Episode 70
September 7, 2021

Rolling in the DEUX

with Sabeena Ladha, Founder and CEO of DEUX

About this episode

Sabeena Ladha is the Founder and CEO of DEUX, a functional foods brand that believes good-for-you products should taste good. Made with high quality ingredients and enhanced with added boosts of supplements, their products are all vegan, gluten free, and taste delicious. In this episode, Sabeena shares with us her journey from growing up in Texas as a first generation American, to building the venture studio known as Launch Pad at M13 in Los Angeles, to starting her own company DEUX on Instagram by taking orders via direct message and accepting payments over Venmo. If you're interested in trying out some of the amazing DEUX products you will hear about here on the show, we have a very special promo code for you. Just go to eatDEUX.com, and use the code CEO20 to get 20% off.

This episode is sponsored by

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • What brought her family to the States from South Asia and what life was like with an entrepreneurial father
  • When she realized that she needed to leave the big company world and become an entrepreneur herself
  • What her time at M13 was like and what valuable lessons Sabeena learned there about building a business well and getting started 
  • How DEUX launched what became a powerful test market via Instagram and why they knew early on that this was going to work
  • How she has learned to stay healthy mentally and keep herself as focused as possible, even with ADHD
  • Why fundraising for her was actually a lot of fun and what advice she has for Founders who are fundraising
  • Why DEUX is on track to hit one million in sales during their first year and what advice Sabeena has for others trying to get that mark, including some of the unique ways she got her delicious product into people’s hands
  • What’s next for DEUX and why you should just start when you have a great concept that you are wanting to move forward with

To Find Out More:

eatDEUX.com

Quotes:

“It was just in my nature to be entrepreneurial. It was almost like I tried to fit into a box and tried to fit around the red tape, and it just wasn't working because it felt so forced.”


“We didn't really have branding yet. We launched an Instagram, and we essentially said, "DM us to place an order, and Venmo us.’"


“So there was, of course, the quantitative metrics that you look at of sales and follower counts and engagement on our social posts. But then there's also this quantitative, almost like feeling that you get, it's almost like this like magic sauce that you can kind of feel like, yeah, this is going to work.”


“I don't think that doubt ever really goes away. You just figure out how to manage it and do your little mental health hacks to get over it. But it's kind of just like always living in there a little bit.”


“Raising when you're a few months in versus raising just on a deck, a presentation, I think those are two very, very different things.”


“It's disrupted what is so hard to disrupt, which is social media. And so that sort of relationship, I would say, has been kind of integral.”


“That's the thing that I think is just such a core value to us is sure it can be healthy, but if it tastes like cardboard or kale, nobody wants to eat that if it's a dessert. So kind of marrying the two of, I call it, hedonistic health. But it's healthy and clean, but it's delicious. And I think that's kind of the fundamental I would say the core value of our product strategy.”


“I think it takes practice and it takes reps to be able to have all of those high highs and have the low lows. And you have to go through them to kind of then even out and stay even-keeled.”


“I need to do what a coach does to motivate my team to kind of have that energy and build that culture.”


“Just start. We want everything to be perfect. We want to have the perfect brand and the best website. And we want everything to be pristine. And I think there is advice that I received that was if you're not embarrassed of your first product, then you're not doing it right.”


Read the transcript

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