Today we’d like to introduce you to Nas, Judah and Shiloh Accius.
Nas, Judah and Shiloh, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In the fall of 2018, I was twelve years old and six months into a routine of playing live guitar at shopping plazas around town. I was street performing, using Inglewood as an audience. I needed the practice and I also needed to start making money to buy a few things I wanted but more importantly to start saving to help my parents with my college tuition in a few years. In a few months, I was playing my best, saving hundreds of dollars and spending my own money for the first time. My little brothers Judah (now 12 years old) and Shiloh (now ten years old) saw my bank account and my growing sneaker collection and wanted in on the action. I wanted them in too – They’re my best friends and we’ve been playing music together our whole lives.
But they’re also both pianist and a piano isn’t a practical street performing instrument. So it never happened. We decided that the only way for us all to win was to do something that we can all do together to make money. WE decided to start a business. Between our parents always talking to us about business and generational wealth building and countless episodes of Shark Tank we knew we needed to have a purpose and to solve a problem with our business. We knew exactly what problem we wanted to solve immediately-We wanted to help free inner city arts programs get and stay well funded. We’ve been in arts programs around the city our entire lives and know how important they are for creative kids like us and how underfunded and under-supported they are. We wanted to produce and sell a product that would allow us to make enough money to donate to that cause plus build the generational wealth our parents talked about. We also knew that whatever that product was going to be it had to be beneficial to our community.
After kicking around a bunch of ideas, we landed on producing Vegan Ice Popps. Most frozen treats on the market are toxic for the body and planet and the ones that are actually healthy are unattractive because they’re overpriced AND the branding is just corny and too tree hugger for kids like us. We figured if we made the best “healthy” vegan frozen fruit ice popps in town but branded and marketed them in a dope new way, leveraging our Hip Hop culture, we’d have a hit. We spent the next few months developing our recipes until we perfected our first 6 Jiggy Popp Flavors; Strawberry Better 23, Mango Unchained, Poppin Pineapple Ginger, Blackberry Gordy, Tropic Like It’s Hot, Georgia Peach On My Mind. I invested money I earned street performing and we were able to buy our production materials and first vending cart. Our aunt Shania gave us our first vending opportunity at a festival she puts on in the valley annually and we sold out of hundreds of Jiggy Popps in a few hours. We knew then that we were sitting on a scalable gold mine.
Since then, we’ve been selling Jiggy Popps at our exclusive popp ups, vending at just about every major festival in LA, private events, production wrap parties, film/TV sets and “curb servn” on street corners around LA. Besides being wildly embraced in LAs Vegan community, Jiggy Popp has become a “gateway Popp” for people that are curious about vegan options and want to dip their toe in the water for the first time. We recently moved into a commercial kitchen and are currently in production for wholesale distribution with a number of local corner stores already committed to carrying the product. Ultimately are hope is to have Jiggy Popp carried in every retail freezer that’s stocked with frozen treats globally. As we build towards that we’ll continue to make sure that we’re investing into the well being of our community by supporting/donating to inner city arts programs and by making healthy frozen treat options accessible to the people in underserved communities.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Our struggles are probably no different from most new businesses; How to build brand awareness? How to scale up without overextending? etc. But that’s just business and we’re learning more and more as we grow. Our biggest challenge is the fact that we’re still kids that go to school five days a week while other business owners are at work 24/8 building their businesses. Our parents have had to get more involved behind the scenes as managers to ensure that systems are in place to make sure the business doesn’t suffer because of our schedules. So our immediate focus is building our wholesale distribution channels while still “curb servn” on the weekends during the school year and all week long during the summer. In fact, right now, every Sunday you can find us at @VeganExchangeLA in NOHO moving that freeze pack. Follow @JiggyPopp for Saturday Popp Up info.
Jiggy Popp – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our company is called Jiggy Popp and we make and sell Vegan Ice Popps. Some refer to Jiggy Popp as “The Official Ice Popp of The Culture”, because of our companies cultural DNA and how real Hip Hop culture is baked into our branding and messaging. The Jiggy Popp hype doesn’t come from some corporate hype machine. People are organically latching on to the movement because of what Jiggy Popp represents to our community and our culture. It represents hope to people who didn’t think it was possible for 3 Black Kids from Inglewood to disrupt a billion-dollar industry. It represents healing for those in underserved communities that never had access to healthy frozen treat options but now they do (and more will). It represents endless possibilities for kids in the inner who benefit from the arts programs we’ve been able to help directly or indirectly as 25% of our proceeds goes to inner city arts programs. We take pride in all that.
Besides having a really great tasting product, those are the things that set us apart from the rest- Along with the fact that other brands in this space tend to be artisan and have pretentious menus, whereas we offer six consistent classic flavor combos with a twist, just done better and healthier than ever. NO Charcoal Tree Bark popps over here.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for us is being able to continue doing exactly what we’ve been doing, giving people hope and inspiration through our example of early entrepreneurship, healing our communities buy offering accessible healthy frozen treat options and creating possibilities for kids in our communities who want to attend arts programs. As long as we stay true to those things, we’re confident we’ll hit all of our long term professional success markers like making Jiggy Popp a national household name brand by 2030, and a global brand by 2035. Thats how we’re on it. #FREEZEGANG
- Email: JiggyPopps@Gmail.com
- Instagram: @JiggyPopp