Take Every Opportunity
Robert & Michael Silva
The Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Take Every Opportunity
The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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take every opportunity like don't even hesitate about it just do it of course you want to like think about it right but like from what i've learned that sometimes like when you hesitate on like when there's like an opportunity in front of you it really slows you down especially a startup which is one of like the main like pros of being a startup is that you can like move at a certain pace right you can quickly change your model you can adapt faster than most businesses so i would say definitely like if you see an opportunity take it either like joining a podcast or just you know spreading like your name out there just do it [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's grown several startups in the seven and eight figure businesses as well as the ceo and founder of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com and we're always here to help now today we have another couple great guests and so every once in a while we we have a couple guests on at the same time and so those are there's one of those great occasions today so we have a a couple of brothers robert and michael silva's na and uh give you a quick introduction michael was is the ceo ceo of the company um went to the university of texas uh originally he's an undeclared major and then went into graphic design um started in college trying to figure out what he wanted to do his brother was also working at whole foods at the time as an analyst and so um didn't or they'd also kind of during that time his brother was a show or introducing a lot of the co-workers to flan which was a healthy kind of dessert type alternative um so as michael was trying to kind of figure things out what he wanted to do saw an opportunity there so as michael was still as a student and and was working doing that out they got together with the with the robert explored the opportunity robert was on the engineering side and so after a few years decided to kind of dive in go full bore and continue to push this uh or develop this as a business so with that much is introduction welcome on the podcast uh michael and robert hey uh thank you for having us on uh this is pretty exciting uh just talking about sharing us a little bit about our story and you briefly went over it right i'm one of the co-founders michael this is robert another co-founder and then our other co-founder is my brother and yeah just pretty much like you covered most of you touched based on like a lot of like the start of the company so i gave kind of the brief or high level overview but let's go back in time a bit so when you're going to university of texas kind of trying to figure out how where what you were going to do and where you were headed and kind of help us pick us up from there so tell us a little bit about your journey yeah that was back in 2014 when i uh that was my first semester at ut the fall 2014. oh man such a long time ago and uh yeah i know like originally i was going in as for kinesiology didn't get in uh for some reason but uh so i went and declared i went to utm declare and i didn't know i had no idea what i wanted to do it was like between biology and like something within like art which is kind of weird uh and yeah uh and then my brother who at the time was a master's student also like he wasn't sure what we wanted to do and uh that's when he went to like the data field and he became an analyst at whole foods and uh just he over there just started seeing like an opportunity uh because he was giving his co-workers flawing and on my side i was still like going and going through the motions going to school you know it was around my junior year when like things kind of started like coming together i'm like okay i want to do something on my own i don't see myself working under a big company um because i i was on the side i was doing freelance graphic design working with like other startups and small businesses and i was seeing like how all that worked and it seemed more free as like a creative as well like i love creating content and i just love the idea of being able to like be my own boss and like just really do what i wanted to do and it wasn't until last year 2020 uh where finally everything like you know started coming together all the like pieces started fitting in the right places and the flan flam was the product that we saw could like really uh you know we could build something around uh which is kind of weird right like you don't really think flan could like be something but you know uh we're very passionate about it because it's our dad's recipe and it's something we grew up with and we noticed that it wasn't really out there wasn't any good fun the fun that you find at the store uh is really like just pre-made pre-mixed and um or people don't know what it is it was kind of funny because flan is like a global thing you know it's originally from france and it's spread through like all these other countries and so yeah 2020 when we started um so let me dive or rewind just a little bit on that so you guys are so you're doing you know you're in the undergraduate and i think uh one of your brothers was in graduate school and then robert you were working as a um engineer is that right yeah so i mean jesse and i we both graduated last year from the macomb school of business at ut um i started my career as an engineer and jesse is the data i was hoping that's right so now so kind of you got a mixture of you know kind of three brothers that are going in three different directions a bit of whole foods analysts engineer undeclared graphic design and kind of all that so how did you guys as your started out taking different paths are you guys still kind of taking those different paths and this is a side hustle you hope to build into a full-time hustle or if you guys