Feature Friday-Females Who Inspire Us: Jen Du

I (Megan) first met Jen Du when we were both living in a suburb of Seoul, South Korea in 2010 and we became fast friends.
Jen Du is what you call a fierce founder. She single handedly built her line of alcohol detox shots, Bibi Beverages, from crowdfunding campaign, to online sales, to this year... distribution in over 25 states! Jen is the only female founder in her category and is disrupting the alcohol and beverage space by offering unique solutions for health conscious drinkers: from festival recovery to flush prevention.
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Jen approaches life with boldness, determination, and a unique gusto and joie de vivre! Whether it's hiking through the wilderness, building camps at Burning Man, climbing skyscrapers (literally), or vanlifing around the country with her adorable dog Ziggy, she always shines bright like a diamond and makes all those around her shine a little brighter too. She is a warrior, a risk taker, and a soul sister. So without further ado, let's give it up for Jen Du! 
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After calling Austin, TX home for the last 8 years, she set out on the open road with her ride or die, her dog Ziggy. Planning to grow her business as a van lifer. 
There’s Jen who’s out to conquer the industry she’s in and sell her company in 5 years with all the work, drive, and focus it takes to do that.
Who are some women who inspire you daily, personally or professionally?
I’m inspired by brave women who go for it against challenging odds and make powerful and groundbreaking changes in our world and do so with grace. That could be a fellow business owner who is doing rad stuff with her company, a friend who is leading a life with integrity, or someone more historical like Ruth Bader Ginsburg whose work enabled women to have the rights we do today. I think it’s important to find inspiration regularly from those around us, not just from famous historical people. A tide rises because every drop of water is lifted, not just a few.
Who has been the most influential woman (women) in your life, in becoming the person you are today, helping you discover and pursue your passions?
I’m known for my boldness, courage, and determination which I definitely get from my mom. She’s a survivor of war who came to the U.S. literally with the clothes on her back and a newborn son whose father died in the war she escaped. She spoke no English and had very limited opportunities. But in the face of these poor odds, she started multiple businesses, raised three kids who all went to college and graduate school and between us have an MBA (me), PhD, and JD. She accomplished the American dream right there.

I’ve never been afraid to take risks or push my boundaries and I owe much of this to my mom.
If you could sit between any two women (dead or alive) on an international (long haul) flight, who would it be? Why?
Indra Nooyi, the former Chairwoman and CEO of a major beverage brand for obvious reasons. She’s a powerful woman who could open a lot of doors for Bibi Beverages.
Ali Wong because she is hysterically funny and that would be a very fun flight. I gotta keep it real. Can’t be all business all the time ya know? 
What is your favorite affirmation to share with women?
Just get out there and do it. Stop asking, stop thinking, stop planning, just do it. And stop doubting yourself! 
Is there anything that you wish/hope will be different for girls growing up than it was for you?
To build their confidence and curiosity early. I didn’t have a particularly nurturing family or school life that encouraged me to voice my opinions or pursue my interests. Quite the opposite actually. Though my mom was brave in her pursuits she was afraid for me constantly, that I would have the hardships she did, so she was quite dictatorial in raising me. It resulted in me finding my voice, my identity, and confidence much later in life, when I turned 30. Though I’m happy with where I’m at, I think the earlier someone can find her footing, the more time she has to do great things with her life.
What has been your proudest moment personally or professionally?
This year, Bibi got the attention of and partnered with the largest grocery distributor in the country. This happened because I busted my butt and hand delivered our alcohol detox drinks to over 100 stores all over Texas, by myself, for over 2 years. Getting that distribution deal was very satisfying because the work I put in is something very few people are resilient enough to do for as long as I did. There were times when I hated it, when I nodded off at the wheel after driving for 12 hours a day, but I knew I would get the result I did if I put in the work and time.
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What has been your most challenging moment personally or professional and how did you overcome that challenge?
It’s happening right now. Bibi is growing 700% this year, expanding distribution from 1 to 26 states in 2021 and we don’t have enough product to meet the demand of this growth. It’s stressful and kept me up nights but I know I will find a way, I always do.
What does wellness mean to you? And why is it important to you?
Taking care of yourself so you can properly take care of everything else you’re supposed to and not be an asshole while doing it :)

What does your typical daily wellness routine look like?
I’m religious about this, so glad you asked. I’m known for having an insane amount of energy and I think my wellness routine is the secret to that.

I sleep with no phone or electronics in my room so the phone is not the first or last thing I look at. That saves a lot of time that is lost looking at social media and for me time is the most valuable currency.

I start every morning with 2 glasses of water, make my bed, and a customized meditation tailored to what I am working on during that period of life. Then I am out the door taking my dog for a walk within 30 minutes of waking up. Studies have shown that outdoor physical activity within an hour of waking greatly impacts mood and happiness.
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I set aside one day a week I never work on, usually Sundays. Your computer has to reboot to function properly and so do you.

Exercise is as important as an investor meeting for me. It’s a non-negotiable that I build into my schedule 4 days a week, no excuses.

I also have a going to bed routine which involves no screens for 2 hours before bed, drinking a tea that aids with sleep, taking magnesium, and I shoot for 8 hours of sleep a day.
What drove you to become an entrepreneur? Do you see Bibi as your only entrepreneurial endeavor or do you have plans/goals to be a serial entrepreneur?
You know I never planned on starting a business. It sorta just happened because I was passionate about solving a problem I knew I and literally billions of people have. Then it just evolved into the company it is now.

Bibi is my first but definitely not my last company. I have some plans in the works for 3 other projects, one of them a TV show, another a retreat center for mental exploration, and a program to help disadvantaged youth unlock their power and potential. I want to do what Tony Robbins does but for kids from troubled homes.

As it stands now, only a small percentage of people have access to resources, power, and education. We could be missing out on the brown girl that discovers faster than lightspeed travel or the black boy from the inner city who discovers safe hydrogen power. When only a privileged few have access to nurturing and resources to realize their full potential, it is a tragedy for all. Humanity is running a marathon, but both of its legs are tied together. I want to help untie those legs.

If your life was a movie, who would play you? Why?
Awkwafina. I loved her in “Crazy Rich Asians,” and if her character is anything like her normal personality then we are VERY similar and would get along fabulously. I say and do just as wild of things.

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