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Balaveda with Sebastian Smith, Co-Founder feature #112 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #112: Balaveda presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Balaveda

For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the privilege to interview Balaveda and Sebastian Smith, Co-Founder. Balaveda is a plant-based, adaptogenic beverage company that uses 100% organic ingredients and adaptogens to boost energy, reduce stress, and strengthen the immune system. With locations in Nashville, TN and Fort Walton Beach, FL, their mission is to provide customers with delicious, healthy, and sustainable energy and immunity drinks. As an eco-friendly company, they are committed to reducing their environmental impact while maintaining the highest product quality. Their commitment to the planet is reflected in their use of only glass bottles, the most environmentally friendly option. Additionally, they support organizations that share their values, including the Surfrider Foundation, a powerful activist network devoted to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves, and beaches. They are proud to partner with the Surfrider Foundation in their shared mission to preserve the planet for future generations.


Sebastian previously worked as a filmmaker and photographer. This grueling profession led him to traveling nearly 200 days per year for work. While his wife and kids would sometimes join, most often they would not. The times of separation were difficult. His wife homeschooled their children while also raising them on their farm filled with crops and animals. With this arrangement, she would often deal with anxiety anytime Sebastian would be preparing to leave for work. However, having a family to provide for, he was working to build a career and it was difficult to turn down work.

His wife began seeking a solution to her anxiety and stress and visited with a few doctors. She kept hearing the same response of a prescribed pill, but she didn't want to go down that route. She started looking for a more homeopathic option. Her background was in herbalism and through this, she got introduced to adaptogens. She started indulging and realized it helped with her stress levels while also bringing her body back into homeostasis. Sebastian told us he was shocked how great she looked when he was coming back from his trips. He continued, "She gave me the spiel on what she was taking and told me that her anxiety went down, her stress had dropped, and her confidence was up." He reflected and said wouldn't it be amazing if everyone could feel this or experience it. - she answered, "Why can't they?" That was the spark for creating their company. At the time she was putting it in her morning smoothies, so they decided to make the world's best smoothies, creating 3 flavors which they would launch a year later. "We launched in SoCal and did super well getting into 30 stores in the first TWO days! Sebastian told us, "Buyers kept telling us they think we have the new 'it" product.".

2 weeks later Covid hit.

Covid curse...blessing

In March 2020, sitting in their garage, the Co-Founders were scheduled to go to Expo West when it shut down. They sat there thinking and where do we go from here? Nobody was looking for the newest, hottest smoothie and the stores were more focused on when the toilet paper shipments were to arrive, rather than onboarding an innovative new beverage. Immediately they remembered that one of the best benefits of adaptogens is their ability to boost one's immunity. So they immediately pivoted to producing an immunity boosting shot. The top of their idea list was to pivot to an immunity booster of a shot. Sebastian told us that they had an idea one day their product line would include that, but made the change now because of the landscape. Within 8 months they relaunched their company and their first new product.

Surprisingly, Sebastian believes that Covid was the best thing to happen to the company. "it put us on the map to follow the direction we truly were supposed to go" They made it through Covid with a pivot. And their new belief was if they can do that, they can do anything. "Our first 8 months and our ability to pivot gave us a lot of confidence.", Sebastian confirmed.

The fiscal challenges paired with learning a completely new industry proved to be difficult for the couple. Sebastian joked he didn't know what he was biting into and how much he'd have to chew like hell in the process in order to make things happen. One aspect that was instrumental was initially controlling their expansion and being strategic with their growth, he explained. The harsh reality was the fact that they couldn't grow more than 35% each month before they hit a point of outgrowing themselves. Despite the challenges and hurdles, Sebastian raved about how much fun he has with the company including the day to day activities. He always believed that if he was ever involved with something that feels like work, he couldn't continue doing it. Sebastian dropped the mic with this quote, "If I knew everything that goes into CPG that I've had to learn prior to us starting this, I would've stayed in filmmaking", but fast forward to 2024 and the most wonderful thing has happened. Sebastian and Amanda have grown Balaveda internationally and haven't worked a single day. (What makes that even more incredible is he is an EMMY nominated Director and 2023 ADDY Winner!)

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Balaveda brings a Ayurvedic perspective to their product line, which very few companies do. The company also brings a food sovereignty idea behind the company. Sebastian explained, "We feel it shouldn't matter what a consumer's pocket book looks like. We don't want anyone to be excluded from being able to purchase better for you products." They set out to make it affordable and spark curiosity on a simple question, "Why would I choose a bad product over Balaveda, when it is designed to help me?" They hope to be a pioneer in the apoptogenic movement. The meaning behind Balaveda is Sanskrit for wisdom of vitality. Their hope is one of bringing one's body into homeostasis and feeling better than you did prior to consuming the drink.

