Imagine being a recent college graduate starting out in your career, when your father tells you about this great product he invented, and asks for your help in building a company around it. This is how Jesslyn Rollins was brought into what would become her family business. BIOLYTE was invented by Jesslyn's father as an "IV in a bottle" to provide much needed rehydration for her mother who was battling breast cancer at the time. With no business background, not only did Jesslyn step in to help bring the product to the public, she has been able to build a multi-million brand with a solid company structure.
Jesslyn tells us about her grassroots effort going directly to sports teams to get feedback on the product, experience working with a distributor, a costly mistake she made in promoting her brand online, and how her background in theater helps her to crush it on sales calls! Jesslyn's charismatic personality and engaging story telling made this one of my most favorite interviews so far... listen to see why :-)
Pretty Powerful Podcast with Angela Gennari, Episode 9: Jesslyn Rollins
Welcome to the Pretty Powerful Podcast. Where powerful women are interviewed every week to share real inspiring stories and incredible insight to help women or anyone break the barriers, be a part of innovation, shatter the glass ceiling and dominate to the top of their sport industry or life's mission. Join us as we celebrate exceptional women and step into our power. And now here's your host. Angela Gennari.
Angela Gennari: Thank you for joining us. This is the Pretty Powerful Podcast, and I am Angela Gennari. I am sitting here with Jesslyn Rollins. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Jesslyn Rollins: Thank you for having me
Angela Gennari: I am so excited because you have a really tremendous story and I can't wait to tell it, but I'm going to do a quick bio intro for you. In 2016, Jesslyn Rollins was approached by her father, Atlanta-based anesthesiologist, Dr. Trey Robbins about his new product Bio Light, that was supposed to simulate an IV but in a drinkable form. It was created as a remedy for his wife who was battling breast cancer at the time and suffering from severe dehydration from the chemo treatments. Insistent on discovering for herself. If this product really worked Jesslyn immediately jumped into sales mode, and with the background in theater and performing arts started collecting data from her own experiences and then moved into high school athletic departments and college fraternities via a cooler of the liquid supplement from the back of her car. She met with large beverage distributors before eventually landing her first big account in Kroger, in hundreds of stores across the Southeast, initially justly single-handedly sold package shipped and even delivered Bio Light personally to everyone who purchased since the brand's inception.
Jesslyn has held every position in the company from Bio Light, director of sales, chief sales and marketing officer to CEO managing the sales, marketing operations, finance, and production teams. Bio Light has doubled in profits every year since justly took over and is now a multimillion-dollar company. Congratulations.
Jesslyn Rollins: Thank you.
Angela Gennari: She ingrains herself in each community where Bio Light is sold recruits and manages every employee and works with each individually to help further develop their skills and specific roles. In the past three years, Jesslyn has also led the company in a new sales direction by spearheading brand expansion, into pharmacies healthcare and the sports world under her leadership Bio Light is now available across various big box stores on Amazon and is sold in notable independent stores across the country. That's amazing.
Jesslyn Rollins: Thank you. That's all needs to be said. [cross talking 02:41].
Angela Gennari: You are exceptional. That's amazing.
Jesslyn Rollins: I don't know about that, but I very much appreciate the intro. That was really nice.
Angela Gennari: Yes, absolutely. Well, it gives everybody a really good perspective about who you are and kind of the caliber of person we're dealing with here. So, I appreciate that because you really have done some incredible things. And what I love about that is that your father came to you with an idea. I am just amazed that he came up with this because his wife was battling cancer and that is just there's no greater love than a husband who thinks to himself, how do I save my wife and make her comfortable right now? And I mean just his thoughtfulness in, I know there's a solution to this dehydration. How do I get there? And he just did it and it's amazing to me. My ex-husband also battled cancer and so he's a cancer survivor, and I remember those days of the intense dehydration after chemotherapy. And it is really and mean Gatorade is while it's a similar product, it's also a lot of sugars and a lot of dyes and you know, things that you have to question like what are the pros and cons, whereas Bio Light is really just an IV and a bottle like you were saying. I mean, that's incredible.
Jesslyn Rollins: That's what we trademarked.
Angela Gennari: So, I think that's so cool, and I actually saw it. My son had the flu a couple of weeks ago and I was at Kroger and it's sitting in a basket right in front of the pharmacy. So, I thought that was a brilliant position for it to be in.
Jesslyn Rollins: It is very much a brilliant position for that to be in. So, thank you. Shout out to the sales team over there.
Angela Gennari: For sure. So, tell me a little bit about your background was very different than you are now the CEO of Bio Light, which is great, but you started out in all in a totally different trajectory.
Jesslyn Rollins: I don't know where we headed, but it was somewhere.
Angela Gennari: Yes. So, and I love that you have a theater background because it totally comes across in your personality. You have this bubbly energetic, amazing personality. So, I'm sure that helps you crush it in sales.
