We had the good fortune of connecting with Shreya Patel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shreya, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Most cleaning products on the market today are toxic to our health, to our home’s health and definitely harmful for our planet. They are loaded with chemicals which hurt/kill everything (including our lungs and skin). Or, they are “natural” and only really clean dirt/grime and leave harmful bacteria behind. They pollute the air in our home, pollute our streams/rivers as chemicals are washed down drains or flushed down toilets (and can end up in our drinking water), and pollute our environment with plastics that will outlive us and our children.
I couldn’t find the cleaning products that I wanted for my own home, so I created them. I wanted a product that had cleaner ingredients, was effective at controlling harmful bacteria, minimized plastic waste and would just show up at my doorstep at regular intervals. Around the time I was looking for a solution, I was (and still am) an avid vegetable gardener who was learning about natural ways to fertilize and control pests. Through the experience, I was really struck by use of probiotics/microbes in my garden, so I created my first batch of probiotic fluid from rice water and used it EVERYWHERE in my garden and in my home. It was then that the idea to combine these came to be and hyve was born.
What should our readers know about your business?
hyve is a probiotic-based cleaning products company and it is our goal to educate consumers on the misconceptions we have when it comes to cleaning. We’re using food-grade probiotics in our product which produce enzymes to eliminate harmful bacteria. Most importantly, our formulations are safe for your family, pets and the planet. Typical household cleaners kill “99% of germs,” but in doing so, those cleaners are also getting rid of the good bacteria which protect us and our home. Think of hyve as kombucha for your home.
hyve is not just about me and not just about today. It is for our future – the future of our planet, our children and beyond. We have teamed up with 1% for the Planet as well. This organization has created a global movement with a mission to bring dollars and doers together to accelerate smart environmental giving. We are a proud organization member and every purchase made goes a long way.
The journey to hyve to date has not been easy. Determination to bring something alive makes that journey worthwhile, but definitely not without struggles. Our story started about 4 years ago, and since then a lot of time has been spent in really learning and adapting. As a solopreneur, I have to wear many hats, but I know that I can’t be the master of all areas. It has been a journey to find the right people to partner with and hire along the way, but I knew that the time spent in kissing a lot of frogs along the way was well worth where it would eventually get me. I am so proud to say the I have found the first “right fit” for hyve with my first teammate, Kasey Norton. Kasey’s personal ethos matches the mission and vision for hyve. It is in the fiber of her being. So I think that is an important lesson and one that will enhance hyve’s success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being in Austin, we’d probably try to see some live music. And even though I don’t eat meat, I when carnivorous family/friends come into town, our favorite day trip is to City Market in Luling. Forget the trendy places, you will not find any better BBQ anywhere else and the traditional way to eat it there is with a Big Red and block of cheddar cheese. It is definitely an experience you should check out! In general, when I travel outside of Austin or really outside of the country, I love to live like a local as much as possible in order to fully immerse myself in the culture and to have meaningful conversations with locals. This helps me to expand my horizons, to identify with the happiness and struggles of others, and to ultimately learn a little more about myself.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All of my successes in life, both personal and professional, are a direct result of the love, encouragement, support, and especially example, that my parents set and gave to me and my siblings. As an immigrant family, I saw what I lived and have lived what I have seen. They set an example of working hard to make a positive impact in our own lives and those of others around us. That is baked into my ethos and the DNA of hyve.