What inspired you to start your business?
Growing up in the small community of Chehalis, WA, it was uncommon to find anyone who had food intolerances or allergies, so my family and I never had to worry about what we ate. When my brother Nathan turned 30, he randomly became intolerant to gluten and dairy. When I saw the challenges he had to find baked treats that not only he could eat but tasted delicious, I knew I had to do something. So, I did.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
As a woman my natural inclination can be to take a no as a no. I had the opportunity to be introduced to Carol Dweck through her TED talk on growth mindset. That video helped me realize that No doesn’t mean No; it really means not yet.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Research the founders of other successful companies in your industry. There are so many ways to do that, look for podcasts. Figure out what options they had, what they chose to do and why. It’s a great way to figure out what you shouldn’t be doing.
What three traits define you?
Focus, Tenacity, Empathy
What women inspire you?
Brene Brown, Carol Dweck, My Mom and Grandma Helen
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
The coolest trend I see is consumers wanting to get back to wholesome ingredients. We choose to sell our cookies frozen because they have no artificial ingredients or preservatives, which is why you’ll find our cookies in the freezer section. I love explaining this to customers! I can see them start to wonder, “Why are other cookies not sold frozen?”
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
I am a very driven person, I set big goals for myself and my business. When I feel like I’m not where I want to be.
What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?
Confidence. It really is amazing how many business owners are men and it can be intimidating if you are the only woman in the room.
What do you love about being a business owner?
I have a very clear vision of what I want to accomplish through PNW Cookie Co. I love being able to set the vision and make decisions that support it.
What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?
I think the hardest part is being patient. Trusting that you have made the right decisions and continue to make them without doubting or second guessing yourself.
How do you define success?
Success to me is being able to view obstacles as opportunities. If there aren’t obstacles you have to overcome, there’s a good chance you’re not being challenged. If you’re not being challenged, you’re probably not growing.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Stop overthinking the what if’s that COULD happen. You can choose to solve real problems or fake ones.
What’s your favorite career moment?
Realizing that I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I never felt like I belonged in the regular work force. I always felt extreme ownership and consistently would receive feedback that I cared to much. When I started my company and met other entrepreneurs, I knew this was what I was born to do.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would do more volunteering. I volunteer with my local Boys and Girls club teaching baking classes. There is nothing more rewarding to me than to teach this lost art that my Mom and Grandma taught me.
What are you reading or listening to now?
The Secret to Success Podcast by Eric Thomas. The School of Greatness Podcast by Lewis Howes
What’s the best way to start your day?
Working out! At least 20 minutes of cardio and weight training
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to own my own bakery. My Mom, Susy taught me how to bake when I was 6 years old. There’s nothing better than to bake something and share it with others.
How do you unwind after a long workday?
Homework with my stepsons; Coltin, 10 and Levi 8. Then time with my husband, he always makes me smile.
What do you like about your workspace?
It always smells like cookies
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... take time to think it through even if I’m tempted to emotionally respond.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… to be patient.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my Mom, she really has influenced me into who I am today.
By this time next year, I will be… attending the WBENC awards gala receiving an award for the impact PNW Cookie Co has made in showing what’s capable for other WBEs.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… write in my journal.
Pacific Northwest Cookie Company
100% Vegan, gluten free and soy free individually packaged cookies that are so delicious you won't believe what's (not) in them!