Jesslyn Rollins: Well, I appreciate you saying that. Hopefully, I live up to expectations, I know I just spent you. So, here's really my background. So, I avoided business classes. Like they were the play. The only reason why you would've found me in a business class back in college is me scoping out my husband, to be honest with you. And I avoided them, I was very much more into theater, I was into performance, I was into human
development, I was into, there were some of my favorite classes, which makes sense from what I just said, on romantic relationships, and how to make them work and the dynamics of what makes a positive relationship versus what makes a negative relationship and two people to fall apart.
So, that was I freaking loved those classes, like I am the type of person that sits on the front row raises my hand. I mean, people were like, God, bless this chick like, she is so annoying. That was me. I love learning, I love people and I had no earthly idea what I wanted to do. So, my dad is an anesthesiologist completely brilliant medical background. My mom is a stay-at-home mom raising me and my two older sisters. We were very much a challenge. So, we needed as much handholding is humanly possible. Thank you, mom, and we really like all three of us really only had dad as the guiding place of where we wanted to go, but I was so bad at science right. Then it was like, no freaking way.
Like this is not for me. So, I really, all I wanted to do was keep my GPA up high enough to where I literally didn't cancel out any possible opportunity. I mean, we were talking, I didn't know if I wanted to go down this route or this route or this route. I just didn't want any doors closed. So, anyway, as one does, when they graduate from college and they have no idea what to do with themselves. They pretty much take the first job that is thrown at them. Which I went out to lunch with this very attractive guy, who ran a recruiting company. And I was like you know what, I'm going to be a recruiter. So, I had zero knowledge of that zero. No, I mean, once again, like I said, I avoided business like the plague.
But I was very interested in him. I thought he was very charismatic and kind of learning what this world could look like. But if you had told me back in the day that I would still be recruiting, like I am now. I would've literally thought to myself that my life had spiraled out of control. And I was like, where I would've been very concerned about where my life was at, but anyway, so I did the recruiting thing was like, was really good at it. Really enjoyed that startup culture, really enjoyed meeting, talking to people. But then I was like, I kind of kept falling back on my theater roots. Like I did, I did a play, I was in the musical Oklahoma. I was eight. Oh, Annie, a lot of fun, but I realized as a full-time profession, not for me.
And then right after the recruiting job, I started, this gig at the laughing skull comedy lounge. And we, so I went into it being like, hey, I'm going to try out comedy. Like, I'm going to see what that's like and because I was pretty good at it in college. Why not stand up? I was so horrendous at standup that I ended up, I ended up selling tickets. So, by this time I was approached by my dad, as you mentioned. And he was, it wasn't so much like now looking back on it, like the way that you phrased it dad came to me with this full-fledged formed plan of like, this is Bio Light. It is going to be X, Y, Z. Like he told me about Bio Light, over wine in our den when I was living at home.
He was like, listen, I've got this thing. It's coming to the house; it's supposed to simulate
IV fluid which what the heck does that mean? And he was like, I made it because your mom going through cancers, we couldn't keep her hydrated. So, I think that this is going to be really something awesome, and Jesslyn, you're good at talking to people, you are not really going anywhere. So, I would love for you to head up sales. And so, that's how I got thrown into, Bio Light pretty much. And so, it wasn't this clear-cut path, but the moment that I tried Bio Light the moment that the first high school that... and I'm fast-forwarding, but stay with me. I gave it to my high school football team and they had such success with it, was when I was like, okay, I think I have something. And this improv, this fun of talking to people, this like excitement of the unknown of building something. I attached my wagon to the star that was Bio Light or what I saw as the star that was Bio Light, and haven't looked back since.
Angela Gennari: That's amazing. I love it. Love it. Love it, love it. Because it was almost like your dad was saying, hey, you need a better job. I've got one for you.
Jesslyn Rollins: Yes. That's exactly what that was.
Angela Gennari: What's so cool about that is that you have taken it and just blown it up into this incredible company. So, that says a lot about you and your ambition and your charisma, because that is one thing, I will give you is you are so charismatic and I'm sure you could walk into a room and sell ice to Eskimos. So, it doesn't surprise me that you've blown this company up the way you have.
Jesslyn Rollins: I don't do cold weather. So, that would not work. Love Georgia. Yeah, me too.
Angela Gennari: Go dogs. So, let's talk a little bit about I love it because when you start a business, we all come in with this incredible ambition, but we have to stumble and fall a little bit. And so, you did this one thing on Amazon and I thought it was hysterical reading it, but I'm sure sitting on the other side, not so hysterical. So, tell me about your Amazon experience?
