What inspired you to start your business?
I was completing my PhD in Medical Sciences when I was in the kitchen with my two children in 2012. Our youngest, who was on quite a strict diet for health reasons, was making tea while our daughter was making fruit popsicles. The kids started rallying over who would get mommy’s attention when my daughter said, ‘Mommy let’s make teacicles!’. I had one of those ‘lightbulb’ moments, ran to my computer and realized there was nobody on the planet making organic tea-based frozen pops and thus the idea for DeeBee’s was born.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges throughout my experience as a woman in business is that sexism and unconscious bias are still alive. Just a few months ago, I met with a neighbor who’s a business man. We were talking about my company and how we’ve grown exponentially. He asked if I was making my freezer pops in my kitchen which caught me totally off-guard. It was that unconscious bias and sexism that got me angry. Of course, I am not running a multi-million dollar business in my own kitchen! People may make comments like that, but the only way to put them in their place is to persevere and not give up. Walk the talk and people will clear the way!
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Know your business inside and out. Know all levels of your business. Know where you aspire to be, objectively, what do you need to make that happen? Get everything in order with plans without sacrificing your well-being and your finances. Bring on the people that can meet and exceed your imagination.
What do you love about being a business owner?
I love the opportunity to inspire others in the family and my team members. To celebrate success is a collaborative process as a team. At the beginning of DeeBee’s, it was lonely and very difficult. The biggest thrill and reward is to see the fruits of our labor when we see our product on the shelf in store.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Being humble enough to know what you don’t know. Having the strength to ask for help when you need it. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and place them where they can help in areas of your business that you may not know much about.
What’s your favorite career moment?
There are so many, but if I had to narrow it down to a couple, one would be the creation of our employee initiative called the DreamLauncher program, which allows DeeBee’s to incubate each of our team member’s personal dreams of give back to create deep personal meaning through their work. The other would be seeing my kids grow up with a strong work ethic they’ve learned from my husband and I. When you put in the hard work, the results will show.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would do a lot more in terms of our DreamLauncher initiative. From the start with DeeBee’s, I’ve had the ultimate goal of one day seeing Steve off on his ultimate dream of working with Orbis, and I know that the day he joins, will be the day that DeeBee’s has made it.
What’s the best way to start your day?
Go outside on a brisk walk, which is my way of meditation, with my husband / best friend.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I… face it head on and work my way through.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… to first think of myself five years ahead, then think backwards to make an action plan on how to methodically reach my goals.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my kids.
By this time next year, I will be… expanding our distribution, innovation and team member footprint.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… go for a speed walk.
DeeBee’s Organics makes clean-label & utterly delicious takes on your favorite nostalgic treats. DeeBee's mission is to create consciously made treats that spark joy. From the fruit they source to the farmers they work with to the way they treat our staff, DeeBee’s believes that care and accountability in business creates meaningful impact. They are female-founded and led, always certified organic, and both a certified Women-Owned Business and a 'B-Corp'.