Focus. All the truly great ones have it. Whether it's in academia, sports or business, it takes serious focus to get to the top—and stay there. Vemma has that type of focus… because BK Boreyko does. "We started with a singular purpose, and we plan to keep it that way," says the Vemma President and CEO. "No matter what new products we introduce, they'll always be based on the same single formulation we've had from the start."
BK and his sisters, Lauren and Karen, founded Vemma more than four years ago because they wanted to make a positive difference in people's health. The hyper-successful wellness company has already proven itself on several fronts and is looking to break new ground yet again. At the helm of this innovative nutritional supplement company is a hip, young executive who looks more like a dot-commer than a wellness expert. And it may be precisely these qualities that make BK and his company, Vemma, so successful.
Of all the things companies worry about these days, probably the most important is how to stay viable in an ever-changing economy. It's something Vemma appears to have a pretty good grasp on. While no one has a magic bullet for success, the secret, it seems, is to stay on top of the trends—and one step ahead of everyone else. "In this new economy, you have to work harder, be better and produce more than the competition," BK says. "But I don't think there's really just one single key to success. I think it's more of a combination lock. First you have to be in the right place at the right time, and then you have to be ready to take action to achieve your goals."
When BK and his sisters created Vemma, they wanted to offer their members a new way to do business. They branched off from their parent company, New Vision USA Inc., which their family founded about 14 years ago. New Vision has experienced phenomenal success, with more than a billion dollars in sales. But the business model is vastly different. Where Vemma has a singular formulation, New Vision offers consumers more than 50 products. "The idea for the new company was inspired by our members," BK says. "Some of them felt that having so many products could be overwhelming, and that there was a huge marketplace for a company with one, single, high-quality product… and that's how Vemma
To this day, Vemma remains true to its origins. "We make all our decisions from a distributor mindset," BK says. "We like to be on the cutting edge, but we will always consider, 'What effect will this have on our member base?' "
A second-generation network marketer, BK spent years learning the ropes as a distributor himself. "My dad taught me that the distributor always knows best," BK says. "And it's our responsibility to make sure we provide them with the best product and compensation plan on the market."
Product with a Punch
Today, Vemma offers a few products, and a couple more are in the works, but all are based on the original Vemma formulation. Vemma is an acronym for Vitamins, Essential Minerals, Mangosteen and Aloe. It's actually a combination of two products, Essential Minerals® and Mangosteen Plus™. The result is an extremely bioavailable nutritional supplement that helps boost the immune system and increase energy levels. With natural fruit flavors, the tasty mixture is a glyconutrient-rich blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
In recent years, the energy drink industry has exploded, and to capitalize on the trend for their members, Vemma entered this arena as well. Last year, Vemma rolled out a more nutritious alternative to most energy drinks found on retail shelves. Verve is a Vemma-based product that also offers a healthier energy boost without the sugary crash of competing products. Since its launch, Verve has vaulted sales into the stratosphere for the young company—and they're just getting started.
In less than five years, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company has risen to leadership status within the wellness industry. One way Vemma maintains its high standards is that they own and operate their own manufacturing plant in nearby Tempe. "We control our own product and every aspect of its quality," BK says. "That allows us to make a better, more potent product and market it at a more competitive price."
These days, everyone is abuzz about Vemma and Verve. They have captured the attention of world-renowned doctors and celebrities such as Sela Ward and Hill Harper, just to name a few. With so much competition, that's not an accomplishment to be taken lightly. And yet, BK continues to look ahead to what the future may bring. "I encourage others to succeed in this industry as well and I welcome the challenge," BK says. "Competition is good. It keeps me energized to do better and it elevates the entire industry in the process."
A Force for Change
On the horizon this fall for Vemma are two new products that promise to radically change the way we view nutrition and supplementation.
Up first is Vemma Next. It's a multivitamin/multimineral supplement for the next generation. BK has three small children of his own, and he designed a product he could give to them. Among the long list of essential vitamins and minerals, Vemma Next includes a half-dose of Vemma, and organic fruit and veggie extracts—and it tastes like a Creamsicle®, so kids will be begging for more of the healthy stuff.
As if proof were needed to justify such a product, BK points to an alarming new study which shows that 20 percent of 4-year-olds are obese. For African-American children, that number climbs to 30 percent, and for Native American children, the number jumps as high as 40 percent. What that means is that these children will be more susceptible to disease and life-threatening illnesses unless the tide is turned. "These are children we're talking about—kids who are not just overweight but obese," BK says. "This is an epidemic that must be stopped. To me, that says this is a product whose time has come."
The interesting thing is that the product also has a philanthropic tie-in. For every month's supply of Vemma Next sold, the company will donate a month's worth of the product to a child in need—someone who otherwise would not be getting proper nutrition. At first, Vemma will help needy children in the United States, and then they'll later expand to include children throughout the more than 50 countries around the world in which the company operates.
The idea for Vemma Next borrows a strategy from the fast-food giants… with one crucial difference. "We want to get them young—and keep them healthy," BK says. The plan eventually is to start a foundation with its own Web site. That way, with just one click, people can donate money directly to help children get the nutritional products they need to live happier, healthier lives.