Jesslyn Rollins: So, here's the deal. This was back in the early days of Bio Light. So, Bio Light has been around for a little bit, over five years Bio Light got started in 2017 and now we're in 2022. So, back in the early days, Amazon was a big piece of the business because that is how we got by light out there to customers. Where we didn't have distribution in those certain states. So, it was an incredible opportunity for us to get eyeballs. So, anyway, back in the day, when I was doing way too much and all of them not well, selling, trying to do the accounting, trying to do the logistics, trying to do the deliveries, trying to do run the E-commerce page, the whole nine yards. What happened was that we had this code on Amazon for specific people that we wanted to sample the product to. So, if you were a friend or you got referred to Bio Light, or you were a big wig, we would give you this code and it would be, you could order Bio Light off of Amazon for free. So, it would literally take the cost of a case and make it zero. So, we could send out samples and we didn't have to worry about the logistics and the delivery ourself.
Angela Gennari: Yeah. That sounds brilliant. In theory.
Jesslyn Rollins: It was, it is you just have to do it properly. So, when I set this thing up I did it wrong and I put in the code for take it a hundred percent off. But the problem that when I set it up was that I made it public. There is a box where you have to click. Do you want this code to be private or do you want this code to be public? And I am not detail oriented in that way. I've always been, I've always been a student, but I've been a very frustrating a student. Never like a 98 or a 99. I was always like a solid 90 with everything that I do, there's always a 10% that I'm missing and this is one of those examples. So, no joke. We just start murdering on Amazon. I mean, sales are flying off the shelves, we're like, we're making it, we're doing this thing. Like, this is incredible, and all of a sudden, after like three weeks, we're like, why is so many sales coming out of this one town in Louisiana? Like this one person bought 100 cases of Bio Light.
Angela Gennari: Oh my gosh.
Jesslyn Rollins: And we were like, what's happening? And so, we go back through and my parents are pointing fingers at me, I'm pointing fingers at anyone else for myself. Like it was freaking miserable. When it comes down to it, it actually turns out to be my fault. I want to throw myself into the Chattahoochee River and drown and no joke. My parents as wonderful. And as giving me as much bubble wrap is humanly possible to grow this thing. We had $25,000 of just lost sales. And in those early days it was brutal. I should have been fired. No, ma'am. Absolutely, not. But I wasn't. I'm still here. Yes.
Angela Gennari: And now you're the CEO.
Jesslyn Rollins: I am Oh my god.
Angela Gennari: You're the CEO.
Jesslyn Rollins: God, that makes my whole team is like help us!
Angela Gennari: Oh, that's amazing. Okay. So, but we all have those though. And that's, what's so crazy is that those are those gut-check moments where you were like yeah, not cut out for this at all but you rebound you figure it out, you rebound and then you made a smart hire. You made a great hire and you were like my weak point is logistics. And so, you made a smart hire in logistics and that's what we do. We hire for our weaknesses. So, that we can continue crushing it at the things we're good at.
Jesslyn Rollins: 100%. I mean, it didn't take that instance to tell me that I was not good at logistics. I mean, that was very much apparent from day one, but it definitely, it definitely showed me because I am detail-oriented, like sure. When it comes to outfits and the way things look and just the way things are centered, I'm super O C D when it comes to the label and marketing and branding. But when it comes to those tacky, tacky, like, will it
arrive there on time? Will it not having that person, that their brain is structured that way to think that way that was very much vital for me to survive, and now we have those people.
Angela Gennari: And that's amazing, and that's what you do. You start figuring it out, and I think all of us come into owning a business or being the CEO of a business with this idea that things are going to fall into place and they don't really. Like you have to stumble a few times and then you have to figure it out. And then you're like, I mean, I've had more than one late night where I stood up thinking, I just can't believe I screwed up that badly. I mean, and you make bad hires occasionally and you get through it and it's just the tenacity that you need as a business owner, as a CEO that eventually it will all come together for you. So, tell me a little bit more about Bio Light, because one of your core values is family. So, how did that come about? And I'm, I mean, for me, it's obvious that this was a product that your father had invented to help your mother and then brought his daughter in to say, hey, I think you could do this, let's go do this together. So, makes sense of his family. So, tell me a little bit more about that, how that came about and what your other core values are?
Jesslyn Rollins: Yeah. So, just to call out when dad had me head up sales. There is a cat, there's one thing to say about that. That's a catch to that. So, when he initially had me, hey, I want approached me about it. I was like, yes, of course, he wants me to run sales. Like that makes so much sense. Where he told me, as of recent, he was like, Jesslyn, I just didn't want to pay anybody in which like, thank God I was available very much available. So, here's the deal.
Our leadership team back in the early days, back in like 2018, we're sitting around my dining room table in my condo, in Brookhaven, and that was the COO, who was like an operations manager, you had like our outsourced accountant and then myself and we were all sitting around the table, and one of the things that the operating manager said that we had to have and both of these people were contractors, but we were working very closely together building the business. And one of the things that the operations manager brought to the table was this book called Traction. So, traction was, and still is the lifeblood of our entire business. And traction, the way that they lay everything out is it's an operational system that your business runs on. This is how we do meetings; this is our communication cadence, this is what we stand for, this is our vision, and one of those things was the core values. So, we mapped out three days where we were building the meat, the heart, the heartbeat of the business. Through traction and that, in one of those days, we laid out our core values. So, we all wrote down what we thought was important to us and this, that, and the other, and we laid out, we ended up with five final core values, high performance, family, understanding, adaptability and proactiveness, and pretty much at that point in time, we were throwing darts because that's all you can do in the beginning. You're just trying things, as you mentioned, and the craziest thing that has happened with that experience is that those have formed everything that we do in the business.
