Some people believe that fighting Alzheimer’s is a lost cause. If it’s in your genes, there’s nothing you can do about it, right?
Erika Lepczyk dug into the causes of Alzheimer’s and found out that only 2% of cases are hereditary — meaning that there is a chance to prevent and slow the disease. She’s dedicated her career to educating people about cognitive health and creating functional blends that fill the gaps in whole food nutrition. Her goal is to create a prevention-based solution, rather than just another treatment option or quick-fix.
In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Erika Lepczyk, Co-founder and CEO of Memore, to discuss her journey to prevent cognitive diseases through whole food nutrition. Erika talks about why she started Memore, her past DTC experience that aided the start of a new company, and lessons she’s learned during her entrepreneurial journey.
In this episode we learn:
- Erika Lepczyk shares the inspiration behind Memore
- Creating a culture of prevention and education
- Erika’s prior experience with e-commerce and DTC — and how that helped when starting Memore
- The moment Erika knew she was on the right path
- Lessons learned on the journey of creating Memore: don’t be afraid to fail fast, but make it a fast fail
- Erika’s proudest moments
- The importance of taking time for yourself
- What’s next for Memore?
- Advice for people considering a startup
About Erika Lepczyk:
Erika Lepczyk is the CEO and Co-founder of Memore, an innovative brand dedicated to sustaining long-term cognitive health. Memore offers functional blends that provide convenient and versatile ways to fill nutritional gaps with whole food nutrition. Memore’s blends have shown to be effective in slowing decline and reducing Alzheimer’s risk by as much as 53%.
Erika aims to help break the common misconception that Alzheimer’s is hereditary — only 2% of cases are. By introducing the world to Memore’s functional blends, she hopes to educate consumers on preventive health and the positive impact that high-quality, whole food ingredients have on brain activity. Erika is a graduate of Michigan State University and has over 15 years of experience working with DTC brands.
Guests Social Media Links:
- Erika Lepczyk on LinkedIn
- Memore on Facebook
- Memore on Instagram
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- Brie Doyle on the Gooder Podcast
- You Should Leave Now: Going on Retreat to Find Your Way Back to Yourself by Brie Doyle
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- Helen Hall on LinkedIn
- Liquid IV
- Blender Bombs
- Diana Fryc on LinkedIn
- Retail Voodoo
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo.
Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between.
Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact.
So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.
Welcome to the Gooder Podcast where we talk with powerhouse women in CPG about their journeys to success. This episode is sponsored by Retail Voodoo. A brand development firm guiding mission-driven consumer brands to attract new and passionate consumer base crush their categories through growth and innovation and magnify their social and environmental impact. If your brand is in need of brand positioning, package design or marketing activation, we are here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com.
Diana Fryc 0:44
Hi, welcome to the Gooder Podcast I’m your host Diana Fryc. Today we get to talk with a powerhouse women in today it will be a wellness but food beverage and wellness here on the Gooder Podcast and their journeys to success and their insights on the industry. Thanks for joining us today. Really quick. This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo, a brand development firm. Our clients include Starbucks, kind, Rei, PepsiCo, highkey, and many other market leaders. We provide strategic brand and design services for leading brands in the food, beverage, wellness and fitness industry. If your goal is to increase market, share, drive growth or disrupt the marketplace with new and innovative ideas. Give us a call. Let’s talk and you want to find out more about what we do. You can visit retail-voodoo.com or drop me an email at email@example.com. Now today, we get to meet Miss Erika Lepczyk and I think I got that right this time. Yeah, yes, we were related by crazy last names. And strangely, I’m gonna say through marriage. Her husband has some Czech heritage. My family has Czech hair too. So we’re just gonna say we’re cousins. Today for the day. Yeah,
Erika Lepczyk 1:58
we’re like five removed. We’re cousin.
Diana Fryc 2:02
Erika is the CEO and co-founder of Memore spelled m e m o r e, I want to make sure that you guys get that a direct to consumer brand dedicated to raising awareness of the preventative measures people can take to sustain long term cognitive health and reverse the trends of Alzheimer’s instances. as CEO and co-founder of Memore, Erika aims to break the common misconception that Alzheimer’s is hereditary. And we’ll get to talk a little bit more about that soon. So welcome, Miss Erika, how are you?
Erika Lepczyk 2:35
Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here. It’s Friday. Feeling Good Friday.
Diana Fryc 2:39
Feeling good. Where are you calling from today?
Erika Lepczyk 2:43
I live in Charlotte, North Carolina and North Carolina?
Diana Fryc 2:45
Erika Lepczyk 2:48
I’m a Midwesterner.
Diana Fryc 2:50
Are you to that? Yeah. Is it that much different?
Erika Lepczyk 2:54
You know, people are a lot nicer. I think I because it moved here from Chicago. Oh, wow. It’s just totally different worlds. And people say y’all and paint a lot of different things way
Diana Fryc 3:08
Erika Lepczyk 3:10
But yeah, we’d love it.
