This Beverage Entrepreneur’s Mentor Pushed Her to Pivot, and today Her Business Is preparing to Bloom

Candice Crane watched a video of Steaz tea founder Eric Schnell giving a talk and knew he may help her grow her business. She reached out, and today he’s among her partners.

In the Women Entrepreneur series Mentor Moments, female founders sit back to speak to their own mentors (and us!) about how exactly and why the partnership developed, and the lasting impact it’s had on the careers.

Candice Crane knew she needed a mentor. But she didn’t be prepared to find one on the web.

The first-time entrepreneur wished to create a drink company built around rose water, even though her family includes a history of business ownership, the beverage industry was foreign to her. When her husband discovered a video of a talk by Eric Schnell, founder of tea-based beverage company Steaz, Crane knew she had to meet up the industry vet. She wasted virtually no time, and a close business partnership — and friendship — formed.

In June 2018, Crane launched Petal, a sparkling botanical beverage brand that currently offers three flavors, with plans to launch a fresh assortment of flavors in January. Here, she and Schnell sound off on building another big part of beverage, and supporting ladies in business on the way.

Candice, how did you first meet Eric?

Crane: I actually found him on YouTube! Well, my hubby did. He couldn’t sleep one night and he found a video of Eric giving a talk at the BevNET conference, centered on young entrepreneurs within their first year of business. It felt like he was speaking right to us. I reached out another morning.

How about the video really captured you?

Crane: He was discussing the challenges of discovering the right partners, from manufacturers and suppliers to distributors. We just really related. And Eric, along with his wife Marci Zaroff, has generated Beyond Brands, which helps young entrepreneurs within their first year of business. THEREFORE I filled out the web inquiry form and we create a gathering.

Schnell: Since I exited the Steaz brand, my whole career is becoming about finding entrepreneurs that people can truly add value to. And Beyond Brands is many women-owned company, so women-focused brands is a big initiative for all of us. The stars really aligned when I met Candice, and we saw the chance and realized that people could lean in and add a lot more value.

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So formally, how does this partnership work?

Schnell: Half our our model is client relationship — formulation work, branding, design. We offer those services. The spouse can be an incubator model, where we’ve an equity stake and actually work as partners with the founders. We’re checking our networks and bringing brands to advertise, safer, faster, smarter than if Candice was carrying it out on her behalf own. I’ve made every mistake there is, so we are able to help her avoid those.

Candice, is this your first business?

Crane: It really is. My dad had a family group business, so he was entrepreneurial and instrumental in assisting me create plans because of this business. But I realized that I needed someone in the beverage space, a veteran mentor to steer me through this niche.

In what ways has Eric done that?

Crane: Whenever we started, I was very centered on the rose. But Eric opened my mind to becoming an all-botanicals beverage company instead of just concentrating on one.

Schnell: It’s always a balance when you mentor someone — you don’t want to stomp on the dreams nevertheless, you also want to provide them solid advice. When I met Candice, the business was called Rebel Rose. And I knew that the chance to come quickly to market with a botanical or floral brand is indeed much bigger than just rose. Just how do I tactfully encourage her to believe beyond your box and change the name? Petal allows us to honor the rest of the amazing flowers we are able to source from all over the world. And now, if you want to eventually put this brand in a strategic portfolio just like a Coke or Pepsi, we’ve a platform.

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Candice, was that hard feedback to listen to? Was it difficult to choose to improve the name?

Crane: It’s always hard to create a pivot like that, nonetheless it was also really encouraging to have someone with so much experience as a sounding board. It made the pivot feel just like a far more secure strategy.

Business aside, how has your individual relationship developed in the last year?

Schnell: I could kick that off. I must say i began to feel a kinship with Candice’s dad — we’re very aligned. I’d actually be friends with him. And I see Candice as some sort of younger sister. We’ve spent personal time together beyond this business, and that’s the most rewarding thing about business relationships: if they become personal relationships.

Crane: On our end, we just love everything that Eric and Marci are a symbol of, creating this consciousness for brands and doing better and making better products. I’m a millennial mom with two small children, so it’s nice to keep these things as inspiration.

As a lady founder, were you aware that mentoring women was a focus of Beyond Brands, or was a nice surprise?

Crane: It had been such a good surprise, and it’s been really empowering. I’m so lucky to reside in this point in time where I’ve two kids in the home and I’m in a position to take up a startup. Our company is mobile, we’re everywhere, we are able to check in. That feeling is all contagious — I’ve been inspired by other women and I am hoping to inspire others, and I am hoping to inspire my girls! They’re 6 and 3 and want to pretend they’re making new Petal flavors in the bathtub. It’s the very best adventure. It’s tedious and hard and confusing, but we think it’s great.

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Schnell: We think that if there are more female companies on earth, and there are more females in the boardroom, women really can change the world. If this world was run predominantly by women, there will be far more peace. It’s our fundamental think that women will be the future of the

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