We find out what makes co-founder Laura Beckford of Supernova protein the successful founder she is! Supernova protein has exploded onto the protein scene and has already gained a great deal of momentum in a short space of time! With its beautiful packaging, eco friendly credentials, vegan, packed full of superfoods and backed by a pro athlete (her husband Jermaine Beckford). This is definitely a brand to watch!
Q1. What set you onto this path of developing your own range of protein powders and launching Supernova?
Myself and my husband are the Founders of Supernova Living and we both have very different reasons and catalysts for starting the company. Jermaine is a professional footballer and the initial thought came from Jermaine becoming tired, having stomach ache and fatigue after taking protein powders that the football clubs were giving him for 20 years every day. I have always being into health and wellness with my family being vegetarian, my father being a reiki master and my aunty being a Naturopathic Nutritionist. Having carrot juice with garlic and ginger instead of antibiotics has just been normal for me for 35 years! After we started experimenting with plant proteins in the kitchen and adding superfoods, he noticed a real difference in his mood, training and recovery time. The professional coaches, physios and staff were seeing his statistics going off the charts and the only change was Supernova. After the other players were asking him for it too instead of the clubs protein, we thought there may be a niche in the market for it. We weren’t going to launch a women powder initially but I was loving testing them and how they made me feel. When I spoke to friends they were wanting some too and I had such energy! So after lots of market research on what women needed and wanted we launched the WOMAN 01 powder which is ironically now our best seller and an ‘in demand’ product from celebrities, fitness experts and international models!
Q2. How did you start this process? What were your first steps?
We literally started buying every single plant protein we could find, then every superfood and then did a LOT of research. We looked into adaptogens and medicinal mushrooms more and were blown away by their power. Working with a Naturopathic Nutritionist for her expertise on levels and recommendations. Even after we found the ingredients we wanted to use, to make sure the manufacturing and processing of them was without chemicals, the highest quality and finest powder they could be, whilst being organic wherever possible was incredibly difficult and the process took much longer than expected, over 12 months in all. I have a very optimistic nature so I tend to go into things head on and don’t look at obstacles until I come across them. It’s a blessing and curse as I’m pretty fearless but then haven’t planned for potential problems!! Then we obviously had to start to look at branding, website, legalities, health regulations, manufacturing etc. It was an absolute minefield and very stressful.
Q3. In the media, we love a success story and brush over the hard times. I know you will have put tons of work into making your business a success and with that comes a lot of failure! How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success?
Oh yes and even now I wish business owners talked more about how hard it is. As cliched as it is it’s such an emotional rollercoaster as you’ll have just got an article in Vogue then a supplier calls to say the tonne of product you’ve ordered and paid for now isn’t available when you’re going into production in two days!!? Things happen that I don’t want to happen every week, perhaps even daily but it’s life and I’m trying to accept it and see it as part of the journey. I try to learn from every single experience, good and bad so we can continually improve. I’m pretty philosophical in my mindset and if a store or company says they don’t want us, it will hurt for a moment but then I truly believe it’s not the right time and try someone else. It’s luckily not happened much yet but these things in this business and my other one, Ology Kids Casting, have taught me to keep going, try harder and stay positive. If I have ever ‘failed’ at anything it’s just made me more determined and focused (after a little cry) and to get thicker skinned. Things have taught me to trust my instinct more and when I come up against a hurdle it’s not the end I just have to find another way around it.
Q5. What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt on your journey so far?
I’ve learnt that everyone is ‘winging it’ which has ironically made me even more confident in what I’m doing as I know everyone else is feeling the same as I am. Even those who I massively respect and feel have ‘made it’ are in feelings this way! I’m very conscientious and like to be the best at everything I do, which in reality is impossible and ridiculous! However it does make me work hard and be as prepared as I possibly can be. If I then still don’t get to what I want I can’t have any regrets.
Q6. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
I walk away from the computer and go to the beach or the woods and breathe. Or do yoga. I love being outside, it clears my head, as does yoga, it’s moving meditation for me. Or I’ll go and play and be silly with my children, they bring you back to reality and put everything into perspective within seconds. I could literally work 24 hours a day, I have so many ideas and passion for what I do I need that space in my head and need to prioritise it more. I also have a Supernova, it really does bring me back into balance, that’s what adaptogens are designed to do, keep your body and mind in homeostasis - that’s why I love it so much.