Diana Fryc 3:13
That’s so funny. I was Chicago is in the Midwest, I always kind of give it its very own personality. Because maybe I’ve just watched too much too much television or movies or fascinated with the mob or whatever. But yeah, goes on vibe, and the public art and the amazing food. And it’s got a bit of Midwest personality
Erika Lepczyk 3:36
to water. Yeah, yeah.
Diana Fryc 3:40
It’s a special place.
Erika Lepczyk 3:41
It is. We were there almost eight years. And it was just time to move on. We spent our 20s and early 30s there. So
Diana Fryc 3:50
Time, time for someone to visit. Yeah. Well, before we get too far into it, why don’t you tell us a little bit about more about Memore. And I always like to let everybody start with where they are and what they’re doing. And tell us about Memore and why it exists.
Erika Lepczyk 4:07
Okay, I’m happy to so Memore started in 2019 pre pandemic, and we launched this year, May of 2021. In launching Memore was like a little out of character. For me, to be honest. I have a competitive spirit. And I’ve always been highly motivated by my career, but I would never describe myself as being entrepreneurial at all. That’s more like my husband’s dream. I’m like the realist. He’s the the dreamer in our relationship. But the turning point for me was learning that less than 2% of all dementia cases. Basically were attributed to hereditary factors. And as someone with a family history of dementia and both sides, my mother and my father said this was a huge revelation for me and I I’d always considered my predisposition to the disease pretty unnerving, probably and largely because it fell out of my control. And I’m very techie. And so I would just, you know, when I read that, it was like, there’s things that I can do to prevent health onset or disease onset rather. And this statistic basically proved everything wrong. In my opinion. I just, I had always assumed that Alzheimer’s dementia like was hereditary and I don’t know why I feel like it’s just a conversation that people it just comes in passing like oh yeah, my mother had that or my grandmother like someone is always stemmed to someone they know that like, basically said this horrible and awful disease. So the fact that I could prevent it gave me that power I gave, I began prioritizing preventative health and sought solutions to support my journey there. And I’m a busy mom, I work full time, I do this as well. And what I found in the marketplace was a cognitive health market, like pretty oversaturated, with products touting Quick quick fixes, and like miracle results. Um, you know, like focus, get clarity and focus or get the energy boost you need, you know, but there’s also return. And preventative health was an afterthought. And I just became determined to change that. And so we launched Memore to help put long term health front and center and kind of switch the narrative and utilize nutrition for prevention. And yeah, I mean, that’s that the 1000 foot view, but that’s Yeah, how it came about? What?
Diana Fryc 6:49
Kind of like there. Was there a moment? Was there, like, a real moment? Was there something that happened? Or is this are you like a lot of moms where you have a lot of cray cray going on up here that you’re constantly cycling through? Because you have kids? Usually, for me, it’s usually kid related. What am I worried about? What am I you know, oh my god,
Erika Lepczyk 7:11
there’s that TikTok? I don’t know if you’ve seen it. I know. It’s funny. It’s like, aren’t you worried it music? is basically your anxiety speaking to yourself. Like about what it’s like, oh, yeah. Because it’s always that way. Like when things feel like good or even or, like, balanced. I’m always like, something can’t be right. What am I missing? What am I missing button? I’ve been really trying to live more in the moment and take that, like, outside of my brain thought and just like, actually can be okay to be okay. Like, you know, this. Oh,
Diana Fryc 7:54
I love that. Yeah. But yeah,
Erika Lepczyk 7:57
back to your question. Like, I, I’m always thinking about simplicity. And I have this thing, like, in my role, with my team, I’m like, I want to do things with intention. I don’t want to do things for busy work, or to fill time like, someone asked you to do something, please ask them why or what the purpose or intent is, we have no problem doing it. But I just want to know what it’s going to lead to like, that’s just how my brain thinks. And like I said, I’m pretty type A and I don’t think I’ve always been type A either. I think that’s something that’s kind of come on after college, like getting into my career and be like, Oh, crap, I got to like, organize my life. And like, figure out how I’m going to be a sane human being Yes. In my adult life. Yes. And so when I found out that less than 2% of this disease is actually hereditary and it can be prevented through lifestyle diet. Yeah. I like took that by the reins in this way.
