TCU alums take vitamin business from college to the ‘real world’

Garrett Adair and Nik Hall

How vitafive works

A vitamin subscription service, vitafive allows customers to create vitamin packs to be shipped to their homes. Customers choose from eight vitamins (Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, calcium and D3, Omega-3, melatonin, biotin, CoQ10 and a multivitamin), create a custom pack and receive a box of vitamins every four weeks.

Garrett Adair’s first job out of college was CEO. Nik Hall’s first job was president.

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That’s because the 2016 Texas Christian University alumni are continuing the work they started in college – their vitamin subscription business, vitafive. After spending months working with mentors, investors and business professors at TCU, they started vitafive in March, just two months before Hall, 23, and Adair, 22, graduated. Following graduation, the two decided to focus their energy solely on vitafive.

It’s been successful so far, Adair said. Vitafive has experienced 20-30 percent growth each month, he said, selling products on both the company’s website and on Amazon. Adair and Hall are working to revamp their website as well as prepare to move operations from Cowtown to Fort Worth’s sister to the east – yes, they’re moving to Dallas.

“One of the main reasons that we’re leaving has nothing to do with Fort Worth or anything, because there’s a lot of resources out there,” Adair said. “We have two investors out here in Dallas, our lawyer’s out here, so those are the main reasons we had to leave.”

Fort Worth will always have a place in vitafive’s history, though. The city is, after all, where the company got its start. Adair and Hall met in a calculus class during their first year at TCU and eventually became gym buddies. Since both were majoring in entrepreneurial management, the two were constantly bouncing business ideas off one another.

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They came up with the idea to start a vitamin business in their junior year, but not until after doing months of prep work. To raise money, they traveled the country searching for investors and also joined a few contests at TCU, winning $2,500 in the Values and Ventures Competition and $6,000 from the Bill Shaddock Venture Capital Fund.

Now that the business is up and running in the “real world,” Adair and Hall don’t quite have TCU holding their hands anymore. Diving into their business straight out of college forced them to pay closer attention to the details of running a startup. They quickly learned that managing a business is “more than taking pop quizzes,” Hall said.

“Not that we’ve learned everything this summer alone – really it’s not even measurable,” he said. “Every day is learning so much, whether it’s about management or leading people or whatever it’s about, or a specific thing within digital marketing or Amazon, or our website, or whatever it might be. A lot of what we’ve learned is the details of these things, rather than doing a shotgun approach.”

For one thing, they learned to balance a budget, “not spending money on stupid stuff,” Adair said. They also learned the importance of digital marketing and online sales. They launched sales on Amazon in May and are working to make their website more user friendly in an effort to not just attract new customers but to influence them to make a purchase, he said. The new website should be ready in September.

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The company’s current warehouse is in Fort Worth about 10-15 minutes from TCU, but its new one will be in North Dallas. Its office is located at a co-working space called Fort Work in Dallas, but will move from Fort Work to another co-working space called Spaces.

Still, Adair and Hall haven’t lost touch with their TCU roots. They keep in touch with business school faculty such as professor Brad Hancock, who has become a vitafive customer himself.

“They are Horned Frogs through and through,” Hancock said. “I’m glad to see they are extending that spirit across the Metroplex and beyond.”