We're talking from the way that like who we hire to, who we recognize is not fitting in our culture, to how we bonus to how we, I mean, literally everything in the business, we actually just came out with an award ceremony called the Ivy’s, which is so cute. I love it. And instead of saying like top produce MIS, congeniality, whatever, we award people based off of those five core values. Like it's everything to buy a light. And so, the thing going back to family specifically, the reason why family has stood the test of time is not only because yes, this was built out of a need because my mom had breast cancer. And we rallied behind her to help her feel better by creating this product.
But what it also means is how you treat people in the company. So, how you treat your teammates as a family member, you recognize birthdays, you recognize work anniversaries, you are kind and considerate and you try and you want to make people feel safe. I don't think that there's ever anything worse than leaving a room, knowing that people are talking about you, and I never wanted that feeling. And then there's also this other layer of like benefits that we provide because of that very important value of family that like, if you're our maternity leave is highly competitive, you've got, hey, my son just broke his arm. Bye. See Ya. Go be with him. Hey, my wife just went into labor like, hey, please. Do not answer your email. Like we'll take care of it like we'll cover for you. Family is so important to us, and a main reason why I believe that we have grown as much as we have is because people are searching for that. They're not just searching for, hey, can I work from home? They're looking for that. How are you going to support my family in the job and out of the job? And that is something that Bio Light provides.
Angela Gennari: That's very cool because I think that the pandemic has really brought that to life too. A lot of companies are really seeing that it's not just paid, right. So, obviously pay has been a big discussion and this whole great resignation and everything else, but it's just knowing that your company cares about you. Does my company care enough to send flowers when my family member passes away? Does my company care enough to allow me time to go be with my family when they need me? And I think that says more, especially to these generations that are coming up and saying, hey, look, I want better work life balance, I don't want that work 80 hours a week kind of job anymore. And I think you get more out of people when you show them that you genuinely care about their well-being too. So, I think that's great. Kudos to you for that. So, how many people do you have in your company now?
Jesslyn Rollins: It was just you. It was just me. So, the last time I checked, we had 17 people, but we just extended six job offers last week.
Angela Gennari: Wow. That's amazing.
Jesslyn Rollins: And so, 17 plus six.
Angela Gennari: Wow. Good for you. Yay. Well, I hope it continues growing because it sounds amazing. So, tell me about starting out. So, as you say, okay, dad, I'm going to go do this. Where do you start? I mean, you have this great idea, you have this product, you
know, it's good, but where do you start? I mean, it's an idea.
Jesslyn Rollins: So, let me clarify. I have in the beginning I had no great ideas. This great idea was my dad's and my sisters. So, this I definitely saw that their idea was a great idea and I just wanted to magnify that and tell as many people as humanly possible about it. But to really answer your question, the first place that I went, which thank God, was I went to my mother-in-law my now mother-in-law. So, I got married back in April. April 17th, one year anniversary's coming up.
Angela Gennari: Congratulations.
Jesslyn Rollins: Thank you, and my mother-in-law her name is Shirley Gary, and Shirley, Gary is a bomb, badass saleswoman. She's the head broker of this big real estate company called England Volker’s. Shirley, when Michael, my husband was born. Shirley and her husband got divorced, and Shirley was literally like single mom having to like having to go hungry at night because she had to feed Michael. I mean, legitimately, this woman is insane. She like, I think she sent Michael to daycare when he was like two weeks or four weeks old because she literally had to. And she chose a daycare that was right next to her work. So, that she could feed him during her lunch break. And go visit him. Like it was freaking wild, and this woman has built an empire based off of just sheer tenacity, hard work, and charisma.
And so, the first place that I went was to Shirley's office. She had a place at the shops of Buckhead, and we mapped out together what those buckets could possibly be and who I needed to target. So, you had athletics, sweaty occupations, events, retailers, all of these different places. And the lowest hanging fruit that I had was my high school. Love it. So, athletic bucket let's go and test out this product, like with the athletic training team at love it, and that's how it, I built it from there. I bought a backpack, and a cooler showed up to love. It gave them samples said, hey, try it at your next football game. They told me, hey, listen, this product is insane. We tried it on our football game. This past Friday, we had 10, people on the team that typically have cramps and they're debilitating cramps where they can't play anymore. We gave them one bottle of Bio Light before that, before the game one bottle at halftime and nine of them did not cramp at all.
Angela Gennari: Wow. That's amazing.
