HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Imagine selling your product door to door, then a few years later, it is featured on the shelves at Whole Foods Market. This is the reality for Tamala Austin, a Houston-based entrepreneur with a very hectic life.
Austin tells FOX 26 News that she was “taking orders, delivering to people after I got home from work, daughter, and school."
"Come home, we would be juicing and I’d be delivering all over the city all times of the night,” adds Austin. She was balancing her corporate job while being a single mother raising a teenager and going back to school.
It was a busy life, but it was a health scare that put things into perspective for Austin.
"Health issues that I had and dealing with high blood pressure and I just wanted to find a natural way to combat the issue instead of, you know, doing regular medications and I found it through juicing,“ describes Austin. She tells FOX 26 News that juicing helped get her health on track and sparked her idea to make it a business, and J.I.V.E. Juice was born.
After keeping up with her presence on social media, Austin got the news of a lifetime when Whole Foods Market expressed interest in selling her product at its Independence Heights location. J.I.V.E. Juice is the first African American owned juice brand sold at Whole Foods Market.
This caught the attention of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who recognized Austin in his State of the State address on Tuesday.
"Texas is now number one in America for women entrepreneurs, women like Tamala Austin," said Gov. Abbott in his address. "Tamala is a Houston entrepreneur who founded a company called Jive Juice. She founded it out of her home seven years ago."
Austin can also add author to the list. She documented her experience in a new book, “Love My Body Again." She is still focused on J.I.V.E. Juice. The next step she is hoping for is to have her product in the coolers of all Whole Foods Market stores.