What inspired you to start your business?
Like all good Midwesterners do, I initially shared my granola with friends and family, for the fun of giving. The repeated, “You’ve got to do something with this!”, and now, “You’ve got to keep doing this!”, has inspired me every step of the way. It is undeniably an awesome privilege to bring joy to humans across the country, via great-tasting, better-for-you food.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
CPG is a male-dominated industry, but I try to use that to my advantage. Above all, follow your passion with gusto! Let others into and be a part of your story, most notably by making sure that everyone, throughout the entire complicated process, feels respected, appreciated and valued.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Build your network (particularly with a variety of women leaders), across different industries, and throughout your community.
What three traits define you?
Creative. Kindhearted. Gutsy.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
More and more consumers care about the food that goes into their bodies and the stories behind the brands.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
Product quality is #1. With thousands of bags produced at a time now, and no longer being ‘the one’ that fills them, I worry about the customer who might get a bag that’s less than perfect. I also worry about all of the balls I juggle and hope that nothing super significant drops.
What do you love about being a business owner?
I love the creative freedom, the flexibility it can afford while raising a family, modeling hard work and ‘going after a dream’, being a dedicated student to one’s passion, and waking up every day, excited to tackle as much as I can.
What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?
Not being able to turn it off.
How do you define success?
Living life without regrets, and doing work that both lights you up and pays the bills.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
The Sydney J. Harris quote: Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
More outdoor ‘hang time’ with my kids, husband and friends.
What are you reading or listening to now?
Right now, I am reading Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. Yes, I know, I need it!
What’s the best way to start your day?
An early morning run, followed by an iced coffee and Gustola Granola!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A cartoonist, album (yes, LP) designer, or book illustrator.
How do you unwind after a long workday?
My journal and a glass of wine.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I… take a deep breath, break it down, and get to work!
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… learn to dance and do it often.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… the ability to spend time outdoors.
By this time next year, I will be… distributing Gustola Granola to stores ever-nearer to you!
To get my creative juices flowing, I… run, bike or kayak the nearby lakes. I live in MN after all.
Gustola Granola makes naturally authentic granola. This premium granola delivers the kind of authentic simplicity and off-the-charts deliciousness that consumers not only value, but will come to the category for and buy again and again. Premium, clean ingredients like maple syrup, olive oil and egg whites work their magic to create an addictively crunchy, not-too-sweet and entirely satisfying snack. Only 4g of sugar per serving, along with 4g of protein, 3g of fiber and 22g of whole grains. Live and eat with gusto!