The package, a package I was anticipating like crazy all week, arrived in a rather unassuming way: a plain white envelope with my name on it.
Yet the contents inside were anything but ordinary.
I quickly opened the package and out dropped a hand-signed letter from the CEO and two unmarked packets.
I was ready to break my barriers. Become invincible.
As I read the letter, though, I soon realized my experiment would have to wait. I had already consumed a massive amount of caffeine that day and caffeine would not compliment what I was about to try.
So I waited two more days, for a Saturday when caffeine could be postponed, before pouring myself a glass of cold water, opening a packet and shaking its contents into the cup.
The water slowly became a light brown color and a scent that mimicked Kool-Aid from back in the day invaded my nostrils.
I stirred the contents together a little and hesitated before taking a sip.
Was I really doing this? Yes, sir.
It tasted good. I was still standing. A light and smooth and drinkable and fruit punch flavor started to take shape.
About ten minutes later I finished the entire drink.
And I loved it.
Now I don’t dabble in a lot of beverages outside of coffee, tea, beer and wine, but this tasted great.
Then the good stuff kicked in.
Maybe 20 minutes later I definitely noticed a calming feeling, like I was relaxed, a little more worry-free.
Could it have been the placebo effect, since I knew what it was supposed to do? Perhaps, but it was noticeable enough it felt natural.
That day I had a road trip bouncing around in my mind and I was debating not going. However, after sipping my beverage I decided to go and had an amazing time.
What did I chant the whole way to my destination? Wingman! Wingman! Wingman!
First encounter with Wingman
A few weeks ago, I visited the Web site for Start Garden’s 5 x 5 Night, a local competition that awards $5,000 to the best business idea pitch. The winner is determined by a team of judges, but to become one of the five presenters that night you must be voted in by the general public.
Wingman, a life enhancement drink created by Suttons Bay-based Ryan Schaub, was entered into the contest and featured prominently on the site, mainly because it attracted a high number of page views, 5,792 views as of April 1. Most of the other ideas gathered hundreds.
Surprisingly, Wingman didn’t make the cut for the March 5 x 5 night.
So I decided to reach out to Schaub, a 2016 high school graduate, to find out why and how he made Wingman, a product designed to address a major problem many men face: talking to women.
“Our generation is lacking in social skills due to the advancements in technology and we have lost touch with reality and cannot speak in the real world as effectively,” he wrote for his 5 x 5 Night entry page. “Men of all ages will love the way Wingman calms their fears and anxieties when approaching women.”
Now in my stage of life, approaching women isn’t necessary, but I was interested in the calming fears and anxieties part, which anyone can relate with in some aspects.
I am an ideas guy and think this idea has potential, especially if the brand is developed. Because Wingman is technical I thought Schaub should explain it in his own words. Oh and I am not sharing my second sample so grab a can when you can!
1. Describe the moment or moments that led to Wingman’s creation. And why now?
Funny enough, I first came up Wingman while riding in my friend’s Jeep as we were on our way to go meet up with some girls. I was feeling anxiety over it, something that was not uncommon for me when it came to talking to women. I then wondered if there was any product that helped with calming anxiety, improving confidence, and overall make me feel comfortable in any situation.
After searching relentlessly, I found nothing, and decided to make it myself. That was when I realized that I couldn’t be the only one with confidence problems and after testing out my product I realized that the possibilities of Wingman were greater than I ever imagined.
Having just graduated high school this past year, right now was the best time for me to start a business. I can look at that as luck or destiny, but I just focus on the fact that the best time for anything is now. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
2. How is it produced? How exactly does it improve confidence and reduce anxiety?
Wingman is produced in a certified commercial kitchen, Center City Kitchen. I take great pride in making the highest quality product so great care is put into the whole process, from base ingredients all the way until the customer drinks Wingman. We follow all regulations laid out to us to insure quality and safety in our products, we are not stirring ingredients into our bath tub and just canning it.
With all of the health conscious products and ways of healthy living, almost everybody is forgetting about one of our most important body parts, our brain. There are many chemicals flowing through our brain every second, but there is one chemical which is very important that is often neglected, serotonin. Serotonin has many functions in the body, but the most prevelant function is that serotonin regulates mood levels. If serotonin in the body is too low, the brain responds with increased anxiety, less focus, and overall feeling of sadness and despair.
One of the current believed causes of depression is low serotonin levels. It is very important for our bodies. Wingman has been shown to help fix this by using a special blend of natural herbal ingredients that work with your body to increase serotonin output in the body. Therefore leaving the user with a happier demeanor and lowered anxiety. If one is happy, it is hard to not be confident! As an added bonus, we have put in a few amino acids which have been shown to naturally increase energy and focus, without the crash that caffeine has.
3. What are your plans for establishing credibility in the supplement industry?
So although we are technically a supplement company, we see Wingman as much more than that. Wingman does not fall under the “fitness supplements” and we truly believe anyone can benefit from our products. Therefore, we are almost a part of the drink industry, and in a way, a new branch of drinks, Life Enhancement Drinks. We want to make the idea of Life Enhancement Drinks a reality and giving people all across the world a product that can benefit their everyday lives.
That said, building credibility is not an easy task, but we know if we only offer the highest of quality of product that we can, then our loyal customer base will support us. I also personally have great mentors that will help me be the best owner that I can be to lead this company in the right direction. We stand by serving our customers, not about how much money we can make. That sets us apart from most companies.
4. Where will you sell Wingman – online, brick and mortar, or both?
We plan on selling Wingman both through our online website, wingmansupplements.com but also through local grocery stores and gas stations in not only our area but also statewide. Obviously we want to eventually be worldwide and in every state, but small steps first and taking the small wins with gratitude.
5. If it takes off, what would you add to your product line?
I wouldn’t say “if” but rather “when”. Wingman is in for the long run. I truly believe in the potential of this company and will grow it to be as big as it possibly can. There are many ideas running around in my head, but many I have to put off to focus on priorities. Some more definite plans that will be seen in the near future is an expansion of the current Wingman product, looking at new flavors, sizes, and a sugar-free version. Besides that, I do have a few new product ideas stemming from the original Wingman, but I better keep those secret and not ruin the future surprise!