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8 Mission Driven Companies Reinventing the Package Food Industry

Originally posted on and written by MeiMei Fox

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KidsLuv produces a sugar-free juice alternative that delivers 12 essential vitamins and minerals. Since its founding, the company has grown from two to five employees, launched in 36 retail stores and two online retailers, and begun working with an overseas distribution company.

“My work with the company and my life are one and the same,” says Founder and CEO Ashi Jelinek. “I wouldn’t have this company or mission if it weren’t for my kids. I grew up with a mother who believed that plant-derived medicine and herbs were the purest forms of nutrition. It was the learning of eastern and western medicine and becoming a mother that made me want to create KidsLuv.”

The biggest challenge Jelinek has faced as an entrepreneur is making it as a woman in a male-dominated industry. “The 'proving yourself' curve that is higher for women,” she explains. “I have learned to use this challenge to my benefit. By being tenacious and thinking outside the box, I have learned that you can change people’s minds. As a mother myself, I am my consumer at the end of the day. This has allowed me to stand out from my competitors.”

Jelinek’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to stay naive. “Being naive keeps you curious and open to new ideas, and optimistic during hard times, which are inevitable. Also, as an entrepreneur, you really need to believe in yourself.”

Thanks for the feature Forbes!