Stephanie Kriebel

President & Co-Owner of OMG! Pretzels

What inspired you to start your business?

 I originally got into the business to support my Mom who is my partner and co-owner. At the time, I was working to build another business I had and volunteered my time to OMG! Pretzels in every way I could to help get it off the ground. I believed in the product because Mom had made our flagship Garlic pretzels for us as kids and I knew there was something to this because of the reactions I saw when people ate them, and how they would ask my Mom where they could buy them, encouraging her to start a business. Together, along with the support of other family members we lifted off, and are now a nationwide brand and continue to grow.

What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?

I think the biggest challenge for me has been in those circumstances where I have felt dominated by men in a situation and have come away feeling as if they don’t respect me. Fortunately, I am very close to my father and he is a wonderful provider of advice and encouragement. He often validates my feelings as being true and gives me advice on how to overcome this.

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Put yourself out there, talk to people, and do not be afraid to ask for help. Even if you think a conversation may not be useful, take 20 minutes and have it anyway because you never know what tips and resources will come out of it. Business is all about the relationships we build and in every conversation, I have learned something or been able to help someone else. This is how we found out about most of the resources we have accessed since we started our business, which have been instrumental to our growth and the sustainability of our business. Pay it forward.

What three traits define you?

(Only 3?, Lol) Integrity, tenacity, and adventurous.

What women inspire you?

My mom, my sister, and my friends. Women leaders who aren’t afraid to be themselves and put themselves out there. Female heads of state around the globe. Women dedicated to fighting for equality.

How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?

We just received our certification so time will tell. However, I am confident that being certified is going to help us to tap into supplier diversity programs that will help us to grow our business. I also very much look forward to getting more involved with the organization both at the local and national levels, meeting the other awesome women business owners, collaborating with them and learning in the process.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

Since we are a seasoned pretzel brand, it is always fun to watch the trends in consumer tastes when it comes to flavors. Coming up with excellent, tasty, unique flavors for our seasoning blends that people love is the creative part that makes being a CPG brand so exciting for us.

As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?

Fortunately, because of my self-care routine, I’ve gotten pretty good at not allowing things to keep me up at night. But when it does happen, it is usually because I am bothered by a conversation that didn’t go well or a decision that I made that maybe isn’t sitting right with me and that I need to figure out how to go back to fix.

What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?

Prioritizing self-care. As women, we often put everything and everyone before ourselves and it is critical to our own personal and professional growth to make sure we are taking care of ourselves too. Exercise, sleep, massages, reading, relaxing, taking time off…whatever your preference is, it is important to do it in order to sustain the rigor of being an entrepreneur, make good decisions, and be present for your business.

What do you love about being a business owner?

I am a strategist, futurist, idea person, and achiever who loves taking risks, planning, and figuring out puzzles which is a lot of what being in business is about. I think of our business as a jigsaw puzzle, twisting and turning the pieces until they lock into place. I love the feeling of accomplishment when this happens because it means we are growing and meeting the challenges involved with our growth.

What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?

Remembering to look back and remind myself about how far we’ve come and all of the success we have had despite the trials and tribulations.

How do you define success?

Being happy in the moment, being surrounded by the people who love me, meeting the matrices we set out for our business, baby step by baby step

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Keep a brag book to remind you of all of the achievements you had in growing your business and career. It is during the hardest times that this becomes especially important because it will help to keep you from getting discouraged.

What’s your favorite career moment?

There have been so many but I think my most favorite is seeing the excitement in my Mom’s face whenever we get press recognition and making her proud.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Travel and see the world.

What are you reading or listening to now?

I am concerned about the politics in our country and believe that we need to learn from history so I have been reading a lot of political history books and listening to podcasts of the same nature.

What’s the best way to start your day?

Slowly and quietly with a nice cup of Brazilian coffee.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was 18, I tried to enlist in the Air Force to be a fighter pilot. At the time - and I am dating myself here - women were not able to do this so I was turned away. Now all these years later, I feel like I am a fighter pilot but for my business instead. The same skills apply - intelligence, stamina, calculated risk, facing fear, breaking down barriers, overcoming challenges, dedication, being a leader, team player, etc. These traits and skills are all transferable no matter what you set your mind and heart to do.

How do you unwind after a long workday?

I love to cook so I make a good, plant-based meal then do my 3-mile walk, which then helps me to sleep. This combination is my go to routine for decompressing and managing my stress.

What do you like about your workspace?

My purple office, purple gives me energy and makes me feel empowered.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I… go after it head on!

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself don’t change a thing, you did good girl!

The one thing I couldn’t live without is… the love of my partner, family and friends.

By this time next year, I… exporting OMG! Pretzels to other parts of the world!

To get my creative juices flowing, I… talk with my advisors and loved ones.

OMG! Pretzels

OMG! Pretzels creates an elevated snacking experience with their “ridiculously delicious” gourmet flavored sourdough pretzel nuggets. As a women and family-owned business, OMG! Pretzels prides ourselves on using only premium ingredients and keeping their products 100% made in America. There are no pretzel nuggets on the market quite like OMG! Pretzels as each pretzel bursts with unbelievable crunch and flavor. Recognized as an award-winning product with strong consumer satisfaction, these pretzels are a must-have in every retail location.

Learn more.