People undergoing chemotherapy struggle to keep up with their treatment without getting an IV bag beforehand. Biolyte is helping people get their doses of IV in a bottle easing their daily lives. On this episode of the Economic Development Podcast, Jesslyn Rollins, CEO of Biolyte, the IV in a Bottle shares how Biolyte came into picture and what opportunities does Atlanta offer to businesses in the nutritional supplement sector.
Our goal is to help people feel better and how we are going to help do that is get Biolyte into as many locations as humanly possible in Georgia and in the outside state.
- 00:48 – Jesslyn shares the inspiration behind Biolyte and how Biolyte came to be
- 04:15 – There really wasn’t anybody that was able to make a product like Biolyte in Georgia and the manufacturing practice Atlanta would be a great fit
- 05:39 – I think that Atlanta has an incredible marketplace to foster entrepreneurs’ dreams
- 07:12 – Georgia does an incredible job of fostering business and bringing business in
- 09:22 – People in Canton coming into Atlanta for work. I mean, that makes their lives tremendously better. So I think there’s a huge need for the roadways as well
Jesslyn Rollins 00:00
Our goal is to help people feel better. And how we are going to help do that is get Biolyte into as many locations as humanly possible in Georgia and in the outside state.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 00:18
Tuning into the Atlanta CEO Podcast, where we feature thought leaders in the Metro Atlanta areas, discussing targeted industry growth. This is produced by Blueprint Creative Group. And today’s guest is Jesslyn Rollins, the CEO of Biolyte the IV in a bottle. Hey, Jesslyn, how are you?
Jesslyn Rollins 00:34
Hey, Fabiola I am good. I am excited to meet with you and chat through all these fun topics you got.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 00:43
Yeah. So first let’s talk about Biolyte. It’s an IV in a bottle. What does that mean?
Jesslyn Rollins 00:48
What that means is that it’s the first liquid supplement with the same amount of electrolytes as an IV. So to give you a little history on Biolyte. Biolyte is actually my family’s company. A few years ago, my mom had breast cancer. And when she was going through her chemo treatment, she literally couldn’t keep up with her treatment without getting an IV bag beforehand. Now, my dad is an anesthesiologist and he has years of experience. His patient’s IV bags with nutritional supplementation to help them feel better. So when he and my sister, Sarah, were trying everything, under the sun sports drinks, children’s rehydrate electrolyte powders to keep mom’s treatment and nothing was working. My dad and Sarah put their heads together and set out on this journey to create a product that would bring the IV bag home to people when and where they needed it. And that is how Biolyte came to be. So, as I mentioned, it has as many electrolytes as an IV bag, plus there are ingredients that help with nausea, fatigue, give you a natural boost of energy without caffeine and there are ingredients that help clean out your liver.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 02:17
Wow. So it’s always remarkable when you have a story with a deep meaning, a deeper meaning behind the startup idea. So what category do you put Biolyte in? Is it a supplement? Is it a drink? What’s the category?
Jesslyn Rollins 02:32
So that is a phenomenal question. We were actually trying to figure that out last year. Because we had been calling Biolyte a hydration drink or an electrolyte drink for like, since the beginning, back in 2017, but we had an FDA lawyer and a ton of people that have certifications and specialties in what to classify products as. And we are a nutritional supplement. That is what Biolyte is. We are not a hydration drink. We’re not even really a drink. We are a nutritional supplement.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 03:12
Okay. Got it. So let’s shift gears a bit. So Biolyte is Atlanta made, born and raised?
Jesslyn Rollins 03:19
Yes. So it is Atlanta based. Biolyte is actually made in Texas, but the warehouse and supply of Biolyte is in Atlanta, specifically in Canton, Georgia.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 03:33
Oh, okay. So let’s talk about the industry opportunity for more product manufacturers and even F&B based products. So when you think about these items, right, there are certain markets that come to mind. What comes to mind when you think about nutritional products, medications over the counter prescriptions, anything of this category. There are certain markets like the New Jersey area for example, comes to mind. So Metro Atlanta would you say has a huge opportunity, or, how are we doing in that space and with the opportunity to attract others in your space attract the more product manufacturers, food manufacturers in the Metro region.
Jesslyn Rollins 04:15
So because Biolyte is a liquid supplement, there were only certain manufacturers that could make the product. And unfortunately we looked and looked and looked, but there really wasn’t anybody that was able to make a product like Biolyte in Georgia. Now what, that may just be specific to our products, where you had a water or a juice or something that is a little less strenuous on the certification and the manufacturing practice Atlanta would be a great fit, but I can’t speak to that.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 04:54
Okay. So now, as a startup, per se, you have a great startup story. Atlanta is really becoming this startup hub of the Southeast. There are a lot of investments that’ve been injected into the community and to innovation based businesses, into tech based businesses, into entrepreneurship. And then obviously the dynamics with COVID and companies and even talent relocating and finding new places to call home. Atlanta, being one of those markets that’s been attracting those companies. What’s been your perception or how you view the entrepreneurial community here and your ability to navigate it well, to be able to scale and grow your company, and to be able to set a future path for it?
Jesslyn Rollins 05:39
So entrepreneurship and starting your own business has started to become a very sexy thing to do these days. And I think that Atlanta has an incredible marketplace to foster entrepreneurs’ dreams. I mean, there are a million different avenues and groups like entrepreneurship organizations and other individual groups throughout Atlanta that are incredibly, incredibly supportive. I grew up here. So I grew up in Atlanta. I went to the Lovett school. I went to the University of Georgia. I am a Georgia fanatic. Like I to call this place home. And even after college and my Biolyte journey this is only just fostered that love and fondness that I have. Because yes, to answer your question yes the entrepreneurship and business community here is outrageously. So yeah, I would say I can understand why people would be attracted from a business perspective.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 06:52
So what would you say is Metro Atlanta’s greatest opportunity as we look to expand our competitiveness domestically and even abroad from your lens? What’s our greatest opportunity as a region? Is it a certain industry, is a certain positioning for Metro Atlanta? Is it whatever it may be, what do you think is our greatest opportunity?
