June 15, 2017
For our season finale, we’re speaking with Courtney Nichols Gould, the co-founder and CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins. She and her partner Gordon Gould both had their own really successful careers in tech, before launching a consumer packaged goods company. Before this venture, she was the Chief Operating Officer of a very complex business called Clear, the first fast pass for airport security.
I was curious what her path has been like, from tech entrepreneur to a maker of things, and what we can learn from the process. What surprised me most was the importance of getting the product launch process right, and how hard it is to succeed in today’s complex retail environment. But they’re kicking butt, and she has tons of war stories and tips for the rest of us. Everything from protecting IP to picking your manufacturing partners, cultivating your first customers to thriving on Amazon, negotiating with brick and mortar to being pioneers in the early wellness industry. She’s mission-driven but doesn’t flaunt it. At one point, she goes deep about her awkward early years, before she finally discovered her identity as a successful CEO, and we broach the touchy subject of starting a business and then falling in love with your co-founder. We hear about that and a whole lot more on this week’s episode of the Art of Manufacturing.
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Courtney Nichols Gould is the Co-Founder/Co-CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins, the leading maker of premium gummy vitamins with a commitment to bring more health to more people every day. Since launching in 2010, SmartyPants has led the industry in making ingredient choices focused on quality and transparency and wrapping them in a delicious gummy. The company’s products are top ranked on Amazon and sold everywhere from Whole Foods and Target to Costco and beyond. Previously the founding COO of FlyClear, and a senior executive at tech/media companies, Courtney became obsessed with making a real thing in the real world to help real people, and she is honored to have the chance to do just that.