Erica Huss

Industry Advisor with BNM since January 2017

Honesty goes further for me than an exaggerated impression of competence. Have the courage to admit you don’t know everything, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

It’s important to me to connect with brands that have something to contribute.  There’s plenty of opportunity for new companies who are just in the game to make money, but I prefer those who are in it because they believe they are doing something meaningful, no matter how large or small the scale.  

Education and information are hugely important components of most mission-minded businesses, and I consider helping people to become healthier a mission. It’s not enough to just sell a product, you want people to understand why they are buying it so that they build a relationship with you and keep coming back.

BluePrint Cleanse was really built on word of mouth. When my partner and I launched it in 2007, it was the first juice cleanse program offering home delivery and a customizable program to suit individual needs. In the beginning, we made and delivered the product ourselves, and we marketed it in a super grassroots way – social media for business didn’t exist yet. But we managed to scale the business into a nationally recognized brand and were acquired after just five years.

Our next venture, ERZO Functional Foods, was a bit of an experiment. We ran into some unexpected challenges along the way–and despite securing a deal with a big retailer, we decided to put the company on hold. Co-founding two companies back to back–one successful, one not so much, taught me that it’s just as important to have the perspective of a successful business as an unsuccessful one.  Both brought equally important life lessons
I think this is an incredible time to be a food entrepreneur, and the opportunities really depend on what you are hoping to achieve.  You can sustain a successful small business at a nice profit for a long time, or you can figure out how to scale your business and roll out in a big way.  It’s an exciting landscape in that way.

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