StartUs Presents: StopMyCraving

Published on:

Sofie Dralle founded her startup StopMyCraving out of a personal need before realizing many others also benefitet from it. Here's her story:

Describe StopMyCraving in 50 words or less.

StopMyCraving helps you eat better by finding a healthier alternative whether you are at home, on the go or in a store. You type in your personal preferences for allergies, diets and values, type in your craving and see where the preferred alternative can be found and bought on location.

How did you get the idea?

I used to have a an eating disorder and three food allergies when I suddenly got a back injury. I felt really restricted with my relationship to food. I knew I needed to change my life. With the back injury I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands and I started reading about research done on cravings. I found out two things: 1) Cravings are a natural sign from the body that there is one thing in that food we need at that point in time. That doesn’t mean all of the food is good, e.g. think about when you are hungover. You need the salt but not necessarily all the fat. 2) People who meet their cravings rather than suppress them are generally more healthy, slim and have a more relaxed relationship to food.

This made me think: “What if I stop looking at food as being either good or bad, but instead always choose the healthier choice? This way my mind is set free and my body gets the nutrients it needs. Over time my blood sugar will stabilize and my cravings will stop.” Later that day I stood in the kitchen and was craving cookies and I looked at the box thinking, how can I find a healthier alternative and where can I buy it so I can stop my craving? The latter just clicked in my brain.

Since that moment I haven’t had an eating disorder and my relationship to food has completely changed. The same day I went to the grocery store and it was like I had a new set of ears. I was listening to people’s conversations and everyone mentioned a personal dietary problem, that we can solve.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

I started StopMyCraving not because I would rather be my own boss but because I was faced with a pressing issue that also bothered enough people globally. It presented itself as an opportunity to help myself, many others and as a viable business opportunity.

I enjoy working for others too and if you look at my path it wasn’t clear that this is what would happen and I never dreamt of it. I studied business and politics during my bachelor’s, worked in marketing & advertising when I suddenly got the idea. I finished a master’s in business and although the dream was alive I was still looking into the corporate world. It wasn’t until my surroundings started suggesting I do this full time that I took the plunge.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

We hope to have brought healing and joy when it comes to people’s relationship to food as well as balance. We hope to have built a bridge between honest food suppliers and the customer by creating a platform for food producers to market themselves based on the quality of food directly to the person with the matching needs. We hope to have created more equal playing field in the food industry where performance isn’t measured by a marketing budget but the value food producers are able to provide to customers and earth on an international scale.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

We measure our success on how well and how many people we help to eat better without changing their habits – whether they are at home, on the go or in the store. We measure this in downloads, retention rate, and number and quality of our food partners. When we open up for the revenue stream via new functionalities we will add financial tools to measure growth. We don’t lose track because we have a clear vision that we break down into small goals for years, months, weeks and days. We spend time discussing and reevaluating our plans if needed.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

No day is the same. We work from Google Campus or home, have meetings and go to events all over London. We work with developers, marketers, potential investors, food partners, financial planning, direct marketing, social media marketing, etc. We do what needs to be done and also plan ahead.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the services like you imagined it in the beginning?

We just launched and so far people are reacting really well to it. We have been delighted to see the positive and constructive response from both businesses and users who bring great perspective to our future development. We are growing fast but not being hasty with our decisions because we want to build a long term solution.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

Bootstrapped. We work for free and are speaking to some investors at the moment.

What were the biggest challenges you faced building your startup?

Finding the right team. People may be nice and want to help, which can be valuable for a very short time, but if they don’t share the idea and fully understand the vision it can be an expensive lesson to learn because of the work that needs to be done afterwards to correct mistakes made.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

Today we have a very strong team around us. We are friends and work related. This makes everyone invested in making StopMyCraving truly viable long term rather than running after the newest trend and someone trying to sell you something to make a quick buck. We are all in it to win it.

What do you look for in team members?

Passion, a what I call “roll up your sleeves” attitude – meaning no one is too fancy to do any job. We all do what it takes to make it happen, positivity, self irony (we are Scandinavian, it is a must), people who are naturally more driven about a social cause because we are a social enterprise, and emotional intelligence.

Why would a talent join your team?

Because we need someone on our team with her or his skill set. Very simply. We don’t waste time hiring if we don’t absolutely need it at the moment.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

When the app was accepted on the App Store and the app still had some mistakes! Someone once said it is under pressure people will show their true character and this is when I learned the true diligence, excellence and character of our developers who blew me away with how swiftly and calmly they dealt with it.

Also, I learned to love the App Store’s expedite review in times like these and that Google crashed on their day of launch. Nothing is black and white and we continue to grow and learn, but, honestly: We have been truly blessed with such amazing people, from the time I met Studio Graphene (developers) and drafted our partnership, the first employees, partners, media coverage, launch, etc. It has all been memorable.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

It is a tough one because everyone’s business and angle is different depending on market, service, country and people. I would say, talk to other founders, because they have their ears open and can pass on information they might not need or valuable lessons, always keep a door open and don’t where your negative emotions on your sleeve because you never know when you will meet people again, be able to back statements up with facts (investors want to know you are thinking about them) and treat every person you meet with equal respect. They might turn out to be rotten but at least you don’t offend the good ones who will see you for who you truly are: a respectable person.



Sharing is caring so please share this post. Thank you!