our Thirstday and Quench’d posts on our site when blogs aren’t a thing on most brand sites. And you are reading them and sharing with friends, thank you for that!!   

Admittedly, I am very proud of Bivo. Robby and I work shockingly well together and the Bivo team are all hard working, smart, fun people who fully believe in Bivo. We laugh a lot, and I seriously enjoy working with them. We make mistakes ALL the time. Whoops, we ran out of hangers for retailers. Whoops, we don’t have French on our hang tags and need to add new tags ourselves in our office so we can ship to MEC in Canada for the first time. Whoops, we didn’t order enough Trios because we never thought people would want so many insulated bottles! Whoops, we spent way too much time dabbling in META ads only to realize we should stop and our less traditional ways of spreading the word are more personal and loved.  

Robby and I (with some pushing from our advisors) have decided to start writing about the things we face day to day. These posts will be all about running Bivo – the challenges, the wins and the debates we have internally. I can pretty much guarantee I will write something about managing childcare while running Bivo. And about constantly being torn between operations and big picture dreaming (I love to dream). I am sure Robby will write something about fundraising (not our forte or first love, but something we have VERY strong opinions about). And the restraint it has taken to not just keep developing product and instead focusing on sales. We have questions all the time that we reach out to people for advice on, and it is amazing how generous they are with their time.

If you have any questions for us, comment below and we will add them to our list of topics to cover! Thanks, as always, for being here. Your support and cheers make us feel good every day.


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