Episode 54
May 18, 2021

Bright Business, Bright Beverage

with Eliza Ganesh, Co-Founder and CEO of Sunwink

About this episode

Eliza Ganesh is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sunwink. Sunwink is a plant powered wellness company that offers sparkling tonic beverages and powders filled with superfoods and super herbs. In this episode, Eliza shares with us her journey from teaching English to high schoolers, to working at General Mills, to being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which led to brewing herbs in her kitchen in business school and sparked the idea for Sunwink. She talks with us about her quarter-life crisis, how her first sampling of products at stores didn't turn out as expected, and how each Sunwink product is inspired by a thought leader with two percent of net sales going to a nonprofit organization of their choice.

This episode is sponsored by

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • How growing up in Maine and having strong influences in her life led her to appreciate nature and also know from a young age that she liked to lead others
  • What she learned during her two years teaching high school english with Teach For America and why she took a job in the business world after that with McMaster-Carr where she received invaluable experience in management
  • What got her interested in the food and beverage industry, why she went to business school, and what brought her to intern at General Mills
  • What brought Eliza to turning down a job opportunity to finding her mission in creating herbal products that could make a difference in people's lives
  • How the first year of creating, branding, and selling her initial product taught her what she needed to change and helped her better understand what consumers would want, how to market it, and how to pitch to retailers and investors
  • What challenges she had to face and overcome in the beginning of launching Sunwink and what she and her team learned from them
  • How fundraising went for her and her Co-Founder, why she recommends having a Co-Founder, and what questions she recommends asking as a Founder
  • Why she believes rest is so important and how authenticity within her organization has led to a stronger and healthier company culture that can work well together
  • What’s next for Sunwink and where you can find their products and continue to watch them grow for years to come

To Find Out More:



“The culture of your organization is really important, arguably a lot more than what you're making and selling. The people that make up that team and what it feels like to go to work every day are, I think, a big player in how successful you'll be.”

“In a way, you're only as good as the people around you. And...the more you can get out of your own way and really put strong people around you and empower them, the better your team will be for it.”

“If I can get the taste better and if I can get the packaging better to grab people's attention to want to try to taste it, there's something about this category that I'm getting feedback on that people are really interested in.”

“The word Sunwink, to me, evokes joy and cheerfulness, and that's what I hope people take away from the product, too. So I think there's a feeling you get from the word.”

“The things that I've learned in the process and continue to take with me are to really fight against undervaluing yourself.”

“If an investor asks you something, and you're not ready to share that kind of information, you can say, "I'm not comfortable sharing that right now." And that's OK.”

“The best thing you can do is just piece out the conversations. If someone's really interested, you're going to have multiple conversations. You don't have to share all the details in the first 10 minutes of the call. The details should really start to come out in call two and call three. There's a buildup.”

“You have to rest. And it's the hardest thing. I'm constantly in an argument with myself about this, but like you have got to give yourself moments where you step away.”

“I think the sooner you can be honest with yourself about what your end goal is with your company, like what are you trying to build? Have that dialog with yourself and keep checking in. Because the sooner you can do that, I think the smarter you will be about making decisions along the way.”

“I always tell people, if you're thinking about doing it and you would look back in a couple of years and regret not doing it… You don't have another choice, because if you don't do it, you'll regret it.”

Read the transcript

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