We all know that dairy milk comes from cows, and nut-milk comes from nuts, but have you ever wondered…how do you milk a nut? Lizz Hampton can not only tell you how, but also help you do it with her innovative Milk-It-Yourself almond beverage, Goodnuss. In a Nut Shell, Goodnuss allows you to milk your nuts from the comfort of your own kitchen, so you can have fresh nut-milk anytime, anywhere.
Read more from Lizz below:
The spark that inspired the birth of your concept? The opportunity to innovate and make nut jokes 🙂 But seriously, it was all about the innovation. I saw an opportunity while in design school and just couldn’t let it pass.
The problem it solves: Goodnuss provides affordable access to fresh, plant-based beverages in a growing industry where innovation has been limited to flavor and bulky appliances…and we do it with flair. Goodnuss brings to market the world’s first fresh, plant-based beverage solution that is convenient, affordable, mess-free and portable. Goodnuss provides consumers an outlet to make fresh nut milk anywhere with our reusable, ready-to-go delivery system that makes it easier than ever to enjoy fresh nut milk. Our pre-blended nut pulp is full of raw superfoods and simple ingredients and does not require any preservatives to maintain shelf life. The Goodnuss system makes for the most nutritious and delicious nut milking experience, so everyone can milk their nuts.
In my opinion, the biggest problem we solve is the “intimidation factor” that comes with wanting to make healthy life choices…hence why we have nut jokes. Our goal with the “Milk It Yourself” (M.I.Y) movement is to show everyone that you don’t have to have a vegan punch card to be able to make your own nut milk – anyone can do it and it’s going to rock! We focus on providing an all-inclusive, fun and playful platform for consumers to try something new, be healthier and more sustainable.
How you came up with the name: It was just one of those “meant to be” things. I had a few other names before, but I wasn’t super into them. Then, one day I was brainstorming with one of my team members and we just stumbled upon it. [Goodnuss] felt so right because it fully conveys everything we’re trying to do: add a little Goodnuss to everyone’s lives. It also literally translates to “Good Nuts” in German so it was just too perfect.
How you are different than your competition: We make it easier for anyone to make fresh nut milk anywhere. Commercial nut milk is total crap and cold-pressed nut milk is super expensive. Goodnuss bridges the gap and provides a solution that gives people the opportunity to have affordable access to fresh, healthy plant-based beverages like never before.
How you make money: We mostly focus on Direct-to-Consumer sales and some retail. We will also be launching a subscription model.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur: The moment when you notice how far you’ve come or how much you’ve learned. There are times when I will be in the middle of a conversation with someone who has asked me for advice or mentorship and I will hear myself for a quick second and be like “wait, was that me? I actually know what I’m talking about now!” There’s nothing better than that.
The biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience to date: How hard it really is. I mean, I knew it was going to be hard…but damn. People talk about the “entrepreneurial rollercoaster” but it’s more like an entrepreneurial tropical storm. One minute you’re chilling on a beach, drinking a fancy drink, feeling pretty stoked on yourself… the next minute you’re fighting sharknado, trying to figure out how to not get eaten, and then you suddenly find yourself on a dope boat with a waterslide – all in the same day! It can be a lot at times but it is SO worth it.
Your biggest success: There are tangible successes I could mention like winning Pitchfest NW and things like that, but my biggest success so far is very personal. It’s the moments when I realize the impact I have on other peoples lives, whether it’s the people on my team, one of my customers, or even someone who just appreciated a nut joke that day. To me, there is nothing that beats knowing that you are contributing positively to the world.
A failure story and what you learned: I could list a bunch of “failures” that have happened in my five years of innovating and building this company but those instances don’t fully convey how I think this question should be answered because the concept of failure is very personal. Everyone experiences it differently or has a unique idea of what failure means to them. The funny thing about failure is it happens all the time and at a certain point, you stop taking it so personally. I use to focus on “not being afraid” or “not letting failure stop me” but then I learned that the fear of failure is just a feeling and it doesn’t mean anything about you. It’s just another part of the process. I’m not saying that I don’t experience fear or failure, I literally fail at something every day. Sometimes it’s a big thing but most of the time, it’s a small thing that doesn’t really matter to anyone but me. I’m saying that if something matters enough to you, the failure won’t ever stop you – it might delay you sometimes but when you’re ready you’ll take the leap and just do it.
