Jin Jun, founder and CEO (Chief Eating Officer) of SeaSnax, built her healthy snack business from the ground up. To get the word out, she launched hundreds of product demos and used door-to-door marketing tactics. As a result, her products are now well known and embraced by doctors, yogis, models and most importantly, kids. Here's a brief look at Jun's road to natural product success and the things that helped get her there.
What was the inspiration for your business?
At the age of 3, roasted seaweed became one of my daughter's favorite treats, but the ingredients concerned me. Some brands contained corn oil, high sodium and MSG. I wanted to create a simple and healthy snack that I would feel good feeding our daughter everyday. ("We make SeaSnax as if our own kids eat them, because they do!") She is the inspiration for our business.
SeaSnax is a business born out of love.
What inspires you daily?
When I first started sampling SeaSnax in stores, I never thought Americans would one day replace cupcakes and candy with SeaSnax at birthday parties, order cases and baskets of SeaSnax as gifts for loved ones, and shout “I love SeaSnax!” at airports, hotel lobbies, trade shows, conferences, college campuses, events and on the streets when spotting me, my husband or friends wearing a SeaSnax T-shirt.
I have been embraced by doctors, athletes, actors, models, yogis, moms and kids who express their elation and gratitude for SeaSnax. These daily affirmations and love in the form of person-to-person contact, calls, letters, tweets and Facebook posts from our fans inspire me daily.
What have been critical success factors along the way?
- Thinking with my heart and trusting my intuition.
- For every closed door, finding an open window.
- Knowing that this journey is not just about me but something greater.
How has the natural products industry enabled your success?
Independent natural food retailers and co-ops have been the heart of our business.The owners and buyers at these stores took us in direct when we didn’t have distributors and were kind enough not to ask for deep discounts because they knew we were just starting out. They provided and continue to provide valuable feedback and knowledge. SeaSnax would not be where it is today without their friendship and support.
What do you wish you’d known early on in your business?
After four years of executing hundreds of demos, going door-to-door and building a business from the ground up, what I’ve learned and what I wish I’d realized early on is to trust myself more.
What’s on your iPod right now?
My daughter’s favorite song at this moment, “Let it Go” from Frozen. It’s a good message.
How do you spend your free time?
Exploring neighborhood farmers' markets, meditating, doing yoga, and discovering new and exciting recipes.
What’s a guilty pleasure of yours?
Eating organic, ethically traded Nibmor Dark Cacao Mint while watching Korean Dramas late at night.
What’s a personal pet peeve?
Going shopping and finding an empty space on the shelf that’s reserved for Mamma Chia’s pomegranate mint.
What's the inside scoop on yourself.
Before SeaSnax, I was a published poet and performed publicly at poetry readings, events, festivals and slams.