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Tips To Run a Healthy Social Venture Featuring Nina Tickaradze, NADI

Founder and CEO of NADI

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc is joined by Nina Tickaradze, the Founder and CEO of NADI, to discuss tips on how to successfully run a healthy social venture. Nina explains the challenges of running a social venture and lessons she has learned as a leader, the importance of being in an entrepreneurial group outside of your organization, and her advice to other women leaders.

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Key Takeaways

    • Nina Tickaradze talks about NADI and why it exists

    • Nina explains the challenges of running a social venture whose goal is bigger than the financial rewards

    • Nina talks about NADI’s path in the right direction

    • NADI products and how they’re marketed to the average American consumer

    • Lessons Nina has learned as the leader of NADI

    • Nina explains the importance of being in an entrepreneurial group outside of your organization

    • Nina’s advice to other women leaders

    • What’s next for NADI?

    • Women leaders Nina admires

Quotes

Chapters

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Transcript

Intro 0:05 

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 crushed 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 0:43 

Well, hello, Diana Fryc. Here I am the host of the Gooder Podcast where I get to talk with a powerhouse women in the food, beverage and wellness categories about their journeys to success and their insights on the industry. This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo, a brand development firm. Our clients include Starbucks, Kind, Rei, PepsiCo, Heike and many other market leaders. We provide strategic brand and design for services for leading brands in these industries. If your goal is to increase market, share, drive growth or disrupt the marketplace with new and innovative ideas, give us a call and let’s talk and you can find out more at retail-voodoo.com. All right. Well, today I get to introduce you to Nina Tickaradze who is founder and CEO of NADI, a certified Women-Owned Enterprise and social venture with a mission to create jobs for displaced refugees. NADI, it is not a correct yes, yes produces organic juices and healthy snacks that are sold in grocery stores supermarkets across the US. NADI these products are inspired by ancient Georgian health traditions and old family recipes. Now Nina is a native of the country of Georgia, where she founded the Georgia to Georgia Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes relationships between the state of Georgia and the country of Georgia. She is also co-chair of the Atlanta Tbilisi. Did I get that one, right? Yes. Oh, I’m getting good. Okay. Which is a sister city committee. She is also a certified Sommelier. Hello. That is cool. And we’re going to learn a little bit more about that. Well, welcome Miss Nina. How are you today?

Nina Tickaradze 2:39

Hi, I’m good. I’m good. Thank you so much for having me.

Diana Fryc 2:42 

Where are you located?

Nina Tickaradze 2:44 

Of course. I’m in Atlanta, Georgia.

Diana Fryc 2:46 

In Atlanta. Oh, who did I talk to yesterday that was from Atlanta? Oh, Christine Jaxon from Baby puffs? Oh, I can’t remember the name of it. Forgive me, Christina. Okay, I’ll remember by the end of this episode and bring her back up. But to Atlanta’s that’s got to be good. I love it.

Nina Tickaradze 3:13 

And I knew all about Georgia. I went from Georgia to Georgia.

Diana Fryc 3:16

Georgia to Georgia. Well, quite different, quite different. Well, hey, can you, I really like it when brands, before we get to start talking about your background. I really like it when brand owners like yourself, can tell us a little bit about their brand. Would you mind telling us about NADI and why it exists?

Nina Tickaradze 3:35

Yes, of course happy to. I started NADI with several friends through concern and passion of how we could help displace refugees in my country after the war with Russia in 2008. And we simply wanted to help create jobs. So these people felt that they can take care of their families and have their pride back. And we just inclined to, you know, go into the let me start this over. Yeah. It’s hard because it’s was started with seven like, I know, different ways. Yeah. Okay. So. I mean, there is another side, which is a little bit more exciting. And that’s how.

Diana Fryc 3:35

This is your story. So you get to share what is important to you.