all come on board and are doing it full-time and kind of how did you guys all make those connections of hey we want to dedicate our life to flon so to speak we want to put in an effort and kind of go down this route how did how did those all start to intermix and interlink well um for me um i saw this as an opportunity like i said to create really right this is something that i want to pursue for fully for the future hopefully it turned this can be like a way for me to like uh start my own things and like learn through like this business like from each other that's really what the goal is for me but this is like an actual dream like you know fully dedicated to it i'm doing this time um when we started i was like still working part-time uh also going to school i was doing part-time uh at one of our local grocery stores here at heb also so i was like balancing three things at the same time and uh finally i got to a point where like you know this has like my full attention yes so yeah with me it was it was a little bit different so pretty much my whole career has been in the corporate sector doing design and construction uh in the oil and gas field industry um when i met jess we kind of talked about maybe potentially owning doing our own business you know getting away from the corporate side of things just doing our own thing so really as the years progress we actually decided to apply to school to the business school uh and where we got a degree in technology commercialization where you focus on launching your own startup basically it's an entrepreneurship program so during that program that someone decided all right well what opportunities are available right now you know looking at austin austin's booming right now in the tech industry and it's growing in the cpg industry so why not get into the cpg industry and that's kind of how it all started with us um so we actually so jesse actually started putting dulce together towards the last semester of our graduate program and then eventually launched officially in may of last year and as of now um yeah the goal is to quit corporate and just you know have our own business so now as you guys are kind of going down that route you know quitting corporate is that so all are all three of you guys in as a business to a degree that you can kind of support yourself are you building it to get to that level or kind of as you guys are all diving in or figuring out how which roles you have and who does what where the business is headed kind of how you guys all sorted that out yeah no i was just gonna say uh so at the beginning uh pretty much we were all doing a little bit of everything nothing was really defined i mean we gave each other roles titles but it wasn't necessarily like oh you're only going to do accounting oh you're only going to do you know finance it was more everybody did a little bit of everything as months progressed we kind of started assigning each other roles with things that we will focus on more like for example michael both started focusing more on operations and uh graphic design i started focusing more on the financial side of things and that's kind of how it just it just sort of happened as we progress um as far as sustaining ourselves just with this company for now we're not there yet i mean that's our goal though i mean we've been growing every month since we launched uh revenue-wise growing our customer base i mean it's been going really well so eventually we want to get to that point where this is our job no definitely makes sense so now as you guys have done that and you know you started to build it you're having you know you're growing month over month it's you know figuring out the market figuring out what each of you are doing figuring out how to bring it to the market and all that where do you kind of guys see the next you know six to 12 months headed for you guys um so when we first started this the main goal was to get into the grocery store um and month to month we've added like micro goals so within like the fifth month we made our goal to like get into like uh these boutique grocery stores call royal blue and we got into that and uh and since then it's been like these micro goals right because the main goal is to get into like the our biggest like grocery store here which is heb and um i think that's still our goal but we but things keep pivoting and changing so much within like what we're doing is that we keep hitting new goals for us like greek suddenly it's been like we're getting into like local restaurants as well because we see an opportunity there as well besides the grocery stores and that's how we kind of been going uh we even from like the start uh because we kind of started where the mountain word of mouth like uh telling our friends telling their friends to friends uh that's how we started selling and eventually to become more still we got into the farmers markets uh here in uh here in texas and uh that went really well for us as well and that this just has kind of been you know like to really keep us like on track it's just like having these little goals that lead up to the main goal which is grocery store yeah there are throughout our progress we've been having to pivot a little bit and it's just a learning curve you know this is our first the first company that we've ever launched um and even though we have the educational background for it we you know this is we've never actually done a real company before so it's been a good experience so i mean what started up as a us delivering blondes door-to-door is now basically now you can find us at the stores and at restaurants so yeah well awesome definitely sounds like you know on the one hand as copenhagen's adjusted you're having to you know adjust and pivot a bit and yet on the other hand it sounds like uh continuing to make progress continuing to grow and and move forward so now with that we'll you know as we've kind of brought it up to today and kind of wear things out and looking a bit in