Diana Fryc 9:00
And it’s gotta be it’s got to be related to media because I I want to say that most of my information about Alzheimer’s has come from the media. And if there’s a you know, you always have to go well, who’s who benefits from there being climbers? Is there an industry that benefits from Alzheimer’s patients? And why isn’t? Why isn’t that component? It’s kind of like, have you ever heard the I don’t know if you’ve heard this, there used to be a television show called Adam ruins everything. Have you heard of it? No. Oh my gosh, I like the title. I have to send you a link to it. Again. It it. He debunks a lot of myths, like myths about all sorts of things. And one of the myths one of the episodes is debunking the myth of women in fertility rate after the age of 35. And he talks about where the research comes from. It’s like about 100 years year old research that says that women’s women, women’s infertility rate goes up by 100%. At the age of 35, well, the original percentage of infertility is point 5%. So it goes from a point 5%, infertility rate to a one 1%. And it got it to 1%. And when you go, oh, okay, well, when you say it that way, you know, but there’s this whole industry that relies on people having babies, and so they have to create, so there has to be a way to talk about it. So that it drives growth rate. Yeah, sooner than later. Yeah. And so I kind of wonder, like, Where is whose is somebody benefiting from Alzheimer’s patients? I know that sounds really weird and dark, I don’t want to really go down that way. But
Erika Lepczyk 10:52
here, it is dark. It is bit like more of a no way of like, and I don’t mean to laugh, but I do believe it’s our healthcare, where really, we think, um, I guess, like a treat first mentality, right? Rather than prevention. Yeah. And, like the cost of care for an Alzheimer’s patient or just care in general, is in the trillions. And so, I mean, I don’t know if they’re directly Capitalizing or benefiting. But it’s something that, you know, the narrative is just not widely pronounced. I think it’s becoming more prominent with the Mediterranean diet. Yeah, my diet, the Blue Zones, Islam, right, these longevity diets that are becoming more mainstream. And obviously, it’s not totally I didn’t open you have to be searching and be like, into the weeds on some of these things to even know what those are, right? Because what’s really mainstream is keto. And yeah. Like all the quick fix diet. Yeah, sir. Those are more sexy, because you get like changes pretty fast. So yeah, I mean, I think it is just like diet culture, as well as healthcare. And it’s sad, because there’s so many organizations that are fighting for change within Alzheimers, and there’s actually a lot of celebrities and Women Against Alzheimer’s. Like, there’s so many different organizations that try to spread this word, but it’s like almost closed, kind of, in my opinion.
Diana Fryc 12:34
Yeah. Yeah. And then I want to further that when we You and I were talking about this, in general, we were talking about, well, what could Memore be in the future? We talked about like, well, maybe it could be more than just a supplement more than just a diet. Maybe it could be because I’ve also heard of other things like, make sure that you keep learning your whole life or make sure you blah, blah, blah, like there are other elements that keep dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay or eradicate it for lack of a better term. So I’m sure that you’re still I mean, your two years in, you’re probably have had a ton of information, but there’s probably way more in there as well.
Erika Lepczyk 13:16
Yeah. I just want to add to that, because there is like these facts. And there’s actually communities where it’s kind of like a mini Blue Zone, I guess you can say within nine states, there’s one that’s pretty prominent in Florida, actually. And it’s a community where there’s multigenerational social communications happening as well as diet and lifestyle influences. And one of the biggest benchmarks was like having, unfortunately COVID has set us back a bit. Yeah, having those social relationships, especially multi generational, with infants and babies and children, as an aging mind, or an older adult actually helps you like stay more present. And the neurons in your brain become more stimulated. And so it actually is been studied that like having multi generational social interaction, also. Yeah, and it’s part of the Blue Zones, as well. But yeah, there’s just too much. That’s the whole point of this product. And like, the whole point of our conversation and company is, we just want to educate and like just shed light and stuff like easy things that you can actually do, or concentrate a bit more on that you don’t really, you know, think about day to day, but like be more aware of So, yeah, to sustain where you’re at.
Diana Fryc 14:43
Well, let’s go back before Memore, I kinda would love to get your narrative on, like, how did you? What was your path to? How were you? How were you successful before Memore and how did that then allow Memore to happen. Does that make sense?
Erika Lepczyk 15:03
Yeah. And I don’t know if I was successful before Memore but I, I graduated college I went to Michigan State University graduated in 2008. And that was a difficult year for any grad. Yeah, in general. Yeah. And I went to school for retailing, which is very niche chain very specific, but I was like customer obsessed and I’ve always been that way. So I’ve been working since I was 14 15 years old, so I could get a grandam Pontiac COVID Yeah. Yeah, and so I just knew like the customer was always right in my mind, and I want to understand like how you can influence their buying behaviors and like, I love the retail math behind the whole buying process. So anyways, I went to school for that. And when I graduated, I wanted to move to New York and I wanted to like be a buyer, right? Like that’s the dream. Sure. It was a lot harder than you realize. And so I can’t remember if I stopped them out or if they stopped me out through like a job affiliation with Michigan State but Sears holdings was hiring. Okay, um, and Sears holdings, you know, everyone worked for Sears back in that in 2008. But prior It was like the United States lifeline. Yeah, um, to retail and so, this CEO, Eddie Lampert, was heading up kind of like a sub subdivision or sub category within the organization called e-commerce. Yeah. And, and my goal for was like his special project, which I really think about is kind of the instacart of today. Yeah. And so I got hired as an e-commerce merchandiser, okay to work on that special project. And so since 2008, I’ve really purposely moved throughout my career to I guess, get as much information in my brain and e-commerce in the industry because I just knew Okay, this is the future of retail like no one’s buying from catalogs anymore, I’m gonna be buying online and so I learned a lot It was a lot of self talks. I didn’t go to school for that, you know, there was no e-commerce KPI is being studied. Yes. Cool. So yeah, so then, fast forward to 2019 I was an e-commerce from one to 2008 to 2019. And I’m still in e-commerce obviously, they’re a direct-to-consumer website. But I also had an e-commerce division at a company that produces and manufactures like home appliances and, um, and so I was like, Oh, so I that’s I guess that was my success, quote-unquote, leading up to here was just having that competitive understanding and Intel of like, how to operate a direct consumer business. Yeah. As well as how to influence marketing levers to convert, you know, consumers, so my husband, thankfully, quit his full time job and kind of went all in and my dream became I guess he he’s full time memories CEO slash CEO, whatever title, you know, founding member, whatever, all of them right now. him and I and some other people, but uh, yeah, so that’s kind of the long story short of how it started. And then it just kind of has snowballed into. Well, we got affiliated with the NC State Food Innovation Lab. All right, yeah, they’re in kannapolis, North Carolina. And we went there and pitched our idea and they helped us run the first production and all the manufacturing and utilize their equipment and their they acted as our accelerator a bit. And now we’re seeking out co packers and you know, it’s just kind of snowballed from there, but they helped us get we realized all of their data scientists all of their Intel and understanding of sourcing products and ingredients and the you know, education behind these diets that we were trying to complement with our products. So yeah, everything’s kind of fallen into a weird place, but this is where we are and we’re just running with it.