Nina Tickaradze 4:34 

Yes, yes. Okay. So, okay, so we started NADI with several friends that were all from my country, Georgia, where we identified a concern for the displaced refugees, which we had quite a bit due to the turmoil and wars that my country Georgia went through with Russia in 2008. So we knew that we wanted to help, but we were not sure exactly what we could do. And one of the ideas was something that me and my friend, George, who started this company always wanted to do is that we wanted to test our grandparents, grandmother’s recipes against each other. We were like, okay, well, I grew up, I made better rosehip juice, no, my grandma. So it was kind of, on and on forever. So we figured most of these refugees happen to be farmers, and then you a lot about this plant. And it’s not easiest plant to work with. But I knew that to be successful on the US market, you have to have something very unique and you have to have some type of funding, and a purpose, so that you are heard and you inspire. Those three things, for me, were vital. So I didn’t have the funding, but we had a lot of passion, we had unique products. And we just said let’s just start like just start, it doesn’t matter how big how little, that is, do what we can. And obviously, you’re not going to hire people right away. So you had to create demand, you had to create sales. And it really was just going for it. Figuring out and learning processes. But little by little, this company has become such an amazing part of my life, because it ties in so many of things and qualities that I love about what I do every day. So I’m so glad I took the risks. I’m so glad that I worked so hard. Now we do have quite a bit of a full-time employees who were refugees, we also do a lot for our community. So little by little, we’re going to get our dream and hopefully we’ll be able to create a lot of jobs for people.

Diana Fryc 7:08 

I can assume that right now, because of what’s happening in Ukraine, that there’s some sort of emotional connection going on right now with the Ukrainians, and I’m sure with the Georgians, different circumstances, similar circumstances. It’s like, as a different enterprise than most people, right? This is a social entrepreneur type of program, right? You’re going into the business, not because you’ve decided you found this great idea, and you’re going to make a jillion dollars. The goal at the end of the day is actually bigger than the financial rewards that come at the end of this. Do you need to make money? Yes. Because you need the money to finance and invest against your desires. Is it difficult to separate the emotion from the tactical when you are working on a project like this? I feel like that’s such a bonehead question.

Nina Tickaradze 8:13 

No, no, no, I totally get what you’re asking. So this particular situation with Ukraine definitely affected us on the human level, on a personal level, but also on a day-to-day financial level. Our bottling factory was in Kea. So, as a small business, you anticipate many things, you jump over many hurdles, and you think you are amazing for creating new solutions. There is only so much you can do with the war, I don’t think you can really prepare for it. So we lost a lot of inventory. We lost a lot of time, because it was not something we had prepared for. I learned very well that turns out I’m incredibly professional and good at crisis mode. Once the crisis settles, I realized that I just need to get. So that passion and dedication that me and my team have for this company. It was amazing how much we had to put aside, emotional and figure out what we’re good at. And we’re good at solving massive problems. And we did it within three weeks of destroyed. Actually, we found a partner in Turkey. We found just enough finances and support from friends to be able to do this. And it’s not the easiest thing to get a corporation or manufacturing to start running your product in three weeks. And so I feel like we had to do that, we had to divide up our emotions, our mental state and solve the problem at hand. And once we did, then we could all of a sudden realize that oh my gosh, this is where we come in. This is what we can do we know what to do and how to help refugees. We know how to raise money, we know how much they need cars, not just cars, but they need trucks. Like all of a sudden, we started understanding that, oh, my gosh, everything that we’ve learned through our own experience in 2008, and from then on, now we can help others. So that’s been an amazing journey to become resource for others. And once again, you have to divide it up. But that passion, and that mental state is what drives you to figure things out.

Diana Fryc 8:41 

Yeah. That’s amazing. I am having a moment here in my head, my father’s family. My father had me when he was quite older, but my father’s family. My father was a Holocaust survivor. He lived in Central Europe during World War Two, and was shipped out to the outskirts, and he had the star and the whole bit, and survived. But when we were kids living here, of course, in the US, we took through a lot of families, a lot of families that were refugees from different countries, mostly through Central Europe. And it’s just dawning on me listening to what you’re hearing, that it’s not just the passion to help but the connection to these people is different. It’s not about helping, really. I mean, it is about helping, but it’s like, you understand what’s happening up here, you understand what’s happening in the heart and the head and everything. And I hadn’t thought about that way before. So thank you for sharing that.

