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Co-Founders TJ Ferrera and Sean Lake(on the right)

How This Entrepreneur is Giving Back to Charity Through Collagen Peptides


BUBS Naturals is a pasture raised, grass-fed collagen peptides. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, right? But naturally, with age, the body’s production of collagen slows down. Collagen’s essential benefit is promoting health and healing from the inside out. Scientifically speaking, the amino acid glycine found in collagen supports detoxification and metabolic functions.

Looping in the backstory. Glen ‘BUB’ Doherty was the oldest and closest friend of BUBS Co-Founder, Sean Lake. Glen was one of the Navy SEALS who was killed after hours of fighting heavily armed terrorists in Benghazi, Libya, in September of 2012.  He was an adventure seeker, a river guide, skier, Ironman competitor, fitness fanatic, chef, gardener, handyman, and epic storyteller. BUB was a national hero. Because of who Glen was and what he did for his country, the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation was created to honor Glens memory and help Special Operations soldiers transition to civilian life primarily through scholarships. 10% of every sale of every item from  BUBS  Naturals goes directly to charity. And you better believe on Veterans Day, they donate 100% of their proceeds. We had a chance to interview Sean Lake, CEO/Co-Founder of BUBS Naturals, and asked about his story, how he started his business and the future of BUBS Naturals.


Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?.

Well, a few bullet points on history helps to frame up the BUBS story.

Backstory on BUBS:

  •    Glen ‘BUB’ Doherty was my oldest and closest friend.
  •    He was a long time San Diego resident and Navy SEAL.
  •    He was2012 San Diego UT ‘person of the year’ alongside Ty Woods for their bravery in the Benghazi Libya terrorist attacks.   Glen was one of 4 Americans killed in Benghazi Libya on 9/11 – 9/12/2012.
  •    Glen’s family and I started theGlen Doherty Memorial Foundation to honor Glens memory and help Special Operations soldiers transition to civilian life primarily through scholarships.
  •    Glen and I used to talk about the ‘fountain of youth’ and how to keep exercising and getting after it like we were in our 20’s….when we were turning 40!

BUBS was started after a confluence of events in 2017.  First, I had the unique experience of doing a podcast with Evan and JT, the founders of Black Rifle Coffee company about the charity world.  In it we talked about some of the problems facing the charity space and how to ‘institutionalize’ giving.  As I sit on the board of directors of the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation charitable giving is a common topic for us.  Little did I know that that early talk with the Black Rifle guys would become one of a few sparks for BUBS.


Second, my wife introduced me to collagen peptides as a way to recover from all the exercise we do (running, surfing, and of course the cult of CrossFit), and as a tool with pursuing ’the fountain of youth’ as it helps with joints, gut health, hair, skin, and nails to name a few benefits (‘you’re not getting any younger’ she said).  Side note, Glen and I as two guys in our 40’s often talked about the ‘Fountain of Youth’ and how to keep young physically through plenty of exercise and recreation (mentally we were always teenagers).


Third, my future business partner TJ stopped by and saw the collagen on the counter.  TJ remarked on the effectiveness of collagen from his experience and that it was a growing category in the health and wellness industry.  That sparked a napkin math conversation around starting a company and our mutual commitment to ‘paying it forward’.   As I mentioned above, I have watched a small charity struggle with the cycle of charitable giving and fundraising and how business could do more to give back to different causes.  Separately, TJ had aspirations to join the Navy and had those dreams cut short due to a car accident.  Since he couldn’t serve he’s always wanted to help that community.


We agreed that charitable giving had to be a foundation of BUBS.  That mantra lead to our 10% rule, giving 10% of EVERY sale of all products to charity.  We did research on the best in class certified ‘B’ corps like Patagonia and other charitable companies like Toms Shoes and figured we could blow their model out of the water.  Ditto for the supplement space.   We are doing what no other company in the supplement/health wellness space is doing by dedicating this much of our bottom line to helping others.


Well, what better way to start on that than with the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation.  As Glens call sign was BUB, the company really named itself.  We ran the numbers and figured out that we could in fact give 10% of every sale to charity, we would just have to run a tight ship.  This fact scratches a bunch of itches.  It’s a tribute to a great hero and my closest friend.  It stands for self-improvement.  It stands for helping others.  BUBS isn’t about getting rich, it’s about living a rich life.


How did you come up with your business name?  

Glen’s call sign in the Navy was BUB so the company really named itself.


Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?  

All natural supplements.  That’s what we stand behind.  We launched with Collagen Protein as the foundation of the brand as it is a single source ingredient (bovine hide collagen) that we believe is ‘the Fountain of Youth’.  We see some logical brand extensions from the base of collagen, but you’ll have to wait and see.   We help customers (clients) by supplementing the collagen protein in the body.  Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. But naturally, with age, the body’s production of collagen slows down. Collagen’s essential benefit is promoting connective tissue health from the inside out. The proteins and amino acids in BUBS collagen help strengthen and promote increased elasticity and skin smoothness while supporting healthy hair and nails. Clinical studies show that collagen is critical to the support and reconstruction of joints (cartilage / synovial fluids) and is indispensable if used as a recovery tool in regenerating muscles after exercise.


What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?  

FEEL GREAT.  DO GOOD.   Our products promote feeling great.   Everything we make is designed to improve your health. Self-improvement was a mantra to Glen (BUB) and is a foundation to all we stand for.  Doing Good stands next to Feeling Great.  That is where our 10% rule to charity comes in.   No one in the supplement space (or well beyond) is giving 10% of every sale to charity.  Helping others was something Glen did as a matter of course in his daily life, we want to share that with everyone we connect with.


Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?   

We see ourselves being able to help the causes that are near and dear to us.  By expanding our offering and scaling up we’ll be able to help others on a bigger scale.


Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?   

Get ready to get punched square in the face. There are no handouts and you have to believe 100% in what you’re doing.   That sounds a bit cliché, but by believing in your ‘why’ and what you stand for you will stay true to yourself and stay the course.


What is your favorite business quote and why?  

It’s not a business quote per say, but it’s something Glen taught me years ago that I’ve kept with me.  Its handy to reflect back on and shore yourself up when in need.  It’s from a Theodore Roosevelt speech.   “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. “


What have been some of your achievements that you are most proud of? Why?  

We are just 4 months in business and have accrued our first scholarship for the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation through sales.  That’s pretty exciting for us!  Second to that we’ve been accepted into the Amazon Launchpad program for Entrepreneurs.


Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?   

Well, for us this has been a very unexpected journey.  And it’s one we wouldn’t trade for the world.   It’s been a wild ride so far and we’re only a few months in.   We know there’s a ton we don’t know….so it’s not that I want to tell the readers much, I’m ready to listen and ask the questions!

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