Jesslyn Rollins: And so, from there, once I had that testimonial, all I wanted to do was go and find more loves, go and find more people to tell me that this stuff was amazing and that it worked because yes. I mean, of course, like when I tried it Haza, like yeah, of course, Jesslyn, you're going to think that this product is wonderful because you want it to be wonderful, you want it to work, but other people aren't going to be as nice. They don't care as much as you do. So, they're going to tell you if this stuff sucks, they're going to tell you if it's great, and they told me that it was great over and over and over again, and that's pretty much how we got our foot in the door.
Angela Gennari: That's amazing. And then, so you started there and then you went to fraternities, which, hello, that's another brilliant idea because they're very, I mean, obviously when you have drinking and partying and they sports and activities and everything else that they're doing, of course, hydration is huge, and not only that, but they tend to kind of have a little bit of a, like following, I guess in colleges. And so, you have these guys who are out there drinking the product, pushing it, representing it, and I think that that's a brilliant marketing strategy. Any college campuses to go straight for Greek life and say, hey, what about this product? What do you think about it? And then you have this following of like this built-in community in a college campus, and I think that's a brilliant strategy. And so, then Kroger, so Kroger was a big step. So, Kroger, you mentioned that you had a meeting with somebody at Kroger and you didn't feel like it was going well. No. So, tell me about that?
Jesslyn Rollins: So, I'm going to go back to the fraternity thing really quick, and then I'll get to Kroger. So, going back to the fraternity thing. So, I be, thank God. My sister married Adam Zebo because my middle sister, Madeline married, Adam. Adam is in wine sales. Okay. And so, when I was selling, Bio Light out of the back of my car to high school football teams, he was like, listen, love, you love the hustle, but this is not how beverages work you have to get a distributor. So, Adam was the one that hooked me up with all of these different distributors that he knew in the industry. And so, the thing was that we had already gotten a... we went in with our first meeting with the distributor, with a distributor and they had told us no because we didn't have enough retail accounts.
Okay. I'd had a ton of high schools, but not enough retail. Which makes sense. So, then my next meeting, we had a meeting with Savannah distributing and I did research on Savannah distributing and figured out that their CEO and the CEO before him and the CEO, before him, were all related, and they all went to UGA, and they all went to SAE and my dad is a UGA SAE. So, when I figured out that there was that connection and I needed retail stores, I went into Athens and just opened up. I probably opened up like 25 accounts in two days.
Angela Gennari: That's amazing.
Jesslyn Rollins: And which was, which I desperately needed it. Plus, in those two days, I had spoken at UGAs SAE for their chapter meeting, and I had sold 900 bottles of Bio Light to that fraternity for their parents' weekend.
Angela Gennari: Wow, incredible.
Jesslyn Rollins: So, I was going into Savannah with some bullets that I could use and saying yes like this has legs. Y'all please take me on. So, they were very skeptical. God bless them, they were very skeptical but they said, yes. They were like, yes, we're in, we're going to order four pallets, and we were like, oh my god! Four pallets.
Angela Gennari: Now, reference, how many is that? How many bottles?
Jesslyn Rollins: 4,500.
Angela Gennari: Wow!
Jesslyn Rollins: Okay Sorry, go ahead.
Angela Gennari: It's so many.
Jesslyn Rollins: Especially when our previous order was the biggest order, we had had was from Beauford High School for 240 bottles. So, we were like, we've made it.
Angela Gennari: Yeah, that's incredible.
Jesslyn Rollins: But you learned in beverages. That's not very much. Oh, so, here's the deal. So, I met with Savannah, they said, yes, let's do it four pallets, but then as weeks passed. We had, hey, actually, we're going to back it down to three, actually, we're going to back it down to two, actually, we have this in with Kroger. If you can sell it to Kroger, then we'll take it on. But if you can't then sorry. Oh no, no dice. And so, they were like, and the meeting is in a week and I was like, great, awesome, amazing.
I will be there with bells on. And so, what I did was I went to, so let me be Frank. Every fiber of my being was like, no F**king way. They're wiggled their way out of this. Congrats to them. I'm starting off at square one. There's no way I'm going to pull this off, but I was like, I have always been of the mindset that if you put your best effort in if you try and you leave nothing like as much as you possibly can, if you really try, it will work out. So, I put a presentation together, I get it checked out by the Atlanta tech village. I mean, I get my rolling cooler, I get my outfit laid out, I give my sales pitch to multiple people. I am so prepared for this meeting. It is outrageous. So, at least if they say, no, I can feel good about it.
Angela Gennari: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Jesslyn Rollins: So, I walk in and this meeting gets started and I thought that I was going to be in the front of a boardroom. I mean, we're talking Kroger here. Long table me at one end being Vanna White and the other person just like clapping. Just, wow. Isn't she amazing? And so, that's not how it was. Oh, Brandy waters. Who was the head of the all-natural division? Took me back to a cubicle. Oh wow. So, we are, maybe there's a foot in between our faces. Okay. I am so close to this man. And he's in a bow tie. It's pastel, but he is not smiling.
