Interview

Erica Huss and Zoë Sakoutis ERZO founders

These creative entrepreneurs had a lot to say about their new business, and talked to us about their transition from BluePrint, the challenges that came with breaking new ground, and everything that inspired their new invention.

So much of a baby’s health depends on the prenatal vitamins they get in the womb. With pregnancy comes the somewhat unfortunate necessity to down nausea-inducing horse pills on days already ridden with morning sickness and a heavy bladder. Fret no more, moms-to-be, for Erica Huss and Zoë Sakoutis, the brains behind juice brand BluePrint, are at it again with their new product, ERZO.

These masterminds have created a bold, brilliant and innovatively tasty snack that makes easy the consumption of all those essential baby vites, sans pills. ERZO offers prenatal biscuits in four delectable flavors, chock full of all your little one will need before greeting the world. Choose from oat, ginger, apple cinnamon or strawberry Greek yogurt and join the mothers and non-mothers alike who are quite literally eating up this scrumptious and useful treat.

ERZO Biscuit

These creative entrepreneurs had a lot to say about their new business, and talked to us about their transition from BluePrint, the challenges that came with breaking new ground, and everything that inspired their new invention.

Figuring out how to get the necessary prenatal vitamins as a substitute for an every day meal – breakfast – seemed like a no-brainer.

BWB: What inspired your focus on prenatal vitamins after the success of Blueprint?

Erica: Zoë was pregnant, as were many of our friends, and the conversation among us all kept coming back to how unpleasant the experience of taking prenatal vitamins could be, and it made us realize how much there was a need for innovation around the space. We also wanted to work on something meaningful on a personal level, and by incorporating a giveback component to our brand, and donating vitamins to women in need through every purchase, we are achieving that goal. We feel really proud of the work we are doing, raising awareness about the impact of proper maternal nutrition on the global community.

Zoë: While pregnant, I had to take a fist full of pills everyday because there really isn’t an all in one solution for pregnant women — ultimately it made me feel like a sick person instead of a pregnant person. I also tried vitamin gummies, but that just felt wrong (and tasted gross) as i didn’t want to eat what is essentially candy every day of my pregnancy. So, figuring out how to get the necessary prenatal vitamins as a substitute for an every day meal – breakfast – seemed like a no-brainer.

The benefits are simple–they contain a full dose of prenatal vitamins meaning you no longer have to choke down horse pills.

BWB: What are the biscuits made of? And what are their benefits?

The biscuits are made from Non-GMO organic grains, they have zero trans fats, no artificial sweeteners, are kosher, and available in Gluten Free options. The benefits are simple–they contain a full dose of prenatal vitamins meaning you no longer have to choke down horse pills (or eat sugary gummies)! Also, a lot of pregnant women struggle with, ahem, constipation, so, that fact that our biscuits have fiber is quite nice.

BWB: At what point did you know you wanted to shift gears and start your new project? What was the process like?

The process was very organic–we had left our previous posts at BluePrint juice and wanted to work together again, and while we were thinking about new directions, Zoe was pregnant and our conversations often came back to her experiences and those of our friends as well, and we realized the opportunity was right in front of us – in the vitamin space in general, not even just in prenatal – but that was the natural place to start. Once we knew what we wanted to do, we started reading up and educating ourselves while we fine-tuned ideas for the product and the brand.

We like to work side by side yet we don’t micromanage each other.

BWB: This is your 2nd project together, what are your secrets to having such a good partner dynamic?

We have worked well together for so long, now I think part of the secret is how well we know each other – we can anticipate what the other needs, how much weight they are carrying, where we can help provide balance. But before all that, we had a great friendship; we understand and respect each other and we are honest with each other about our own capabilities, we like to work side by side yet we don’t micromanage each other. Also we have a lot of similar interests so it’s easy to enjoy each other’s company in a social setting too.

ERZO

BWB: What is your wellness routine?  

Erica: I take more vitamins now than I used to, for sure–Magnesium, Biotin, Probiotics. Once you learn about what nutrients we are still lacking even in the healthiest of diets, you can’t unlearn it. I’ve always eaten pretty clean, tons of fresh and raw stuff balanced out with good cheese and good wine. I work out, love tennis and do some form of yoga or dance-based strength training every week.

Zoë: Post baby, I’ve had to switch up my routine since I can’t do all of the things I used to. I’m doing one on one Pilates, but am dying to get back to yoga. For supplements, I’m still taking my prenatal vitamins (in the form of ERZO biscuits!) while breastfeeding and take mega doses of vitamin D and probiotics on top on that.

BWB: What about your Beauty routine? What are some of your favorite skincare or makeup brands these days?

Erica: Love Kiehl’s as a tried and true skin and hair product, as well as tons of coconut oil in this cold weather.

Zoë: Yes, coconut oil goes on everything — in my food, on my body – it’s magic. I use Dr. Hauschka day cream on my face and just discovered and love Caviar shampoo and conditioner. I’ve also completely cleaned out my makeup bag and replaced everything with natural products — i.e.: RMS, Inika, W3LL People, Tata Harper.

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Lani Allen

Lani Allen is a junior at Columbia University majoring in Creative Writing with a concentration in Spanish. Having served as Vice President of her class for two years, she has since contributed written pieces and illustrations to many on-campus publications. As a writer with an interest in the beauty industry, Lani intends to pursue a career in either journalism or fashion marketing.

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