"It's not just about the money. It's about building something that will help other people. That brings me joy."Damien Law
After graduating high school, Damien Law followed his parents' wishes and entered college. He attended for a full semester but decided to take the next semester off. That's when he caught the entrepreneurialism bug (and as most of you know, there is no cure).
But since he was an obedient son, Damien went back to school the following semester to appease his parents.
He lasted an entire week.
Damien could no longer ignore the obvious. He had the itch to start a business. But it needed to be something he was passionate about (and it wouldn't hurt if it served a hungry audience).
Late one night, his grumbling stomach gave birth to the perfect business idea—a healthy, bedtime-friendly snack. And not just any old snack would suffice. These snacks had to be really good, like effin' good.
"I had a butterfly feeling in my stomach, and I just knew it was the one I had to do."Damien Law
And this 20-year-old knew he had to follow his gut instinct.
Effin' Good Snacks exists to make it easy for people on a diet to stay on track by reimagining all the late-night snacks they crave. It serves the healthy-conscious Millennial who counts macros, watches carbs, limits sugar, and still has an uncontrollable sweet tooth.
The brand's first product is a healthy and mouth-wateringly delicious chocolate chunk mini cookie. Unlike all those other pre-packaged cookies at the grocery store, these contain better-for-you ingredients, like almond butter. And with 2g net carbs and 5g of complete protein, you don't have to worry about eating-induced insomnia. These cookies are sleep-friendly—perfect for satisfying the late-night munchies.
To build an audience, Damien followed Ryan's words of wisdom: "Just sharing your vision is enough." Social media posts became his preferred way to share his vision for Effin' Good Snacks. He soon discovered that Instagram converted better than anything else, which he attributes to personal interactions on the platform. He also relies on $5-a-day Facebook marketing to bring people to his landing page. Before the official launch, the brand had 1,000 Instagram followers and about 250 on the email list.
Damien launched on his website and started taking preorders on January 7, 2021. All the sales came from friends, word-of-mouth, email blasts, and Instagram DMs. (If you missed out, he is still accepting pre-orders until the product officially launches.)
The success of the preorder launch sent Damien's excitement through the roof. Everything was trucking along according to plan—well, at least until it wasn't.
Delays in the manufacturing process pushed back the fulfillment date. And when you have paying customers waiting to taste your product for the first time, breaking the news is terrifying. However, he knew it was the right thing to do.
"There's always the fear factor that someone is going to get pissed off and want a refund, but if I were on the other end, I'd want the person to be as transparent as possible."Damien Law
Damien informed his customers of the delay through an email. To his surprise, that email got the highest response rate to date. Further, when he asked his audience to reply if they were cool with waiting or preferred a refund, only one person requested the latter.
It was at that moment that Damien realized he was doing something right. People were rooting for him, even without ever tasting the product. His audience wanted to see him succeed.
Before Effin' Good Snacks, Damien had no idea how expensive it was to manufacture food products. On top of that, you have to worry about other things, like keeping inventory in stock and avoiding spoilage.
Although he's confident that he'll sell the products well before the expiration date, coming up with the funds to buy more inventory and further scale the business is another story. Damien is open to finding an investor who can provide capital, but they must also share his vision for the company.
As Effin' Good Snacks gains more traction in the snack industry, Damien hopes to introduce more products to his line. Besides launching different types of cookies, he also wants to create healthy chips, cereals, and even low-carb pizza. He hopes to find the right investor to help bring these yummy late-night treats to life.
While finding an investor is a priority, selling the business is still an afterthought. The notion seems far-fetched when you don't even have inventory. Still, he'd be lying if he said the idea never crossed his mind. But right now, he's too busy innovating and creating to walk away.
So, when would Damien like to plan an exit? "I hope to have an exit maybe five years down the line. But right now, I'm having too much fun to even think about it."
Effin' Good Snacks isn't Damien's first business. He also started a yoga brand with his girlfriend a few years ago—and it's still going on right now. The brand sells mats, meditation cushions, and other yoga supplies. But today, his girlfriend handles most of it on her own while Damien scales Effin' Good Snacks. Why? He just wasn't feeling it—the brand didn't fulfill his needs.
"The reason I joined the Capitalism Incubator in the first place was to build something I'm proud of."
On the flip side, Damien is totally pumped about Effin' Good Snacks. He loves talking about it with others, and you can hear the passion in his voice. Even though he sometimes wakes up dreading the "to-do" list, the rest of the time, he envisions what the brand will look like a few years down the road. And it's those moments that fuel him to keep pushing.
When Damien first joined Cap Inc, he honestly had no clue what to expect. Dropping that much money at once was intimidating. However, the experience changed his tune completely. Damien now views the money as a crucial investment as he builds a $1 million business—and so should you. As he says, "In the end, it will seem like chump change."
During his first entrepreneurial endeavors, he felt alone and completely isolated. He yearned for guidance and desired to build something alongside other like-minded people. Cap Inc provided Damien with the sense of community he craved.
"Honestly, it's been the best investment I've ever made in my entire life."
Damien says Cap Inc taught him more than what he learned in the two years of doing it alone. And he wouldn't trade the community of people he's met along the way for anything. He's made lifelong friends, found moving motivators, and created lasting business relationships.
Sure, Damien is still relatively young (although he will turn the big 21 in May), but he is wise beyond his years. His biggest piece of advice is to enter Cap Inc unbiased and ready to learn. As he puts it, "Prepare to have your mind blown."
Although still in the early chapters, Damien hopes his story will inspire you to follow your own entrepreneurial calling. And if you get a craving along the way, pre-order some tasty late-night bites from Effin' Good Snacks. They're sure to satisfy your hunger while you binge-watch our free mini-series.