TXWES entrepreneurship class makes impact at healthy snack start up, Trulee
Above: Students from the Texas Wesleyan Enactus Team huddle with Trulee owner Sherry Lee White to tackle business problems and find solutions.
In the fall of 2016, Texas Wesleyan University’s Enactus Team partnered with healthy treats startup Trulee, headquartered in Colleyville and owned by female entrepreneur Sherry Lee White, to help the company find solutions to its business problems.
Over the course of two semesters, the Enactus Team researched Trulee’s target market, created a strategy to ship their “Bliss Bites!” healthy treats nationwide, and digitally marketed their products through influencer marketing and social media campaigns.
Hands-on student research
Students worked directly with Trulee to understand the needs of the business and discover ways to have a direct impact on the company bottom line in the shortest amount of time possible.
Through extensive research and hands-on observations at the production location, the students improved the packaging of Trulee Bliss Bites. This package reconfiguration took hours of research on packaging development and options that would allow this cold food product to stay fresh. They also made trips to the production location to develop an efficient process as the company moved from manual to automated production.
Social media and marketing
The students and advisors, led by School of Business Professors Meghan Wright, Ph.D., and Gokcen Ogruk, Ph.D., worked with White to revise her TedTalk about healthy eating and overcoming debilitating diseases. As the company received more of a presence through videos and social media platforms, the company continued to grow.
As general awareness was “amped” up, the company found themselves needing to identify a cold storage facility and also employ a larger number of employees.
Trulee hires TXWES students full-time
At the end of the semester, White offered a project management position to Tommy Lee, a Texas Wesleyan student who worked on the project as part of Enactus. This summer, he implemented the strategy that the Enactus Team had devised the previous semesters, and has successfully launched their online store and digital marketing campaigns.
Omar Dominguez, another Texas Wesleyan Student, is now working at Trulee solving complex problems with shipping logistics and order fulfillment.
These Texas Wesleyan students have learned a great deal of real world knowledge by working with Enactus and partnering with Trulee.
“Their experiences will guide them toward a brighter future, and help a female entrepreneur share her ‘Bliss!’ with the world,” Wright said.
Enactus Team wins grant from Coca-Cola to further impact
The team, with professors Wright and Ogruk, presented their project at the Enactus Regional Competition and advanced to Nationals in May 2017. The team also submitted the project to the Coca-Cola Foundation: "Uncap Opportunities for Women Challenge" grant competition and was awarded the grand prize which includes $7,500 to further their social entrepreneurial actions for women empowerment.
Trulee now and what lies ahead
At this time, the company has increased production, hired new employees, and gone from just 9 stores to more than 40, while also entering the online market. Incoming students for the Fall 2017 semester will begin working with Trulee to continue growing the company into a sustainable phase.
Students on the project:
- Victoria Hoschar
- Stephanie Varuska
- Tommy Lee
- Omar Dominguez
- Christa Gjedde
- Joy Smith
- John Wenslow
- Mayra Hernandez
- Kelsey Fulton
- Celeste Pena