Switchel. Swizzle. Haymaker’s punch. Whatever it’s called, you’ve probably never heard of it. Nikki Blank is out to change that with the launching of her DC-based company, sunōmi, proud purveyor of switchel, an invigorating vinegar, ginger, and citrus beverage.
The F Project: What was the lightbulb moment that made you start your company?
NB: When I realized that the benefits of succeeding way outweighed the risks of failing.
TFP: What makes you want to jump out of bed every day?
NB: The idea that my drink and my company can help someone, whether they are in recovery and need a non-alcoholic option, or they're dehydrated and need a thirst quencher.
TFP: What about your past career or life experience prepared you for entrepreneurship? What was a total shock?
NB: My past career in media and digital news prepared me for entrepreneurship by teaching me to think critically and creatively and to be problem solving before problems arise. I think my lifelong career as a soccer player really prepared me for the hustle and grind that is running your own business. Soccer taught me how to be gritty and scrappy and to work really fucking hard.
TFP: What makes your product special/different?
NB: My switchel is a modern and unique take on a drink that's been around since Ancient Greece!
TFP: What advice do you have for other female founders?
NB: My advice for other female founders is to create a support system that can catch you when you stumble/fall, that will raise you up, and that will be honest with you.
TFP: Why did you join The F Project?
NB: I love connecting with other women and helping to build each other up. I know a lot of men who can do that for themselves, on their own. I've always needed a great support system and provided that for my female friends. I think it's especially important in business. We all have something to give and ways to share our gifts with others, and when we come together to do that we are so much more powerful.