Not at all. So, my presentation, which I've printed, praise, Jesus heads up to anybody going into a presentation, always print it. Just in case they don't have an adapter. Ah, so we print it. Do I print it? And I go through this with him and in the beginning, I just start like, and I was like, you know what Randy, let me take a step back. Let me start over, and
that's when I give him a little razzled dazzle, and I go through the whole thing, the best of my ability. He is not smiling. He is not giving me any feedback visually. Ah, and I am just like, this is going so bad. It's going I'm thinking it's going. But by the time that the presentation ends, Randy just sits there and he is like, okay, so this is where we're going to put it, and he starts naming these hundreds of stores. All these coolers that Bio Light is going to go in.
Angela Gennari: That's amazing.
Jesslyn Rollins: And that's so cool. And I am so shocked that at the end of him telling me where this is going to go, I'm like, Randy, just to confirm, you like Bio Light, and he was like, yeah, I'm going to put it into hundreds of Kroger's. And so, I asked him, I was like, why are you saying yes? Like, and he was like, listen, 99% of water companies, which by the way, he had no idea what Bio Light was because it's not water 99% of water companies. I say no to but your passion, your enthusiasm, this thing is going places. At least I think it's going places. So, here we are.
Angela Gennari: That's so amazing. So, that is so cool. So, he sits there and you're thinking you're bombing the whole time, and meanwhile, he's calculating how many stores he's going to put you in. That is so cool.
Jesslyn Rollins: That's neat way to phrase that.
Angela Gennari: Yeah. He was so very cool. All right. So, tell me there was one particular phrase that you used in interview and it said every business need gas, a break, and glue. So, tell me about that philosophy because I think that that's really insightful.
Jesslyn Rollins: So, I got the gas, the break, and the glue terminology from a resource that we use called culture index. So, culture index is a platform, which it's pretty much like a personality test for businesses. Oh, interesting and it helps you understand, where people's strengths are, what people enjoy doing in the workplace, what they don't enjoy doing, what their best communication style is and I have very data-driven, analytical, numbers-oriented people on my team. Me with a personality test. I'm like, oh my gosh, sign me up. Let's do it. I will be there. Seven days a week and twice on Sunday but the other members of my team, they think it's a load of hog wash like this is so stupid. I don't get it. The thing that culture index did to convince them that this was a tool that we needed, was it mapped out a personality, like a chart. So, there are lines, there are dots, there's an X, there's a Y an X, and Y value. Like all of those things. So, when we got into... so when we got into the culture index thing and take me back to your question.
Angela Gennari: Gas Blue.
Jesslyn Rollins: Gas Blue. Okay. I was like, where is she going with this? So, the gas would break the glue from culture index. My personality trait is a very gluey person. I love people, I love culture, I always put people first, I am something, I am a person that holds
people together. Jason, our VP of sales is all gas. So, he is the pedal to the metal go forward conquer. There's a path of dead bodies behind me, get out of my way, this is my goal, and I'm going to achieve it. Sure. But then you've got our CFO, Matt who is break. Don't go too fast. We might run into a brick wall. Oh no, we got to stay within the lines, we have to be profitable, we can't do that because it's too much like all of those things. And the fact that our leadership team has three of those things, gas are all of those things, the gas, the break, and the glue is the reason why our leadership team is so effective. Because you don't because if you have all gas you are going to run yourself into a brick wall, you're talking. I mean, I mean, like Enron, all gas. If you have all glue, we're hanging out together, but there's no purpose. We're just buddies. If you have all breaks, you're never going to go anywhere. But the trifecta of those three is exceptional to have, especially in my experience from a leadership team.
Angela Gennari: Yes. For sure.
Jesslyn Rollins: And, but you have to be careful of that because you're like, okay. So, because that leadership team, yes. It's very balanced as of now, but let's say we add a CMO. Let's say we add a COO. Okay. Do we need more gas in this? Is this an offensive player or is this a defensive player? Do we need more break? Hey, do we need more glue? And that's every single position in your company you're going to potentially need, like, if you're looking for a recruiter you're potentially going to need more like, and you need a ton of people coming in your team. You might need a gas person. Fine, but let's go conquer if you have, but if you have a gas person that's in your accounting manager position, you're like, no, ma'am what are you doing?
Angela Gennari: We can't spend $10 million. We don't have.
Jesslyn Rollins: No ma'am that's not your job. So, I think valuing what you bring to the table and really getting that nice balance. Helps it's helped us.
Angela Gennari: Absolutely, well we've done something similar. There's a book called you said this, I heard that by Kathleen Edelman. Have you ever heard of that one?
Jesslyn Rollins: No, but I love the title.
Angela Gennari: So, you are very yellow. It sounds like your sales guy is a red and your CFO is a blue. So, it's colors. So, it's yellow, green, blue, red, and it's extrovert versus introvert. So, I am a very red person. So, I'm extroverted process-oriented. So, I'm an extrovert process-oriented person. I believe Rowan our coordinator. She is a very green person. So, she is introverted.
