1987 Juices with LaKeasha Brown feature #56 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #56: 1987 Juices presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on 1987 Juices
For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview LaKeasha Brown, Founder of 1987 Juices. 10 years of combined experience in the areas of Strategic Brand Partnership, Communications, Food & Beverage, and Sales & Operations. 1987 Juices have developed opportunities & partnerships with brands such as the NFL, Disney, Superbowl, HBO, Lululemon, Glossier, Meta, & featured in publications such as Essence Magazine, LA Times, VegNews, and Travelnoire. Although exciting, what has been most rewarding is the communities they have impacted with their amazing product and community development initiatives.
Corporate side hobby
The beginning of LaKeasha's story doesn't start with 1987 Juices. We have to go back to learn about her upbringing. She grew up in Conway, SC. She shared with us that the average income was around $40,000 in the city. LaKeasha worked her way through college and ultimately landed a job with Hershey's. She soon relocated to California where she oversaw multiple states in the southwest. In 2016, she realized her digestive system was weakening due to stress.
Now before we get to the start of her business path, we need to understand the makeup of LaKeasha. She shared with us, "I'm the type of person who wakes up and says I'm going to do this today, then do it. Example...I woke up and said I'm going to go run a 5K tomorrow. I did and got my medal!" This mindset was a crucial element for her personal health journey. She had suffered chronic acne and developed a poor digestive system. In order to combat that? She was determined to try something all natural. So, she decided to remove meat from her diet and incorporate fasting. Prior to doing so, she had only heard of fasting at Church but understood how beneficial it was to health and healing.
FIT first, then Family
LaKeasha began her journey by making homemade juices as part of her cleansing. Almost immediately she had recognized positive results including a flatter stomach and her acne was clearing up. She enjoyed making the juice and the benefits associated to consuming it. It was a fun hobby that she was enjoying so she realized maybe she could do a little something with her juices. She began teaching fitness classes and would have her big jug of juice with her and her name across it, "LaKeasha". It didn't take long before many of her fitness students saw the body transformation taking place on LaKeasha. She explained, "Everyone was asking if I could make juice for them. That is how it started, it was LaKeasha Fit."
2016 was when LaKeasha started on this journey and was enjoying every step of the journey. But she was still working her corporate job at the time as well. Even more incredible is she shared with us that she never imagined or considered of starting a beverage company, she found herself in the position out of necessity. She helped herself first and then was willing to share that with others to help them as well.
LaKeasha took a trip to Korea, while there she started flirting with the idea of a business. But she told us it was still just an idea at this point not a concept. She started working on a logo and idea. She came upon 1987 Juices. The story behind it is remarkable. LaKeasha told us that she was born to teenage parents. However, they left her with her to be raised by her Grandmother, so they both could finish school and work. They both felt it was in the best interest of their daughter, while still being physically present for their daughter. LaKeasha said that her Grandmother was a lunch lady, who was also diabetic. They walked everywhere and she even joked she didn't have her first pop until she got to college. 1987 Juices is paying homage to her family, all of it. :)
Remember how we said, LaKeasha will do something in the spur of the moment and just go for it? Her roommate at the time and now company accountant” said “I dare you to commit to what you’ve become passionate about, full time. You’ve been talking about it, now when you go to your next meeting, don’t come back until here until you put in that 2 weeks notice.” She put it in the next day.
1987 Juices was officially founded in 2019.
The tagline of 1987 Juices is, "Where the Creatives Come to Sip & Sweat"
LaKeasha told us the product is found D2C on their website in addition to pop up events, weekly farmer markets, corporate clients, and collaborations. She stressed the importance of their organic reach which she attributes to the community that has built and developed. She told us the culture is the mindset of the tagline, where creators come together. At one point 85% of all sales came from individuals identifying as self-employed, entertainer, or artists. So we were curious, who are competitors of 1987 Juices and how does 1987 differentiate. The answer we received was really captivating.
LaKeasha explained, "I don't think we have competition, I believe we are unicorns. Everyone has preferences. I like what I like and don't, I stay loyal. We understand we aren't for everyone, but what is special about us is we aren't chasing customers. We are investing in customers." We asked her to elaborate on that...
"Customers filter through our organization. Their first experience with us they are strangers. Then consumers, then part of the community. And even sometimes they become part of our company as employees. But we don't just want them to buy a fresh pressed juice, we want to invest in them all the way through. We have shown up at graduations, worked parties, all sorts of little things for members of our community", she continued.
