EXTRA MILE KOMBUCHA
The newest kombucha company taking Melbourne's health and wellness scene by storm
Name: Audrey Esther Scharf - CEO, Director, #girlboss, owner (insert all other possible labels)
Age: 23 years old boom
Current location: Not my actual current location. Lettuce go for Rippoblea, Melbourne. (we don't encourage physical stalking- only the thumb scrolling kind)
When did you first start Extra Mile Kombucha and why?
I started Extra Mile Kombucha almost 2 years ago.
Why? Unfortunately, I had some health issues. These health issues started off as physical in VCE with tonsillitis almost every second week to the point I got injections in my butt! They later turned mental with stress, anxiety and the natural factors that come with being a teenager. These mental thoughts and stresses exacerbated into physical debilitating illnesses to the point my body was shutting down. With stress playing a big part and my kidneys and liver not co-operating, I started to look for ways to make me feel better. I came across Kombucha and decided to try it. I was always interested in chemistry and biology (but wasn’t great at them) however, I always enjoyed dissections and experiments. So as I started drinking Kombucha and really enjoyed the taste, I started researching how it was made and started making it myself. One thing led to another and my mum not being too happy with the kitchen looking like a science lab, I outsourced a kitchen and began supplying local cafes.
By individuals drinking Extra Mile they create a positive microbial forest in their stomaches, which in turn makes them happy making us happy people. Put simply, changing the world with a little bit of positive bacteria at a time.
We weren’t put on this world to suffer; we were put on this world to thrive. (So drink Kombucha and you will thrive) disclaimer: I hope you thrive.
You have been so successful since you’ve started, developing a strong relationship with big guns like Lululemon and also being a very prominent in Melbourne’s health and wellness scene. You’re stocked at Matcha Mylkbar, Fourth Chapter, The Staple Store, We love your Soul, Spring Street Grocer (just to name a few) but what is your definition of success?
Extra Mile at Fourth Chapter, Kit and Ace and Lululemon events
My definition of success changes everyday. One of my strong stranding definitions of success has been staying true to yourself and the beliefs of your business and knowing when to ask for help. Or it can simply be just making sure I’m living in the moment and enjoying my life instead of wishing it away. It’s the little things that add up.
I’ve been so lucky to create such strong relationships with some large companies like Lululemon and have my Kombucha stocked in amazing cafes and foodstores like Matcha and Staple, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the people behind those companies believe in me and my product, because that also helps me believe in myself and the product too. They believe in the vision- and that in itself makes you feel like you’re on the right track as half the time we have no idea what we are doing anyway, we just have that vision of what we would like to create and bring positive change to people’s lives. They provide me with opportunities, growth, ideas and happiness. Some of these people from these companies I can now call my best friends today. Which makes me so grateful :) The community that has been created really brings everyone together and builds everyone up.
Where do you want to go from here?
Right now, my health is my number one priority. You can’t work or give from an empty cup.
With Extra Mile- I dream of great things
1) I plan to continue to grow and bring out new flavours, and new ways of serving Kombucha, hoping to be accessible nation wide in cafes and yoga studios. I would like to collaborate with partners and companies on large scale events, increasing the awareness of Kombucha- and how great and hydrating and good for you it is!
2) I plan on making Kombucha become mainstream, as gut health is essential in all areas of health these days. Stay tuned ;)
3) I’m really passionate with Mental Health so I would like to help and work with organizations that aid mental health especially in high school students so they can avoid the stresses of becoming unwell. Once I graduate, I would like to research brain plasticity and the effects of Mental Health on adolescents.
What was the hardest part of being a young person, trying to create a business or idea?
Believing in yourself, and getting others to believe in you too. Not being taken seriously (especially by your parents). And trying to learn how to run a business with half a psychology psychoneurophysiology degree.
Also finding balance. I love going to yoga, brunch, hanging at the beach and adventures= Time management is key.
Remembering to sleep is also key ;)
Coffee or chai? Or neither?
Choccy Mylk- with either coconut or almond milk all the way.
What’s your spirit animal?
A unicorn and a butterfly :)
How do you juggle running a business and going to uni? Is it even possible?
I think for some it is possible. To be totally honest, it has been so hard, some weeks you have to dedicate more to business, some weeks you have 5 assignments to do in literally 10 hours, but it’s all fun and games. As long as you love everything you’re doing, you make it work. Then again, ask me this if and when I graduate.