Today we’d like to introduce you to Daina Trout.
Daina, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born the 3rd of 4 daughters to my very much in love Lithuanian parents. We traveled and moved a lot as a family, so we were close, open-minded, and accustomed to change. I’ve always felt naturally drawn to creating and leading, and am a good communicator; I have never felt “at home” until I started a business, so I often wonder if this is just what I was made to do. I didn’t know it of course until Health-Ade, which didn’t happen until 2012.
While I was in graduate school studying nutrition in Boston from 2003-2007, I fell in love with food—cooking with it, healing with it, fermenting it. It was there that I learned how to make kombucha and met Justin, who would be my future husband and business partner 5 years later. After graduating, we moved to LA where I started my corporate career. The first day on the job I got teamed up with Vanessa, Health-Ade’s 3rd co-founder, so it was definitely the place I HAD to start if you believe at all in serendipity.
In the 5 years in corporate America, I did well; Though I moved “up the ladder” quickly there, I had a growing feeling over the years that this just wasn’t my calling. Vanessa and Justin were in agreement, and we all felt drawn toward entrepreneurship. The trio started an entrepreneur’s club in 2012, where we would gather around my kitchen table, sip on my homemade kombucha, and come up with business ideas. We laugh now because the answer was right in front of our noses the whole time!
We called ourselves the “trifecta,” and we started small, brewing our kombucha out of a tiny LA apartment and selling it at local farmers’ markets. The response, however, was NOT small. Immediately, and with vigor, there was a strong demand for Health-Ade. We made the best tasting and highest quality kombucha you could buy, and people couldn’t get enough. Today, we are sold in 15,000 stores nationwide, operate a major brewery in LA with 200 employees, and are the fastest growing brand in the fastest growing category of beverage.
It’s been an awesome journey, to say the least—with crazy highs and lows, and so many learnings I feel like I’ve lived several lifetimes in the last 6 years. Also in this time, Justin and I had a son—Hendriks—so motherhood has become part of the adventure as well. My story is unfolding in a very cool way for sure. Though it’s tough to be CEO of such a fast-growing business AND a mom + wife + sister + daughter + friend, there’s no question it’s exactly where I am meant to be.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My art is Health-Ade, and we make REAL kombucha — the best tasting and highest quality brew you can buy. We are 100% glass fermented, produce in super small batches, use real ingredients to flavor, like cold-pressed juice from organic produce, and ferment the old-school way.
I’m passionate about the real food movement and I believe in the health it takes to be happy. There’s a lot more to it than just the product—Health-Ade is also a company of people, so my art includes building a culture I’m proud of and one people want to work for. This part is often under-recognized, and I think it’s a major reason we do so well.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
Trying to be everything to everyone is a major challenge we have today. There is this vision that we can all be Rockstar CEOs, sexy wives and mothers, self-loving super-heroes. AND the fittest we’ve ever been—not to mention funny, social, fashionable and intelligent—ALL at the same time and every day. Social media contributes greatly to a notion that “perfect” is not only attainable but expected.
Learning that you can do anything but just not EVERYTHING is important, and for me, this means I have to disconnect from technology and work in some space. Nature with family is where I gain a lot of clarity and rest. Then I reset and go back into the jungle of performance and achievement. Finding your way to balance is very personal, but critical.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Health-Ade is available nationwide and readily available throughout Los Angeles at retailers such as Whole Foods, Gelson’s, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. If you check out our website, you can find stores that carry it near you and even order Health-Ade to be delivered to your doorstep (in LA and OC).
I’m really excited about our newest flavor: Jalapeño-Kiwi-Cucumber. We call it our summer sidekick… cool, sweet, but with this really nice hit of spice. If you’re feeling it, add a little mezcal for a buzz-worthy variation.
- Website: https://health-ade.com
- Instagram: @healthade @dainatrout
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HealthAde/
- Twitter: @DrinkHealthAde