Jesslyn Rollins: Did you say green?
Angela Gennari: Green?
Jesslyn Rollins: What's did you say green?
Angela Gennari: Oh yeah. Blue, green, yellow, red. Got it. Blue, green, yellow. Red. So, she is an introverted people person. Ah, okay. So, there is you would be yellow, which would be extroverted people person.
Jesslyn Rollins: Probably.
Angela Gennari: And then your sales guy is probably like me extroverted process. And then your C F O is a blue, which is introverted process.
Jesslyn Rollins: They're definitely process.
Angela Gennari: So, yes. So, process, meaning that we are going to figure out the track that we want to be on necessarily. And so, anyways, that's, it's very interesting, but I am a big personality test person, myself. I studied psychology in college. And I'm fascinated by what makes people tick and how teams can work together and how you can develop efficiency and effectiveness. And so, I love that so much. So, what inspires you?
Jesslyn Rollins: What inspires me that is as this probably won't come as a surprise, but there are a lot of things that inspire me on a daily basis, but I would have to say something that is extremely complex and like something that is extremely complex or a feeling or an emotion that is described or put in a way that is done very simplistically.
Angela Gennari: Okay.
Jesslyn Rollins: So, I am... that's the whole reason why I love theater. I love art, I love paintings. God bless, I love paintings because something that can be done and drawn or visualized. So, simply can mean so effing much. And I just love, and it kind of plays into my O C D that pull in of that makes so much sense. Like there was a... I'm big on like what I like to do for fun, I love interior design, I love going into an antique store and finding a piece that just speaks to me on all of my levels and one of my favorites. So, when we went on our honeymoon out west. I knew that I had to find a piece of art and I wanted to spend a bunch of money on it because I was like, listen, yeah, this is going to like, our kids are going to see this. This is meaningful, we're on our honeymoon. I can do this. And I found these sits. I found these gorgeous sitting stones that are on this gold. It's this raised gold plaque. And then this very thin sitting yellow. So, it's funny, you said I'm yellow. Yellowish brown stone. And what the SIM, the symbolism of Arine is it's not only beautiful. It is wealth, it is wealth of not only money, but wealth of relationships, wealth of your life, really squeezing all the juice out of your life. And so, I got two of them and put them right in the center of our den so that we see them. We feel them all day, every day. That type of symbolism, that type of feeling is what really inspires me.
Angela Gennari: I love it, and I love that when you have something so simplistic, it's interpreted differently by different people. So, isn't that... I love art for that reason is just
the interpretation it could be totally different for me and you and anyone else who looks at it. So, fantastic, and then what advice would you give to 18-year-old you? Besides from breakup with your boyfriend. I play just kidding.
Jesslyn Rollins: The advice that I would give 18-year-old Jesslyn is to work. Listen. No, am I going to do recruiting for the rest of my life?
Angela Gennari: Yeah.
Jesslyn Rollins: No. Am I going to do stand-up comedy for the rest of my life? No. Do I think Bio Light is something I can do for the rest of my life. Yes. But there were so many opportunities of yet. Okay. No, you have no idea what you're going to do. However, you don't need to find that spot right now. Go explore because God in life have a way of teaching your things in those moments where you don't think you're meant to be in that moment. However, the knowledge, or there's maybe like one piece of information that needs to be learned from that experience, or there's one little tidbit that you could use in your everyday life from that job. So, I would say be a waitress, work at a theater, try this. Do that get as much wealth that life can bring you.
Because it's even if you don't think it's going to translate. Life as a way of surprising you. Yes. Like I said, with the recruiting job, I had no idea that those skills would translate. And I know that's not a very good example because I'm like, there's a direct correlation into what I'm doing now. That's not what I mean. I mean like in standup comedy, when I was working there, I learned, yes, I was terrible at it, but I learned that the best comics aren't always the funniest. However, there's an 80/20 rule when it comes to comedy. That comedy is 80% getting someone to like you, and then 20% actually being funny.
Angela Gennari: Oh, interesting. So, you just have to be likable on stage
Jesslyn Rollins: 80% of it. You have to be funny.
Angela Gennari: You got to be a little bit funny.
Jesslyn Rollins: You got to be funny. But that little nugget has just been so inspiring and so transferable into different aspects of my life that I would just say to my 18-year-old self-go and work. It doesn't make sense right now, but just do something with yourself and you will benefit from it.
Angela Gennari: Well, and I think theater too. I mean, theater, I think when you're in theater, your goal is to draw people into your story and your character, and with you selling Bio Light, drawing people into the story of Bio Light, drawing people into wanting them to be as passionate about it as you. And you can do that through theater teaches you that. And so, when you think this is just fun, I don't know if I can do this as a job, you're learning from it, you're learning from theater, you're learning from comedy, you're learning from being a ticket taker, you're learning from recruiting. There's so many, I mean, I was the
same way I worked in so many different positions and I thought to myself, is this the black hole of my career working in this job and really whether it's people that I meet or things that I've learned or places that I've gone, there's something to take away from every single experience. Yes. So yes, I think that's absolutely right. And so, last question. What do you wish more people knew?