Diana Fryc 19:41
That’s so cool. Yeah, I have such a weird small world story for you now.
Erika Lepczyk 19:47
Oh, I can’t wait to hear I love these.
Diana Fryc 19:50
My business partner David. Retail Voodoo right. Prior to Retail Voodoo was called Lemley Design, we just rebranded in 2011 In 2006, and seven, we worked with Sears C suite directly with Eddie Lampert brand positioning. And we were talking about the business units. And I have a feeling that that program that you worked on was a articulation of part of the direction that we gave the Sears organization. That is weird.
Erika Lepczyk 20:28
Yes, that’s wild. So my goal for was basically like, Walmart, I’m sorry. Whoops, wrong.
Yeah, Kmart. Yes.
kmart.com and sears.com had their own platforms. Yep. And they sold different products in different markets better, yes. But it was one in the same and it was like home delivery as well as organizational delivery. And we, you know, sourced from Whole Foods. And we sourced from any retailer where it was like the convenience of the one day delivery or based on your geolocation. And yeah, so it was like this brilliant idea. But like, This couldn’t scale to where we needed
Diana Fryc 21:12
it to be technology wasn’t there yet. Exactly. Yeah.
Erika Lepczyk 21:15
And now it is, you know, so I mean, in retrospect, everything landed where it should have. But that’s it. That’s what the thing was, I was just benchmarking all of the who did it best out there. And at the time, it was Amazon. Yeah. So I, I self, taught myself Amazon platform, and at the time, it was more about skew count than it was about revenue and profitability. So yeah, it’s changed crazy. Yeah. Feed for retailers now. But
Diana Fryc 21:43
yeah, that is such a small world. Yeah, I think you’re not giving yourself enough credit in regards to success, like, you know, in 2008, for you to be able to self teach yourself, especially if you didn’t come from an IT background, like that was a very small and narrow skill set, and that you were able to translate technology and turn it into like, that’s a big deal. Like, yeah, now it doesn’t feel like it because there’s a bunch of tools in place. But, you know, let’s put a little gold star sticker up there guy, like, take it? Yes. There’s no way you’d be doing what you did. Now, if you didn’t first of all know how to work hard. And had you not gone through that
Erika Lepczyk 22:23
process? Yeah, I’ve always I’ve always grinded and I think that’s when my type A personality started coming out is I’m now a self proclaimed, recovering perfectionist. Because when you get into that headspace of just wanting to succeed and do well and learn and be the best at your role, or what have you, or be that knowledge expert, and that was always my goal. Um, you do become kind of warped into this perfectionism. Yes, I don’t know. I never set my standard or like a ceiling of it. But it was like, it became too much where I would just obsess. And so now that I’m like, in my mid 30s, I’m much more aware. And also, I think just smarter about where I delegate my time, and I can anticipate things a little bit better. And read the field. I used to spend so much time like, anticipating a question from like, a C level exactly my depth together and just so I was ready, you know, and now I’m like, I know this. I don’t need to put together a deck like I’ll be able to fly. So yeah,
Diana Fryc 23:34
Erika Lepczyk 23:36
Yes, it is. Yeah. And so you get to a breaking point, I guess you could say and so I’ve done therapy a lot of what is it called hypnotherapy? Which Oh, really? Oh, yeah. Like your subconscious payment getting back into that and just a lot of different tactics of mindfulness to actually be present. And not so freaked out about like the unknown. Like worrying gets you nowhere type of thing. So yeah, it’s it’s been a journey as we all are on you know,
Diana Fryc 24:11
well, tell me this, I gonna leave this open because this could be in a couple of ways that when did you know you were headed the right way? From a career path or with Memore? Or you could answer either way. When did you know like you started finding your groove. You loved waking up every morning or you’re just excited to get down into the weeds on something? Do you have that moment? Yeah, I
Erika Lepczyk 24:35
do. And I think I was always reaching for it because like I said, I worked with teams or just worked in general since a young age but I’ve always been pretty competitive. From an athletic stands to like, like, competitive soccer and I didn’t figure skated and I was always either within a team or what I just like being a part Have a network or whatever. And I was always just this tactical Dewar right for so long, like this Expo Expo it, like everyone tells me what to do, and I would just do it. Yeah. And then I got to a certain point in my career where I was like, building teams myself, and they were looking to me for, um, you know, recognition, they were looking to me for praise, they were looking to me for guidance to mentor and I was like, Oh, my head, this is where I’m supposed to be, this is what I want to do. And being that pioneer in the e-commerce industry to a sense, I was almost considered that industry expert, you know, depending on which organization I was with, and that is what drove me to constantly be learning constantly shape, and mold and shift. But also to show up for my team and the people that were looking to me to guide and so yeah, I think it was like, when I became a manager, or like a people manager, that was, um, and then I became a director. And now I have a department like, now I have a company that hopefully will grow to be a team. I’m plethora of people who want to do good, you know, for the our mission and purpose. So yeah, yeah, I think it’s all coming combined into that is like, I am a mother now, too. And I think a lot of that is, I just want to do well buy people. And so yeah, I think it’s like the teamwork and like that aspiration Plus, I want to know that people are happy and what they’re doing, and they’re getting out of bed, because I’ve been on the other side of it, too, you know. And so making sure that capitalizing on what they do well, and you know, making sure that they’re happy doing it, or giving them resources to learn more and reach more. Yeah, so that’s been the turning point for me in my career, where I got to that point where I could actually control that that was when I was like, Okay, I’m in the right place.
