TCU Grads Find Niche in
Customized Vitamin Startup

Vitafive offers chewable vitamin packs that can be personalized for different health needs and deficiencies

vitamins

VITAFIVE LAUNCHED IN MARCH; LOOKING TO ADD MORE STAFF


While most college students are building their resumes, Garrett Adair longed for the day he could tear his up.

The entrepreneurial management student at Texas Christian University had a dream of starting his own company, so he wouldn’t have to work for anyone. Adair and his roommate Nik Hall found their niche in tiny, chewable vitamins that can be customized for different health needs and deficiencies.

Adair and Hall started working on the concept in February 2015, secured backing and funding in the fall and officially launched Vitafive in March. Just a few months from graduation, he invited his friends over to watch him ceremoniously rip his resume and throw it into the trash.

But, founding Vitafive has meant many long, stressful nights for the recent college graduates. They’ve had to put out fires and solve a multitude of problems and — in some cases — acknowledge that they made a bad decision.

“As long as you work towards a goal and you don’t stop, you’re going to make it, you’re going to figure it out.”

Garrett Adair

“As long as you work towards a goal and you don’t stop, you’re going to make it, you’re going to figure it out,” Adair said.

Like any startup, they were trying to make it easier and more affordable for people to work vitamins into their daily routine.

“It was just us trying to fix a problem, honestly,” Adair said.

Adair and Hall were still seniors at TCU when they went before venture capital groups and investors. They received funding in the six figure range from a venture capital firm, two private investors, and friends and family. Adair declined to give details on the source of funding or the exact amount.

Vitamins

[Photo courtesy of Vitafive]

The vitamins themselves come from a private label distributor in California that Vitafive packages with its own branding. They sell premade health packs designed to help with different parts of the body, such as brain or heart health. Customers also can customize their own vitamin pack with everything from vitamin D3 to melatonin based on their deficiencies.

Each daily pack contains about seven vitamins that typically can be eaten after meals.

“You’re basically getting a treat at the same time as your vitamins,” Adair said. “They get rid of that sugary soda and at the same time, they get their vitamins. A lot of our customers say, ‘I wish I could take three of these a day, they taste so good.”’

“It was just us trying to fix a problem, honestly.”

Garrett Adair

Before they could sell the vitamins, they had a third party do a chemical test to make sure they actually contained what the producer claimed.

They’re available through Vitafive’s website or through Amazon with prices ranging from $14.99 to $34.99 for a month’s supply of daily vitamins. Adair said they’ve already got hundreds of customers just a few months after launching.

TAKING STEPS FOR IMPROVEMENT, GROWTH

Like any startup, Vitafive said it is making improvements as it goes, such as revamping the checkout process on its website and moving to a new warehouse in Dallas. The current one is in Fort Worth.

The temperature must be regulated, so the warehouse has to be 100 percent air-conditioned and the product has to be stored six inches off the ground.

The staff includes co-founders Adair and Hall and a registered dietician plus a few college interns, who will be leaving for school soon. They have a dedicated corner office on the ninth floor of Dallas Fort Work in downtown Dallas.

The company hopes to add new staff soon, including an expert in search engine optimization. They’ve paid for Google ads, but would like to get page-one recognition when people search for vitamins. Right now, they’re on page two.

“We’ve been working all summer to get there. We’re hoping next month we’ll be on the first page,” Adair said. “You’ll get so much organic traffic to your site of people who are genuinely interested in buying.”


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