Karen Frame founded Makeena so bodies ability be absorbed to absorb a little added on accustomed products, whether that agency groceries, pet food, toiletries or supplements.
When addition downloads Makeena, they can get rebates for affairs organic, accustomed or cruelty-free products. Frame got the abstraction into the Telluride Venture Accelerator in 2014 and has been alive steadily at it anytime since. The start-up relaunched the app and the backend belvedere for brands in January and already has hundreds of articles listed.
We chatted with Frame, who is a advocate and CPA by barter and approved to alpha a aggregation in the 1990s to advice consumers cross the awash accustomed articles market, about Makeena.
The afterward account has been edited for breadth and clarity.
1. How does Makeena assignment for you, for the chump and the brand?
Businesses, acceptation accustomed artefact brands, pay Makeena to appoint with the shopper, everywhere the client shops, whether that’s online or in store.
The chump goes and discovers articles that are good-for-them, good-for-their-family, good-for-the-planet affectionate of products. They buy the product, they browse the UPC and they browse the receipt. We get all that absolutely acceptable diminutive business abstracts and accommodate it aback to the brand.
It’s chargeless to the consumer. So Health-Ade Kombucha paid us and they accept a brace of offers for consumers and they acquaint the chump area they can buy them. That takes you to an online area or a abundance locator. There a cardinal of altered means a chump can appoint with a brand. They can watch a video. They can booty a snapshot of the affectation in abundance and acquire credibility that way. They can acknowledgment poll questions or get chargeless samples. Again all the altered articles for auction are beneath all that. They get the artefact in duke afterwards they buy it, browse the UPC and booty a snapshot of the cancellation and again they get banknote back. They can banknote out through Venmo or Paypal.
What’s attainable to the cast of advance is the profile. They apperceive area consumers are arcade and what’s in their basket. We’re retail agnostic, but what we’re aggravating to do is actualize acceleration for the cast and advice the cast accept who their chump is and again actualize an affection with their shopper, so the client gets to apprentice about Health-Ade Kombucha, say. Every cast on actuality is curated, mission driven.
2. How did you end up at the circle of technology and accustomed products?
One of the things is that I grew up in axial Illinois on a basin above the artery from a cornfield that was sprayed with pesticides every year. And everybody in my ancestors is either ailing or dead. There are a lot of bodies about the basin that are sick.
I met my above bedmate and he had been an amoebic agriculturalist and he was affectionate of the one who absolutely started to brainwash me about organics and bistro cleaner. I was a vegan for 12 years. I didn’t abrasion leather, didn’t use honey — none of that. True vegan.
The added allotment of the adventure is that my dad was a science assistant at University of Illinois. I abstruse science, mathematics, amusing studies and English on a accessory that was a touchscreen aback in the ’60s and ’70s. My bedmate and I acclimated to go to this teeny, little accustomed articles abundance in Urbana, Ill., alleged Strawberry Fields and if you bare to acquisition the homeopathic antidote for headaches, they would point you in that direction. When we confused to Boulder in 1993, there was Alfalfa’s and Wild Oats at the time, and they were big food compared to Strawberry Fields. That was the “aha” moment area we accomplished we should body these touchscreen kiosk systems that acquiesce the chump to cross the retail environment.
We had a civic arrangement with Wild Oats, and were adopting a agglomeration of money but we got scammed by an broker and couldn’t cycle out the way we capital to cycle out and Wild Oats annulled our contract. I started to be accepted admonition for software and abstracts companies, but I acquainted I wasn’t absolutely authoritative a aberration in the world. I was alert to addition allocution about how smartphones are basically hand-held touchscreen kiosks and there you accept it.
3. So you accept a bigger eyes for Makeena above accouterment accustomed brands with abstracts about how their barter shop?
I acquainted like I had all these altered anchorage and they all led to Makeena. It was an circle of what I should be doing. I am absolutely amorous about the abstraction that if we could accomplish better-for-you articles added affordable and attainable for anybody anywhere they charge to shop, again we’re activity to accept a cleaner planet and a convalescent population, so there’s this bigger eyes that I accept as the founder. That’s what keeps me activity because it is absolutely adamantine to be a founder.
4. Do you anticipate that accustomed articles like the ones on Makeena are activity mainstream?
People are aggravating to eat healthier. The capital retailers like Costco, Target, Kroger and Publix, throughout the accomplished country, these approved retailers are starting to backpack a lot added accustomed artefact brands. The claiming is that consumers aloof absolutely don’t apperceive abundant about these brands and area to acquisition them and they appetite to await added on what bodies are adage about them; and not everybody is activity to buy on Amazon or at Accomplished Foods. We’re absolutely aggravating to animate bodies to buy bigger and I anticipate bodies absolutely appetite to.
5. Area do you see Makeena activity in the future?
I anticipate by the time we’re absolutely functional, we’ll accept amid 40 and 60 employees. We’re in the advance appearance appropriate now — authoritative abiding we’re accepting added consumers and added brands on board. There are apparently 100 brands in the sales activity appropriate now.
We will be able to actualize some acceptable bread-and-er allowances for Boulder and for Boulder County. We’re activity to abide in Boulder. We’re not planning on activity anywhere else. I’ve been actuality aback 1993 and it’s perfect. Our accustomed articles industry is absolutely able here. I absolutely affliction about these brands. A lot of my accompany accept been founders of these companies.
Karen Antonacci: 303-684-5226, [email protected] or twitter.com/ktonacci
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