Nina Tickaradze 10:49 

Yeah. So I think after all of this, I told my team, I don’t think I’ll be scared of anything anymore. So bring it on.

Diana Fryc 12:11 

Yeah. Oh, my goodness, that’s an amazing statement right there. So when you were going through the beginning parts of this venture, when did you know that you were going in the right direction? When did you know this is the right idea, this is the right product, this is the right?

Nina Tickaradze 12:31 

100%, I know exactly when we brought in our first, we could not afford to bring a whole container. So we brought in half a container, which later we learned was very silly to do. Because you end up paying for the food transportation. But we did it and wish we went to Miami to Food Expo. And I’ve done a lot of Expo’s in my life due to having career in marketing. I thought I was going to be a pro. I know how to do fires and events and promo items and everything. So I had that all down. And we go into this expo. And I told myself, okay, you’re going to count how many people who hate your juice and see what the reaction is. And you got to be honest with yourself, that if people don’t like it, you’re not going to do this. So me and my sister and my cousin, we started serving to juice as people walked by, and people were ordering. And some people were asking me if I can buy some here. And I think at that time, maybe we sampled over 500 people. And we had one person that said that she didn’t like it, out of all of them. So I looked at my girls, and I was like, oh, my God, we are golden. To have so many personalities just walk by without knowing us not really knowing our mission, not knowing what rosehip is at all, to try it and simply like the taste. It was important, because as a social venture, people will buy your product one time, because they feel sorry, or compassion or they feel like they’re going to be part of some kind of good story. If your product doesn’t taste good, they’re not coming back. Yeah, that’s the end of that relationship. So we knew that our product had to be very, very high quality. And I will tell you this that in my country, it’s not the easiest thing to produce an USDA organic product. There are only very few of us. I think we may be the second drink in the whole country that has that kind of certification. We were first and then there is another one I think now, but it was vital for us to bring to this country a product that was high quality that was certified organic and we would take that market share outlines.

Diana Fryc 15:05

Really?

Nina Tickaradze 15:06 

Yes. I mean, there is no other rosehip juice on the market at all.

Diana Fryc 15:11

Well, I’m in my head. I’m over here. I wrote down here in my notes. I’m like, we didn’t actually circle back to find out which grandma recipe one.

Nina Tickaradze 15:21 

Neither. It turns out that our grandma’s loved sugar. So we’re very disappointed. And we had to quickly figure out how to make this healthy because I definitely wanted this to be healthy. And rose hips. So I can tell you a little bit about why it’s so important that I started this foot surgery. Yeah, please. So rose hips have one of the highest concentration of vitamin C. It have barely any fructose. I’ve been told that there is almost no fructose at all. So you have this fruit that people for centuries have been drinking as a tea eating as a jam. I mean, making the choice to be in Switzerland, so that they would get vitamin C, which is so important for immunity. And this was something that my grandma would make me drink every day before 10 years after 10 years before school. Oh, you have a headache, get rosehip juice, your stomach hurts, get rosehip juice. So when we started this, I was like, I’m going to do a lot of research. And I asked a lot of my friends and a lot of professional researchers to dive in and really get on the bottom of this was grandma, right? Or this was like, my country. And turns out, they were very much right, it has so many health benefits. We were mesmerized, like, it just has so many health benefits. And that was very important to showcase when you’re bringing something new to the market. So to dilute that with juice, sugar or anything else. We just did everything possible not to do that. So anyway, so none of the recipes worked.

Diana Fryc 17:08 

Poor grandma.

Nina Tickaradze 17:10 

It was a good experiment.

Diana Fryc 17:12

Yeah. Well, so let’s talk a little bit about rosehip is new for the average American, I’m not going to say for the immigrant audience. But for those of us that are in second and third generation, Americans or older, how are you finding, introducing this product versus the social side when you’re talking to somebody who’s net new? Do you just focus on the flavor or talk a little bit about how you positioning the product to the average American consumer?