the future we'll go ahead and dive to or dive into this a couple questions i always ask each podcast which is the first question is is along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what did you learn from it where's business decision we learn from it that's uh that's true because we're not even a year old right and so like as maybe you've seen it's like a lot of like early businesses like a lot of decisions are like ah was that a really good idea maybe oh i think i would say investing in uh like a themed packaging was one of the biggest mistakes uh we kind of like were curious and it had a little uh we're a little ambitious we ordered like a valentine's day themed packaging and then uh texas got frozen over and uh and so that way yeah texas froze over we weren't able to like uh really keep pursuing that uh theme uh because it really slowed everything down so that really kind of garden we just learned that like okay maybe since this is our seller first year we should like slow down on like themed packaging and just really focus on like you know building our brand first and our identity yeah and then that that kind of affected us because uh at the time we were mostly selling at farmers markets and with the texas trees going on all that shut down so basically we couldn't sell any of the valentine's day products that we were hoping to sell so that was unfortunate but we decided hey let's not throw this stuff away let's save it for something else you know so it's not a complete waste but it was a little bit yeah it was like a big like uh learning experience definitely as far as uh i wouldn't say a big mistake but as far as understanding what consumers want in regards to flavors and things like that has been uh has been very interesting as well you know we at the beginning of the year when we first launched we started off with uh tap cake and uh have flan or like choco plant right um over months as months progress we started noticing trends like what people want right they want to be healthier they want to look at local ingredients they want to uh they want to focus on gluten-free items so we shifted a little bit and now all our products are good free so it's been i wouldn't say it was a mistake but it was a good learning curve during that time awesome definitely sounds like uh you know things that things that you can always look back and say hey if i'd only known type thing i would have done something different but it gives you a bit of a learning curve gives you a bit of an education and it helps you to figure out what to do next time and how to move forward on that so that all sounds awesome and great things to learn from so now i'll jump to my second question which is if you're talking to somebody that's just getting to a startup or a small business would be the one piece of advice you'd give them um looking at it i would say take every opportunity like don't even hesitate about it just do it of course you want to like think about it right but like from what i've learned that sometimes like when you hesitate on like when there's like an opportunity in front of you it really slows you down especially at startup which is one of like the main like pros of being a startup is that you can like move at a certain pace right you can quickly change your model you can adapt faster than most businesses so i would say definitely like if you see an opportunity take it uh either like joining a podcast or just you know spreading like your name out there just do it yeah i i would also say after that um if you're not sure what you want to build yet or what business you want don't just think of like this difficult challenging thing like like oh i gotta be the next you know instagram or the next facebook or uber yes i mean all those like awesome new companies right but at the same time like you can come up with the simplest thing and become huge at it i mean you don't need you don't need something difficult to to make something work yeah you don't need to reinvent the yeah basically if you if you you have to find that one thing that people need and you know you you can build something out of that and become very successful no and i think that that's definitely all all great advice and definitely some uh things that as people are starting out and uh and getting going on their business so they should take or take to heart so well as we start to wrap up the podcast if people are wanting to reach out to you guys they're wanting to be a customer client whether it's to buy one for themselves or they're a wholesaler retailer they want to be an employee they want to be an investor they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out connect up and find out more so we do have uh we do have a website occludizafoods.com you can also find us on all social media at uncle booster foods uh best way definitely you know contact us emailing us uh we will reply to like direct messages on social media as well so yeah that's kind of the best place to find us awesome well i definitely encourage people to reach out connect up find out more and support support the flan out there now for thank you guys again for coming on the podcast for all of you that are listeners if you have your own journey to tell and you want to be a guest on the podcast feel free to go to inventiveguest.com apply to be on the show two more things as listeners one click subscribe in your podcast players so you know what all of our awesome episodes come out and to leave us a review so new people can find out about us as well last but definitely not least if you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything else in the business just go to strategymeeting.com grab some time with us to chat thank you again robert thank you again michael for coming on it's been fun it's been a pleasure and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you uh thank you for having us on and uh this is a really cool thing you're doing and definitely subscribe guys [Music] awesome you