Welcome Sachi and Liza!
I'm originally from India. And I’ve spent a decade working across international climate solutions in think tanks, academia and philanthropy. I got my masters at Yale in 2017 and while I was there - I was afforded a brief respite from the professional world and some time to think about what was next for me.
And somewhere along that self-reflective journey, I stumbled upon seaweed, and I was hooked. It was the first time that I felt hopeful. Seaweed’s magical - it's a zero input crop. It doesn't require irrigation, fresh water, or land, and it actively regenerates the environment in which it's grown. It heals oceans - and it’s really good for you. Discovering it was one of those win, win, win moments.
So I moved to SF after I graduated, and in late 2020 quit my job in philanthropy, and started to build Rootless. We launched in January 2022 with a product we’re calling the “Daily Bite”. It’s a date, almond, seed, and seaweed daily vitamin aimed at getting more people to lead healthy lives while contributing to a hugely impactful movement around sustainably sourced seaweed.
We love the brand. You worked with Red Antler, right? How did that come about?
Yes! I got in touch with Red Antler after reading Emily's book: “Obsessed”. A must read!
For perspective, I quit my job in October of 2020, moved back home to India for a couple of months to work on product and supply chain - and reached out to Emily in January of 2021. It was a cold email / love letter. I told her I was obsessed with her and her work, and it worked! We started working together very shortly after. For me as an outsider in the DTC industry, that was the first external indication that there was something here.
And they were so much more than just a partner or vendor. They were like an incubator that threw me into this world of CPG. They helped us develop everything from the name, to the brand identity down to the Figma files for the website. They even introduced me to Mollie Chen, one of the co-founders of Birchbox - who later became an official advisor to Rootless.
In short - Red Antler were incredible.
So how did Storetasker fit into the equation on the dev build side of things?
Once we had launched the site, we were looking for ongoing development support. We don’t have dev capabilities in-house just yet, and the team at Red Antler recommended that we reach out to you.
There’s still so much we want to build. New content pages, improved customer journeys, improving accessibility… the whole lot! So we got in touch with Mirza who’s been amazing. We’re a month in and he's been super communicative. He’s done a great optimization of our code and we’re excited to see how this goes.
Liza - on the marketing side of things. What are the biggest focuses for you?
Currently, we have this wonderful foundation–our processes are running smoothly, we have beautiful, engaging content, and an incredible team. But we're at a point where we need to get more eyes on our product and build a deeper connection with our audience. So those are my biggest areas of focus: building awareness and growing a community around Rootless.
Tactically - I’m working on building systems to nail down our influencer & ambassador outreach and partnership strategy, dipping our toes into paid ads, and actively driving retention through email and surprise and delight. A lot of our time is spent inside tools such as Klaviyo, Stamped.io to drive reviews, and tracking retention via our subscription solution, Recharge.
One more question: What’s the biggest learning so far for somebody who is a year behind you?
Along this journey, I realized that anyone can do anything. Everything is figure-outable. Everything has a solution. I started Rootless with 0 experience in the space, my learning curve was literally 90 degrees.
In retrospect, I really appreciate the naivety with which I went into this business. I didn't know how hard it was gonna be, but when you're in it, you're in it. You start figuring it out - bit by bit.
And the second learning that I've been thinking a lot about recently is around partners and team. It’s crucial to surround yourself with the right people. And once you do identify those individuals - trust them completely to do their jobs.