What is your New Year’s resolution for 2020? Does it involve a change in diet, exercise, or your wellness regimen? Perhaps it’s to create that regimen if you haven’t already, and that’s okay – making positive change to and for ourselves can be frightening, but it can also be an exciting way to reconnect with other people, as well as your own mind and body.
In fact, some might argue that connecting with yourself is the first step in finding the best way to connect to others. Just ask Siwat Siengsanaoh, co-founder of Recoup an all-natural, ginger-based wellness beverage company designed to boost your immune system and assist with post-work out recovery.
As a young child, Siwat had limited chances for connection due to health issues. He spent the first three years of his life in a hospital and underwent ten major surgeries – one of them being open-heart surgery – before he was twelve years old. Siwat’s mother would make him homemade ginger-based concoctions, each with at least two teaspoons of ginger, to help aid Siwat’s nausea, digestion, inflammation, and overall recovery from his surgeries. Because of this, Siwat obtained an early interest in health and wellness, and used this interest to fuel a lifelong passion in helping others.
After graduating from Drew University, Siwat attended graduate school at Columbia University where he studied Applied Physiology. In a poetic twist, Siwat’s first summer internship as a graduate student took place in the same hospital where he spent the first three years of his own life, helping children with heart and lung disease, and even working alongside some of the very same doctors who had cared for him as a sick child. Siwat would go on to spend the better part of nearly two decades working in hospitals and helping others before going on to obtain his MBA degree from Cornell University.
Between Siwat’s childhood illness, his mother’s homemade ginger-based recipes, a passion to help others and the background that gives him the capability to do so, Siwat was able to fuel these ingredients into the inspiration for what would one day become Recoup.
“I was always inquisitive and I liked the idea of starting things,” says Siwat. “When I was in college I wanted to take my ideas and turn them into something tangible,” and building tangible businesses out of his ideas is exactly what Siwat did. Recoup is far from Siwat’s first entrepreneurial venture. Prior to starting Recoup, Siwat saw previous success in his online magazine Creative Spaces that connected interior designers with real estate brokers in New York City. He also helped found Toyl, which later evolved into the mobile app Rippleffekt, an early social media competitor app to Facebook, as well as Catalysts which he intended to become a “soft-skill” version of Kumon, the Japanese-based mathematics learning academy.
The interesting connection between Siwat, his medical history, and all of his ventures is that of helping others. Just as Siwat received help from his mother and family as a young child in and out of surgeries, his colleagues assisted him with his ventures as a young businessman, and Siwat is now able to use his passion for connecting with others to help others, as well. Even his own Recoup co-founder.
Siwat was introduced to his Recoup co-founder, Susan Buckwalter, through a mutual friend. Susan also has her MBA from Cornell University and built her career managing mission-driven and natural products from iconic brands including Dove, Dove Men+Care, Campbell’s and eos. As an avid athlete and fitness enthusiast with a background in brand innovation, Susan knew that Siwat’s ginger-based concoctions, which were based on his mother’s own recipes, had the ability to assist in muscle recovery through their anti-inflammatory effects. She also highly preferred the taste of them compared to the overly-processed and sugar-infused “fitness” drinks on the market.
Susan saw the opportunity to develop an all-natural “hydration + health” drink that met the needs of wellness-minded individuals.
“Right after a yoga class or a surf session is when I feel most connected to my body.” Says Susan” I wanted to create a drink that would be restorative in that moment and feel like an extension of my workout. Recoup replenishes with good-for-you, natural ingredients, not the artificial dyes and processed sugar found in many sports drinks.”
With Siwat’s recipes, Susan’s background, and their combined entrepreneurial spirit, the two founded Recoup and began distributing the bottled beverages in New York City.
When asked about the secret of his success, Siwat will be the first to say that he has found his passion in helping others. With the help of his co-founder, Siwat is able to channel that passion into a truly innovative product that does what he loves: helping others feel better.
Together, Susan and Siwat have been able to grow Recoup’s brand from out of the back of an old delivery truck, into stores and shelves in New York City, and into homes throughout the United States. In seeing such rapid growth in only, roughly, a year’s time, however, it seems likely able to attribute Recoup’s success to the three core philosophies on which the company was founded: be balanced, be real, and be connected – values exemplified through the company’s co-founders, as well as its beverages.
“Recoup started with the mission to help people feel better,” says Siwat, “we realized that everybody could use a little bit of recovery, whether it was from a health issue, a hard workout, or a hard day.”