I Almost Tanked My Business.. And how it’s made me even more excited… | by Kaitlin at Trashy | Apr, 2024

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Last year nearly destroyed me — and almost took my business, Pulp Pantry, with it. There’s no sugarcoating the fact that, despite a journey marked by both dizzying highs and crushing lows, I stood on the brink of closing the doors for good.

I’ve spent years pouring everything into a dream that seemed to slip through my fingers just as it was taking shape. With the expansion into 600 retail doors and burgeoning national distribution deals with two of our industry’s biggest natural food distributors, you’d think we were on the cusp of something great. In 2023, we had become the fastest growing brand in our category per SPINS 52-week data.

Instead, the reality was a plunge from over $1 million in revenue in 2022 to less than half that in 2023, despite outward signs of growth.

Between the relentless distributor deductions, shrinking margins, and the barrage of marketing, promotional, and placement fees, my company bled cash faster than I could raise it. The stark truth emerged: this growth model was unsustainable and unprofitable. The question wasn’t just about how to stop the bleeding but whether I had the energy or inspiration left to steer the ship away from the iceberg.

I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel — I just needed to find my spark again. That’s where I find myself, leading a complete (very scrappy) overhaul focusing on profitability and authentic engagement over sheer expansion.

When I say scrappy — I mean scrappy.

Design was completed with a friend of the friend in the music industry — and the help of our VC’s growth marketing team.

Our website was done by Lindsay Weller (shout out to you) for under $400 using a Shopify template. We had about 45 days from start to finish — as we neared inventory running dry on the Pulp Pantry line.

If you’re a founder going through the same thing — it’s entirely possible!! Don’t let money (or the perceived lack of it) hold you back from bringing your vision to life.

It took some soul searching, collaboration and hard work to pull Trashy out of us — our new brand direction.

Ultimately, what gave me most conviction was the excitement around emboldening our mission with a brazen and bold voice and positioning, and the connective cultural name Trashy, which taps into the momentum for upcycling across industries — unrestricted to the food industry.

Food waste is a $218 BILLION economic loss, representing 1.3% of GDP. On the flip side, NINE in ten Americans don’t eat their servings of fruits, vegetables, or fiber. Yet 94% of us eat salty snacks weekly!

Chips present a massive opportunity to create change, in one of the most ubiquitously consumed categories in our households.

This transformation isn’t just about survival. It’s a chance to redefine what success looks like and to build a future that aligns with our deepest convictions. It’s about returning to my roots as a founder, and finding our brand’s voice and place in what is a highly competitive industry. As someone passionate about environmental science, climate change, and sustainable food systems, I realized how disconnected I felt from my initial motivations. The business had to reflect not only market demands but also the values that drew me to this industry.

Our Trashy rebrand is a declaration that we’re here to shake up the industry with a voice that’s unmistakably ours.

Beyond the name change, and the positioning change, this chapter also represents a much broader sales strategy and business model transition — focusing on channels where we can throttle growth and better manage cash flow to build a sustainable, profitable long-term business. The burn and churn of retail just wasn’t working for us. We look forward to re-entering retail when the timing is right — with partners we can grow alongside.

To everyone who has stood by me through this rollercoaster, your support has been my anchor.

As we gear up for this new chapter, we’re not just asking for customers — we’re inviting you to join us.

Starting a business is an act of courage, a testament to human resilience, creativity and the relentless pursuit of passion.

And while the sacrifices have been many, the rewards — connecting deeply with our purpose and uncovering our true potential — are immeasurable.

Thank you for sticking with us.

If our story resonates with you, consider placing a pre-order to support our first production run via or invest in our journey through equity investment at

We can’t wait to soar to new heights — together.

See you on the other side!!!


Founder, Trashy

We are ‘testing the waters’ to gauge investor interest in an offering under Regulation Crowdfunding. No money or other consideration is being solicited. If sent, it will not be accepted. No offer to buy securities will be accepted. No part of the purchase price will be received until a Form C is filed and only through Wefunder’s platform. Any indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.

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