Nina Tickaradze 17:50

Absolutely, I think it’s very important where you are physically located and what the atmosphere is, when you are discussing the product. If you are in a store doing a demo, you probably don’t want to take up too much time because coming in to do certain thing. So you want them to at least hear rosehip at least curious about rosehip and maybe get the soup. But if you’re at an expo where people are expected to be there for the purpose of discovering something new, then we usually say a little bit about the rosehip benefits. But I also have this thing that I don’t want to use our core mission for the purposes of marketing, I’m very careful about this, even though it’s a smart thing to do, and I know many, many companies that will do that. Or they’ll say 5% here, 10% here, it’s wonderful. I want everybody to do it. But I don’t want to use it. I want to tell the story. And the story takes sometimes a long time. Because nobody at a nice, happy Expo wants to hear about the war and tragedy. So we try to be delicate about it. And we, you know, give resources where they can read more about it. But we concentrate all of our products on. And I do like to highlight that it’s our women-owned business. But that usually that’s about it. We don’t unless they ask then I can be there all day and talk about it.

Diana Fryc 19:28 

Yeah, I understand. Now, when we’re looking back at all young brands or younger brands, and I always thought basically any anything under about 10 years, I always consider a pretty young brand. There’s a lot of experiences and growth and as you’re looking back at some of those choices that you made, like that container being one of them. Is there anyone experience where you and the team made a move and looking back you are like, that was a bonehead move, but it made us look at the opportunity like this. And it helped us accelerate to where we are now.

Nina Tickaradze 20:13

I mean, as a small business, you probably have those moments every week, had like aha moment about the bugs. I think this one was unique. So we brought in, we were trying to make sure that we fit as much part as we can when you bring containers, because we thought they were quite expensive. Now they’re very expensive. No, it’s unbelievable. So we decided that we’re going to have each case with 20 bottles. And so that way, we want some space, we could do more. So our brilliant idea. So one time we were reviewing sales, I think it was with Unify, and they’re telling me oh, you sold only 120 cases in this see, you only sometime here or whatever. And I’m like, so disappointed, thinking, wow, like, I thought it was so much more, and they don’t really give you a full data. So you’re always guessing. So we got off the call, and I started doing my little math, and I’m like, something is just not right. I really have a lot less product. And then it hit me that everything that you do in this industry is per case. It’s not per bottle. It’s not everything they count is per case. So my 20 bottle case, is same thing as somebody six-pack. So, hold on a minute. If have the six-packs, does this mean I just sold 600 or what?

Diana Fryc 21:45

Right, right. Right. Right.

Nina Tickaradze 21:46

So I called the Unified manager bagging. Tell me a little bit more about the cases, counted that way. And she said, oh, everything in this business as per case. I said, okay, my next container is going to have six-packs. She goes good. And you’ll be like and easier to carry. I’m like, yes. So that was definitely one of those aha moments that you just learned by complete mistake.

Diana Fryc 22:15 

Yeah. It’s a series of that we have worked with so many entrepreneurs of all sizes, you know, we and, and ones that are quite large. And we hear these stories all the time. I think they’re fascinating because somebody could have told you that 100 times, but it wasn’t until you ran into it that you’re like, now it sticks, now I get it. Yeah.

Nina Tickaradze 22:41

100% It was aha moment for us.

Diana Fryc 22:43 

Well, listen, we met over LinkedIn, love LinkedIn, a while ago and then met up at Expo West. And when you and I met at Expo West, you introduced me to this amazing set of women one of whom included Sophia maroon, who I have also interviewed from Dress It Up Dressing, and you guys have a special kind of unit going on there. Can you share a little bit more about your group? Why you formed and what it is that you’re up to?

