Law school student turned creator. That’s the short version of Annie Lawless’ story, but the long-form version is a lot more interesting.
While in law school in San Diego Annie started making juice out of her apartment kitchen. After feeling inspired by her local yoga community, and uninspired by her chosen career path, Annie and her co-founder would buy the produce at the local Whole Foods, juice it in her kitchen and then sell it door-to-door. Scrappy? Yes. Legal? Blurry.
As her passion for the business grew, she dropped out of law school to focus FT on Suja. By the time she parted ways with the brand, it was worth about 300 million dollars.
But just because she had seen success, didn’t mean she stopped looking for opportunity. She started her blog, Blawnde, as a side hobby to post wellness and lifestyle content while launching her organic juice company, Suja Juice. “As a child,” says Annie Lawless, “I lived with Celiac disease and became fascinated with nutrition, health, and wellness as a result of my revelation of the power of food.”
“After a few years of working full time on Suja, I decided to switch gears and focus on Blawnde. I am very inspired at this time in my life to create interesting, useful content and connect with my audience in a deeper way.”
She’s also used her law-school diversion as a way to connect with herself. “Don’t waste one minute, let alone 3 plus years of your life doing anything that makes you unhappy or doesn’t feel right,” says Annie. “Life is way too short, and forcing yourself to be or do something you’re not is a terrible way to spend your time on earth. Don’t worry so much about what you’re ‘supposed’ to be doing or what other people think of you, and do what you are really passionate about, happy, and fulfilled doing.”
She’s human and gets stuck from time to time. “There are definitely times I feel stuck and lacking in spirit. When this happens, it is so important for me to take a step back and do things for myself like yoga, a self care day, or travel to a new place to get my creativity and motivation flowing again.”
Her positive spirit is not only encouraging, it’s proof that what you put out, is what you bring in. “Don't get stuck in the weeds,” says Annie. “Stay above drama, pettiness, and irrelevant negativity in life.”
For her empowerment means, “that I don't see a single thing that I can't do that that a man can because I am a woman. It means seeing the world as a completely level playing field open to anyone willing to get out and play.”
For Annie that means writing another book, starting a family, and launching another brand within the next five years. “Can't has never been a word in my vocabulary,” she shares.
“Women have accomplished so much and we have made huge strides in the last 25 years. I would love for us to shift the conversation from what we can't do, to all that we have done and can do. If we cut the negative talk about the things that hold us back in this world, and push right through those and actively do, I think that would be a very positive environment for women all over the world.”