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Fay Behbehani: The Woman Behind Bonbuz

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand.

Bonbuz is an LA-based, female-founded futurist beverage innovation company. You’re probably asking what the hell that means! In short, we are focused on shifting socialization habits by providing more empowered vehicles for connection; free of alcohol and full of lucidity. We’re focused on function-forward alcohol-free spirits and beverages for social occasions that incorporates nootropics, adaptogens and amino acids to leverage an amplified sensory experience - the buz sans the booze.

What inspired you to start your brand or craft?

I got sober-curious 3 years ago when I recognized that alcohol was holding me back from achieving my ultimate potential. Still wanting to be a part of the social scene, and quickly exhausting the limited options of sugar-laden cocktails or soda water, the mission to create an alcohol-free stimulating spirit began. I started bio-hacking at my previous role at a brain tech space, and I began fully exploring the idea of creating a mixologist-driven cocktail that could actually stimulate the mind and body - nothing that had ever really existed for the social scene.

How did you come up with the name of your company?

It was a lengthy and tedious naming process and I know we aren’t the only ones to have experienced this! The original name that I loved was taken so it was back to the drawing board - I wanted it to be short, snappy and playful - one that could be owned by us. I had 3 friends that I would share my top 5 names a day to, and after thousands on the naming list, bonbuz was the convergence of words and word play. Bon in French is good, buz is high. We are a good high - for good daze, and lucid nites :)

What does an average day look like?

An average day has a lot of diversity as a solo-founder! We wear many hats, especially at the start. Some days are spent on the road, some are more laptop oriented. But it normally starts off with green tea (I’m off coffee at the moment, which is strange after decades of it being my morning ritual!), a morning walk for blue light, connecting cross-continents on calls with mum. Answering any urgent emails. Heading to copacker, taking pitch calls, being ‘on the field’ for sales and distribution, team calls for growth strategizing. I’ve found that napping really helps boost my productivity for the latter half of the day - a quick 15 mins is usually all I need!

What’s your favorite part of the job?

By far, it’s receiving incredible feedback from our customers with how much they love the product, how it’s changed the way they think about drinking and then seeing people become customers 'for life'. With the category being quite young, it’s also energizing to be able to connect deeply with other brands, founders, pioneers in the category who are aligned with the trajectory of where we want this space to go! We are all dedicated to helping convert this niche into something huge.

When you’re creating do you have a person in mind?

It’s bigger than just a person. It's more of a vision and a feeling of what I want life to look like for myself, and for future generations. If we could create something that sparks deeper connection and more embodiment and playfulness when in social bonding experiences, what would that look and feel like?

When was your business founded and how has it evolved over time?

We launched into the market in December 2020 (yep, pretty much during the heights of a global pandemic) and the business hasn’t changed much from inception. Looking at the future of drinking and creating a true alternative for liquor beverages that is as unvirginal and provocative minus the fuel of booze is always what we will stand by. There are new products in the works that will be a move away from our traditional beverage format but we are in the business to create function-forward, better and more liberating natural beverage options for people who are looking for mind-expansive alternatives that enable us to transcend the realm of possibilities.

Are there any challenges that you’ve had to overcome?

To date, as a female founded company, fundraising has been the biggest hurdle to overcome. But knowing that there are investors out there who align with our mission, vision and category keeps us going.

What is one piece of advice you have for a female entrepreneur just starting out?

Everything that could go wrong will. Learning how to think quickly, on your feet and creatively problem-solve is 90% of the job. There’s a solution to every problem so make sure you surround yourself with like-minded thinkers who can help strategize and support this.

Let us know where we can follow you.

@bonbuz on IG/Twitter/FB. My personal journey is @fay_bae_bae.

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