Jesslyn Rollins: In general?
Angela Gennari: In general? Just anything, what do wish more people knew about Bio Light?
Jesslyn Rollins: What I wish more people knew about Bio Light? I'll tell you that. That'd be nice. You know, what's funny about that. So, I went to a pharmacy convention two weeks ago and it was the first convention that I ever went to where people were like I've heard about like, that's amazing because I was like, first of all, awesome, second of all, like, oh, like, this is a weird feeling because I was like, I want more people that haven't heard about it and of course, that plays into because I love the newness, I love that, and I was just like, that was that that's a neat bittersweet situation that we're in this phase, we're growing out of that. So, that would be cool, and also not cool but so what I wish more people knew. I think it would be really good for people to just get inside their own thoughts, and just to see who they are as a person. Just to sit with themselves. I think that can provide a lot of clarity. Like I agree for myself when I was in college like I said, I worked so hard to make really good grades and I would force myself to study and study and pull all-nighters and it's like, calm down, you're a theater major. But I worked so hard and I would not go out and see people, and if I had known that, listen in this world, what you think you're doing is what you need to be doing. But if you really knew yourself, you could build something based off of exactly the life that is going to feed your soul, and that sounds really in-depth and like super heady. But I just I think people, I wish people knew themselves more, and what they needed because they could build their lives based off of what they want easier.
Angela Gennari: I agree.
Jesslyn Rollins: I think that's brilliant because I am as much as I studied psychology, it was really when I started getting into psychology that I understood, oh, that's why I do this. This makes sense. And then I took the Myers breaks and I learned that I was an E NT J and I remember being so frustrated through my twenties and just feeling like, why don't I fit in with? Why can't I be this type of person or that type of person? Why do I feel like I'm not fitting into these bigger groups of people? Why do I obsess over different things? And so, once I took the, my Briggs, I learned I'm E N J. Which E N J it just after I read it, I was like, oh my God, this is who I am really like, this is who I really am, not the one that I portray to people to try to fit in, but this is who I really am. And the reason I feel like I'm different is because I'm different. It's 1% of women are an E NTJ. So, when I feel like I'm not, you know, as codling and nurturing as a lot of women, it's because I'm not. So, it doesn't make me a bad person.
Angela Gennari: Thank God.
Jesslyn Rollins: And so, it's like, but it took that like reading through it. I'm like, yeah, this is me. This is actually who I am. And it allowed me to kind of accept me for who I am and understand that there's certain things I'm going to be good at because they come naturally to me, and then certain things I might have to work a little bit harder, harder at. And it doesn't make me a bad person. It just doesn't mean that I... it means that we're all different and accepting those differences. And like you said, understanding who you are as a person and what drives you and what you're passionate about, and then designing the life around. That makes total sense. If I try to do anything, but be a CEO, I'd be thrown out on my butt. So, I'm good at running a business, probably not so good working for other people. So, but I learned that about myself. And so, but I think that the more you learn about yourself and this comes with age and it comes with wanting to dig into that part of you because some people are I think some people are still a little bit afraid to really dig in and find out who they really are. But I think it definitely allows you to design the life that you want to live and that will fulfill you. So, I think that has so much value.
Angela Gennari: So, fantastic. Brilliant. I love it. Thank you. Well, thank you, Jesslyn. This has been really, really insightful and I love your story and I love your energy and I think that you are going to do some really incredible things with Bio Light and I mean you can honestly do anything you want in this world because you're so charismatic. So, I think that you will do great things. So, thank you so much your time.
Jesslyn Rollins: Thank you, Angela. It's been a lot of fun.
Thank you for joining our guests on the Pretty powerful Podcast and we hope you've gained new insight and learn from exceptional women. Remember to subscribe or check out this and all episodes on pretty powerful podcast.com visit us next time and until then step into your own power.
CEO of BIOLYTE
Jesslyn Rollins has a track record of bringing ideas to life. When her father, an Anesthesiologist, asked her to head up sales for his new supplement, BIOLYTE®, the IV in a bottle®, she hit the streets and sold it out of her Toyota Highlander. Four years later, Jesslyn is now the CEO and BIOLYTE is a multi-million dollar business.
Jesslyn’s leadership style is understanding, creative, and a tidal-wave of energy. Her two main roles at BIOLYTE is to create the most enriching environment for every BIOLYTE Team Member, and to ensure all aspects of the company are executing on BIOLYTE’s central vision - helping people feel better.
She grew up and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband she affectionately calls, "Key." She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia and majored in Theatre and Communications with a minor in Human Development. She loves animals (especially ducks), handcrafted cocktails, dancing, and like her dad, exploring the outdoors on anything with a motor.