We love hearing stories of our customers outside of their measurements. Chris Cole and Kyle McCollom run and operate Everly, a small healthy drink company in Nashville, Tennessee. Along with the health benefits, Everly has a social advocacy aspect that we admire. So we sat down with Chris and Kyle to hear their perspective on Nashville, Trumaker, and combining a humanitarian mission with entrepreneurship.
How long have you lived in Nashville?
Almost 8 years! Long enough to learn how to two-step.
What is Everly?
We’re a beverage startup that sells a line of natural drink mixes to help people hydrate daily, stay healthy, and do good in the world. Our mixes are all natural, zero sugar, and zero calories. And for every box of Everly sold, we provide a packet of life-saving medicines to treat children sick with waterborne disease.
How did you come up with the concept?
The concept was inspired by two trips. One that Kyle took to Boundary Waters, Minnesota, on a week long canoe adventure that sparked the idea for a drink mix made right, and one that Chris took to Southern Bangladesh, where he learned about these life-saving medicines being used to treat children sick with waterborne disease. Hydration mixes, and hydration medicines. It made sense to tie the two together, and thus the concept for Everly was born.
What has your most fulfilling project been?
Hiring on our COO Andrew this past December. Company culture is everything, and there’s this overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment that comes when you know you’ve hired somebody spectacular.
What’s your favorite part about working for the company?
We’re a team of three and we’re bootstrapped, which means that we’ve had to teach ourselves so many different skill sets over the past couple of years. But we live for that – fast learning, fresh challenges.
Besides your professional work, what do you have a passion for?
Chris: Crafting new cocktail recipes.
Kyle: Leaping off of waterfalls.
Best advice you were given?
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
That one time we were convinced to take an overnight bus from New York to North Carolina. We didn’t think it could get worse when the driver started chain-smoking in the bus cabin. It did.
Favorite thing to do in Nashville?
Swing dancing, spelunking in secret grottos, and summertime hammock-camping.
Favorite places in the city?
The independent coffee shops in and around 12 South. Pinewood Social. Santa’s Pub. 5 Spot on Mondays. Robert’s Western World. Sevier park when it’s sunny!
How did you hear about Trumaker?
Our friend and Trumaker boss-lady, Jenilee!
How has it helped you?
We wear our Trumaker shirts for many (probably most) of our pitches…and dates…
Favorite Trumaker shirt you own?
Chris: Faulkner (short sleeve)
Any upcoming projects you want to talk about?