Lyndsay is the founder and CEO of Kindred Cultures, a rapidly growing water kefir company in Vancouver, BC. She started Kindred Cultures because of the incredible healing impact kefir had for her own family. Originally from Oregon, Lyndsay immigrated to Canada to build a life with her amazing husband and is now a mom to two wonderful kids. When her youngest son suffered severe eczema as a baby and toddler, Lyndsay began making kefir as a holistic health measure to help her son. It worked! It worked so well that she started sharing it with her friends, neighbours, co-workers and less than 2 years later, her line of Infused Water Kefir hit the shelves of Whole Foods. Lyndsay is passionate about the power of food as medicine and is honoured to have the opportunity to share this passion with everyone she meets.
Lyndsay’s Top Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:
- “Everyone in this room knows at least one thing I don’t”.
That’s what I think to myself when I walk into a room. It puts me in a state of mind to find engaging conversation, to ask questions, to introduce myself to someone that I don’t know (or might be a little nervous to speak to). Your network is your greatest resource for validated information. Reach deeply into your business community, your friends and family, organizations and associations in your sector, and your local community (Universities, Publications, other Entrepreneurs, your local grocer) – literally anyone who might have an interest in your idea.
- Find your meaningful metrics and track them diligently.
What measures success for your business? Is it monthly sales? Turn rate in-store? Margin? Whatever it is, find 3 measurements that give you meaningful information about your progress and monitor them constantly. Every time we see a gain in one of our key metrics, we know we’re doing something right and it’s the best kind of fuel.
- Just do one small thing…
When you’re sitting up late at night thinking about a to do list with 15 A+ priorities, take a deep breath and just do one small thing. It might not be the thing at the top of the list that you accomplish. Because truly, you should not work on the cash flow projections at 11pm on a Tuesday. But I find that accomplishing one small thing reminds me that I can also tackle everything else on that list.
- You don’t know everything, and that’s ok. One of my greatest fears starting a company was not knowing “how to do” everything. Having no formal business training, I was concerned that I would miss something egregious. So I reached out to every business expert I could find, emailed former colleagues, studied business models, connected with Universities and found a mentorship program (the first of many). Surrounding myself with smart people made me feel more confident in my ability to get the right information to make informed decisions as I learned.
- You will do every employee’s job first. Entrepreneurship is a GRIND. But every hour that you physically work in your company gives you a “feel” for how it should or could work. It gives you empathy with your team as you grow. I know who to hire for every position because I’ve done that job myself. And to make sure I don’t fall out of touch with the real stuff, I put myself on the production floor to make sure I still understand what’s happening in there.