The food industry is constantly evolving. For Mike Konefal, founder of RisingHy, creating his unique brand of hot sauce began during college. As a young entrepreneur, Konefal has a unique insight on running a business at a young age. We had the opportunity to sit down with Mike and hear about what makes his business unique and tips on succeeding.
Why did you start your business?
RisngHy began when I was a student at Northern Arizona University after a friend purchased me a “make you own hot sauce kit” essentially 3 empty bottle ans some seasons. Habanero Hot sauce was born after many experiments on roommates and neighbors. 2005 we formed the business and started slowly.
What advice would you give for people that might want to give up on their dreams or feeling discouraged?
Never give up on your dreams, expect to stumble and even face plant at times but get up and get it going again. Nobody will believe in you the way that you must to succeed. Always be “RisingHy above the competition”
Tell us about your product line and what makes it unique?
RisingHy products are made of all natural ingredients to enhance eating experiences. All of our sauces and spices are designed to be used before during and after cooking to add a wonderful flavor with spice. We have 2 types of Vinegar free hot sauces, Habanero Hot Sauce and GreenGo sauce. The habanero hot is a roasted habanero and tomato based sauce and the GreenGo is a roasted jalapeno, tomatillo and fresh lime juice. RisingHy Honey Mustard is a local blend of Honey, Mustard and spice to add to every dish on the BBQ or in the oven or a fantastic replacement for traditional uses of Mayonnaise. Habanero Olive oil is an extra-virgin olive oil infused with habanero and garlic. It can be cook with, used a finishing oil, drizzle on salads..anything that you would use oil for with some spice and flavor. Devil Salt is 100% Kosher salt that is naturally infused with Fresh citrus, habaneros and garlic. a amazing bar salt or designed to eliminate everyday uses of salt and pepper. We are not your typical hot sauce company we are a specialty sauce company to help the consumers have better food options.
How important is living a healthy lifestyle and how do you believe your business achieves this?
Spicy food has been proven to help with a healthy lifestyle. Capsacian released in spicy peppers has been proven to reduce stress, release endorphin's in the brain, increase insulin activity in diabetes, lower blood pressure, and help with inflammation. RisngHy is offering low calorie, low sugar, low salt options to make better food choices for thousands of food options. RisingHy is also backing some up and coming Motocross Riders, Skiers and those that pursue active lifestyles. The releases of endorphins is also much better way to add a jump start to your life instead of sugary caffeinated drinks that we are feeding ourselves these days.
Tell us about starting your business in college and how were you able to fund it?
Starting a business in college is hard and takes some serious work to make run. I worked at night serving tables and used my days to grow the business. I funded it by taking all of the money that I made at night and put it into the business.
How do you think starting your business in your dorm room helped your business?
I think that having people around you that will be brutally honest always helps to push you higher. I have to thank my brother as well who helped and continues to help make RisingHy the brand with the amazing flavors that it has today.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners in college?
Never give up. If you find something that you love to do, go for it. People will always tell you that you are crazy but you have to be a little “crazy” to be an entrepreneur. It is very easy for people to follow the lemmings and settle for jobs, go after something that you are passionate about.