One of LaKeasha's biggest accomplishments has been grants her company has received. Recently she was awarded $2,500 Community Building Grant from the Enthuse Foundation being sponsored by an old friend of "Together Talks" Inspiro Tequila and Mara Smith (feature #29)! Check out LaKeasha's LinkedIn post, here!
She also shared with us she just launched a non-profit, Beyond the Bottle. One program is with a local school for a program called, Kids who Juice. This program is between 8-16 weeks where kids learn how to live off a plant-based diet. All meals they are taught don't require a microwave or oven to consume the meals. LaKeasha also said they are working on being available in Watts, CA which is suffering from a food desert. She said it is very important to her and the company to be accessible without secluding anyone. Being available in this area and markets where individuals can get help with EBT and food stamps. The goal is to include everyone.
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LaKeasha told us that passion was her first challenge, as she described passion can be a filter. Everything you might have learned you forget about. What was once a fun hobby transforming into a complete business creates added stress. But for LaKeasha it is always about perspective and giving back. She took us through the early stages of the business, but to get there we asked her if she remembered the moment it transition from a fun idea to a business.
2-3 months after she left her corporate job she said reality reared its head. She realized what rent felt like without a stable income. She moved in with roommates, downsized her car, dialed in on building a company. One aspect of 1987 is that not only is it women-owned, but it is a 100% women workforce. She said the culture and atmosphere is very bubbly, high energy (to which she admitted she is probably the most intense!) almost contagious. She said it reminded her of a sorority. But everyone there motivates each other, brings their uniqueness and creativity to the equation and ultimately have a passion for a better health for everyone.
One challenge she said for the remainder of this year and the immediate future is she wants to become fully staffed. Also she wants 1987 Juices to work one of their larger events but in a new state where she can bring the ENTIRE team. She said they have done it in California, but wants to test the concept out in a new state.
Here is 1987 Juices being featured KTLA 5, watch here!
LaKeasha explained that the concept of 1987 Juices is simple, "When was the last time you had a bottle of juice go beyond your fridge?" Yes our product can help consumers lose pounds or improve their skin, but we are with our consumers for the long haul. You gain a lifelong family member when you choose 1987 Juices. We don't just offer an incredible product, we provide an experience."
Those experiences create what LaKeasha calls her "WHAT" moments (the highlight of our chat, by the way!)
She gave us a few examples:
They worked the SUPER BOWL this past year. -- WHAAAT
She received an email from a customer who said her Mother was fighting a blood infection which caused her platelets to be abnormally high, but the cleanse was helping bring those numbers down. ---- WHAAAAT
Another customer had Lupis and the juice was really helping their overall health. ---- WHAAAAT
LaKeasha shared a really personal moment as well. She told us her parents were celebrating their anniversary in Aruba. They were facetiming and LaKeasha admitted she was having a rough day on her couch feeling bad. Her Father said they had met members of Keke Palmer's management team on the trip. "My Dad said guess who drinks your product. Here I thought he was just trying to cheer me up. Instead he hands the phone over to this couple who help represent Keke Palmer. We exchange hellos and then they show me their fridge with only two of my juices left, in Aruba!" ---- WHAAAAAAT
Recently they set up a non-profit. ------ WHAAAAAAT
She stated how of course there are difficult times and everyone feels like quitting, but she thinks back to the community or her team members. LaKeasha said "even if you're having a bad day, if your heart is focused on serving it can always turn around". LaKeasha told us about taking care of yourself first, "You can't help anyone with an empty cup. Fill your cup first so then you can help others." And she always resorts back to thinking about the moments and experiences. The events held prior to Covid, the conversations, the random life events the company has attended, understanding that people really believe in the story and the product.
We closed our chat asking LaKeasha what she envisions for the future. She told us while she never knows what will come next, she is embracing the journey. "This started out not as a business but an idea to help myself. I'm now the owner of a company. My end goal is this to be something that lasts well beyond me. To do that I believe I need to continue to find the processes that can be duplicated over and over. 1987 Juices will continue to focus on and work to enhance the communities we serve. We want to help people and will hopefully help people help people within their communities."
Where Creatives Come to Sip and Sweat ;)
Purchase your 1987 Juices here and use the coupon code below!
KLS10 - 10% off
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Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
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KLS wants to thank 1987 Juices and LaKeasha Brown, Founder, for today's "Together Talks" feature. Keep up to date with 1987 Juices by following their blog on their website, check it out here. Follow along for the 1987 Juices journey with their social handles below!
Also check out where 1987 Juices has been featured in the following publications below!
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with 1987 Juices feature #56
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
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For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
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Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
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