Here at bloomfield knoble we are always interested in new start up companies, after all we were one too over 16 years ago. So when I learned about this great new startup and it’s product I wouldn’t wait to talk to someone from Skimpy Mixers. Summer Lamons and her best friend from 9th grade, Megan Toole Hall, along with their friend, Krista LaMothe, launched a business after a night of partying at Megan’s bachelorette party. Well, 4 years later they launched. But that’s the interesting part of this story. I recently interviewed Summer Lamons, about her new business venture, Skimpy Mixers. Summer is a Dietician with a very busy practice and somehow found time to work in the product development of this very cool offering. Here is what I learned from her:
Q. What was the bachelorette story that launched this product idea?
A. Megan got married in 2010 and at her bachelorette party prior to the wedding there was a pool party with mixed beverages. The next day Megan called to tell me what a great party it was and talked about the delicious drinks. She asked what I thought the calorie count was on each drink and when I told her she was shocked. I calculated that there were between 600-800 calories per drink, depending on the size of the glass. But when we looked for lower calorie, yet still delicious alternatives there were none to be found. My good friend, Megan, is a very successful businesswoman and seeing a huge market opening she decided we needed to fill that gap.
Q. What did you do to get the product developed?
A. Megan, Krista and I spent many, many evenings in the kitchen developing lower calorie but still delicious recipes along with our friends and family as our taste-testers. As a nutritionist, it was important to me that we use natural ingredients with low sugar and calorie counts. My dear friend, Megan, is a confessed sugar fiend. So the recipes needed to meet both of our palates and objectives. Once we agreed that the recipes were tasty and calorie-acceptable, we took them to a bottler and Megan and Krista began working on the product marketing and the distribution processes. It took us over 1½ years to get to the final recipes.
Q. What qualified you to do product development?
A. My undergraduate degree is pre-med. I ran track for the University of Tulsa and was required by the school to meet with a dietician. Once I started following her dietary advice, I found that I ran faster and felt better all day long. I looked at my life and found people I loved with poor diet and saw the negative impact on their health. I decided at that point to go to grad school and get my degree in dietetics. I did my internship in Dallas at Baylor; which is how I got to Dallas from Oklahoma.
Q. What is so different about your product?
A. It’s delicious; with a much lower calorie count. Most of our beverages are between 15 and 40 calories per drink.
Q. What is your target market?
A. Really anyone who wants to save calories but wants a delicious beverage. However; most of our audience is between the ages of 30-60 and skew slightly higher female. We were actually surprised at how high our male audience has become.
Q. How wide spread is your product distribution?
A. Currently we are in 1300 Wal-Mart stores in 48 states. We are in talks with several national chains and expect product placement in those chains in the next few months.
Q. What is the background of your business partners?
A. Megan has a highly successful Farmers Insurance Agency. She is an amazing businesswoman and gets more done in any 24-hour period than most humans. Krista has a background in marketing and logistics and had been dedicated to getting the product on the shelf.
Q. Do you see other products in the future? If so, what kind of products?
A. Absolutely, we’ve already talked about a number of products such as other drink products and meal replacement bars, salad dressings and marinades. We’ve not settled on anything yet but look for more to come.
Q. How involved are you in Skimpy Mixers on a day-to-day basis?
A. Actually, at this point it comes in waves. I help with product promotion events and work on future product development. I still am able to run my full-time business as a Dietician. This is important to me, as I love the close client contact and helping individuals in my practice. I will always continue this part of my life, as it is personally so gratifying.
Q. Last question, where do you see the Skimpy Mixers business in 5 years?
A. I think the business will continue to grow and we will have teams of people to manage the existing and new products we put into the market. I predict great things for our company.
Thank you Summer. Everyone at bloomfield knoble wishes you much success with Skimpy Mixers and continued success in your private dietician practice. I am very impressed with your ability to manage working with a start up project from the ground up and yet maintain your own practice. We’ll keep our eye out for more new products from your team.
Luann Boggs is the Vice President of Business Development for bloomfield knoble. She works with new and existing accounts as a liaison between client and creative. Her favorite part of the job is meeting and working with interesting and intelligent people. Her personal interests are family, friends, good books and travel including all 50 states and over 25 countries.