TAMPA, Fla. — Two former Tampa Bay area basketball standouts decided to turn their business dream into a reality.
Michael Morrison and Reggie Reed graduated Lakewood in 2008. They both went on to play Division I ball, and Morrison even carved out a career overseas. The two remained friends, and in 2019 they decided to start a business together. They just didn't know which one.
"We really didn’t know what we wanted to do," Morrison admitted. "We know we wanted to continue to travel. We like traveling. Something we could do together."
It started when they were driving to Miami to do a little partying, and they stopped at a convenience store to pick up some essentials.
"We should grab an electrolyte drink, so we can re-hydrate," Michael said. "I said that, and Reggie was like, 'You know what? We should make our own.'"
Reggie laughed when he told his part of the story. "Once I said that, Mike looked at me and said 'That’s genius.'"
The idea for Liv 21 was born.
"It’s full of electrolytes, vitamins, and nutrients, coconut water," Reed explained at a promotional event in downtown Tampa. "Bringing all those ingredients together helped us create a particular drink that we can sell directly to clubs. But also the branding behind it. It’s a lifestyle."
The idea was a good one, but there's a lot of homework that needs to be done before the drinks go into the bottles.
"Design, name, logo… flavors. How do you actually make a drink?" Morrison added. "We had no idea what was what. We just really stuck with it and stayed together on it."
Supply chain issues during the pandemic added a hurdle to the duo's process, but Reed said it actually helped them focus on more details.
"How to market properly. How to get your profit margins correct with distributors, bars, and things like that," he said. "So it was definitely a blessing in disguise."
Morrison joked that his team recovering from multiple issues will help party-goers recover after a night at the bar.
"Bouncing back? You don’t do it like you did when you were 21. So you can live like you’re 21 again."
Most importantly, the ballers-turned-businessmen hope the sky is the limit for their start-up.
"When you walk into your nearest convenience store, you’ll see Liv21 on the shelves," Reed said.
"Everywhere you see something as mainstream as Coca-Cola, you can see a Liv21 bottle. We can be worldwide."
For more information you can go to visit Liv21 here.