Meet Amanda, the successful business owner of Yocha who serves up Kombucha, which is a fermented and slightly alcoholic tea drink commonly intended as a functional beverage for its multiple health benefits. In this interview, she shares her trials and tribulations on her journey as an entrepreneur.

1. How did you come up with the idea for Yocha?

Yocha started out from my personal health journey with kombucha. I suffered from Eczema and Sinusitis since teenage years, and discovered an article about fermentation food helps manage allergy. So I started researching and experimenting with it. Got myself milk kefir, kombucha and took them diligently everyday ever since. My sinusitis went away after six month and my eczema doesn’t flare up as much or as severe anymore. I am now free of steroid medication and could lead a normalpain-free life, couldn’t be happier for something that I chanced upon. That was 5 years ago.

2. Did you start the venture alone?

Yes I started out on my own, but my husband was very supportive. He was the one who discovered the fermentation article and encouraged me to try it out. When I started Yocha, he was working in the privatebank and would help me on weekends with production, deliveries, pop up store etc. But he saw the demand and growth in Yocha and decided to quit his job and join me full time this year.

3. What was the hardest part in the early stages of the company’s growth?

The hardest part would be managing the cost and expenses of the business. As a small start up in Singapore, it is hard to make any money because of high operating cost, rental, manpower, raw materials and etc.. The cost would almost always exceed the net sales. You will also need to be hands on and learn to do production, sales, branding, social media, accounting, delivery and etc. Of course the easier way is to hire people to do them, but everything cost money.

4. Do you think luck played a role in the success of Yocha?

Yes, definitely. God has been kind and brought kombucha to my life. It not only healed me of my chronic illnesses, it also became a passion and business for me. We met some very nice people who guides us along the way , and we are truly blessed for all the help we received along the way.

5. How has the health and wellness movement changed in the last year?

Consumers are definitely getting more health conscious especially with the big drive by the Singapore government to drive home the message of healthy living. There has been an increase in health fitness events with many famous fitness gurus headlining the events and active participation from all walks of lives. This is not only happening in exclusive fitness clubs but also down to the heartlands. We have also seen many Gyms opening all over the islands and some are even opened 24 hours with shared gyms services.

Those mentioned above are the “hardware” aspects. In terms of the “software” aspects, we are seeing many salad shops and gourmet cafes/restaurants showcasing healthy culinary and a “farm to table” concept in Singapore.

6. What advice would you give to a wellness company just starting their business out?

Focus on your core product/business and do it well. Be prudent about your cost as you will need them for future expansion.

If you like to get your hands on yocha, you can order them online!