Diana Fryc 27:05
Yeah, good. And I even think this whole concept of people manager, I might even look at it as more of a community builder, even though you’re doing it in a business, because what I see with Memore, and some of the conversations that in that conversation that we had beforehand, this campaign is less about, or this project or this brand is less about, here’s a product, it’s like you are wanting to have impact on a community. And so kind of see you as more a community builder, more than a people manager, per se.
Erika Lepczyk 27:40
That’s the ultimate goal. Like, that would be my, if that was the role I took in the organization, I took a step back from like driving, you know, Reacher research and development r&d, you know, that I, that’s what I would want to do, because that’s where I find, like, fulfillment. Yeah, and then, you know, when talking about this product, it’s so personal to me. And I know, a lot of people could also resonate with that, or take that and be like, wow, I relate to that, you know, or that I have Alzheimer’s dementia in my family, and I thought this was going to be my demise. And then Yeah, I was gonna go in the world, but actually can take the reins of my life and change. Yeah, like, that’s empowering. You know?
Diana Fryc 28:26
Yeah. Love it. Yeah. You have any. I call them Aha. moments. Where it was learning either way, like it was a good thing or a bad thing and you walked away, you’re like, Okay, maybe I shouldn’t do this, or it’s something that you can share. Maybe it’s in the development of Memore, even like any moment where you’re like, Oh, I probably shouldn’t over order this, or I don’t even know what that could be.
Erika Lepczyk 28:56
Well, yeah, I think that’s, I mean, you’re never the whole term entrepreneur. Unless you are a serial entrepreneur. It’s like starting from grassroots, right? You’re teaching yourself pioneering? Yep. And we didn’t know we’re doing. We didn’t, we didn’t go to school for entrepreneurship, which thankfully, there are so many universities that have that because I think it’s amazing. But like, if anything, I leaned on my husband as much as I could, because he’s kind of just thinks that way. Hmm. And he, he like, I don’t know, we he reads a lot. He, he knows business very well, whereas I’m more of like, conceptualized conceptualizing and I can I know how to get like, consumers engaged maybe or like what the purpose or mission or how sexy a product should look nice. So yeah, I mean, there’s been so many aha moments and more moments than aha right? Like every every day. Or like, are we doing the right thing? Like, is this smart? or What should we be doing this and then there’s a couple of days in the week where we had a productive meeting, or we built a good relationship with like a registered dietician that believes in our product and we get psyched again. But we went down a path or are going down a path where it’s not like, so mainstream is like this, this mentality of long term rather than quick fix. And I think we continue to focus on treatment, rather than like, yeah, once we’re diagnosed, rather than focusing on providing quick relief of the symptoms, and blah, blah, blah. But so that’s going to be hard. And like we’ve pivoted so many times, like should we focus on the short term complements of that, because there’s actually a lot that come from it. I mean, when you eat whole foods, your regular, your clear, you know, in your mind, you wake up with more energy, you don’t have your 3pm coffee, meat or caffeine fix things that happen. But we’re not marketing our product to be like focus now lose fat now. So we’ve pivoted so many times and had so many hours or just apprehensions on the direction, and it’s the same time when we were set to go to market COVID hit like, oh, hard now and our lab closed. And we couldn’t we ordered all our product, but do you mean the labs close? like yeah, produce? You know, yeah, um, because we utilize all their expert machinery and learn about to like, pivot and find a new place during that time. So yeah, we had to postpone and we actually formulated the product in the taste in our guest bedroom. Oh, my goodness, yeah. And Brad set up this like, mini lab on my work desk at the time. And we had scales and weights and all these different ingredients, we had like four different varieties of blueberries to taste. And he was just like a chemist and and scientists, like he was the one formulating and I was the person again, yeah, saying this is this is good, or this is actually too much of that, or blah, blah, blah. And so yeah, I think we’ve just had to figure it out as we’ve gone. And I think we’ve also, um, budgeting is another hire out, oh, I guess the same when you’re an entrepreneur? is like, we want to do it. All right, yeah, that’s just like us. Because we know the possibility as human beings, we know what we can reach for, but making sure you’re pulling the right levers at the right time, it’s really hard to anticipate. And so um, we focused a time on packaging and product, how it’s pronounced, you know, rather like in the digital sense, so we built out a really nice website, we spent a lot of, you know, crowdsourcing and benchmarking on packaging. Like just getting really in the nitty gritty of the things that mattered. And then pipelining, or at least tabling the things that do matter, but we just can’t, like, either fund it at this point in time, or we can’t Yeah, bandwidth. Yeah. Um, so that was another has, like, did we spend too much money on packaging? Should we have scaled back and put more on marketing? I mean, we’re just constantly failing and learning from it, to be honest. Yeah. And that’s my biggest thing. Like, even in my career, it’s like, I’m not afraid to fail fast. But you got to be a fast fail. You
Diana Fryc 33:47
got to be really fast. Yeah.