Nina Tickaradze 23:15 

Absolutely, I would love to. So about 15 small companies, women-owned companies were chosen as winners of Stacy’s Rise. Anyways, by PepsiCo, and 15 of us won this amazing award. And for a couple of months, we were mentored and coached and opened up amazing opportunities for us in relationships. But one very, very unique thing that they did is that they divided 15 girls into teams. And they put us in one team. And I would hear constantly from everybody at the discussions that oh, I don’t have time to meet so much. I don’t know this people. I’m not going to just start socializing, whatever, whatever. So when they came to my team, I was like, girls, we’re going to do this. Like we’re going to be a kick-ass amazing team. Like, do you have time for this and like, we get to make time for this. It’s going to be Friday, every Friday. And we like laugh at ourselves. But we have never missed a Friday since and it’s been like year and a half. It was whoever did this at Pepsi and put us together was brilliant. Because we balance each other perfectly. And we are like, always thinking about how to help each other. I don’t know how many nights I’ve stayed up searching to see how to do service provider to help you know Sophia figure out how to get out or whatever. I mean, all the time, we are looking after each other. And that was really because we were able to talk about the real problems when we’re on. We didn’t talk about like, some kind of top-level stuff. This was down to like, oh my God, my bottles are breaking. How are you guys capping yours? Okay, this way, try this, try that, how’s your trip here? Amazon, I mean, so it was like all of a sudden having four brilliant minds thinking with you. And that’s different than your team. Because your own team has their own ideas there. But they don’t come from that same pain that you are feeling as a founder. So it was just been really unique. I mean, I love these girls so much. They’re going to come here for the WBNC, so I’m so excited. June 7 through ninth. So yes, it’s been very unique. It’s been wonderful. I will tell you, though, this is very rare that five people can really commit to something for this long unless they are getting benefit out of it. And I think we help each other so much, that it’s been beneficial. But I have been in so many other groups and chants and whatever, that it’s chaotic, it’s not purposeless, and then you drop people off very fast. So we’ve been very fortunate.

Diana Fryc 26:23 

Well, I think it makes sense when you’re working with people outside of your organization. When you’re working with your own team, and I find this to be true with me and my business partner, David, is you’re in your own stew, so to speak, right? And so when you’re working through a problem, first of all, everybody has a vested interest in the outcome. And it’s very hard to operate on yourself if you have to do anything significant. And also, I don’t know if you find this, but oftentimes, we don’t do a great job of celebrating either, because we’re so focused on the next task and the next thing. And having this outsiders group who’s like going, listen, Nina, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but like blink, blink and blink, somebody who can talk to you in your language, but can see from the outside and can be like that, somewhat of a consultant. But that knows you personally, I think super valuable. Super valuable.

Nina Tickaradze 27:19

And you mentioned a good point about celebrations. I do so much alone that yes, I get happy when we get into some supermarket, but I often because my team is in different countries, often they don’t really know what it means to get into the Fresh Market, or sprouts or whatever. Oh, yeah. Good. What does this mean? You know, so when one of our girls got into Target, I think it was like a Wednesday or Tuesday. So we all texted we’re like, Okay, we’re gonna do a champagne celebration. I did. And it was really cool. We all celebrated. So yeah, to take time, and actually, Sophia is the one that always tells us that we have to take time and celebrate each milestone. Because I mean, they are many little ones. But each one took us so long and hard work.

Diana Fryc 28:11

Well, and I will say that it’s very true of entrepreneurs to mitigate the winds or not mitigate, downplay the winds and focus on the things that are broken or need to be taken care of next, because then we’re kind of trained to do that. Super. And I think this COVID thing personally, while it a lot of people feel like I can live my best life and this and I don’t have to commute anymore. Those are all amazing benefits. But I think this lack of connecting with people, I think I personally, I’m no sociologists or anthropologists, I just see what I see. But I personally think that in two or three years of this, I think mental illness is actually going to go way up. You cannot operate in a void for years at a time. We’re social animals.

