Mushroom supplement startup helping consumers power up and chill out
Serial startup owner Matthew Kelly launched Spacegoods in May 2022 after showing entrepreneurial flare within his own clothing, jewellery and lighting companies, and finding a personal affinity for the mind-benefits of mushrooms.
Kelly chose to turn his experience in e-commerce towards the supplements industry after seeing a gap in the market in mushroom supplements.
He said: “I always build products for me. That's the way I've always approached entrepreneurship. I want something I don't think exists, at least not in the way that I would like it to exist, and then I make it.”
He discovered the personal benefit of using mushroom derivatives following his bipolar diagnosis where his mental health hit an all-time low.
He says: “Mental health has been my biggest and longest struggle since I was maybe 10 years old. I've always been seeking solutions to that, and when I hit absolute rock bottom, that was when I started regularly micro-dosing psilocybin because I was sick of being told to take antidepressants.”
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of fungi.
“It was in my lowest moments that I spotted a gap in the market for functional mushrooms as a natural wellness solution. I knew there was a market for legal mushroom alternatives in the UK.”
So Kelly designed the first product, Rainbow Dust, based on his personal daily blend of ashwagandha, lion's main, and coffee - three of the eight active ingredients in the product.
“The initial idea of the product was to be effectively like a legal alternative to a micro-dose, that was my logic," he adds, "I guess focused energy, kind of like a coffee without the anxiety.”
After initially marketing the products as psychedelics, and having his Instagram ads banned, he quickly pivoted to market the product as a coffee alternative.
Kelly says the product provides “sharper focus & sustained energy, zen-like calm throughout the day, zero jitters and zero crash,” with each serving containing: 1000mg lions mane, 1000mg cordyceps, 1000mg chaga, 200mg ashwagandha, 250g maca root, 80g coffee extract, 25mg Rhodiola rosea, 6mg Vitamin B5, stevia and cacao powder.
The second product, Dream Dust, launched in December 2022. Designed with a “mushroom and adaptogenic blend to help relax and achieve deep sleep,” it contains: 3000mg L-Glycine, 1000mg Reishi mushroom, 500mg Ashwagandha, 220 mg L-Tryptophan, 150g Jujube, 150g Magnesium, 150g Passionflower and 100g Chamomile.
Dream Dust, with flavours of honey and ginger, aims to offer a pre-sleep equivalent to tea, using ingredients recognised for stress reduction, calming effects and reduced anxiety levels.
The products take the form of powdered supplements, as Kelly found this allowed for an increased number of active ingredients.
“I was super inspired by brands like Athletic Greens and Huel. I really liked the idea of having something super simple and all-in-one. Something that you didn't have to stack a bunch of supplements to get the health benefits.”
Kelly said: “I was initially going to launch a gummy because I thought that was just really cool. It was almost like having a magic sweet. But then you can't get anywhere near the number of active ingredients in a gummy as you can in a powder.
The entrepreneur is collaborating with Provenance, a tech company focusing on credibility and trust, through scientific verification of supply chains and component integrity.
Revenue and growth
Customer interest is increasingly high, says Kelly. After running for 10 months, Spacegoods has a target of £5,000,000 in revenue by the 12-month hurdle. The six-person strong team is on a mission to grow, aided by 5000 active monthly subscribers.
On why the success of Spacegoods, Kelly says he thinks customers enjoy the air of rebellion the brand has, with his self-designed 80s homage visuals. He said: “The angle of the brand is all about unlocking your best self, doing things your own way, and kind of ignoring convention...
“I'm not saying that rainbow dust is going to change someone's life, I think it's the first step in hopefully building a brand and products that make people feel better because that's ultimately all it is.
“I'm sure there’s plenty of other ways to build businesses and make money, but I think at least this one, I hope, has a net positive impact on some people.”