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Open Dialogue With the Founder of Behave, Mayssa Chehata

The founder of the candy company Behave, Mayssa Chehata, is a rising entrepreneur in the industry. Chehata recently sat down with ONE37pm’s Phil Toronto on the latest episode of Open Dialogue to discuss  Behave and her background and consumer marketing.

So, what is Behave exactly?

“We are a candy brand, and we make low sugar candy that is made with no artificial ingredients. So, we do not use any artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, artificial colors, or flavors. All the ingredients in our products are natural. But our candy, and what we like to hear from people, is still delicious. So, you are not compromising on taste just by going with a healthier option, which is important to us.”

Chehata has not always been in the candy business, but she has been involved in consumer marketing and branding for a long time.

“I have worked at a number of brands. I have always been [involved with] consumer brands, and I have always worked in a sort of a combination of brand marketing and partnerships or business development. 

So, I started my career in the NFL and was in the sports world for a couple of years. After the NFL, I joined Uber, where I worked in brand partnerships and business development. I spent two years there, and after Uber, I was introduced to the founder at Daily Harvest, which at the time was still a small startup,” said Chehata.

She continued: “They were just closing their Series A at that time. Now, it has grown to be a nationally recognized brand. I joined there early, and we were like a two percent marketing team when I joined. So, I saw everything brand and partnership, and then my counterpart saw everything growth and performance.

Then from Daily Harvest, I went to SoulCycle and led a business development team at SoulCycle. So, yeah, that was what I was doing when I decided to take the leap and work on Behave full-time.”

In the beginning, it was not an easy task to establish a brand identity, but the name of the company had been presented to her by one of her girlfriends.

“In the early stages, the idea went from ‘I wish there were a low sugar candy that I could eat’ to ‘what if I were to start this.’ One of my girlfriends is such a self-starter, and she has her own business and started throwing names out there. It started snowballing from there, and we were all throwing out these crazy names, and I think one of them threw out the name Behave, and I liked it.

It is kind of like tongue and cheek. It definitely piques your interest, and it sort of has this double entendre that I loved. We are making a better ‘for you’ product, but Behave also has this Austin Powers cocky connotation because it is this naughtiness of eating candy, but we are trying to dispel that. So, I felt like it had this multiple meaning thing, and it stuck,” shared Chehata.

“As far as creating a brand around it, I have always had my own thoughts, and as a person, I am not a health nut. I want to be really open about that, and I did not build this brand because I am keto, low sugar, I only drink [Healthy drinks], that is not me.  We are not a brand that you have to be on a certain diet or be a certain weight, eating a certain way or having to stick to strict rules around eating,” Chehata said.

“We are a brand where you can binge like you were a kid [with your] Halloween candy, but you cannot come back from eating 50 grams of sugar in one sitting like when we were kids.  We wanted to make a brand that was fun like when we were kids and something that speaks to that… We worked with an incredible brand studio out of Brooklyn called ‘Gander,’ and I came to them with that in mind. They had a similar vision and were able to align, and the brand process was so fun.”

Make sure you check out the latest Open Dialogue episode above, and you can also follow Mayssa Chehata on Instagram and Twitter.

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