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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Lindsay Etemadiour, CEO, Founder at Symbi

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Lindsay Etemadiour: I grew up grappling with a range of autoimmune diseases and chronic conditions with no real hope for healing. I had countless doctor visits, hospital stints, and a range of prescriptions and medications that did not give me the relief or healing I so desperately needed. I spent the first 20 years of my life believing that I would live a very limited life for the rest of my life. Until one day I got so mad after a doctors appointment that I decided that I was not giving up the way they wanted me to. 

This experience propelled me to diligently pursue alternative modalities and discover the power of herbalism. My dad had previously introduced me to herbalism when he used traditional Chinese medicine to heal a liver issue that Western medicine could not address, so I started with what he learned and went from there. 

When I was in my early twenties, I decided to take my health into my own hands. I studied the benefits of herbs as a form of healing and began to create blends that benefit the mind, body, and soul. I quickly learned how powerful herbalism was when paired with a healthy lifestyle. I knew I could not keep this to myself. So years later, in 2021, Symbi was born — a brand offering ancient tea remedies for modern ailments. It is 100% organic, with no fillers, sweeteners, or additives — just as nature intended.

Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Symbi?

Lindsay Etemadiour: Symbi retails a diverse selection of herbal tea blends, tinctures, and accessories, complemented by an extensive educational resource hub featuring insightful blog content. Symbi aims to empower consumers with a deeper understanding of the benefits of herbal remedies, because herbal remedies are real remedies.

Great Companies: What makes Symbi different from hundreds of other similar service providers?

Lindsay Etemadiour: Unlike most herbal tea companies on the market, we offer organic, loose-leaf, wellness-focused blends. When I started Symbi, providing customers with the highest quality teas was incredibly important. I used herbs to help heal my body and quickly learned that there is a stark difference between the crushed herbs in grocery store tea bags and high-quality loose-leaf teas. I also learned how most of the teabags and herbs used in grocery stores contain pesticide residues, natural flavors, artificial flavors, GMOs, or plastic/petroleum-based chemicals. It's part of the reason I started Symbi, I couldn't refer people to a tea company I trusted enough, so I created one. 

Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?

Lindsay Etemadiour: The most challenging part of running a business has been the problems that arise with scaling it. You go from four figures to five to six to seven, etc. Each stage comes with different problems, from operations to customer support to general bandwidth with sourcing. I worked for a few startups before starting Symbi and saw too many scale too quickly. We are a bootstrapped company, so we've scaled at a steady pace, which I believe has helped us approach problems without crazy urgency. 


Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Symbi?

Lindsay Etemadiour: Good question. I take things as they come. If nothing changes, I'd be content, but I would love to be a household name by then. 

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Lindsay Etemadiour: Make sure you are incredibly passionate about the why behind what you are doing! Once you start a business, you will be inundated with a million and one things to do each day. You can easily become detached from the day-to-day but stay focused. I still go through our customer emails 1x a week to stay connected with our customers. 

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