Meet the Tribe - Melissa Miller of The New Primal
We're excited to announce the launch of a brand new feature on the Hatch Tribe blog called Meet the Tribe! Each week we'll share the story of one incredible entrepreneur who can be found inside the Hatch Tribe Members Circle, our exclusive community just for #girlbosses to connect, learn and grow!
It's one rad group of women and we can't wait for you to connect with this week's badass boss, Melissa Miller of The New Primal!
Are you an Early Bird or a Night Owl? Early Bird
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Snuggle my husband
What are you reading now? I’m re-reading “The Happiness Advantage,” by Shawn Achor
What's your favorite podcast? “The Art of Doing,” by our own Hilary Johnson
Favorite place to getaway from it all? Road trips with my husband
If you could get an extra hour today, how would you use it? Daydream
Do you consider yourself more of an Introvert or extrovert? Situational extrovert
What's your favorite food? Pot roast and vegetables
I'm on a mission to...make healthy eating easy, convenient, and delightful.
How did your AWESOME business come to be?
Our business was founded by my partner, Jason Burke, who searched grocery store aisles looking for a grass-fed beef jerky without added junk. Unable to find such a snack, he bought a dehydrator and Googled “how to make beef jerky.” He began making it for friends and family, and one dehydrator grew to six. Shortly after, The New Primal was born. Once Jason decided to leave his day job, we connected about taking the product to retail stores; I had a background in community outreach and merchandising, so it was the logical next step. We started pounding the pavement, and just five years later you can find our products in close to ten thousand retail locations nationwide. I’m a partner, investor, and board member, and I have my hand in all things marketing at The New Primal.
Who inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship?
My mom. She owned her own business when I was a child and I always admired her hustle, can-do spirit, and work ethic. She owned a cleaning business and had several contracts for large department stores and apartment complexes in the Savannah, GA area. People loved working for her -- she had a fair but firm approach to her business.
Have you ever had a mentor? And how did they help you?
We’ve been fortunate to have many mentors along the way, but my favorite hands-down is Justin Gold from Justin’s Nut Butter. He’s so generous with his time, and despite all of his company’s success he remains dialed in everyday. We walked by their HQ on a Friday night around 7 pm, and there he was, working away. His business is much further down the road than ours, and he’s been able to give us great advice on everything from product selection, financing, and taking the next leap in our business.
How do you define success for yourself?
Today, success looks like being a part of the change that’s happening in our food system. We are promoting a demand for pasture-raised animals, thus creating a net benefit to the planet. And in crafting easy-to-use marinades and cooking sauces, we are allowing people to create healthy and delicious meals for their families. Our overall purpose is to make healthy eating easy, convenient, and delightful.
We all love failure & flop stories! Tell us about something you tried in business that didn't work, and how you moved beyond it.
One of our most epic fails was a packaging misstep. In our early days, when we finally opted to move beyond craft packaging (that we stickered ourselves), we turned to digitally printed bags. The design looked amazing on the computer screen, and felt sure we nailed the rebrand. However, when the packaging landed on shelves, the white lettering didn’t pop like we had anticipated. It was a bit of a disaster, but luckily our consumers stuck with us! Today, we still tweak our packaging from time to time, but now we always get mockups before we go to print.
What is a recent success that you're super proud of accomplishing?
I’m so very proud to bring products to the marketplace that fill a need for people who want to start or continue on a journey to healthy eating. This month, we launched our marinades in 700 Walmart locations around the country. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to offer our products to the masses, not to just one type of customer. Healthy eating can be affordable, and our partnership with Walmart is one step of many to show our commitment to helping a larger population.
What is your superpower?
The power of unification. I have a gift of bringing people together for a common purpose. I’ve been in one of the captain’s seats on every team I’ve served, and rallying the troops feels natural to me. I love sharing ideas, products, programs, life hacks, and lessons that have the potential to make real-life impact. I also love introducing people who share common values to one another.
What is the least sexy part of your job?
Anything dealing with accounts receivable and disputing chargebacks from distributors. It’s not sexy, but absolutely necessary! I don’t love ordering supplies for the office and taking out the trash, but the truth is we all chip in --there’s nothing beneath anyone at The New Primal.
What do you want to learn from this community of your peers?
I want to hear the stories of the underdogs --the trials and tribulations. We learn best through authentic connection, and I want to hear those stories.