What keeps you up at night: That’s a tough one because the things that cause anxiety for me change as my skills and entrepreneurial aptitude evolves. I have a huge support system that helps me cope with any fears or nerves (which I am so incredibly grateful for) so right now I can honestly say that the only thing keeping me up at night is my excitement to keep growing as a leader and progressing my business.
The best entrepreneurial advice you have received: Innovation only happens when you don’t confine yourself to the same standards as everyone else. My closest mentor, teacher, and friend. He’s the dude who taught me that I was a storyteller and I had the power to inspire.
Your #1 piece of advice for a budding entrepreneur: Do you. Do what satisfies your soul. Take risks. Don’t keep yourself in a place where you know you don’t belong just because you are scared to jump. I spent years working jobs that made me miserable just because I wasn’t ready to go all in. My heart was there but my mind wanted me to be “practical”. The funny thing is that even though those other jobs taught me a lot and allowed me to develop my skills, they also hurt me because I always stayed past the point of “healthy”. They would negatively impact my confidence and ability to believe in myself because I wouldn’t be able to care for myself in the way that my business needed me to.
If you are not happy with what you are doing, take the steps to change that. That doesn’t mean quit your crappy job tomorrow with no plan what so ever, but start taking the steps you need to take to make a move. You’ll know when the time comes and it is never something you can plan for. It hits you like lightning and you’ll just know that it’s time.
Your success will not happen overnight. Patience is a rare thing these days but those who know how to practice it will come out on top. Find that thing that you can’t stop talking about, that thing that annoys all of your friends and family because you are so obsessed with it, you can’t focus your heart in any other place and then go for it.
Don’t give into the pain of comparing yourself to others. Someone once told me that “ Lizz you can’t compare your chapter 10 to someone else’s chapter 20.” That has always helped me remember that every journey is unique and you can’t be too hard on yourself if you are doing the best you can and learning along the way. You’ll get there..and people on social media are full of it so don’t fall for that.
Lastly, don’t forget to appreciate who you are and what you have in the meantime. It’s easy to live in the dreams of the future and forget about all of the amazing things that you have been blessed with in the present. You won’t be able to become the person you dream of being until you love the person you currently are. Don’t let the fear of not being enough for yourself stop you from sharing your gift with the world. And when you do get to share your gift, go all the way…even if it makes people a little uncomfortable at times because you make too many nut jokes 🙂
The #1 book you would recommend for a budding entrepreneur: The Crossroads Between Should and Must, Choose Wonder over Worry
What song best describes your entrepreneurial journey? My First Song by Jay Z
What wild success looks like: A nut milking empire with a crazy awesome office where there are different rooms for different learning styles and moods. In a nutshell, the ability to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.
Your favorite local business: There are too many to pick just one but I super love Spela Cosmetics. They have an extra dope vegan matte lipstick that rocks my world.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: A “boss lady” Seriously, I would make my little sister play office with me and I would inspire her to play the role of my employee and we would build a business together.
Is Oregon is a good place to start a business? Yes. I am born and raised in Portland and am what some would call a “unicorn” so naturally, I am super into repping Oregon and a great place to build things. The Portland Startup scene is has a nurturing nature about it because everyone wants to see everyone else win.
I truly believe that Portland is a very special place to start a business because it is small enough to where you have the ability to literally be able to connect to anyone you want on a fairly intimate level (if you’re resourceful enough) but it’s also big enough to where you have an opportunity to go global and become a thought leader of an industry. I mean, HUGE companies have been made here that are all famous for being innovative, outside of the box thinking companies. Everyone within the community is super excited and willing to help and support you on your journey so I think it is an especially great place for first-time entrepreneurs who have a pretty intense journey ahead of them. That support has been truly invaluable to me on my journey thus far. However, for challenges… well, it’s not the easiest place to raise money.
Fun Fact: My favorite color is orange!