Erika Lepczyk 33:49
Like, let’s not dwell on it. Exactly. Yep. So and I’m a lot better at that than my husband. He takes failure a lot harder than I do. I’m like, yeah, that sucks. But let’s pivot in this though, you know, and he’s more like, ah, I can’t believe you when that did that. And so we complement each other. Really? That’s
Diana Fryc 34:11
awesome. That’s so great. Do you have a moment so far, where you’re like, where you have like something that you have a gold star on that you’re pretty proud of? Right now? Is it just Are you just excited about the launch? Or is there something else that you’re like, this is the thing that I’m most proud of right now. And it could be back again about this brand or could be any wearing your journey?
Erika Lepczyk 34:36
Yeah, I mean, is it so selfish to say I’m proud of myself for like, just showing up every day? I mean, no. I mean, all Yeah, I there are so many tiny things that I’m proud of like, Oh, we got the recognition from this great registered dietician who believes in our products and that just makes me so proud. She believes in our product or miss mission and she’s going to partner with us like those types of things. But at the end of the day, I have two children three and five years old, almost three. I have my eight months pregnant right now. I have a full time job that I dedicate Monday through Friday 40 50 hours a week, you know, I that’s my, my passion. And that’s where I have to bring in money. Yeah, their household and, and then on the side, evenings and weekends, my husband and I are well, he’s always barely Memore, but I’m yeah, I’m doing Memore. And so I’m, I’m strapped to the accident, like the max, you know, like, whatever, like, Oh, I don’t have time to do anything. I legitimately don’t have time to do anything. And I have a lot of guilt there. Like, I could be a better mother, I could be a better Yeah, you know, founder, I could be a better wife friends. Like I that person that doesn’t look at my personal phone for a long time. And then I’ll respond to everyone in bash dash. So yeah, I think I’m just really proud of myself. And that sounds so selfish, like, because I’m proud of a lot of things that we’ve accomplished. But I’m really just trying to appreciate myself more. And I know that I get emotional about it. But I mean, you even said at the beginning, I kind of throw shade at myself a lot. Like just because I don’t know what it is. It’s like maybe just social cues or culture. Like, I’ve been a successful woman sometimes, like, I don’t just own it. And so I’m trying to own it. And I’m trying to be proud of myself and preach to my friends and my family. Like, I got into podcasts. Like, how cool is that? Or how close that. Yeah. So like, you know, I’m trying to share life’s good moments instead of always just harping on some of the negative and hard times too. So yeah.
Diana Fryc 37:00
Yeah, a lot of that is upbringing. Like, I have a lot of that myself. My parents are immigrants. And so I’m first generation and part of being first generation is you are reminded every single day you are in that household of what they gave up in order for you to be here and you better appreciate it. Yeah. So I get it. Like, you know, I’m in school, getting my MBA. I have two children. I work full time as my business partner running my own company. I am like my workweek is 80 hours a week, if not more, and there’s this pressure and then a group of people who think I’m absolutely insane. Don’t you want downtime and downtime for me? It’s nerve racking. creasing. It creates anxiety for me because yes, as a kid, I was ingrained. there’s a there’s a there is a comedian and I can’t remember his name. Now. He’s Italian. He’s from Chicago. Oh, I
Erika Lepczyk 37:59
know exactly. My brother like him. Okay. Yeah,
Diana Fryc 38:03
yeah, that guy out there like Michael Cox or Leo or something like that. And he talks about the fact that like, his dad was an immigrant when he was a kid and eight like his dad was like, at when he was eight years old. It’s like, how come you don’t have a job? Yeah. What’s your problem? You should be down the street, mow some lawns, which a kid? Yeah, no, no, I totally get that. I don’t know if you come from immigrant family. But you know, your family of origin where you grow up. That’s a lot of this. self talk, self talk.
