Spotlight: Rachael Walker with Life’s a Buch
What started as one person’s journey to better health has quickly grown into a successful small-craft kombucha company with products sold in over 50 locations across Colorado. Rachael Walker, owner of Life’s a Buch Kombucha, is now on a mission to grow her small business and share the benefits of kombucha with others in her life.
Q. When and why did you start your business?
Rachael: Life's a Buch was born in 2018 in my basement apartment. For over 10 years, I’ve suffered from severe acid reflux and other digestive issues. It was when I started drinking kombucha every day that I saw a drastic change in how my stomach and body felt. Since I’ve consistently started to drink kombucha, my acid reflux is 100% gone. When I realized the health benefits of this miracle elixir, I knew I wanted to share it with the world.
Q. How did you address or adapt to challenges that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Rachael: Our business was definitely impacted by the pandemic. We had to completely redo our business model and immediately went to offering home-delivery. Other challenges that came with the pandemic and still continue to occur include: packaging shortages, longer shipment times, and price increases for supplies as well. We had to take it day by day, and remained engaged with our customers to keep orders coming in.
Sales definitely were impacted as well, but I am happy to say that business is better than ever in 2021! We are now offered in over 50 locations along the Front Range and are working 4-7 farmer's markets a week. The pandemic taught me to take business day-by-day, but also have a plan B, and even a plan C in place, in case something unexpected comes up again.
Q. What's been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
Rachael: My proudest moment had to be this summer, in May of 2021. I worked at an event called Blossom Festival in my hometown of Cañon City, Colorado, which is where I grew up until the age of 18. The local paper wrote a front-page article about me, and I had my most successful and profitable weekend to date. It was amazing to be able to share my product with the friends and family I grew up with. I made so many amazing memories and was very grateful for the experience.
Q. What's the next milestone you're looking forward to for your business?
Rachael: I’m really excited to see where 2022 takes us! We’re working on getting new packaging and getting into a major retailer. My goal is to get into distribution by 2022 so we can expand and really start to shake up the kombucha scene a little.
Q. What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring small business owner?
Rachael: In times where you feel like nothing is going right, or like giving up, take a step back and look back at how far you have come and the progress you’ve made as an entrepreneur and a person.
It's easy to focus on all the things going wrong and all the mistakes you’ve made in business. So remember to acknowledge all of your small victories, as they’ll eventually add up to something better than you could have ever imagined.