Social Media Handles:
Los Angeles, CA
Short Business Description:
Moon Juice is the resource for plant-sourced alchemy to nourish and elevate body, beauty and consciousness.
Amanda Chantal Bacon is an absolute beauty inside side and out; she radiates health and wellbeing that we can all aspire to attain. Luckily for us, she created an empire that gets us one step closer to doing just that. Enter Moon Juice, her magical chain of shops in Venice, Silverlake, West Hollywood and online that sell delicious juices, snacks, pantry items and “cosmic provisions” that deliver health benefits we never knew we needed – but undoubtedly do.
After years as a trained chef, food writer, stylist, and consumer of her own homemade products, Amanda had an urge to share her learnings with the world. Like so many successful entrepreneurs before her, she didn’t see the founding of Moon Juice as a choice – she saw it as a need and an obligation. Her customers seem to agree. Amanda is her brand, she is her product, and she is catching on like wildfire. All of her customer acquisition has been completely organic, and the growth and promotion of her business has been a personal labor of love, with her consistently at the helm.
We were lucky enough to catch her at her Melrose Place shop, in the midst of a book tour no less, to pick her brain on how she founded and grew her business, and some key lessons learned along the way.
What is Moon Juice?
Amanda: I think of it as more of a movement rather than an actual product. Moon Juice is a movement of people aligning with a certain consciousness – feeding their bodies and feeding themselves. We started off with our juices and cosmic provisions, which did really well, so we expanded into the Moon Dust and pantry line.
How did you know how to create those types of products?
Amanda: I was always into that. It just took some time to get my ideas into products, and to get the labels compliant.
Before starting Moon Juice, what did you do?
Amanda: I was in fine dining for awhile; I was a chef. I went through the whole kitchen journey. I was also a journalist, a food journalist, a food stylist and worked in food and wine.
Did you have any formal business training before opening your first store?
Amanda: No. I don’t even have a college degree.
What was your biggest fear before launching Moon Juice?
Amanda: I found out I was pregnant a week after I signed the lease for my first store. I had some real fear around whether or not I could physically pull this off. I was a first time single-mom and it was the first time I was opening a Moon Juice. I had no idea what was happening – there was some fear.
Your Glass Ceiling Turning Point
What inspired you to open your first store?
Amanda: There was a need. I wanted to see it the world, and I wanted to enjoy it myself.
How did you find the courage to do so?
Amanda: It wasn’t courage. It seemed choice-less. That’s how badly I wanted it to come through. It didn’t feel like a choice, it felt like a need, so that was a good sign to me.
Is there anyone in particular who influenced your journey?
Amanda: So many people along the way, so many teachers, so seemingly, life screw ups, mentors, my mom, my own health struggles – I mean, it’s really, like, it’s a patchwork of things that got me here.
The Business of Your Business
How did you finance your first store?
Amanda: I had a friends and family loan. It was a very small loan.
How did you go about getting the courage to ask friends and family? Did you write a business plans?
Amanda: Yeah, we put a business plan together.
Can you walk us through the first five operational steps you took to open the store?
- Writing a Business Plan
- Selling people on a really foreign, sketchy idea – like, who was buying green juice back then?
- Doing a bunch of R&D, recipe and development and pricing that out
- Searching for equipment and machinery, really thinking through what the operation would be
- Finding a lease
Where did you find your first customers?
Amanda: They just walked in off the street. It’s been a bit of an organic phenomenon, this whole juice thing.
What kind of growing pains have you experienced?
Amanda: Just about every growing pain one could have, and you know, I think that there is a way to relate to it as people. We could look back at every growing pain we had as a child, when we were hurting so much, somehow it was explained to us by a parent that there were growing pains, and they just meant that we were going to be big and tall and strong. I remember having growing pains and lying in bed and thinking, “Okay, this is really uncomfortable, but it means I’m getting big and strong and growing up.” So, I think that’s the way I relate to many of the potentially terrifying and stressful business experiences I’ve had.
What outside contractors have you hired to help build the brand and business?
Amanda: No one. It’s been organic. I have an incredible small startup team, and people who really don’t believe us when we tell them we haven’t spent marketing dollars. There wasn’t even been a branding person until last week.
Where do you want Moon Juice to be in 5 years?
Amanda: Everywhere – all over the world. I’d love to figure out a way to make Moon Juice, and healthy living, accessible to many more people.
Where do you find inspiration?
Amanda: My inspiration really comes from giving myself some time and space to let the essence speak.
Do you have any business role models?
Amanda: Yeah, I don’t know if have like one, cut and dry. I find great inspiration, like little tidbits here and there, from everyone. Every business meeting I take I leave with some shiny pearl from it.
How has branding played a role in your business?
Amanda: The brand is the whole business. There’s nothing else.
And now, you carry other lines in your store and online. How do you find these partners?
Amanda: I only carry and sell stuff that I personally use. These brands are created by friends of mine and every product, everything in the store, is something that has changed my life profoundly in some way.
What challenges do you face as a female founder, and how do you overcome them?
Amanda: I have a unique role of being a single mom. I think that, not to take away from other female business owners who show up, but certainly, you know, doing that along with the way that I had show up for my son in the early years, is different from a male role. I mean, I was like breastfeeding on demand for two years when I opened my first store – that was a challenge. Mostly being with him, and nursing him all night, not really sleeping for a couple of years there, and just like physically keeping up with that – that was hard.
Has having a child changed how you run your business?
Amanda: I’m sure that it has in immeasurable ways, but my child and my business were born at the exact same time, so I will never know one without the other.
How do you draw boundaries, or not draw boundaries, between work and personal life?
Amanda: There are no boundaries, really. I am my work and my work is me. It’s all one. Something that seems to help me is falling in love. I will be obsessively checking my phone at four o’clock in the morning, one o’clock in the morning, 8:30 at night, 6:00 a.m. So, when I fall in love, that’s always a great time where then I will put a boundary up. I think maybe it makes me question, as does my parenting, where I draw a link with businesses. There are times when I just put it all away and really put all of my energy into my child.
What is the best thing about running your own business? The most difficult?
Amanda: The hardest is that it never stops, there is no escape. It’s like, you know, you don’t go on holiday from your arm. The best thing is that I’m energized by it. I feel like I really have purpose, and that excites me.
Do you have advice on whether or not to have a co-founder?
Amanda: Well, I think that’s just going to be different for each person. I really think you need to tune into how you work best, and also evaluate the situation and the business. There may be one business where it’s best to do it on your own, or one period in your life where it feels best to do it on your own, and then another period in life where you want to do it with four people – I think it’s really situational.
What are you most proud of?
Amanda: I feel most proud of the way people have really taken Moon Juice into their lives; that makes me feel so proud. I could cry on most days when I see people really taking care of themselves, and buying the damn book and actually cooking from it. Or bringing their kids here after school too. I mean that just makes me – I’m like, “Is this real?” I’m so proud of everyone because it’s not easy, and it’s a real commitment of time, money and energy, on so many levels.
Have you had a moment where you thought you had made it, or that you had really succeeded?
Amanda: No. When I see the possibility of having had that moment, I’m encouraged and really grateful that we are where we are today, but at the same time, I feel I have a real urgency around where I’d like to see us go and where I know we need to be. I just have real urgency around timelines, and how much consciousness needs to change, and how quickly it needs to change. So, I really don’t take time to sit around and pat myself on the back – I hold that for my team, but for me, I’m always looking forward.
What advice would you give to people who are just starting out in business?
Amanda: Take care of yourself. It’s the only way you’re going to make it; deeply take care of yourself, and don’t be shy about it.
Photography by: Katrina Dickson