Boss exec Keisha Jeremie-Smith talks tips for entrepreneurs and her applesauce empire ‘Sanaia’
Keisha Jeremie-Smith debunks the myth that entrepreneurship includes ditching your day job.
Children aren’t the only ones who crave applesauce.
Meet Keisha Smith-Jeremie, the CEO and founder of Sanaía Applesauce— the very first company to realize that millions of adults still love applesauce. Named after her god-daughter, Smith-Jeremie credits her love for applesauce as the inspiration for creating the business and also because “she believed that what we eat, provides us with the fuel we need to live the life we want.” Smith-Jeremie’s entrepreneur skills kicked in during her college years– which is when she first discovered applesauce.
“I was an applesauce lover for over 20 years,” Jeremie-Smith tells theGrio. I discovered applesauce for the first time when I was in college and created it in an unexpected way that really turned into a hit back in my college days. [I] continued to make it with the green apples… continued to make it in quite a different way from anybody else.”
The range of flavors from Sanaía applesauce now includes botanicals and fruits from almost every continent, including flavors such as Gingerbread Maple, Blackberry, Sweet Ginger, Hibiscus, Guava, Tamarind, Lychee, and Lavender Pear.
As her empire continues to grow (Keisha was recently on ABC’S Shark Tank and secured a $150,000 for 25 percent offer from Mark Cuban) the entrepreneur and chief people officer of Tory Burch admits although she has a successful career at Tory Burch, she had some reservations about branching off to start her applesauce empire. One of the common misconceptions about entrepreneurship is one must quit their job and solely focus on their business. Jeremie-Smith questioned if she would be able to balance her career and her business.
“The first reservation I had when starting the business was how would it affect my current career,” explains Jeremie. “It’s still important to me that I show up for Tory Burch..which is where I am now. Show up in the way that I always have shown up and that I continue to be excellent in that role. So my first concern was, can I do it all? This was a real test because I’m putting financial capital behind it. I’m putting my money behind it [and] eventually I’ll be having investors and putting other people’s money behind it.”
And the answer is YES. Keisha Jeremie-Smith is proof that you can balance a career and new business.
If you’re interested in applesauce goodies, Sanaía giftbox sales have started and will run through Christmas Eve. Come January 2019, Sanaía will be on shelves nationwide including Walmart, QBC, Wholefoods, and Jet.com.
For more information on this applesauce empire, head over to https://sanaiaapplesauce.com/
Check out our full interview with Smith-Jeremie on theGrio.com!
Here are Keisha Jeremie-Smith’s five gems for budding entrepreneurs:
1. “Embrace not knowing”
It’s okay to not have all the information, as long as you’re mindset is one of learning.
2. “Embrace being the little guy”
Even smaller and newer brands can secure the bag!
3. “Surround yourself with the best people”
If you want to be on a winning team, deal with only the best in the game who can bring something to the table.
4. “Create the kind of environment you always wanted to work in”
Your environment can bring out the best or worst in you, so design one for success.
5. “Don’t believe the highlight reel on social media”
Stay grounded in reality and optimistic. Your best is what’s for you.