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Tropink with Sierra Thomas feature #122 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #122: Tropink (fka Pink Cloud Beverages) presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Tropink (fka Pink Cloud Beverages)

For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview Tropink (fka Pink Cloud Beverages) and Sierra Thomas, Founder/CEO. Tropink transports you to white sands, palm trees, warm, shallow, brilliant and sparkling turquoise waters. They offer their fans intentionally-crafted non-alcoholic functional beverages with sunshine. They drew inspiration from modern mixology, the sober curious movement, and their founder's journey in sobriety as well as time living on the islands. An alternative to alcohol for the modern, health-conscious, time-starved female craving balance + living life on her own terms. Tropink's mission is to create an inclusive community where everyone has access to a premium non-alcoholic beverage that nourishes mind and body while transporting you to a Tropink state of mind.


When did the company begin?

The company launched to consumers at the Good Food Mercantile in Portland in April 2022. That said, for many months prior work was happening behind the scenes on recipe development and building the brand.

Story of how it was created?

I was a pro at drinking, like really good. My previous career was in the music and ad industry. Temptation was lurking around every single corner and I got sick of my wellness taking a back seat. In 2010, at the highest point of my career, I decided to cut out alcohol. Over a decade later, many hours of mixing, blending and experimenting I finally launched with Lilikoi Lounge Chair and Pining for Paradise.


The journey began with a drive home from Bend after New Years. That was always a challenging holiday for me in my early sobriety. Driving home my husband asked me if I ever thought of making my own NA beverage as I was constantly mixing and making them at home and for friends. At first, I laughed as I did not have CPG background nor was I a food scientist, but my head started spinning, on what the brand would look like, the drink would taste like, what purpose would it serve and for who.  I couldn't turn the thoughts off the entire ride home. That was the day Pink Cloud Beverages was born.


Meaning behind the name?

Pink Cloud is a term for sobriety but to most it meant a tropical escape with epic pink cloud sunsets on the horizon.  I decided to rebrand as Tropink to be more inclusive to everyone who craved an NA alternative no matter if they were sober like me, sober curious, a flex drinker or simply taking a night off.  Tropink describes a mental or emotional state associated with chill vibes, elation, connection and a carefree attitude associated with a tropical destination.  People who adopt a Tropink state of mind prioritize a slower pace, living the good life, and a positive outlook often embodying the spirit of vacation.

Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
What separates your company from competition?

Our goal has always been to provide a Premium Non-Alcoholic Functional Beverage with a clean label that is made as an alternative to alcohol. 


Having been sober since 2010, I had a vast understanding of what was on the market. For years I had been creating solutions for myself. When I launched it was at the height of the bubbly seltzer phase. I brought something to the market with a little bubble, but not overpowering that left me usually feeling bloated. We use a swell of real tropical fruit juices and purees. NEVER any concentrates.


The functional ingredients were derived from personal problems I set out to conquer. I had lot of anxiety which led to the first ingredient (broad spectrum hemp). I found a good partner with SoRSE. it was crucial that it didn’t interact with the taste of the fruits. Efficacy and flavor was extremely important. Second, is the sunshine vitamin. I was deficient in D3 after moving home to Oregon from Oahu and for me it was important to have a ritual to increase sunshine in my daily life.


Define the strengths of the company?

It was my goal to create a well curated beverage with unique flavors and unique profiles. The goal is to transport consumers to a tropical beach when they consume Tropink from all five senses. When I close my eyes while drinking Tropink, it brings me back to the North Shore of Oahu at Kahuku Farms with my bestie or a trip to the Caribbean with my husband and daughter.


What have been the biggest challenges?

Being an entrepreneur there are always hurdles or challenges to overcome. I've learned they won't stop coming, it is all about how you navigate through them and learn. I do all my own sourcing with real fruit which requires dealing with changing tastes due to the climates and our ever changing environment. Scaling is hard as it is important to be strategic and deliver velocity. Broad Spectrum Hemp (cbd) is difficult as you must deal with compliance, individual states, and the constant changes. 


Reflect on a goal you set and how it made you feel to accomplish it?

Getting a CPG product from recipe formulation on my own (with no food science background) to scaling it and then having it co-packed and delivered into the stores. There is literally so much that goes into it. I set the goal to have it canned before an event that was near and dear to my heart. I accomplished that and I felt proud, energized and excited for what was to come next. 


This year, the rebrand, has been another milestone for the company. The long term portion was so valuable because I didn’t move quickly. Moving from Pink Cloud (term in sobriety) to TROPINK (term of mind). I took everything that I had invested into my company, literally dumped my entire soul into and essentially rebirthed it. It felt like this incredible adrenaline rush, almost like relaunching, but a better version.


Goals for upcoming year + Next phase of the company?

We have two new beverages soon to be released. Our first two SKU solved my own problems, so they will always hold a close place to her heart. They will remain part of the Tropink portfolio. The two new SKU will remain with our focus of creating premium non-acl beverages, however these will have new functional ingredients outside of CBD and the Sunshine Vitamin. We got feedback from consumers, both the diehards and the casuals and we listened. Many cannot consume CBD for a multitude of reasons. One of our goals is inclusivity, so by offering a product that anyone can drink it is important to us to have options for everyone. It opens up new paths for distribution and partners not having the cbd red tape. Both will play off my former life as a drinker, but be innovative spins off of my delicious fav cocktails with a couple surprising twists. My goal is to open up consumers to wonderful new fruits and ingredients.