Also launching this fall is Vemma Pro. It's a product that will not be available to the general public—only through members of the medical community. It won't be a prescription, but something doctors can offer their patients.
"It's almost like Web MD meets Amazon.com," BK says. "It'll elevate the Vemma brand for the entire member community. In addition, having a product line that's available exclusively through doctors and hospitals will show our members and the world that Vemma is serious about wellness."
Fueling a Passion
To truly understand BK's passion for helping others and his determination to make a difference in people's lives, you need to know a little more about his family. As a young boy, he gained a great respect for the network marketing industry by watching—and helping—his parents with their Amway business. He tried other careers in corporate America, but nothing seemed to fit like relationship marketing. After all, very few businesses provide the opportunity to earn a significant income—and help others at the same time.
His parents were very successful network marketers, and imparted a great deal of business acumen to their children. After leaving Amway, the entire family worked together profitably in another company before founding New Vision. The venture allowed the Boreykos to help members pursue financial independence while helping others achieve better health.
Then, tragedy struck when BK and his sisters lost their parents to heart disease and cancer just a few years apart. The only silver lining to the heartbreak was that it worked to solidify the family's determination to help others become healthier. "I lost my parents to the No. 1 and No. 2 killers," BK says. "I want to work to prevent people from having to experience the same kind of pain, if at all possible. If we can empower people by teaching them about the benefits of supplementation, and in the process help them live healthier, more fulfilling lives, then we've made a difference."
Seizing an Opportunity
No business can completely escape the heavy burden of the current economic conditions. It's all anyone can talk about these days. Times are tough. In this embattled economy, we constantly hear about the fact that few are surviving; fewer are thriving. Corporate bailouts top the headlines, and from the sound of it, soaring unemployment numbers spell imminent doom. And yet, it seems someone neglected to mention all the negative news to Vemma.
"There's opportunity everywhere; you just have to look for it," BK says. "A recent New York Times article reported that the supplement industry is recession-proof. People are afraid to get sick. They need products that will help them stay healthier. And we can offer them that."
In truth, despite the unstable economy, instead of declining, business is actually improving for the young wellness company. In fact, Vemma recently reported close to a million-dollar increase in sales in a single month, rather than a drop-off.
One could attribute that extraordinary success to a healthy dose of eternal optimism. When put to the test, some people will always see the glass as half empty, while others will see it as half full. BK sees it as half full. "Some people say I'm too positive, but can you really be too positive?" BK asks. And then, just for emphasis, he adds with a smile, "My blood type is even B positive."
It takes work to fuel his optimistic outlook; BK keeps his mind honed and ready to take on the myriad new challenges that arise every day. And to help him do this, he harks back to the parental guidance of his childhood. As part of BK's education, his dad instilled in him a respect and admiration for personal development at a very young age. "When I was about 9 years old, my dad would pay me $10 to read personal-development books and then write reports on them," BK says. "I'm still an avid reader of personal-development books to this day. Just like your body requires a nutrient-dense diet to stay nourished, I am nourishing my mind with what I read as well. I devour a steady diet of idea-dense material that keeps me motivated and inspired."
A Lasting Impact
Through Vemma, BK Boreyko is determined to make his mark on society—to leave the world a better place. On a daily basis, he gets letters and e-mail about how Vemma has changed people's lives. "I call people back all the time to thank them for sharing their stories with me," BK says. "And I make sure to pass the stories on to everyone else on our Home Office team, so they know the impact they're having through the work they're doing."
It doesn't stop there. With their peppy energy drink, Verve, Vemma has reached out to an entire generation that is more likely to quote Napoleon Dynamite than Napoleon Hill. And that's exactly what BK intended to do. He wants to inspire a new generation to lead healthier and wealthier lives. The plan is simple: encourage young people to switch to a healthy energy drink and then tell their friends about it. And if by doing that it also means they become a part of something bigger than themselves, all the better.
Interestingly, early on, BK's youth was seen as a detriment by some of his competitors. They doubted his abilities. But no one's doubting anymore. Today, a youthful vibe permeates the entire company at Vemma. And it can even be said that it's been a huge factor in Vemma's success.
The new generation of marketing strategies include avenues such as blogging, YouTube and Twitter—all necessary tools to stay relevant and to reach a primary market on the go. Vemma's right there in the middle of it all, mixing things up—and creating a new path for others to follow. "I think if you're young, or young in spirit, you have an advantage," BK says. "You need to be more nimble and better able to respond quickly to the changing times… and the younger companies just get it."
Future goals are lofty, of course, but no doubt attainable. "I want to double sales this year, and open new markets for our members," BK says. In an age when most companies are tightening their belts and adopting a "wait and see attitude" about the future, these are especially bold moves—but then from this forward-looking entrepreneur, one would expect no less. "I think it's important that we continue to inspire our members and lead them in a new direction," BK says. "We need to strike a balance between how good things are now and how great they're going to be in the future." DSN