Nina Tickaradze 29:11

100% and we need this support to I mean, people think that you know this word entrepreneur like people think it’s so exotic, and one time I was gloating with my poor father, rest his heart like, he went with me to our harvest, and we’re dragging these boxes around, and my hands are always shaking, and there’s so blue and this young guy walks by me and he goes, whose product is this? I said, mine. And he said, that’s so cool. That’s like awesome, whatever. And I’m like, this is so not sexy right now you have no idea. I’m like, don’t let anybody tell you that is like, is anything to do is fun or easy. Nothing is easy, so you have to consciously I understand that you love what you’re doing and then make it fun. And these kinds of relationships like with Pepsi girls, those are so important because we’re so alone in this. 100 people we have on your team. So anyway, yeah, I always hear this. Oh, you’re entrepreneur. For me, that means like, either you know my pain or you don’t. But there’s very few rewards.

Diana Fryc 29:11

Yeah. Well, the rewards are different. We’re masochists. Let’s be honest.

Nina Tickaradze 30:03 

That’s a good way to say it. I’ve been trying to.

Diana Fryc 30:35

We enjoy our pain.

Nina Tickaradze 30:38

I know, sometimes it’s so at the point where you have to question everything from religion to 19 hours of work. I didn’t even know there were 19 hours, but when you do it every day, turns out you don’t need to eat.

Diana Fryc 31:00 

You really don’t, you really don’t. I’m in school right now. So I am living that dream. This entire week, I’ve had four hours of sleep every night between work and school. So I get it.

Nina Tickaradze 31:12

I think it’s important. Like, I feel like when I went into this business, no matter how I thought about a business, or social venture, or whatever, I really didn’t have people around me that had done anything like this. Actually, I didn’t know anybody in CPG world at all. I didn’t. I had to Google it. So I didn’t have anyone that came up and said, this is going to be hard. Are you sure you want to do this, like, here are the things that are gonna be really hard. And I would have probably said, oh, my God, it’s okay. Like, I’m so excited, whatever. But nobody really tells you to paint. Everybody tells you how so and so in 10 years became blah, blah. How so and so sold juice and in like, five years. You hear all these things, but that’s probably 1%. And it’s really hard. And like, I always tell myself, Nina, none of this is going to be easy. You want and you really want it, but there is no turning back.

Diana Fryc 32:01 

It’s a calling. There’s something that is calling you to do this work. I get that. Yeah, I get it.

Nina Tickaradze 32:23 

Because that mean social engineering to house because you can’t be late, other people depend on you. You cannot be late.

Diana Fryc 32:30 

You cannot. Yeah, that’s the truth. And the larger you get, the more and more people depend on you. Yeah. Well, before we started recording, you were talking about some things that you could pass on to other women or other entrepreneurs in business, kind of like some advice about different ways that we can show up like, I think that one of the things that we said is it feels like women in business are expected to show up a particular way in my example was, oh, yeah, I’m doing some interviews and I was doing some reference calls. And the first thing everybody said, was how amazingly wonderful this person was to work with. And it was like five minutes of that, which is fantastic. But I also have a need for them to help me with my mission and with our goals and that sort of thing. So when people come to you for advice, maybe even particularly other women, what is it that you share with them? Or what is it that you’d want to share with them?

Nina Tickaradze 33:42 

Yeah, I mean, watching in this industry, and I’m also in several other industries. One thing that I am very disappointed in is that we women tend to treat each other more as women than men treat us in many ways. Hope you’ll understand this correctly, but I’ve never had a man at a conference or networking place come and tell me, oh my God, you have three kids? How come you’re here at 9pm? Is this easy for you? Is this hard? But you will be talking about business with a couple of guys and girls and a woman will walk up and say, Oh my God, you have three kids, you’re here. I’m like, why are you telling me this? Tell the guy this you only have two kids are three, like, I hate that we put ourselves in a place that I am a hero because I’m then they’re going to look at you as, yes, I’m a mom. Yes, I have a career. Yes, I have my business but the core reason why I come to networks and while I listen to podcasts and stuff, I want solutions. I want to know more people. I want solutions. I want to figure things out. I don’t want to be like looked at like it is sensitive, whatever, that I just achieved golden thing, because I am somewhere at 9pm. And those are little things that I wish, assuming we take a little bit more care and really pull each other up. I know we say this all the time. But like even conferences that we set up for women always have to have this emotional things in it. I’ve never been to a normal conference where it’s male and female, where it’s so much about how are you feeling? How do you get along with your husband? Do you ever have time for relationships? Like, talk to your friends or cocktails about this. Here, let’s do business. And I think until we do this to ourselves, that’s how we’re going to be seen. So little by little, I just, that’s why I love my, the Pepsi girls, our team is that we really treat each other as absolutely equals, in all the pains. And in the difficulties of business. But yeah, I just wished we would look at each other and religious help each other in business.

