In this Salute to American Success, we’re taking a look at Daily Greens and founder and CEO Shauna Martin. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company creates and sells healthy, cold-pressed “green juices.” Martin’s idea for the juices came after being diagnosed with breast cancer in her early thirties. Today, Martin has recovered, and her company is selling its products in many grocery stores across the United States.
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THE EARLY YEARS
After moving quite a bit in her youth due her father’s military career, Shauna Martin and her family finally settled in Arkansas. Martin received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas, and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Arkansas. After graduating from law school, Martin went on to practice law, working for a number of large businesses and even co-founding her own firm.
In 2000, while still practicing law, she met her husband and together the two moved to Austin, Texas. Four years later, Martin gave birth to a baby boy. However, when her son was one-year-old, her world changed after learning that she had stage-two breast cancer.
“After being diagnosed, I went through traditional treatments and many surgeries to remove the cancer,” said Martin.
These treatments and surgeries for her cancer were tough on Martin’s body. In order to help restore her health, she started making green juices.
“I found food to be a medicine,” said Martin. “I started making the [green] juices every morning in my kitchen. People thought I was crazy for it.”
So, what exactly is a green juice?
“The main base of a green juice is typically dark, leafy greens,” explained Martin. “They are loaded with good stuff… and many nutrients that help the body.”
Eventually, Martin was able to convince friends and family members to try the juices. Martin said the people around her felt healthier, but found juicing to be time consuming. In late 2012, she founded Daily Greens, which manufactures green juices.
“I made it my mission to bring green juices to the masses,” said Martin.
Martin began the company on a shoestring.
“Daily Greens was started with a $100,000 line of credit,” said Martin. “People worked for free for about three months. We were able to connect with an investor early on.” Then, after figuring out the technology and other parts of the production, Martin brought the juices out to the public.
“We took about 60 bottles to farmers markets in Austin and they sold out immediately,” said Martin.
Martin’s next goal was to have the product hit shelves across the country, which it eventually did.
“In the last two years, we’ve grown into almost all 400 Whole Foods stores,” said Martin. “We went region to region to sell our products. It was a long process… we had to be determined and focused. We’ve gone national with other grocery stores as well, and cover a lot of stores in Texas too.”
Today, the company has its own “philosophy” for body cleansing, which Martin developed when recovering from the side effects of chemotherapy. This includes using the company’s juices, combined with other fruits and vegetables.
Since going national with major grocery chains such as Whole Foods, Martin sees Daily Greens adding more points of distribution.
“We’re at 1,000-2,000 points of distribution right now, and plan to reach 3,000-4,000 at the end of 2015,” said Martin.
She also plans on keeping the company active within the Austin community, working with other entrepreneurs to support business in the capital city.
“Austin is supportive of many startups,” said Martin. “We benefited hugely from being near the area. Whole Foods is close to us and the city honors creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. We like to support other [local] businesses.”
In addition to founding Daily Greens, Martin co-founded Pink Ribbon Cowgirls, a support group of young breast cancer survivors that help other young women who are currently battling breast cancer.
ADVICE TO OTHER ENTREPRENEURS
No stranger to tough times, Shauna Martin’s advice to entrepreneurs is to stay focused and make sure you know what you want to do with the business.
“You need to believe 110% in what you’re doing,” said Martin. “That unwavering belief in what you are doing will get you through the really hard moments. You need to believe with every fiber in your being.”