ryan fortwendel & minna

ryan fortwendel & minna

From Fashion to Crafting Sparkling Tea

we're creating space for the brains behind the brands we love, and asking good questions along the way. the result is a deep dive into the how and why of brand-building, from blueprints to launch day, customers as community and the detours in between. big lessons, easy listening.

In this episode of Read Receipt, we are excited to welcome Ryan Fortwendel, founder and CEO of Minna. Ryan's journey from the fashion industry to creating a health-focused, sustainable beverage brand is nothing short of inspiring. After a successful career at Marc Jacobs, Ryan sought a new challenge that combined his passion for health and wellness with his love for delicious beverages. Minna, a brand of lightly brewed sparkling teas, was born out of this vision. With a commitment to transparency, quality ingredients, and giving back to the community, Minna has quickly become a favorite among health-conscious consumers. Join us as Ryan shares the story behind Minna, the challenges of launching a beverage brand, and his vision for the future.

Tune in to discover Ryan's entrepreneurial journey, the inspiration behind Minna, and what's next for this innovative brand.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation!

the Show Notes


Ryan Fortwendel, founder and CEO of Minna, shares his inspiring journey from the fashion industry to creating a health-focused, sustainable beverage brand. Minna offers lightly brewed sparkling teas made with quality ingredients and a commitment to transparency. Ryan discusses the evolution of Minna, the importance of sustainable practices, and the challenges of building a brand in the crowded beverage market. The conversation explores his entrepreneurial experiences, the development of Minna's products, and his vision for the future.


sparkling tea, entrepreneurship, brand building, sustainable beverages, Minna, Ryan Fortwendel


  1. Ryan Fortwendel’s journey from fashion to founding Minna is driven by a passion for health, wellness, and sustainable beverages.
  2. Minna focuses on creating high-quality, lightly brewed sparkling teas that promote overall well-being and enhance the beverage market.
  3. Building a brand involves understanding market needs, listening to customer feedback, and maintaining a clear vision.
  4. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges, but also opportunities for brands like Minna to adapt and thrive.
  5. Ryan’s dedication to sustainability and quality ingredients drives the success of Minna.

Sound Bites:

  • "Minna started as a way to create sparkling tea that combines health, flavor, and sustainability."
  • "Our goal is to provide high-quality, lightly brewed teas that people can trust and enjoy."
  • "Building a brand requires understanding market needs and staying true to your vision."
  • "The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of adaptability and innovation in business."
  • "Minna is about providing delicious, sustainable beverage solutions that people can trust and feel confident using."


00:00 - Ryan’s Background and Journey-
Ryan introduces himself and shares his journey from the fashion industry to founding Minna.

08:01 - The Inspiration Behind Minna-
Ryan discusses the personal and professional experiences that inspired him to create Minna and the early days of the brand.

12:30 - Transitioning from Fashion to Beverage Entrepreneurship-
Ryan explains his transition from working in fashion to starting a sparkling tea brand and the lessons learned.

23:17 - The Importance of Quality Ingredients and Sustainability-
The conversation delves into how Minna emphasizes quality ingredients and sustainable practices in its products.

25:30 - Challenges and Opportunities During the Pandemic-
Ryan talks about the challenges of pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic and the opportunities it presented.

27:26 - Commitment to Quality and Innovation-
Ryan highlights Minna’s dedication to creating high-quality, sustainable beverage products.

31:23 - Building a Strong Brand Identity-
The discussion explores the importance of a strong brand identity and connecting with consumers authentically.

36:02 - The Vision for Minna-
Ryan shares his vision for the future of Minna and his goals for the brand.

47:37 - Patience and Persistence in Entrepreneurship-
Ryan emphasizes the need for patience and persistence in achieving long-term success.

51:43 - Final Thoughts and Insights-
Ryan wraps up the conversation with final thoughts and valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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