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Founders Journey

Dare to Dream: Embrace Imperfection and Seize the Moment

It was all for her. And now it's all for them. We hope our two children know we dared to dream because of their existence. It took almost 4 years to get here, but we finally made it.

This isn’t a conventional business post because we’re not a traditional company. We are an authentic family-owned enterprise grappling with genuine challenges, similar to those you may encounter. This is a unique opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look into the personal story behind our motivation. I could discuss the uniqueness of our business endlessly, but today, I'd like to pause and reminisce on our "why."

I never imagined I would begin a professional intro by referencing parenthood, but life has a funny way of surprising us. Becoming parents was a turning point that shaped our perspectives and ignited our drive for change. It's important for me to start here because finding our purpose became paramount as we embarked on this journey.

During a difficult struggle with what we presumed would be an unconventional path to parenthood through adoption, we were shocked when we found out after several years of challenges that we were expecting a baby. The birth of our daughter shifted our outlook on life. We did some soul-searching. We wanted more for her and ourselves. Our twenties had been consumed by our businesses, leaving little room for our emotional and mental well-being. Success as young entrepreneurs had its perks, but it left us struggling in other areas. We realized that pursuing dreams isn't always fulfilling when you sacrifice what truly matters. This realization altered the trajectory of our lives.

We resurrected an old dream from our adolescence – visiting all 50 states – and embarked on the most epic 50 state road trip adventure with our daughter and dog in a 24-foot RV. We asked ourselves, "If not now, when?"

During the trip, we discussed Ryan's new idea on how to connect the spirits industry and crypto community- two industries where he held expertise. We would stay up at night talking about how we could turn this new dream into a reality. Despite lingering self-doubt about stepping outside our comfort zone again, we were excited to try.

We officially launched DEFI Spirits in February 2020, feeling on top of the world.

But then the pandemic struck, altering our plans and disrupting life for everyone. During those moments of self-doubt and isolation at home, I experienced crippling regret that we just launched a company at the worst possible time in history.

However, Ryan said something profound that struck me deeply: "Instead of succumbing to the uncertainty, we should channel the courage to use this time sheltering-in-place to dream of a better future. We can’t control the world, but we can control our next move." Starting DEFI wasn't just about us or our daughter; it was about envisioning the world we hoped she would grow up in. This question had the power to transform not only our lives but also the lives of future generations.

We spent almost a year in the design and development phase. Then we experienced factory shutdowns, global glass shortages and supply chain disasters. Our bottles finally reached the production line after almost two years, only to be delayed once more due to another COVID outbreak. Ports were chaos, ships were in disarray, logistics were unprecedented, but we made it through, trying our best to laugh at each high and low.

We channeled positive energy and reminded ourselves we had willingly jumped into a ring of fire that we had no control over. We would shrug after each setback and then get back to devising a new plan. In June of 2021 we had just returned from the Bitcoin 2021 Conference in Miami and we felt the culmination of all of our efforts coming to center stage. It felt delicious.

As we eagerly awaited the arrival of our prototype glass later that month, we found ourselves at the pinnacle of excitement, gearing up for our bottling party and business launch. However, an unexpected turn of events shook us to our core. Our previously healthy daughter fell critically ill. We entered through Stanford Children’s pediatric ER without a cell phone charger or change of clothes, unknowing we would not leave that night, and the foreseeable future would be spent in and out of those walls and doctors offices. The experience humbled us to our knees and become a profound lesson in humility. We had invested everything into our new business, and it was all hanging in the balance.

Despite the immense pressure, we made the unwavering decision to prioritize our daughter's well-being, setting aside everything we had painstakingly worked on. While hindsight might suggest alternative approaches, I will never regret the choices we made during those challenging and unimaginable moments.

Someone recently asked why we started DEFI and I laughed. Tricky question. Lots of reasons. This thought has been on my mind lately as we’ve neared our launch: the importance of daring to dream, even when the timing is far from perfect, and the path appears less than ideal.

Life has a peculiar way of throwing obstacles in our pursuit of dreams. It often whispers that the time isn't right or that conditions must be flawless for us to chase new aspirations. The last several years have helped me realize that these are merely illusions- illusions that can keep us from embracing our true potential.

As we’ve grown our team to people from around the world, our mission has become clear: standing up for our beliefs and questioning the status quo. Today, as we officially released our business into the world, we hope it embodies the culmination of our efforts to raise a new generation that values innovation, empathy, and altruism.

Dreams are not bound by the constraints of time or perfection. They thrive in the face of adversity and uncertainty. They challenge us to be resilient, resourceful, and adaptable. They ask us to take that daring step, even when the stars don't seem aligned.

The truth is, perfection rarely exists. Waiting for the "perfect" moment might mean waiting forever. Life is unpredictable, and the only moment we truly have is now. So, why not seize it? Why not dare to dream with all the imperfections and uncertainties?

Chasing a dream is not about guaranteeing your success; it's about embracing the journey, learning from setbacks, and growing in the process. It's about realizing that the pursuit itself is a testament to our courage and determination.

So, friends, I encourage you to take that leap of faith, regardless of the timing or circumstances. Embrace imperfection because that is when we find our most profound moments of growth and fulfillment.

DEFI was designed with the hope to encourage others to dare to dream bigger even when the world insists it's not the right time. Trust in your resilience, and remember that the journey itself is a reward worth cherishing. We ask ourselves and others, "If not now, when?" Wishing you the courage to pursue your dreams, no matter when or how imperfect they may seem.

Personally, we just think it’s more enjoyable with a drink in your hand.

Cheers to the dreamers. Let's go.

Jenna Woods


DEFI Spirits


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