Diana Fryc 36:14

Yeah, for sure. And I can see that where I think how I might say it is, what I think I’m hearing is, Nina is saying, as women, we should look at each other as business professionals or entrepreneurs, or game changers first, when we’re in the environment of business and the mom second. And not in that there is a priority by way of what is more important. But there is something that what is more important in the moment. And that’s what I think I’m hearing is like, lean into who am I as a business owner, or as an entrepreneur, or as a business leader, when we’re here in this moment talking about business. But this man that standing next to you also has children and a spouse or a family at home that they’re caring for. And we give them opportunity to talk about it too. But we’re here for business like business, and we want to care for the whole human at the same time. But let’s not over-index on the soft parts. Is as that what I think I’m hearing?

Nina Tickaradze 37:27

Yeah, I mean, I think so. I think just day today, I think every woman knows the secret that we do 1000 things more in 1000 things. I don’t know how many times I’ve told my husband, like you’re at home, my responsibilities are two page long, and yours is not even one and you’re complaining. So we know the secret that we Yes, that we are miracle workers. So we’re now sitting in a boardroom and I have 10 men sitting next to me. I don’t want them to look at me and say, oh, honey, don’t you need to go home and fold clothes.

Diana Fryc 38:08

Right. Oh, that would make us mad, wouldn’t it?

Nina Tickaradze 38:10

Right. But then a woman tells you this in front of the board. And you’re like, wow, why did you just do this? And it probably comes from heart and concern. But that in that moment, I need you to be stronger than all of these people in the world, you’re the only girl I’ve got. So it’s weird. Like, I wish that we would just elevate the partnership of business survival. How are we going to kick booty in this industry? Everything else can you choose this. Nobody made you come out here and leave your kids at home? You chose this. You love it. You have a passion. So let’s take this to the next level. I don’t know. I just, sometimes it’s just people, they do what they do.

Diana Fryc 39:00

Yeah, I get it. I get it. Well, let’s talk a little bit about what’s next for NADI now. We’ve talked a little bit about the juice. Do you have a bar? Is that what it is that you have? Apple chip, there we go. Oh, yes. Share that picture there. And there we go. It’s the bottle though, that everybody needs to see. Yes, ma’am. That’s it. Oh, shoot, you’re going to have to keep that one.

Nina Tickaradze 39:32 

Okay, but yeah, apple chips is a very unique way how we discovered to make these chips with our hydration facility returning to dehydration facility and we’re testing some stuff and as soon as I tried first bite, I was like, love at first sight. Now what do I do with this? Let’s package it, let’s sell it. So, one definitely big thing that came through the industry to me was it was absolutely crazy to have two different factories two different and no funding. Let me rearrange it. So usually at this podcast that made me choose because they’re like, nobody can do this. But you know what I mean, I don’t know, for me, it was like, why not? Let’s diversify. It’s two healthy vegan products. It’s hard already, I don’t think it can be harder. So for us, the future is, you know, right now, we just launched another flavor of happy hearts, apple Juice. We are getting back our juices on track, taking a little bit of time to really repurpose a lot of things and rethink a lot of processes. But that’s one good thing about having your own business, right. Sometimes you can pause. And that’s, sadly, the war in Ukraine gave us that opportunity to pause and rethink. And right now we’re in the process of just rebuilding and restarting a lot of things. And really, I’m taking it easy. I have my goals that I want to achieve this year. But I’m not stressing over everything, as long as I keep my people employed, as long as we’re keeping ourselves going. Right now, it’s just about rejuvenating, so to say. So getting this new juices in with the new bottles, relaunching everything. And really also having opportunity to get chips to variety of types of customers, which actually with juices it’s very much limited as I found out. But with chips, we have demand from all over the place. So it’s been kind of fun.

