By: Yana Arora
February 4, 2021
Ambitious since the beginning, junior Alana Andrews sat down with me for a Q&A about her life as a young entrepreneur, what got her here, and her plans for the future.
Surrounded by motivational speeches and songs such as “A Beautiful Day” by India Arie and the “I am a Champion” speech, junior Alana Andrews has spent her entire upbringing being instilled with the ideas of “the power of greatness, self-confidence, positivity, and self-respect.”
It isn’t everyday that you see a seventeen year old young woman pursuing a successful career in entrepreneurship so early in her life. Andrews is clearly a force to be reckoned with. From her endeavors such as the So Positive Initiative and her sports drink company SWEY to her stellar grades and community involvement within the school and the county, she truly is a woman that everyone aspires to be like.
“When did she realize that this is the career path she wanted to pursue?”Andrews says that she owes it all to her parents.
“The powerful stories and backgrounds of my parents’ upbringings first ignited the start of my ambition. They would both feed [my brother and I] with the belief and fact that we can do absolutely anything we set our minds to. The key theme throughout my upbringing, and even today, is the power of a strong mindset,” said Andrews.
With the support of her parents and peers, Andrews has only achieved more and more as she continues to tackle even the toughest of battles, the hardest one being her diagnosis as pre-diabetic at the mere age of eight.
“Frightened by the idea that my fate was predetermined, I made the stern decision to get on the right track for prolonging my life, which for me included cutting out sugar, becoming pescatarian, and implementing daily exercise regimens. However, parts of my internal health began to contradict my progress,” said Andrews.
Andrews needed to refuel with a beverage that would have the power to revitalize her lost energy and keep her body in balance, without all of the excess sugar and preservatives. The drinks on the market, however, had all of those things and more, which simply wasn’t sufficient enough for Andrews.
Thus sparked the idea of SWEY (Strong Wise Energetic Youth): “The first natural sports drink made by Gen-Z for Gen-Z”. The drink is filled with key ingredients for athletes such as Vitamin B and Magnesium, cuts out the massive amounts of sugar found in other leading sports drinks, and is gluten-free, low calorie, and vegan.
As we all may have realized, becoming an entrepreneur is much more than a job, it is a lifestyle. For SWEY to be what it has become today, the process was no easy feat. The original testing of the sports drink began in Andrew’s kitchen, mixing natural ingredients such as freeze dried apples and Arrowroot to create a natural, energizing powdered drink concoction.
Now, after many trials and tribulations, the powdered drink product has evolved into a ready-to-drink beverage with the help of Flavorman, a beverage development company located in Kentucky.
Through her countless efforts to create a successful sports drink company, Andrews has done nothing but enjoy the ride her career is taking her on.
“Being a young entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur in general, is incredible. For me, it has been a journey of daily self and skill development. I’ve had to learn the value of the art of patience, being able to be flexible, recognizing and asking what I don’t know, being fearless, adaptable, and having a great amount of perseverance and optimism,” said Andrews.
Despite being the force of nature she is, Andrews is still searching for ways to improve, especially when it comes to balancing out her work life and her precious years as a teenager.
“To be completely transparent, finding the balance between work, school, and having a social life is definitely something I continue to work on. My main priorities have been school and work, but I recognize the importance of having time to unwind as well, and I think I’ll be able to do that once SWEY launches,” said Andrews.
Andrews truly is a woman who will stop at nothing to achieve all of her wildest dreams, and it is an honor for me to know someone who is sure to make history in the near future.
If you are interested in purchasing SWEY, the sports drink will be ready for sale and distribution in March via eCommerce here: sweytoplay.com. The first product drop will include three flavors: Citrus Sizzle, Major Kiwi, and Tropicalada. To keep up with the launch dates, subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of SWEY’s official website. To support SWEY, check out their Indiegogo Crowdfunding Page and follow their Instagram: @sweytoplay.