Nourished CEO: There will always be factors founders cannot control

Melissa Snover Nourished founder

Melissa Snover is the founder and CEO of Rem3dy Health, which creates bespoke nutrient gummies and personalised medicine under the brands Nourished and Scripted.

Birmingham-based Nourished has been backed by more than £15m in funding and sells its tailor-made gummies via online subscription.

Customers complete an online questionnaire about their lifestyle and goals, and then Nourished uses 3D printing technology to create bespoke gummy vitamins in-house and on demand.

Snover, a registered nutritionist, founded Nourished in 2019 after dropping a bag of pills and supplements at airport security and thought there must be a more convenient way to take vitamins.

In this week’s Founder in Five Q&A, Snover explains why entrepreneurs must accept that there are factors they cannot control, how getting a mentor is the “perfect antidote” to business confusion, and why she wakes up at 4 am for some “me time”.

1. What advice would you give to a first-time founder?

Melissa Snover: As an entrepreneur, there will always be factors you cannot control, so enabling a mindset that accepts, but is resilient to unexpected challenges is so important. Ensuring you have a trusted and passionate team around you who share your vision allows you to overcome these potential challenges.

Start with the facts: compile data so you know exactly what your customers want, and what problem you are solving, and then commit your time and efforts into establishing your brand that delivers a clear benefit to the end consumer, rather than just developing a product which you think is cool.

Once established, think about your wider circle: networking is hugely important for advancing your career. I find it incredibly interesting speaking to other people in my field at events to learn how they face challenges.

I recently joined Business Commission West Midlands as a commissioner to help connect and grow other businesses in the region. Birmingham has seen a thriving startup scene and is fast becoming one of Europe’s most influential business hubs thanks to its transport connections, rich supply chain, and diversity, so networking with other businesses is not only interesting, but a brilliant source of support at such a fast-moving time for the region.

2. What’s a common mistake that you see founders make?

MS: A mistake I see founders often making is thinking they have to do everything themselves, and expecting that no one else will want to help them. Before my first funding round for Rem3dy Health, I spent countless hours reading and researching the VC landscape to ensure I was setting myself up for success in the best way possible, which is something you can’t rely on others to do, you’ve got to do that research yourself. But you’re going to come across a lot of jargon which can be extremely challenging to someone new to the industry, so going to your peers and seeking out mentors who are experts in their fields is sometimes necessary. After all, you can’t negotiate if you don’t understand the lingo!

Getting yourself a mentor can be the perfect antidote to the confusion. Every major city has a programme in place for networking, financing and funding, where you can learn from the experts and meet other business owners. Hearing stories from those who have been where you are now means you get the information you need, straight from the horse’s mouth. It also means you’re sharing some of the stress load and you’re not having to work everything through on your own, which is something that founders often find themselves doing.

Mentorship is something I’m very passionate about. I am so proud to be part of the BUY WOMEN BUILT mentoring programme where I hope to help inspire the next generation of female founders and ultimately help to close the gender entrepreneurship gap to positively affect the UK economy.

3. How do you motivate your team?

MS: At Rem3dy Health, a positive culture surrounds everything that we do. We aim to create positivity in every facet of the business, whether it’s something simple like providing food and healthy snacks for the on-site team in line with our focus of supporting their health and wellbeing, or something more policy-driven such as acknowledging that not every day is the same, so flexible working is standard.

We celebrate the successes of all team members; this includes employee of the month recognition with a financial reward for each winner. There’s also an employee EMI share option scheme enabling all employees to have a share ownership in the business leading to a particularly engaged workforce. We’ve found that this not only enables our team to feel empowered but also encourages their commitment and passion for our future.

Work shouldn’t be a strain or an environment where employees feel unwelcome, unheard or unappreciated. It’s the small things that we incorporate into our every day that help to motivate our team and we have always prioritised establishing that sense of engagement, inclusion and positivity first. Without that, how can you expect your team to succeed?

4. How do you prevent burnout?

MS: Nourished has grown exponentially year on year since its launch in January 2020. There are no signs of slowing down, having just launched into Asia and with Europe on the horizon, meaning we’re continuously innovating to develop the business further and manage the different demands of each market. It’s incredibly exciting and rewarding to see the business grow, but it does mean that my schedule is usually back-to-back with meetings. I’m very grateful to have so much going on, but it does mean I have very little downtime so being self-aware and knowing when to put a pin in my workday is really key to preventing burnout.

It might sound extreme, but this is why I’ve got into a habit of waking up at 4 o’clock every morning to gain back some me time. My husband thinks I’m mad, but I tell him that this hour and a half, maybe two hours in the morning, is my favourite time of the whole day! I find it’s a peaceful time of day to prioritise myself and refocus my mindset for the day ahead.

I also try to make time each day for a run. When time allows, I also enjoy playing golf, reading and supporting my charities. These personal hobbies are so necessary to give yourself space to breathe when your working day is back-to-back.

5. What’s the most misunderstood technology?

MS: 3D printing is as a manufacturing process for creating objects – typically used in aerospace, automotive and robotic industries. However, not many realise the technology has developed significantly in recent years and has many possible uses – now widely used in the health and medicine sectors.

3D printing is actually the technology behind Nourished’s innovative gummy stacks, which are improving consumers’ health and wellness goals by delivering acute, personalised solutions. Utilising this technology means we can create fresh, layered gummy stacks on demand for each individual customer – which limits wastage and reduces production cost and time.

Founder in Five – a UKTN Q&A series with the entrepreneurs behind the UK’s innovative tech startups, scaleups and unicorns – is published every Friday.