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Many adults today can recall a time when mom or dad put some chalky yet oddly tasty Flintstones vitamins on their plates with breakfast. Over time, the fun-looking and flavorful nutrition supplements gave way to a pill neutral in both look and taste.
But thanks to the popularity of flavorful gummy vitamins, adults have more options today.
Twenty-four-year-old entrepreneurs Nik Hall and Garrett Adair capitalized on the 25 percent year-over-year growth of the gummy vitamin market and added a personalized element when they created Vitafive.
“Some people look at this like an insurance policy, but for me we look at it more as a proactive way of being healthy rather than a reactive way,” Hall said. “Prescriptions are typically looked at as reactive. Once you’re diagnosed with something, then you do something. We look at this as a proactive way of really being in control of your health.”
As for the name Vitafive, it is meant to show that the company provides vitamin supplements that help enhance five food groups.
Vitafive users can pick from various pre-formulated health packs or can build their own custom pack with up to five choices from the eight possible supplements: probiotic, vitamin D3, vitamin C, multivitamin, calcium and D3, biotin, melatonin and omega 3.
“The gummy vitamin market is growing three times faster than the pill market and I think a lot of people are wanting to find easier ways to get their vitamins in on a daily basis,” Adair explained.
Both in the entrepreneurial program, the pair met at Texas Christian University in a calculus class, during which they got to know each other and shared ideas and entrepreneurial dreams.
“I knew before school that I kind of wanted to do my own thing. I think Garret was the same way. I think it was one of those far-fetched dreams that you always kind of hoped for,” Hall said. “Of course, at 18, 19 years old [we were] kind of unsure in the sense of we didn’t know how to start things, we weren’t willing to go out there and risk it too much.”
Though they wouldn’t graduate until May 2016, the plans for Vitafive started being put into place in February 2015 when they filed to become a limited liability company (LLC). The business opened to the public in March 2016 and now sends customers personalized gummy vitamin packs for each day of the week in monthly packs.
The co-founders built the company from the ground up. Concurrently, with advice from mentors, the two raised funds from private investors totaling in the six-figure range.
“Once we launched … we felt so proud of ourselves for raising money,” Adair said. “But it’s a lot easier to convince a bunch of old white guys to give you money than it is to convince the market to buy your product.”
Despite a confidence boost from this success, it took them about a year and a half to reach a point where product sales and marketing ventures were sustainable.
“I think that’s just a huge thing in today’s day and age,” Adair said. “People are so pumped about raising money and that’s the first step of like a thousand steps.”
Now going into its third year in business, Vitafive serves several thousand customers through its three-person team of Hall, Adair and a full-time production employee. Hall handles the company’s operations, while Adair focuses on its outward appearance.
Before deciding to launch their own company, the two felt as if their ideas weren’t being taken seriously. Their solution — bring it to market.
“I think both Nik and I were a little fed up about not feeling valued where we worked, so we wanted to go do something on our own and see if maybe the market would value us,” Adair said. “Luckily to this point, we’ve at least shown enough value to be running a somewhat successful business, so it’s been pretty cool.”
Adair explained that the most important thing for people to know is that the company values customization and ease of use.
“Our whole thing is we really want to allow people to choose what they want and then also get it in the most convenient way possible,” he explained.
While Adair and Hall have plans to grow and expand their company to markets outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area, they say being an e-commerce store is an advantage. Rather than expanding to multiple locations, the co-founders plan to keep their one Dallas area location and expand it to meet inventory and manpower needs.
Adair says that in the next year or two the pair hope to come out with an app that works in conjunction with their website, offering push-notification vitamin reminders, special rewards and coupons.