Erika Lepczyk 38:32
I’m learning that through therapy. It’s so interesting. But you know, I’m not from parents of immigrants. But I have my grandparents came in my father’s parents came to the US from Italy. And so they worked really hard. And they actually my, my father was raised in a household that didn’t have a tonne of money. So when my dad worked his part of my French family when he worked his ass off for us as children, and we got to go on trips, and yes, whatever. And then I would come home and be like, oh, Sarah, God, blah, blah, blah from her parents. And he’s like, well, we’re not serious parents. Yes. And you have a lot of good stuff. So if you want a car, then go to work. I know. This is kind of how I treated life I guess. Yeah, like you want something but you have to kind of manifested as well in a positive way. And yeah, also what my father taught me I was like, really big on the secret. Yeah. Which Oh, that book? Yes. So he’ll always just text me like randomly and be like the secret because it’s easy to like, get in a negative headspace. You know, it’s so easier to get in a negative headspace said yes. To get into positive and so yeah, yeah. I think a lot of it does stem from childhood, but I’m glad it’s done that for me. Yeah.
Diana Fryc 39:57
And I think there is a podcast that I went live a few weeks ago. Brie Brie, Brie I forgot your last name Honey, I gonna send you a link to the book, please where she and her husband got to the point where she basically was like you and I and at one point just killed herself. Yeah, like she just got into overdrive and she started doing retreats. And she wrote a book all about retreats where she goes away for a week. And then when she comes back, then she’s back at 180 hours a week, like or whatever it is, but she’s like, you got to have that time for yourself. I will send you her link to her books so that you can see it. There’s a lot of stuff that she writes about in there about this drive, balance the drive and how to find balance and balance is kind of the wrong word. Because really, you just got to find a system that works for you to be able to take a break so you can re-energize and then get back to it. Otherwise you just become incrementally less capable.
Erika Lepczyk 41:03
Yeah, I know very well. Yeah. Well, I would love that. And I you know, one of the I just will add one of the things that I’ve really worked on to help me get to that place to take time for myself. Is that time blocking? Yeah, self. Yep. self care. Yeah. Yeah. blacking, like a walk, or go to the gym for an hour. And I think that is a retreat. Yeah, no, and I can do an hour
Diana Fryc 41:27
that that is a retreat in and of itself if you are able to own it that hour. Yeah. And the reality is, is that your life is the way it is. You know it so you got to find out. Well, what is my retreat for me? It’s my Saturday morning, I go walking with my girlfriends every Saturday morning. I have two hours. I love that. And that’s it. That’s that’s my break. And then I can after I have that I can go another week.
Erika Lepczyk 41:55
Yeah, no, I think that it’s like, I don’t know if you’re the Energizer Bunny. That’s how you recharge. Right? Yeah. So uh, yeah, to your point, you just find your groove or what makes you happy. Because there’s a lot of people that like, take time for themselves and like grind at a workout class. And they’re like, Oh, so hard. I hated it. Oh, you don’t feel like it doesn’t feel like you’re getting returned to them. So I have found what works for me. And I am a creature of habit. And I do it as much as I can, you know?
Diana Fryc 42:27
Yeah. And I also want to think that taking that downtime, and finding whatever that balance of rest is to probably be as important for brain health and cognitive health as literally as any other prep is part of that holistic component.
Erika Lepczyk 42:44
Yes, I was just with my sister this past weekend, two weekends ago, and she lives in Michigan, and we were talking about how we recharge, like exactly what we were talking about. And I found out recently through self discovery that I’m an extroverted introvert. Yes, I thrive in social situations and love to be social and stimulated. But I actually need to recharge in solitude. Yes. And so like, it actually drains me when I’m out for a night or attend an event or speaker engagement, like what have you, I’ll take an hour or two or even a day, depending, and I’ll actually just, like, want to be by myself. And I always thought that was weird. But then I was my sister was like, No, you’re the completely opposite of me. Like I always find myself but I get recharged by people’s energy. Yeah. And being in social situations. So each, each person has their own like vibe, and you just got to figure it out.
Diana Fryc 43:46
Yeah. Yeah, I’m gonna recommend a book that I’m reading my MBA class right now called quiet, quiet and it’s about the art, the anthropological transformation of an introverted society to an extroverted society. And the, the social constraints that an extroverted society puts on introverts and its relationship to anxiety and the use of anxiety. medication. It is
Erika Lepczyk 44:19
sound like a Bible. Blow Your Mind. Yeah, it’s gonna be life changing for me, it will be
Diana Fryc 44:27
Yeah, and it’s like audio books. So you are
Erika Lepczyk 44:30
better I can take a walk. There you go. Okay, get learn. Sorry, there,
Diana Fryc 44:34
we went way down this rabbit hole. Okay. So what’s, what’s next for Memore? what’s what’s, what’s on the deck.
Erika Lepczyk 44:40
So what’s next for Memore. So we’re developing a lot of great partnerships right now, through marketing and as well as just, I guess, industry tested leaders and nutritionist registered dietitians. And so we’re in that right now. The partner and building the brand that way and that, that confidence. And then also we are formulating some new products. And so we’re going to come on okay, hopefully in a bit with some I don’t want to say cuz it could pivot, but we’re coming out with other supplements or powders that are convenient, but also nutritious and all grow delicious, but more skewed and certain behavioral needs. So I’m not like focus or quick fixes But still, like more greens in your diet or filling gaps like, by actual real values. Yeah, yeah. So we’re focusing on that right now. And it’s really exciting.
