Name: Joy Wang
Business: Ameizen LLC , all natural vitamin supplements
Industry: Health & Beauty
Location: New York, New York, U.S.
Reason for starting: I have been in the health and nutrition industry for 16+ years (ten years at GlaxoSmithKline’s Consumer Healthcare division). Knowing how big and how real the unmet needs are in the dietary supplement industry in the areas of low adherence and poor user experience, I felt the burning desire in my stomach to act on my “light bulb” ideas and to bring them to life. I knew I had to give the project my all. After spending years in the corporate world, I decided to launch my venture to give myself the freedom to explore and make a difference, in my own way.
Buying vitamins is something almost 70% of Americans do, but taking them is another story -40% of people admit they don’t follow the dosing instructions and 50% have trouble swallowing huge pills. I wanted to dramatically improve the nutritional supplement experience, and that is why I invented sho: simple health organizer™, an all-natural, easy-to-swallow line of supplements that are dispensed with simple, meticulously engineered, one-click design. Sho intends to be the “Keurig” of vitamins; make taking supplements simple, unforgettable and stylish. My small-sized product has the potential to change people’s lives in a big way, by helping people take better control of their healthy lifestyle.
How do you define success? There have been, and will be many milestones of success along the way—from the success of working prototypes, to building the right team, making the first production run, and selling into Whole Foods Market, nationally, and globally… Each step feels like a “win.” Ultimately, I will feel successful when “sho” becomes a household name of high quality and simple nutrition that is easily accessible everywhere, for people ranging from busy, young professionals to senior who appreciate the ease of one click dispensing.
Biggest Success: I would love to make sho™ a household name, and extend the application of the sho system to other industries where adherence and ease-of-use are critically important, such as prescription and over-the-counter medications, to many different user groups, on a global scale. Above all, I want to be able to inspire and mentor other women to realize their innovative ideas in the fields of health and wellness.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Access to capital investment for early-stage, pre-revenue startups has always been challenging, and even more so for female foreign entrepreneurs. I believe that crowdfunding platforms provide an alternative, democratized avenue to bring innovation to market. We decided to put the sho concept out there to connect with the trendsetters and early adopters who are passionate about simpler and better solutions to health and wellness, and we welcome them to be part of our journey and witness how we bring sho™ to the marketplace and make it a success. We are running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
My co-inventor, Zac Levine, passed away in June 2014 due to cancer – he was just turning 30. When I reached out to him on my dispenser idea, he loved it, and said “By the way, I am sick and resting at home so I actually have more free time to work with you now!” He devoted his efforts into our dispensary ideas and we co-created many different design concepts and 3D drawings, having successfully filed an utility patent application in 2012. He continued his treatment, but sadly he lost the battle. I am driven to bring sho™ to life, because it represents a group of people’s efforts, passion and belief, people like Zac. I don’t know how to invent a cancer treatment drug, but I can make a difference by helping people be healthier, do more, and live longer, starting from providing simple solutions of taking better vitamins.
Who is your most important role model? I really admire Lori Greiner on Shark Tank. Her creativity coupled with execution power to bring ideas to successful business is truly impressive and inspiring. She is also empathetic and down to earth regardless of her fame and fortune, which is rare and precious as a female business leader in today’s world.
Edited by The Story Exchange