Autumn Kendrick, is a young emerging leader in the beverage industry. Kendrick is passionate about being involved in preserving the environment and embracing adventure in life. She utilizes the knowledge gained in her previous experiences working in fashion, ballet, and scuba diving, to bring energy to GnuSanté Creations, a company focused on innovation and a brighter environmental future. Autumn is excited and honored to be the next generation of Kendrick, in the food and beverage industry. The GnuSanté Creations company is focused on being a better beverage company – one that champions people and the environment before bottom lines and profits.
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Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Autumn Kendrick: I am Autumn Kendrick and my company is, GnuSanté Creations Inc. Our company is dedicated to handcrafted nutrition. We want to nourish the little adventurers, the fun seekers, and the trailblazers! Our fun and nutritious drinks are the perfect go-to snack for kids. Available in Canada and we hope to expand to the USA in the future.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Autumn Kendrick: I have always had a passion for fashion, ballet, and scuba diving. My interest now is in nutrition and making sure children have great snacks. I have always wanted to help people so I truly admire our healthcare professionals and first responders. I am following in my father’s footsteps now, with my role at GnuSanté Creations.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Autumn Kendrick: The GnuSanté Creations company is a tight-knit crew so probably not much, but I think they would be surprised to find out that I used to have a fashion production company. Before, my time with GnuSanté Creations company, I was producing shows during Toronto Fashion Week. Now, I am bringing a wonderful blend of my management experiences and talents from the dance and fashion industries to GnuSanté Creations.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Autumn Kendrick: Such a great question, the definition of what an entrepreneur is can seem endless, let’s be honest, as an entrepreneur, you do what needs to be done and have to be prepared to learn more than you ever imagined. I think the most common theme when defining an entrepreneur is someone who is dedicated, a passionate risk-taker; someone who has the courage to take a leap and put everything into a project. Entrepreneurs have the belief they are creating something essential.
Flexibility is an important trait for an entrepreneur because their original plans might change. For me, an entrepreneur is someone who embraces adventure and has a hunger to adapt with passion and excitement for the challenges encountered. In other words, entrepreneurs see challenges as a vehicle for change. Entrepreneurs view challenges as opportunities to grow, innovate and be better.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Autumn Kendrick: Company culture and creating a supportive and engaged community are essential, not only for a positive work environment but also for the success of a company. Solutions, ideas, inspirations, and future leaders can come from anyone within the company. With the right blend of an inclusive and supportive environment, everyone’s voice can be heard. Combine that with an engaged, nurtured, and valued organization community and you have a driven and dedicated group of people working together for personal and organizational success.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Autumn Kendrick: Today’s company culture includes more than just getting back to “normal” or accepting the “new normal”. Our company concept includes remaining flexible and utilizing innovation to usher in a better “normal”. We are creating better environmental practices, a larger community, and an interconnected food and beverage industry voice. The major challenge we faced, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, was to pivot to e-commerce with minimal previous brand awareness. I began to examine curated food boxes as an opportunity to gain brand awareness, but this partnership required us to supply free products and sometimes payments – not the best option for every small business. I examined this challenge and reached out to my competitors regarding partnerships.
These partnerships, resulted in the creation of our snack boxes, bringing savings to consumers, and helping to raise funds for our local community! Through these initiatives, our businesses created new snack collaborations. I loved the experiences of working with more brands and supporting each other.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Autumn Kendrick: The simplest answer to describe my business would be a beverage company, but one that focuses on being a better beverage company – one that puts people and the environment before bottom lines and profits.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Autumn Kendrick: Implementing a vaccination policy. Leadership at GnuSanté debated about instituting a vaccination policy. We gave our employees a 30-day notice. Our company is focused on doing the best thing for our organization and our community. Our employees agreed and were very supportive of the vaccination policy decision for a safer work environment.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Autumn Kendrick: I used to be a scuba diving instructor. I was good at making underwater bubble rings during scuba diving. Underwater bubble rings are pretty useless in the scheme of things but very entertaining to my scuba diving students and myself, especially during safety stops, which is the time you need to stay at a specific depth and let your body adjust before you ascend to the surface.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Autumn Kendrick: ‘Good Dirt’ – this is actually from a quote about me, I was being introduced by American folk-jazz vocalist, Bobby Mcferrin to come dance on stage with him during his performance and he described me as, “a cool girl with good dirt in her bones.” What he said always resonated within me. All of my challenges, adventures, including the “dirt” of my life, built me into the person that I am proud to be today.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Autumn Kendrick for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Autumn Kendrick or her company, you can do it through her – Facebook
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