Jesslyn Rollins 07:12
I think that the greatest opportunity there are a couple of other states that really, yes, Georgia does an incredible job of fostering business and bringing business in and all this kind of stuff. But I do think that there could be, I do think that there could be more encouragement and more systems and processes and rules in place that make starting a business here and following your entrepreneurship dream even easier for business. We do an incredible job of it, but a lot of other states do have things that they do an incredible job at. And maybe incorporating what those states are doing and looking at those and kind of molding that to our specific needs Georgians in Atlanta that would be pretty cool as well.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 08:11
Yeah. I agree with you, I would say probably in the last 5, maybe 10 years, you’ve really seen this resurgence in Metro Atlanta with this entrepreneur ecosystem and a tech and innovation based ecosystem. And then obviously we’re seeing a lot more companies relocate here. We’ve always been a good hub of attracting talent because we have the university centers and people tend to stay after college and then the cost affordability. And just as a culture, Atlanta has been really good about attracting people. So I think that there’s a really good potential to continue doing what the region has been doing in the past 5 to 10 years, and then to set a pace for what that could mean in the future. So when you think about companies like yourself, looking for granted yours is a specialized product, but there could definitely be more, light industrial, light manufacturing, food production, a lot more of that happening in the region as we continue to grow and expand. Especially, as our borders are expanding, because now you’re saying that yours is a warehouse in Canton, and we’re seeing a lot more happening in these subregions of Metro Atlanta. So that’s definitely helping us to expand as well.
Jesslyn Rollins 09:22
Oh, absolutely. And I think something as simple as like I went to the College of Charleston and when I, when I was there, I dated this guy from Boston. Remember he was like, Oh my, I mean, he came down often and loved Georgia because of the warm weather, he just loved the warm weather. The warm weather really helps us, the wide open spaces and the green spaces that we have here in Canton, in Alpharetta in Roswell in places that are on these outskirts are really, really attractive. And the kind of things that you’re naturally born with. Like we are in Georgia. I mean, it’s just a beautiful place to be. So kind of going back to that, it is a lot more affordable to have a warehouse space or an office in those outskirts areas, not in the heart of Atlanta.
And what’s so great it’s like one of the things that I think that Georgia has done an incredible job with is that goodness gracious, like God almighty that path lane going up to Canton is fire. So like creating something like that to work through the roads that we have here and coming up with things like that, where places like Canton are way more accessible now that live in Atlanta or vice versa. People in Canton coming into Atlanta for work. I mean, that makes their lives tremendously better. So I think there’s a huge need for the roadways as well, but I’ll be the first to admit that logistics is not my strong suit. So any further questions about that, you’re going to, I’m going to have to defer to my fiancé, Keith.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 11:13
I got it. So lastly…
Jesslyn Rollins 11:16
Keith can definitely help.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 11:17
Yeah. So lastly, what does growth look like for your company? What’s the outlook for your, for the future of Biolyte?
Jesslyn Rollins 11:23
So here is what growth looks like for our company. So our goal is to help people feel better and how we are going to help do that is get Biolyte into as many locations as humanly possible in Georgia and in the outside state. Whether that be in a C store, in a pharmacy or in your local grocery store. But growth, that is what growth looks like for us. And at this point in time, we think that Georgia specifically is helping foster that big dream. We really want to keep Georgia as our home base.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 12:09
Yeah, we definitely would love to continue to see Biolyte here. So good. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you. We look forward to it. Where can people find BioLyte?
Jesslyn Rollins 12:18
Great question. So you can find Biolyte in Kroger, in Publix, in Ingles, in QuikTrip and RaceTrac and thousands of independent pharmacies across the Southeast.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 12:32
Is it an item that you take as needed or it could be taken daily?
Jesslyn Rollins 12:37
So it is an item to take as needed if you’re feeling run down tired. I mean, an IV in a bottle is definitely going to help put a little peck in your steps. We’re talking anywhere from I just need an average pick me up to, I have something more serious. I’ve got potts, I’ve got cancer. I have something that is a chronic condition. Biolyte is going to be an incredible product to have on hand as well.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 13:06
Jesslyn Rollins 13:07
Even for something that comes up like the flu bug, I mean, it’s a great product to have on hand.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 13:12
So during COVID the height of COVID when people were very susceptible to being more sick and were nervous about catching colds and on top of the threat of getting the virus, did you see more of a demand for your product?
Jesslyn Rollins 13:30
Yeah. So I’m incredibly blessed, but honestly embarrassed to say that our sales picked up during COVID. I mean, we had our first million dollar month during the pandemic, which was very exciting, but very disheartening.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 13:52
Jesslyn Rollins 13:54
Yeah. Just because, I mean, there’s just so many businesses that really suffered and really are still suffering that I just, I feel for dramatically. So, yeah we had a product that helps people feel better and having a product that falls more in that healthcare line item really, really helped. And the thing is, is that, like I mentioned before, Biolyte plummets during the flu bug, and there were a lot of symptoms that were similar to flu like symptoms for COVID. And so people wanted to have it on hand.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 14:28
Well, great. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, Jesslyn.
Jesslyn Rollins 14:32
You too, Fabiola.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 14:36
Thanks again for tuning into the Economic Development Podcast presented by Blueprint Creative Group. There’s more episodes featuring economic development leaders throughout the country. And we thank all of the participants for sharing their perspectives. Check out all of the episodes in this series at blueprintcreativegroup.com/economicdevelopment.