What inspired you to start your business?
Like most great ideas, it just happened. I was working as a nurse in the ER and also had a nutritional consulting business on the side. My clients were constantly explaining they missed comfort foods like brownies or breads and/or that they felt guilty while eating them. I wanted to create a better for you version of the foods they loved so they could continue to feel good about their choices. I took to the kitchen and combined my background in science with my passion for nutrition and the Eat Me Guilt Free brand was born.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
As a single mom of three with no business background, it was very difficult to find support and mentors in the consumer-packaged goods industry as it was all new to me. I did a lot of self-learning and worked hard to identify relationships that could help me and my company grow. Also, during moments of rapid growth, I was approached aggressively by investors that wanted to step in and take control with promises of big profits. Although the numbers seemed attractive, it was difficult to navigate making the right decisions and not having to give up ownership. To me it was important to continue to grow and build a women-owned brand and serve as an example for my daughters and other female entrepreneurs.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Redefine balance. Balance does not mean having perfectly slotted amounts of times for yoga and rest and children and work. It means enjoying the ebbs and flows and allowing yourself to make mistakes.
What three traits define you?
Impatient. Energetic. Intuitive.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
The endorsement has helped us become recognized and trusted as a diverse supplier. We also love having a network that we can tap into for campaigns like our upcoming Women Entrepreneur Grant, launching in February 13!
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
Better for you is becoming a thing. People really are looking to make better choices when it comes to food, and they are less willing to settle for products that claim to be good for you but don’t taste great.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
Managing growth and making sure the right teams are aligned with the right projects.
What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?
In an age where just about anyone can start a business online, it is becoming more difficult for young female entrepreneurs to be taken seriously.
What do you love about being a business owner?
Creating something that impacts people beyond my immediate family.
What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?
Knowing when to let go.
How do you define success?
This is a tough question, because I am always challenging myself with bigger goals. I think success for me recently has been being able to manage the growth of the firm meanwhile also spending quality time with my family and friends.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Sometimes your intuition can be better than proven concepts.
What’s your favorite career moment?
When we moved into our new space! I had the space on my vision board for many years and it was almost surreal when I sat in my office for the first time.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I actually think about this all the time — I would still keep my same balance of work and life, but double down on both. It would be pretty amazing. I sleep because I have to, but I don’t really enjoy the actual process of falling asleep and being confined to my bed.
What’s the best way to start your day?
For me the latest I can start my day is 6AM. I journal and drink coffee and then use the extra time to get in yoga (which i started this past year), or a workout. I don’t typically take calls until close to 8AM. These morning hours are an integral part of my well-being and productivity. Whenever I don’t keep my morning routine, I notice a difference in my flow for the day.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... get stronger; I am more comfortable under pressure.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… you are who you are as a result of your mistakes; don’t be afraid to make them.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… bubble baths.
By this time next year, I will be… on a plane to a special vacation.
The best thing that happened to me last week was… a new meditation I tried.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… go outside and take in sunshine, physical activity or walk away from the task at hand for a minimum of an hour.
EAT ME GUILT FREE
Eat Me Guilt Free is a better for you brand that makes you feel as if you are indulging when you snack their products. They offer 8 different flavors of high protein, low carb brownies.