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Neeshi with Gita Vellanki feature #118 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #118: Neeshi presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Neeshi

For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the chance to interview Neeshi and Gita Vellanki, Founder. At Neeshi, they make naturally nourishing treats for menstruation through menopause. Their products were developed by a Mother, on a mission to ease her daughter’s menstrual struggles and was able to help her own perimenopause challenges along the way. Each product is purposefully crafted with the right ratios of nuts and seeds for healthy and tasty nutrient-dense treats.


For my daughter

Gita started our conversation at the beginning. Her daughter was experiencing difficulty with her cycle. Acne, heavy flow, extreme cramps. Gita didn't want the same path for her daughter as her, which was prescribed medication. She had a hard time with the side effects. Instead she thought back to her Grandmother in India, "When something was wrong with one of us growing up, she went into the kitchen, not to the pharmacy." With her daughter around 13 years old, Gita was on a mission to find a better alternative for her daughter.


It took a while, but ultimately she found the right formulation. Her daughter started using it. Within a month her acne cleared up and she told Gita she couldn't believe how simple her next cycle was. It kept the side effects of having her period to a minimum and they only subsided over time. The product was created for her kids initially, but at the time Gita had the beginning signs of menopause and decided to start taking it herself. She instantly noticed a difference in how she felt as well.


At this time, Gita was working in tech. She was fortunate enough to work with clients' foundations or charities they partnered with, giving her an idea for the next phase of her career. She felt that nonprofit would be the next logical step for her as she felt a calling to give back and create an impact. With the success her daughters and herself were having with her products, family and friends started inquiring. Gita was willing to share and performed a test run stating they'd have to try for 3 months to get an accurate gauge if there were any noticeable differences. She shared with us the results, "It was almost 100% noticed positive changes within the first month." Gita suddenly realized that the impact she was seeking was within her own household.


In 2022, she formally launched Neeshi. Named after her middle daughter's middle name as it means independence and self-confidence. Gita viewed it was without letting your period or your hormones stand in your way.


Ease of use, ritual

Gita explained that in addition to the benefits of their products, one of their greatest strengths is how a consumer can incorporate it into their daily lives. Being the only ready to eat balanced food gives a woman flexibility and options. Gita takes great pride in providing an alternative solution to women, but was quick to address the space as a whole, "Three years ago women had nothing, I love what this space has developed and how many options are out there to help support women." She continued, "Women in this space are helping each other, supporting one another, and collaborating together to spread this education and ignite this movement." Doing it together for one common goal is most impressive.


Understanding the necessity of benefits was only part of the equation, ultimately if it didn't taste great it would be hard to gain traction. Tasting is believing is how Gita described it to us. It started out for her girls which meant she put the utmost effort into preparing something that was health first and foremost. Then understanding she was creating a product for a teenager, she knew if it wasn't delicious it stood no chance. When she arrived on the perfectly crafted formulation, it became a daily staple. Most importantly there was no guilt about consuming it daily, Gita explained, "It was never I Have to eat this, instead it was I GET to eat this." Ultimately that was the huge win she set out for. The flexibility to consumer at any point is paramount to the accessibility Neeshi offers its consumers. Gita explained it can easily become part of the ritual of eating instead of the stigma of having to take or apply something and remember if you did so.

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Education in their space

A massive challenge for Neeshi is educating women that there is a whole food opportunity to nourish the body and help with the impacts of having a period. Trying to stand out and hit the mark while driving that point home is a hurdle to jump. Gita says she tries to accomplish this quickly albeit being in a niche market. Raising awareness is one of the key contributors for driving change and accentuating growth for her company. She did this participating in the SKU accelerator program. She always envisioned her product as D2C being able to reach the consumer immediately and show the benefits. Gita believed she would fall into the subscription model once a consumer felt good about using the products, why stop? However between SKU and Startup CPG she was amazed by the interest from buyers in the retail space. This allowed her to leverage that interest to spread the word and education even further. Also it has Neeshi positioning for a foray into retail to see if that model supports their business plan. Recently Neeshi and Gita were featured on ABC in the Bay area, something she was not only proud of but grateful for the support, "Not only was it tremendous brand awareness, but how supportive they were and getting to see how much people are resonating with the topic and loving the products means so much.", Gita explained.


Beneficial changes

Being a mentor as she continues on her journey is something Gita aspires to give back and do. The whole goal of her company is to make an impact in people's lives and she is striving to do that in any outlet possible. She will soon be speaking for Women Who Empower Panel at Northeastern University. Gita understands how lonely the road as a founder telling us that year two of her company was essentially a do-over of year one.

One thing Gita learned was doing what is right for your business takes precedence. She advised us that being a small business herself she would try to support other SMB whenever she had the opportunity. But through a few poor hires she realized that isn't always the most optimal choice. While supporting SMB is still important to her, the goal is to take time and hours off your plate as the founder and partnering with the right company and fit is something she learned.


In creating the company, Gita has a list of products she looks forward to one day creating. One that was on the list was the dark cocoa spread. She told us how one of her customers reached out because she was going through ibf and needed to cut out sugar. However, she had seen a huge difference using Neeshi and didn't want to stop, but was at a crossroads. Gita mentioned it was on her list to have a lower sugar option to once again provide even more accessibility for consumers. She immediately moved her schedule around to formulate the new product. Once completed it proved to be a huge pivot for Neeshi as this new product no longer had to be shipped cold, "It has opened up a world of possibilities for us moving forward.", Gita told us. She also rebranded them name removing "cake" from it, which attracted an entire new group of women who previously weren't interested trying due to the word "cake".

 

Initially one of the most difficult challenges for Gita was finding a kitchen partner. She said it was extremely difficult but luckily she found one, being a team that loved her brand and supported her mission. That was a momentum shift for the company as her outlook changed knowing the support she now had to continue moving forward. Gita credited the genuine connection and partnership as the ethos of what she hopes to mean to her customers as well.

 

Gita's biggest accomplishment has been her daughters. Seeing them be part of the journey and step out of their comfort zone. "Not only are they public speaking and gaining that experience and life skills, but they are talking about their cycles, a previously very taboo subject. I'm so proud of their courage and immersion in our story.", Gita mentioned. She also stated how her daughters have been involved the entire way. In addition to being the initial taste testers, they have always given their opinion on packaging, design, helping Gita with her pitches, and remarkably the photos on their website were taken by her daughter. The ability to build a company with such a positive impact for women and being able to do it with her daughters is all Gita could ask for, "I feel like I've already won."

Piece of Advice

Our conversation with Gita ended with her sharing her piece of advice:

"One of the hardest things for me was to ask for help. Not having a CPG background, reaching out and getting rejection is very hard. However, I realized that it isn’t rejection always, but people are just busy. Most people aren’t avoiding, just busy, often running their own company. Ask and own your story. Ask in a way that you’re sharing something or giving back. Ask in a well crafted way, that is genuine."


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Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
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Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
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In Closing

KLS wants to thank Gita Vellanki, Founder, of Neeshi for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for their journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with Neeshi feature #118 - presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Business Resources!

Look at our new page HERE designed to provide excellent opportunities that may be of interest to you. These are a compilation from our chats within our "Together Talks". If you have any suggestions please let us know as we would love to provide more valuable insight to our community!

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Neeshi feature #118

*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.

Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.

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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