Diana Fryc 45:43
Awesome. What kind of advice would you give people who are considering a startup? I just curious, like, what what would you recommend that they have in place or be ready for?
Erika Lepczyk 45:56
Yeah, um, I would my advice is like, just do it and tell people about it early and get that adaption. And I think someone had told me like, Oh, I don’t know if someone told me or if I listened to it on podcast, but like some people’s view of startups just like keep your ideas close to chest, which I get, I think, Sara Blakely, of Spanx. And she did that. And I think it’s changed since I agree, thanks a lot, agrees. Um, the more you shape shift and help people think outside of this box or silo that they might be in, the more adaptive or behind the idea and product could actually even stimulate them to stay on something for myself. So my, just do it, I really just do it. And people like myself, and everyday people start these things all the time with, you know, not a huge finance, backing, not a huge, but if it’s the right place, and time and the right gap in the market, it’s going to evolve and you know, it will be where it needs to be when it needs to be that mantra, like, I don’t chase I attract. What was meant for me will simply find me. Yeah, I love that. Because, I mean, hopefully you’re not attracting like negative energy. But, you know, if you have the patience and the bandwidth of your mindset to adapt something like that, then go for it, and then learn, keep learning because that’s, you know, you’re never too old to stop learning
Diana Fryc 47:45
to create. Yeah, well, our time is almost up, but I’m going to ask a couple of questions that I asked everybody. Okay. Okay, so, um, what other women leaders? Are you? Would you like to just kind of elevate like, Who are you watching? Why, why are they important to you? Or just, you know, is there a rising star that you’re just watching because you just want to elevate who they are?
Erika Lepczyk 48:12
Yeah, and I know, my answer will probably get his cell phone me because he’s like, why are you trying to, you know, promote competition, but I don’t believe I don’t view it like that, like, and I think women supporting other women don’t view it that way either. But it’s like a shift for men. But there’s this woman Her name is Helen Hall. And she lives I think, in Charleston, South Carolina, so it’s like kind of close to me. So like relatable. She started the company Blender bombs. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. Haha. Yeah. It’s, um, and so I use them every day. It’s a it’s with my Memore, actually. And Helen Hall is a young entrepreneur who sought a solution for her own self. And some of her clients I think she was a personal trainer to combat like sugar cravings, and blood sugar regulation. And she created this blender balm, which is a plethora of like nuts and seeds and dates, and like all in ball form, like and you plop it into your blender, and it’s a bomb to complement whatever other things that you’re putting in your smoothie. Hmm. So I’m excited with Memore sometimes, but I just think she’s young. She’s really I don’t know if she’s really young, but she’s young and she’s doing it right. I think she’s fully funded, like, I don’t think so. Any capital investment, maybe some lines of credit here and there, but I just follow her journey because she’s so inspiring. Probably because it’s so relatable to myself, like I created a product or sought out a need for myself selfishly To combat early onset Alzheimer’s, but then at the end of the day, it was like if I need this, the world needs this right? There’s gonna be so she’s just very influential to me and I think she’s got a great positive energy about her and I just want her to do well. So yeah, I’ll ride your wave as long as I can.
Diana Fryc 50:21
I love that. Yeah. What brands are wealthy? You kind of answered this one to what brands or trends Do you have your eye on? And why but it’s so it’s almost one in the same. But is there any Yes, that you’re watching out there.
Erika Lepczyk 50:33
Um, I think hydration is another thing that’s becoming really prominent with that Liquid IV launch a couple years ago, you know, and it’s just like, the best name for a product in my name, because it’s like, oh, wow, instead of getting hydrated by drinking 10 glasses of water a day like, I actually can supplement my water with this hydration of electrolytes and by ID and etc. So I I’m a huge fan of go hydrate because I just love the flavor and it helps me drink a lot more water. But I do think hydration is going to be something that people need to kind of start realizing how important it is for your mind your gut health, to drink water and keep your body always hydrated because the majority of our own body is made up with water. So yeah, that’s a cool trend. I think right now that is really taking mainstream. Hmm.
Diana Fryc 51:36
Wow, we have been talking with Miss Erika Lepczyk The CEO and co-founder of Memore. Erika, where can people learn more about what you’re up to?
Erika Lepczyk 51:48
Sure. So our Instagram handle is your Memore, y o u r m e m o r e. And then our website or direct consumer website is yourmemore, y o u r m e m o r e.com And it kind of talks about, that’s the best place to get a lot of information. And then our Instagram, we’re always sharing a lot of facts and always credited facts in science backed. So just those two platforms, you know, I think are great. And obviously Facebook, any of the social platforms. Great. Um,
Diana Fryc 52:24
yeah. Awesome. Erika, thank you so much for your time today. And thank you for what you’re doing for our community. I’m really excited to watch you and your brand grow. Thanks for your time today.
Erika Lepczyk 52:38
That means so much. Thank you. It’s been fun. All right.
Diana Fryc 52:41
All right, everybody. We’ll catch you next time. Have a great rest of your day.
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