Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Phoebe Oetting, Founder of HIBO, located in Athens, GA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

At HIBO, we are on a mission to create the best-tasting zero-calorie energy drinks from the simplest ingredients. We're all focused on getting more natural and organic foods into our diet, so why wouldn't we do the same with what we drink? Our customers are the ones trying to do just that, but taste matters to them. They won't settle for any flavor less than amazing, and that's just what we make.

Tell us about yourself

I'm 23 years old, and I started this business with my husband! A few years ago, we both had multiple family members giving up artificial energy drinks for their health. They all lost weight and felt better but were wishing there was a natural option to switch to that tasted good. My husband studied food & beverage science in school, so we thought to try to make that drink for our family, and the idea for HIBO was born! Every day we're driven by this mission to help our families and people like them to be healthier.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We've certainly gotten HIBO into some cool places, but I'd have to say that my biggest accomplishment has been the personal growth I've gained over the years. Running this business has forced me to grow where a previous immaturity stood in the way. I'm very proud of the patience, business acumen, and faith that I've gained.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The responsibility. Nothing happens without you pushing it along at the beginning, and you have to figure out how to excel at every part of the business in order to succeed. If you fail, then you always have to be the one to get back up and try again.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Always get back up when you get knocked down. I think the best characteristic is perseverance.
  2. People are #1. Whether it's employees, investors, or just people you meet along the way, invest in your relationships and surround yourself with good people.
  3. Take your time and be patient. A lot of mistakes happen with rushed decisions, and waiting for things is the best way to gain patience.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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