Q7. Do you have any habits that form your daily routine that you swear by?
Yes, I wake up and tongue scrape and body brush. It’s really cleansing and invigorating and if I have to drag myself out of bed super early it wakes me up and starts the day in a positive way. I stretch as soon as I wake up and then have cider vinegar and lemon water to kick start my liver. I then make a Supernova WOMAN 01 with water or nut milk and go on the school run! I’m always in a positive frame of mind if I follow these rituals and they set me up for a productive day. I also always try to listen to Headspace before I go to sleep, put my Neom diffuser on and cover my face in Neom oil to help me relax and switch off.
Q8. Who inspires you?
So many things inspire me. From the shape or colour of a leaf for some branding or the energy of a child that I want to create a product that will give that feeling!! I see people or things every day, I’m consistently inspired which I’m so grateful for. My mum is a massive inspiration, she’s such a positive person and so hard working. Nothing is a problem for her to tackle and she’s fearless, I’m so grateful she’s shown me these qualities. If I’m feeling despondent, I ask the universe to show me a sign and I will see something or someone to make me feel grateful or which path I should take. Try it it’s magical!! The Law of Attraction.
Q9. What would be the best piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about starting a business?
Do research, don’t rush, find your USP’s, work harder than you ever have. Follow your passion. It’s a hard hard journey starting and running your own business so it has to be something you love more than anyone else and I think this will shine through. Other people may know more than you but they can’t have your passion. I’m a big believer that if you find your passion and live it every day you will lead a satisfying life and will ultimately be happy. Know you CAN do it. Go to business meetings, there are so many ‘Women in Business’ meetings now and they can be really inspiring, you just need confidence to start a business and have the courage to take the first step and these meetings can help. I went to them when I was 21 and started my first business and was reluctant to go back to them at 34 when I started Supernova but they really invigorated and inspired me again. They’re really great for connections too. We should all stick together and help each other out. I’ve met some really wonderful women in the last year or so and really appreciate their support and advice.
Q10. The fitness industry is such a busy space, with so much information on offer, it can be overwhelming! What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession?
Diet drinks are a big frustration of mine. I can’t stand anything artificial but artificial sweeteners are known carcinogens yet the industry shouts about how good they are compared to sugar. It infuriates me. Also when people say holistic therapies or herbs and homeopathy ‘can’t be proven’ frustrates me as it’s like energy or a bad vibe or ‘great energy’ in a room. Everyone can feel that but can it be ‘scientifically measured’ probably not yet it’s still real and palpable. These people have obviously not experienced them before because it they had they would ‘believe’. I’ve seen incredible results from natural and holistic remedies.
Q11. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
Breast feeding my children. Random I know but it’s the first thing I thought of!! Not only for the health benefits but also to make me stop and sit still with them day and night when they we tiny, I’m so grateful for that. They grow up too quickly. Spending time with the children instead of throwing money at them. I found business coaching for a few sessions really focusing and a productive. PR agency gave us an insight into a different perspective. Probably buying so many powders in the first instance was a good investment so we confidently know we’ve tried every single option available!!
Q12. What's next? Where do you see your vision for Supernova going?
Supernova Living is a wellness company, we brought out protein powders to start with as that is what we needed at the time (and still do!) but we have so many ideas and plans and products which will be sold and stocked throughout the world at the highest end supermarkets, spas and hotels. All our products will be natural, innovative and pioneering. We definitely will be bringing children’s products out as our children have all sorts of wonderful potions and are rarely poorly. Plus fitness related angles with app’ etc with Jermaine’s experience as a professional athlete. Who knows, it’s an exciting journey! I’d love to hear what you’d like??
Thanks for reading and we hope you feel inspired!
If you want to know more about Laura and Supernova Living check out the links below and show her some love!
And if you loved this interview and want to read more about inspiring female founders have a look :Spectrum Brushes, Building a Cult Brand with Co-Founder Sophie Pycroft