Co-founders of Wellnice Pops, BJ and Trín, talk about their business journey to date, what they’ve learned and what they’d change.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
BJ: We toyed with a lot of names, but Wellnice ticked all the right boxes. It’s a take on wellness, you can put it before just about anything, and it’s a well-used Limerick phrase. There is controversy around who came up with it – the nine-year-old future CEO and Trín both lay claim to it!
What are your company’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?
BJ: One of the things we felt strongly about was that we wanted to create a strong brand. Luckily we have a very talented friend, Kevin King, who was able to translate our vision and personality. Without a doubt, our branding has been very well received, and it is something we are very proud of. On the flip side, one of our biggest challenges is the logistics of working with a frozen product.
What are your pet peeves in business?
Trín: Everything takes twice as long as you expect it to.
What’s the most important thing you have learned so far in business?
BJ: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you keep all options open and check all avenues before depending on one source.
What is your company’s biggest achievement to date?
Trín: Wellnice Pops is still in its infancy, and we know the best is yet to come. Having said that we are delighted with the response we’ve had so far, and we were well excited to win a couple of awards. It’s got to be said, though one of our personal highlights was chatting with Dermot and Dave, and hearing the ‘Jingly Bits’ they wrote for Wellnice Pops. It’s hilarious.
If you were ‘ruler for a day’ what would you do to change the business or social climate in this country?
Trín: We would change the 23% VAT rate on healthy products like Wellnice Pops, and the day would be forever known as Wellnice Day.
Would you describe yourself as book-smart or street-smart?
BJ: Between the two of us we are the perfect combination of both.
Would you say you have a company culture? If so, how did you go about installing your company’s culture?
BJ: Definitely. Both Trín and I have put our hearts and souls into Wellnice Pops from day one, and I think this has given Wellnice a distinct personality. You will find us bouncing around in our Wellnice hoodies, be it at a festival or meeting a Minister. We’ve even gone so far as to name our trading unit – ‘The Pop Shack’! It’s either company culture or madness; it’s a blurry line.
If you weren’t running a business what job would you love (or hate) to have?
Trín: I would love to work in renewable energy, specifically hydropower. Our oceans and rivers have an abundant supply of potential energy, available for us to harness with little disruption to the environment. We need to invest more time and money in these industries and stop depending on non-renewables.
If the Internet ceased to exist how would you change your business model to cope with this?
Trín: The internet is an integral part of getting the Wellnice Pops brand out there. But funny you should mention it – I too have a fear the Internet could cease to exist. This is why I have been training carrier pigeons in my spare time. Fail to plan, plan to fail.
Wellnice Pops are 100% vegetable and fruit juice ice pops.