Janine Allis

Interview with star of Shark Tank Australia & Founder of Boost Juice, Janine Allis

Hey Janine! Really excited to have this opportunity to get an insight into your life for our readers. You’ve had quite a journey! Firstly, how does one get a gig as David Bowie’s barmaid?? 

By pure luck. I found myself broke and in the south of France as a 21 year old and 6 weeks after I got the job, David Bowie bought it.  So I had a ball for the next two years hanging out with movie stars and rock stars… maybe ‘hanging out’ was a not quite correct more serving them drinks and cleaning their loos.

Throughout your 20s, I’ve read you travelled extensively, but also, worked quite a few jobs, including a role as a nanny, selling timeshare properties, and even as a camp counsellor. So you loved travelling and trying new things, is that still a big passion in your life?

Travel will always be in my blood, I love seeing new things and having new experiences.  But the best thing about travel is the people you meet.

Has Boost Juice and your other businesses given you more ability to enjoy these adventures or tied up your time more?

Both. In some respects, I have been to countries that I would never have been to if it was not for Boost Juice, for example Estonia and Chile. In other ways, being busy means that you have less time to enjoy the location, and often when you go to places for work you see more of the inside of the hotel room than the actual country.

So you came home from a trip to the USA and started Boost.  I read that you started with a blank piece of paper and wrote a plan. What did that look like? 

In fairness it looked very basic, as I was just learning about business.  But it had the essence and the passion for what I wanted to achieve and what I have learnt in business is that these are some of the most important things you need.

The Accidental Entrepreneur: The Juicy Bits

Why do you think the brand took off? 

I think because I am truly passionate about my customers and creating a product that is different to what is in the market place, and I was prepared to do what it takes. That takes sacrifice and not everyone is prepared to do things like sell their family home, not take a salary for three years and work 100 hours a week.

What have you tried at Boost along the way that hasn’t worked out? 

We tried creating a salad bar called Tossers.  For many reasons it did not take off.

How did Shark Tank come about for you? 

I believe in the power of Yes. Yes can be quite scary as it forces you out of the comfort of the status quo.  But when I was asked to do Shark Tank it was an obvious yes, as I was put in a privileged position to be able to see these young businesses and the passionate people behind them. I am very grateful and I have met so many great people as a result.

If you were giving advice to someone about to pitch on Shark Tank, what quick advice would you give them?

Always be yourself, no one knows the business like you do.

Can you tell us about a handful of businesses you are now involved in directly from them appearing in Shark Tank?

First of all I am enjoying being part of young businesses again and the people who are passionate about their products and services, not all businesses have been successful that I have invested in, but at the end of the day that is business. 

How do you manage your work so you still enjoy time with your kids, your husband, your girlfriends? 

This is a hard one to get right and you have to have disciplined to do so.  It was harder at the beginning as the business needed my full attention to be successful, however fortunately the business is now at a stage where I can hire people who are smarter than me (as when you are starting, YOU are the jack of all trades) so to be able to get experts in their field is a dream and it allows me to have balance.

What’s your favourite way to unwind? 

Sand between my toes walking along the beach.  I am happiest if I can see the ocean. 

Where’s your next holiday?

One place that has been in my list for years is Japan and so I am finally going this year with my family, which I am very excited to see this very unique place.

Janine stars on Shark Tank, Tuesday’s at 8.45pm on Network Ten

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