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Entrepreneur Lessons: experiences and learnings from successful founders

Welcome to Entrepreneur Lessons, where we'll be chatting to fantastic founders and entrepreneurs, asking them what they've learned and picking up the best tips & advice to share with you along the way.

First up? Andy & Jason Quin from beverage company ETCH Sparkling! They create alcohol free beverages that celebrate native ingredients and we interviewed them to find out all about the challenges and wins that they've been faced with over time.

Food Futures HQ: Hey Andy and Jason, how did you make a start in entrepreneurship and creating ETCH Sparkling?

ETCH: The journey to creating ETCH took shape during a period of great transformation. Due to the creeping reliance on alcohol to cope with life’s stresses, Jason made the choice to stop drinking alcohol. Following a career spanning over 2 decades in the wine industry, we noticed the lack of credible adult options that were alcohol free and not full of sugar or other nasties, so we heeded the call to “create something you wish existed”. Having had experience previously as small business owners in a wine brand as well as corporate jobs in the wine industry, we were able to apply nimble, insight driven agility with structure and process to meet a consumer need that exists in the marketplace.

Food Futures HQ: Can you tell us a bit about the times you've 'failed' in entrepreneurship and on the path to success with Etch Sparkling?

ETCH: We don't look as failure as a negative. There is no failure, only learnings. It’s only an issue if we don't learn. An example of learning and adjusting is during the launch of a new ETCH flavour, the colour of the drink didn’t turn out the way we envisioned. As the ingredients are all natural, the colour can be harder to control. The next production run, we tweaked the colour and feel much happier with the result.

Food Futures HQ: What have you learnt from the challenges you've encountered and the concept of failure along the way?

ETCH: The importance of good communication and also the realisation there is always a solution, it just may not come in the form you are expecting. Own your mistakes, communicate clearly and continue to move forward.

Food Futures HQ: What has been your biggest lesson/takeaway in the process of starting and growing your business?

ETCH: There is always going to be someone with more money, resources or skills, but there is nobody else like you. Be authentic, enjoy the ride, celebrate the wins.

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