I am looking to complete my third collaboration; I've done two already. I seek out companies that have a similar ethos as me to provide something consumers will use and benefit their daily lives. We have something pretty big in the works and cannot wait to share it. Part of our mission is giving back, we are part of the 1% for the planet and aspire to become a B Corporation.


What were your concerns about making this transition?

Any entrepreneur could have doubt before taking the leap of faith. Reflecting back on taking that leap, I didn’t think I'd ever be the entrepreneur typeas I'm not a huge risk taker, I don't like to gamble, but when It comes to myself, I'm willing to take that challenge. There was a huge risk of leaving an industry I had been very successful in for over a decade. The paycheck, insurance, all of those stable things went into consideration. The comforts of life I was risking, but 2 years later betting on myself was worth it and I wish I would have done it sooner.

 

Also having a family I had to take into account the strain it would place on them. Balance is a word people throw out, for me it is more like a teeter-totter. it will never be even, but constantly adjusting and giving or taking when needed. Raising a 10 year old girl and being involved, being present, and a part of her passions and a good partner to my husband are my top priority. Starting my own company and being bootstrapped or 100% self funded, is hard. But I've discovered you have to love what you do because there will be days that will knock you down but getting back up and persisting is what a true entrepreneur is. Having that perseverance, grit and knowing your why, propels you to continue pushing forward.


How have you learned to be the face of the company?

I appear energetic and outgoing which I am, but it is me feeding off energy from others. Covid was difficult for me, constantly being couped up. The hardest thing for me was I still felt shame or insecure from when I quit drinking in 2010. I hid it for a long time, I'd get to social functions within my industry early and pay the bartender to make me non-acl drinks regardless of what I said I ordered throughout the night. It wasn’t as mainstream as now with the cultural shift. Starting Tropink has helped me grow comfortable in my skin, be vulnerable, and proud to share I do not drink alcohol. When I am vulnerable is when others can relate or gather inspiration and that means the world to me. 


Describe the journey of being an entrepreneur?

Family.

Without them this could not be possible. My husband is beyond supportive. He works his full time job and will stay up late strategizing with me after. I'm grateful watching how this impacts my daughter. She has watched her Mom first hand from scratch create something she believes in and move through adversity.

I know I am contributing and making a difference for people, as they send me emails, DM me and those messages  never get old. I still get that giddy feeling when I go to the grocery store and my daughter yells out because someone is taking my products off the shelf to buy, my momma made that!


I've always told myself that if I get in a position whether it be a job or a career and I feel like I can't elevate any further or be challenged it is time to move on. The CPG industry is so so vast and detailed that each and every day I learn something new. I have no problem sharing that I don't know what I don't know, but I love the quest for knowledge. I joked in the beginning I was like "bring your daughter to work day"  but having the ability to ask questions, challenge myself, and finding new ways to enhance myself and the company is fulfilling.


What aspect of entrepreneurship do you appreciate the most?

Being able and ready to pivot at any moment. At this stage, not having to answer to investors, allows me to lead the company in the direction that is important and aligns with my values.   The flexibility to still be involved with my family and go to soccer games or help at a school field trip and of course  work still has to be done, but having the option to maneuver when something gets my attention really matters. Last it is building a brand I am proud of and showing my daughter it is all possible if you put your mind to it.


Share a mistake and what you learned from that experience?

Being an Oregonian, I am very conscious around sustainability. I decided to use shrink sleeve covering for our my first product run. After selling them we found out that the end user had to manually peel it off the can in order to recycle it. That completely went against the ethos of our company and my persona values. I had to share with our consumers and community and then find a solution. In the end I pivoted to digital printing on cans which was more expensive, but it aligned with our mission. While it wasn't ideal, it was the correct move in my eyes and to maintain the support of our community. Them allowing me to share what I learned, how I made the mistake like many others, and how I was going to rectify it was important. In the end I did it right which is what matters.

When was the first moment you felt like you could breathe?

Does that exist?!?! Running a company never sleeps or stops, so I can't say I've felt that yet. I do find myself constantly going back and reflecting. I work hard to find those moments of calm, simplicity and self care whether in a yoga class, blasting reggae in my car, sweating at OTF or simply a walk around the neighborhood with my husband and daughter.


Do you have a moment that brings you the most joy?

The fulfillment of learning and launching a product, consuming the product because you love it that much, and sharing it. It has been a crazy ride but I am all about it and I am all in.


Piece of Advice

Ask for help. This is the biggest one. I am stubborn, a taurus at heart. This was something I had to work on and overcome. Realizing you don’t have to do everything on your own. Look at companies you aspired to be like, regardless of the industry, and reach out.  Ask  questions, learn and always stay true to your believes being authentic in all you do.  People like sharing and want to help.


Visit www.tropinkbeverages.com and place an order using the coupon code below!

TROPINK---> 15% off


Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
In Closing

KLS wants to thank Sierra Thomas, Founder/CEO, of Tropink (fka Pink Cloud Beverages) for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for their journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with Tropink (fka Pink Cloud Beverages) feature #122 - 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 Tropink (fka Pink Cloud Beverages) feature #122

*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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