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Erica Groussman of TRUWOMEN: “Attitude is Everything”

Attitude is Everything. I never realized how much the attitude of one person can impact the culture of the company. I love living my life with the glass half full, and I’ve noticed that when I vocalized this perspective other people begin to change their language. Instead of saying things, like “We can’t do this […]

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Attitude is Everything. I never realized how much the attitude of one person can impact the culture of the company. I love living my life with the glass half full, and I’ve noticed that when I vocalized this perspective other people begin to change their language. Instead of saying things, like “We can’t do this because…” I noticed people begin to say, “Let me see what we can do instead”. On the flip side, if I come to the team with any negativity, I’ll notice them quickly call me out and encourage me back to positivity.


As a part of our series called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Erica Groussman, a mom, wife, and wellness maven. She is the co-founder and CEO of TRUWOMEN, an indulgent nutrition company where they create natural and clean nutrition bars that tastes like classic desserts. Her products and the way she runs her company are empowering women and creating healthier products for a healthier world. She is also the founder and CEO of Molluscum Away, a natural patch and ointment treatment to combat molluscum. Her family and her quest for total wellness inspired her to create both her businesses. In her free time, she is a fitness guru and is a wife to entrepreneur Mark Groussman and mother to two kids.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I grew up in upstate New York. As a child, I played a lot of sports, was very involved in extracurricular activities and frequently traveled. The exposure to a great diversity of places and cultures solidified my desire to take part in big city life once moving away from home. I was also extremely entrepreneurial growing up. I remember making a little business selling friendship bracelets, as well as making a whopping $6/weekend from my neighborhood paper route. I made the move to Los Angeles to study at UCLA and then went to explore the Big Apple after graduation. There I met my husband and was introduced to the wonder of Miami Beach. I fell in love and knew I wanted to raise children alongside my husband in this beautiful and sunny paradise. At the time I was deeply involved in the wellness lifestyle and had a keen in for spotting health trends. The more knowledgeable I because the more gaps I began to see in the industry that I could not ignore.

Can you tell us the story of what led you to this particular career path?

In a time where the protein aisle is crowded with products full of lengthy and questionable ingredients, one of my big goals for TRUWOMEN was to make it easier for shoppers to feel proud choosing our products and sharing them with others. Throughout all our R&D, we committed ourselves to remain 100% vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and free of sugar alcohols. Although it would’ve been much easier to use ingredients that are not Plant Based, I am so pleased that we stayed disciplined in perfecting our indulgences to take on the flavor profiles of the most iconic desserts, using only clean ingredients.

Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When TRUWOMEN was first shaping up, I let a lot of high-level executives make fundamental decisions for the company, even when it overrode what I believed to be best for the brand. It didn’t take long for me to realize that despite not having traditional experience in the industry, my lens on the protein space and my passion for the brand lends great value. As soon as I began to let my point of view be a guiding force, I began to have confidence in my decision making. I genuinely believe that if you have passion, perseverance will follow, and with those two ingredients, you are capable of anything.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

One of the most inspiring books that I highly recommend, especially for those with ambitions to build a lifestyle brand is Start with Why by Simon Sinek. It discusses how some people and brands are always able to be more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others. It centers the books around ‘The Golden Circle’ a powerful concept that allows brands to be built, movements to be launched, and people to become inspired. Simon Sinek did a very popular Ted Talk around the book and it is a great way to get a high-level overview of the book in a few minutes.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Jessica Alba, award winning actress and billionaire mompreneur shared, It’s so much better to promote what you love than to bash what you hate.” This is such a great view on how to tackle gaps in the market. If you something in your industry not quite right, fix it. It is as simple as that. See a problem and then go find a solution.

How do you define a Lifestyle Brand? How is a Lifestyle Brand different from a normal, typical brand?

Building a lifestyle brand is about leading with broader messaging concepts centered around a brand’s following and what inspires and motivates them. It is about having open communication and dialogue with your community, while building a lifestyle together. As a company you make a conscious decision to put people over products, and you meant it.

What are the benefits of creating a lifestyle brand?

Even as TRUWOMEN was just starting out, I quickly began to see its reach go far beyond just our products. It gave me a platform to connect with other women about broader wellness topics that mattered to all of us as a wellness community. As we began to share our journey and story in an authentic way, we connected with consumers that wanted to be a part of what we were building. It wasn’t about that person’s one need for that one product, but a holistic relationship where were understood their full needs, wants, and motivations.

What is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved Lifestyle Brand? What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

A lifestyle brand I really admire is Pura Vida Bracelets. They have done an exceptional job at bottling the Costa Rican laid-back way of life into a lifestyle brand. Building a cult community of people that wanted to support artisans, cared about giving back, and enjoyed colorful jewelry to express themselves, they were able to meld all these wonderful parts into something that is globally loved.

What are the common mistakes you have seen people make when they start a lifestyle brand? What can be done to avoid those errors?

The biggest mistake I see with lifestyle brands is being inauthentic. You cannot be all things to all people, so really gain clarity on who you are as a brand and where you want to go. Identify your community and what motivate and inspires them in life. And most importantly, always put your people first, everything else will fall into place.

What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Don’t Wait to Start. It’s so easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis. We try to make sure that every little detail is absolutely perfect, and we end up never getting started. Sometimes done is better than perfect, you can always figure it out later. I soon learned that I just need to begin and focus on putting one foot in front of another. I now see that no matter the grand plan I craft, because of culture, logistics, and so many other moving elements, it’s creates less tension to just start and let ideas naturally evolve.

Your Brand is More Than your Product. You need to stop focusing on just your product, but rather you should put your attention on your people. Figure out what motivates and inspires them and figure out what they want to embody when they use your products.

Attitude is Everything. I never realized how much the attitude of one person can impact the culture of the company. I love living my life with the glass half full, and I’ve noticed that when I vocalized this perspective other people begin to change their language. Instead of saying things, like “We can’t do this because…” I noticed people begin to say, “Let me see what we can do instead”. On the flip side, if I come to the team with any negativity, I’ll notice them quickly call me out and encourage me back to positivity.

Let It Go. So much of creating a brand-new company is trying and failing. Because I am the ultimate go-getter, I have a hard time when things don’t quite turn out how I anticipated. At first, I would get really hung up on the mistakes and allow them to deter my motivation. Over time, I learned how to just simply let it go and keep moving forward.

Double Down on Digital. Building brand awareness is key to launching and scaling your company, especially in the online space. As an example, we had Halle Berry a few years ago talk about TRUWOMEN and how the protein bars helped her stick to a strict keto diet in a print magazine. That was amazing! But what was really powerful was when it picked up digital steam with our community talking about it online and numerous online media outlets sharing the celebrity love.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

If I could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, it would be a push to increase education on packaging ingredient labels. The deeper I’ve dived into the health and wellness industry, the more I’ve realized that the general population doesn’t know how to evaluate packaged foods properly. Knowledge is power, and people need to be equipped to understand how to look at the nutrition fact panel and ingredient list to make better eating choices.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why?

I really admire Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop, her female female-focused health and wellness brand. I think it’s so important that women have access to tools to live healthier lives, and I respect her for her dedication to offering resources that help readers make better choices. I also really look up to Jessica Alba, founder of the Honest Company. I think it’s so respectable that she has used her personal empire and passions to create a business that focuses on giving mother’s ethical and safe products to make better choices for their families.

What is the best way for readers to reach you?

https://www.truwomen.com
https://www.instagram.com/truwomen/
https://www.facebook.com/officialTRUWOMEN/

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.


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