We spoke with Sebastian about balancing the demand and limiting growth to being strategic, Sebastian explained how it is a difficult dance to navigate. There is the urge and desire to explode onto the market and announce their arrival, but growing too soon can be detrimental. Instead they daily look at where they are at and dissect what the best way to grow is for the company.

One aspect of growth the company did chase was wanting to expand internationally. In the beginning of 2023, they wanted to grow their reach in Europe. They had previously signed a deal to launch in Sweden and were looking to expand on their reach in Europe. This accomplishment is arguably one of the biggest goals that Sebastian is most proud of. He told us he is grateful daily he didn't stay in photography, candidly sharing, "This is a hell of a lot more exciting." He reflected how daily he is shocked how much they learn and accomplish. The amount of work they have completed in 4 years has been nothing short of unfathomable. "People, me included, just don't realize how much work goes into building a CPG brand.", Sebastian shared.


After Sebastian first started coming home from his work trips and noticing the difference in his wife, he was under the impression that he would help her on the side. He was at the peak of his career. He had just been nominated for an EMMY, he didn't foresee any avenue in which he would be putting the camera down, but as the couple started creating the business and he got more into it, he realized the growth opportunity in the CPG space. On the contrary, while there is growth in the filmmaking industry, there isn't necessarily an exit strategy. But with what they were creating with Balaveda, one day that could be a possibility.

Sebastian explained, "It dawned on me that one day when I'm 70, I'll be continuing to have to work and source my work. I'll be competing against people much younger than me. I saw the potential in what my wife was creating and the lightbulb really went off when I saw people gush after trying our drinks." Their primary goal was the efficacy within their products followed by the flavor. Sebastian mentioned that the products had to taste great or there was no chance at survival for the company. When he got to experience the feedback and enjoyment they were providing customers, he was all in. Then he shared the greatest testimonial an entrepreneur can have, "I feel like I have the perfect job, I am finally truly happy in life."

Getting to work with his family and create this together is most special to him. His wife is the President of Balaveda. His sister is the Director of Operations. His Brother-in-Law helps with the warehouse; and his children help pack up boxes of Balaveda. It truly is a family business. Sebastian shouted out that the company recently got into Jetlinxs, a private aviation company, and will soon be in all 26 Jetlinx lounges across America. Working with his family gives him the most pride, but his greatest achievement is getting to spend every day with his wife, Amanda, who is also his best friend. "I couldn't imagine doing a single day of this without her. We work so well together, feed off each other incredibly, and benefit from each other's strengths.", he shared. He continued that neither of them like to lose and thus they are always celebrating the smallest of wins. Each week they tell each other how much they are accomplishing and together how proud they should be. Sebastian mentioned that nothing compares to getting validation from the person you're closest to.

Having a setback while building the company, the duo is able to lean on each other for support. They brainstorm to figure out the best way to recover from it. Relying on each other's passion for the business helps them appreciate every aspect of building this together. Sebastian continued, "When we hit a pothole, we never look at it as something that will derail our entire process." He explained that they don't sweat the small stuff as they don't have time to worry about the little things. Crediting their amazing team that has been cultivated providing tremendous support during any adversity they face. Collectively they like to view this journey as an adventure. While they will encounter both good and bad things during the adventure, in the end it is about the destination, and that destination is getting good quality, healthier-for-you products to the masses. Putting health choices back into the hands of the people. They have learned to embrace the outcomes and appreciate everything they endure. Which is why their tagline is so ingrained in their mission, "For the love of good vibes''. Sebastian concluded with, "Our tribe is calm and easygoing individuals. We don't allow ourselves to go too crazy or become worked up about too much. The days aren't long enough to let stress control it, we simply have too much to do. We choose to retain a positive outlook and simply enjoy life."

Piece of Advice

The conversation with Sebastian ended with him sharing his piece of advice:

"Daily routines work for me and I attribute that to my success, regardless of which career. My morning routine sets the tone for the rest of my day. Creating a routine that works for mental and physical well-being is important for me.

Also, if you plan on getting into the CPG space, know what you’re getting into because you will be surprised, A LOT. Learn to roll with the punches, and remember that you can't do it all yourself. Delegate and rely on others who can help ease the pain because alone, you can run fast, but together, you can run far. "

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In Closing

KLS wants to thank Sebastian Smith, Co-Founder, of Balaveda for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for their journey with their social handles below!

Together Talks with Balaveda feature #112 - presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Balaveda feature #112

*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!

Why KLS?

Our precise and reliable effort.

We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.

Our Process?

Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.

Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.

The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.

Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.


You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.

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.

This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.

Services offered?

Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.

Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth

LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).

Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.

FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.

Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution

What makes KLS different?

There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.

Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.

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