Every entrepreneur has a story to tell, but few can match the rags to riches narrative embodied by Summer Shine, owner and Head Juice Slinger at Luna Juice Bar.
Shine’s entrepreneurial journey began after abandoning a lifestyle of drugs and addiction – one that followed an intense pattern of extremes.
“I was either eating well, taking care of myself and juicing every day or I was smoking crack in East Waco. There was no in between for me,” explains Shine.
When Shine made the life altering decision to get clean, she relied on her passion for healthy eating and a drive to create something from nothing – proving to her son and herself that she had something of value to give.
“Food is a huge part of recovery for me. It’s always been a big part of my life.” Shine said. “I was living a healthy lifestyle and wanted to create a business.”
That desire drove her open her first pop-up shop selling “green juice” at the farmer’s market in Belton. With a cooler full of ice, a gallon of green juice in each hand and a sleeve of styrofoam cups, Shine took the first steps toward building a business.
“I had a dream and a juicer – and I made it work.” said Shine.
From there, Shine took profits made weekly from the farmer’s market and continued to expand, purchasing necessities such as a table and tent. Her baby steps eventually led to bigger and bigger leaps. After receiving a $15,000 loan from Perpetual Health Home and investment from her friends in the community, Luna Juice Bar was born.
Shine and her truck were the first to be recruited by Magnolia’s own Joanna Gaines, and landed a spot on the market grounds where it still resides today. She explained how Gaines took a chance on her business, which catapulted her success and ultimately gave her the opportunity to open a storefront.
Gathering the courage to take a chance proves a recurring theme that surfaces frequently throughout Shine’s story. And just as others took a chance on her, she returns the favor and instills hope in others. 30 percent of Luna Juice’s staff are on their own recovery journey, and Shine proudly provides a safe environment and the needed encouragement to transform their lives.
As a living success story, Shine eagerly encourages others to dig down, and find the courage needed to take that first leap of faith. She advises that everyone involved with a startup, both the entrepreneur and the investor, take a risk.
“What’s the worst that could happen?” Shine asked. “You could fail! It’s only money. It’s only juice. But the potential positive impact you could have far outweighs that risk.”