Diana Fryc 41:56 

That is so great. I know it’s really chaotic for you right now. But it’s going to turn into it always does. It turns into what it should be right? Well, Nina, I am enjoying our conversation. We have to start wrapping up. There are a couple questions that I asked everybody. So I’ll start with the first one, which is are there any other women leaders or rising stars out there that you think are doing great things that you would like to elevate or just simply admire in public for the work that they’re doing right now?

Nina Tickaradze 42:36

Well, I definitely, I think you have mentioned already my team with the Pepsi team. They are all individually brilliant. They all have social mission by them. We have generous cookies, we have dressed up with Sophia ressed up dressings, Maria’s coffee, we have Claudius coffee, which actually benefits farmed animals and dogs and cats. So they’re all have great, great social missions. And that’s important to me. But one that comes quickly to my mind is Aimy Steadman who runs Deep Box Beverages. Yeah, she’s absolutely brilliant. And kind of has become good, good friend, good resource. Somebody I can count on. But I’ve been impressed with her innovation. And she does so much for women entrepreneurs and she’s really young. I love it. I love that she’s tough. In a very tough industry. Alcohol is even worse than juice. And to bring something so unique. I mean, I just love it. I think, maybe if you get a chance to talk to her but first my girls first, right?

Diana Fryc 44:00 

Yes, ma’am. Yes. So, my next question, and these are often related, what brands or trends do you have your eye on? Is there anything out in the marketplace that you find really interesting right now?

Nina Tickaradze 44:13

Oh, wow. I am horrible at this.

Diana Fryc 44:17

Loaded question.

Nina Tickaradze 44:19 

Yeah. I actually, which is really bad, especially with a marketing background. I actually try to avoid a little bit of market. Yes, I do you know, who my competitors are, but I don’t want to be discouraged. Because people have a lot more financing. I don’t want to get off my track because somebody makes it look easier, so I have my goal. I have my little road that I’m gonna take to get there. So, I mean, yes, there are many, many good brands out there. A lot of innovation. Certainly a lot of them don’t last very long. Honest to god, I really just keep my eyes on the prize. I try not to compare like I have many things that are competitors. I don’t compare. Long story to tell we have our own adventure. Good luck to all of them. I will help my direct competitors and I mean it. There’s room for everything in this. And actually it helps our industry, more competitors, it helps our industry. It’s absolutely, yeah. So I tried to get inspired by them, but don’t defer don’t shift your goals and don’t try to be like someone else. That’s really my goal just stick to our mission.

Diana Fryc 45:50

Okay. I like that focused. Focus, focus. Wow. Well, we have been talking with Nina Tickaradze. Did I get it?

Nina Tickaradze 46:02 

You got it?

Diana Fryc 46:04 

Yes. Okay. Founder and CEO of NADI. Nina, where can people learn more about you and your company?

Nina Tickaradze 46:12 

Our website is getNADI.com. So anybody can visit us there and check it out. And obviously, we have all the social platforms where you can find NADI.

Diana Fryc 46:23 

Well, thank you so much for your time today. I’m really glad that we were able to record this. I am so excited to promote the works that you’re doing. Thank you.

Nina Tickaradze 46:33 

Thank you. This is very helpful. And thank you for the relationship.

Diana Fryc 46:38 

Yes. And I want to thank our listeners for your time today. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend. Otherwise, have a great rest of your day and we’ll catch you next time on the Gooder Podcast.

Outro 46:56

We hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you haven’t already, be sure to click subscribe and share with your network. Until next time, be well and do gooder.

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For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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