Have you ever had kombucha? It’s one of my favorite healthy foods–and so I was very excited to speak to Kombucha Dog founder, Michael Faye. Raised in a family of vegetarians deeply rooted in holistic traditions, Michael first discovered kombucha in 2005 when it was still largely unknown outside of Asia. With strong ties to the raw food movement and a regular yoga practice, Michael felt kombucha benefits from the start.
But just as his interest in kombucha was deepening, it began to disappear from stores.
The story goes like this: Lindsay Lohan’s lawyers attempted to explain away a failed alcohol test by claiming it was a false positive brought about by a lot of kombucha drinking. The result: kombucha was pulled from the shelves of Whole Foods and other markets.
Such is the power of celebrity.
After a few weeks without, Michael decided to learn how to make his own kombucha recipe. And in the process, discovered a new passion -the art of brewing. I asked him what steps he took to follow his passion.
Listen to your heart. I used to work as a successful commercial photographer, but when I started spending more time in front of a computer than on location, I became less passionate about it. My heart told me to dedicate myself to making the best tasting, most healthful kombucha I can. While I’m at it, I will take photos of homeless dogs, put them on the labels and try to help them find homes. So far over 50 dogs have found their forever homes and I couldn’t be happier.
Surround yourself with inspiring people. You can’t expect positive things to happen when you are surrounded by negative people. Instead, seek the company of people who share your optimism, drive, and passion for living.
Expect to work hard. Having passion doesn’t mean anything unless you are also willing to work for it. I built a full-working factory from the ground up – literally with my own hands and the help from a few friends.
Do not be afraid of failing. I figured out how to make full-strength, delicious kombucha consistently, but this was the result of experimenting with the tastes and benefits of over 200 teas, fermenting over 60 of them, discovering the right kind of sugar to use and trying all sorts of combinations. Believe me, there were many failures in those experiments, but it all brought me to the best final product I could have ever hoped for.
It could have been another kombucha brewing facility. Instead, Kombucha Dog has evolved, recently opening a vibrant tap room to taste something deliciously healthy, socialize, listen to some music, all while viewing beautiful art – and perhaps even finding a new four-legged friend in need of a home. (Michael also envisions offering yoga in the future). For more information about Kombucha Dog, such as where you can purchase it (it’s also available on Amazon Fresh) or on how you can help find homes for some of these furry little friends, visit their website.
What do you think about Michael’s tips on following your passion? Do you have any advice or personal experience?
Also see: 5 Steps to Revamp Your Career
Photo: Michael Faye / Kombucha Dog