SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- "Founder, CEO? This is my first time doing this so I kind of gave myself the CEO title," Kaylee McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin may be getting used to the title, but she certainly deserves it. Starting from scratch some five years ago, the San Diego Navy wife and mother of three set out to create her own beverage, which has now become Kaylee's Culture.
"Honestly, I really took to 'Business 101 for Dummies' kind of thing," said McLaughlin. "I mean, I read it all. I listened to all the podcasts, read all the articles, and that's how I got up and going because I didn't know anyone in this business area."
McLaughlin said the initial spark was her devotion to healthy food for her family.
"I made my own baby formula and baby food and anything you can think of I made from scratch," said McLaughlin.
Mixing it up in the kitchen lead to an idea.
"My focus was probiotics," said McLaughlin. "So, I decided to just add probiotics to water. And I sweetened with monk fruit and fruit essence to make it taste good. But just something really simple and functional. Something that we all need."
When asked, "That's one of the things with entrepreneurs -- how do you go from concept to actual product?" McLaughlin replied, "That was the hardest part. I literally duck, duck, goosed, 'how to start a beverage business.'"
But McLaughlin also credits the example of her father, who she watched run his own storage business while growing up in El Cajon. But hers was a very different venture.
"I just typed it in and looked it up and cold called dozens and dozens of people," McLaughlin said. "Can you do this for me? Can you do this for me? And you know, a hundred no's and one yes, but that's what it takes."
Her journey has included working with a beverage scientist -- something she didn't know existed -- catching up with an old friend from college who helped design her logo, and support from family, friends and her devoted Navy husband.
And now, that Kaylee's Culture is in production, McLaughlin wants to be part of the support network for others.
"I'm here for anyone who wants to ask me questions," McLaughlin said, "I'm so grateful for those in the industry who did the same for me. The support is here and I'm here."
Kaylee's Culture" is available at Jensen's Foods in Point Loma. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org