Name: LaKeasha Brown
Nickname: LaKeashaFIT, KB, Miss Fit
Hometown: Conway, South Carolina
Founder of 1987 Juices
Words to live by: There’s two things you must remember when deciding to start a business: 1) Fear is man made. 2) You have everything in you right now to become everything your future self needs you to be for the people you were created to serve. The universe speaks to you from the future, so trust it.
Interview by Zaida Diaz
What were you doing before you decided to become an entrepreneur?
I was working at The Hershey Company as a District Sales Supervisor and then upon leaving I had just gotten promoted as a Category Analyst.
When did you realize that you wanted to start your own juicing business?
The moment my corporate break downs in the parking lot became too much. I loved the brand, the company and the people I worked with, but the actual job is what I began hating the most. When I realized I hated getting up to do it I prayed on it and left. First time I decided I was going to start “swimming in faith.”
How did your family take the news?
Ultimately, I always follow my own gut. My father’s side of the family are 100% entrepreneurs. No one works for anyone. My mother’s side of the family is the complete opposite. Ehhh, everyone knows I take after my dad. Lol.
How did you come up with your brand name? Any special meaning behind it?
It’s my birth year. In the past, I used to deadline accomplishments based on my age. ‘I want to accomplish this before 21, this before 25.’ When I didn’t succeed, I’d be really hard on myself. I realized naming what I was doing 1987 meant every year I was hitting every goal.
Did you encounter any hurdles along the way? How did you overcome them?
Yes, when I transitioned from corporate to full-time entrepreneur, I jumped right into it. I saved, but I didn’t take the time to research what being a full time entrepreneur meant financially. The hurdle was learning that I no longer could spend and go out like I wanted to and that being debt free and ownership was something I needed to accomplish to really succeed financially for myself and business. When I got it, it made a ton of difference.
Looking back, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Girl, start sooner and never take your feet off the gas.
What aspect of owning your own business was a learning process for you?
Packing and shipping. It was a learning process and it continues to be. Bruh, shipping is so expensive!!!! Lol, so it allowed me to be creative in how I reach everyone and forces me to think of new ways to ensure everyone gets a chance to experience the brand. The produce tastes AMAZING, with packaging I’ve learned that it needs to look the way it tastes. So, I’m working on that now.
What three things have been key to helping your business grow?
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency. Haha. I’m just going to say that 3 times. Whether it’s hosting events, sending out email blasts, posting, videos . . . as long as I’m consistent at telling the story or sharing, people come. I don’t always see the growth because I’m in the process of building the business, but when I look at sales, video or social growth — I see that I’m doing something right, but that’s because I keep going.
What plans do you have for the future of 1987 Juices?
Of course, distribution. I’d like for the actual product to be located in the retailers/sectors that are readily accessible to creatives and entrepreneurs. Experience is a major part of the brand, so I want to increase the experience people receive from being an “87er.” So, more resources, More Sip and Sweats across California and other states.
What goals have you set for yourself as an entrepreneur?
To create a business, partner or invest in every aspect of my interests and goals (and do those things being debt free). I’ve got goals in different industries; however, I know my strengths. So, I may invest in fashion or partner in real estate, and complete fitness alone just so that I can touch all areas of the portfolio I’ve created for myself. I want to be able to say that I was apart of everything I’ve wanted to do.
What is the best/worst part about being your own boss?
The solopreneur portion of it. Sometimes it can be challenging executing all aspects of your own business (website managing, social media, accounting, distribution meeting, etc.) However, it’s so rewarding when you finally get into a groove of how to grow the business, even if things are thrown at you to get done. That consistency you establish is everything!
Other than juicing, what are a couple other things you do to refuel?
Working out, traveling and meditation. I love experiences and so I try to dedicate time to trying new things with different people. This year, (November) I’ll be moving to Korea for 3 months to join my boyfriend on tour. I’ve always wanted to be a rockstar lol. This is my chance to do that while spending time refueling myself away from everything. While there, I’d like to hike a volcano and train for a marathon.
What are your morning rituals?
I celebrate waking up, lol. I fix a juice and I set my intentions for the day. Setting intentions is extremely important to me. I always make it a goal to end the day, with exactly what I planned to get out of it.