Founder, Bakery, Dallas, Texas
2. Where is your hometown?
3. What is your profession/career/title/self- label/designation?
Founder/Owner of Society Bakery
4. What was the journey like to get where you are (career wise)? When was the mental shift to start the journey?
The bakery has been a part of my life since 2003 and strangely, I still see it as a new business. But much life has happened along the way. I am still very much in the journey of this career. But to identify the start of this career was actually in the office of my former boss at Goody Goody. She asked me where I wanted to be in 5 years and what popped out of my mouth was a surprise to both me and to her. I said I wanted to be selling cookies. I knew I had been job switching and could not be fulfilled job switching the rest of my life - so in my gut I think I had been searching for what truly made me happy but it definitely not risen to the surface until that moment. People ask kids all the time what they want to be when they grow up, and if you are in higher education, you are supposed to pick a degree that suits you, but once you are out in the real world and in practice is when reality hits. Circumstances do not always allow for people to be exactly who they want to be in the job world - so I think I had been processing this for about 5 years after college - what do I want to with my life? After my degree, I worked stable corporate jobs and worked in small high risk ventures also. But ultimately, the only thing that fed my soul was baking, reading about baking and cooking, and traveling (and trying food while traveling!). I was glued to cookbooks and glued to food tv and would bake to decompress or to bring joy to others or just to experiment. I am grateful to my boss and company at the time because not only did she ask such a powerful question forcing a look within, she also, thankfully, and graciously supported me by saying "I have had your cookies and they are great! I will buy some for my family for Christmas." She turned into my first customer and the wonderful company worked with me to reduce my hours over the next year to part time so I could build the business during the rest of the time. I also was very honest with her and said the job they were paying me full time to do really only needed half the time!
5. Biggest accomplishment since making the (physical/mental) move?
Growing the business from nothing in 2003 to to three locations that have remained relevant over time (with merit - i.e. we take the customer experience very seriously - I believe the customer time and dollar is valuable and try to train all of our staff to feel the same by giving an excellent product and customer service experience every time).
6. What was biggest disappointment and plan to overcome it?
It has a lot to do with the above question. Each hire is always taking a chance on someone. You can do your best trying to impart the values of the company and your own personal values, but ultimately people are going to do what they want and it is sometimes not in line with what is best for the company. That break is a hard one no matter how many times it happens. Some are easier than others depending on the transgression and the value we place on the employee - but it is always hard internally because for me at least I struggle with thinking - is human nature really bad or good? I think rules are important and its as basic as just remember to do the right thing. As my grandfather always told me "don't do anything wrong." Simple as that. My plan to overcome it is by just staying the course, keep pushing forward, doing the right thing, with good people, and try to learn from mistakes.
7. Advice for other women?
Listen to your gut
8. Where in the world do you feel “tallest”?
On an airplane en route to a vacation or information gathering trip sitting next to my son.
9. What is the future goal/challenge (career and/or life goals in 5-10 years)?
Happy, healthy, and successful
10. What fears are you still hoping to overcome?
Too difficult a question to answer because part of me thinks admitting fear is admitting weakness which is pretty messed up. We all have fears and we all need to help one another overcome difficulties for our human race to defeat the huge amount of evil out there. The words that give me comfort are in the Bible and also the FDR speech where he said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
11. Anything you'd do differently (if you had another go at life)?
12. What inspires you?
My son and the joy of achievement
13. What are you reading now? (what books do you gift most and what are your favourite reads?)
A cookbook! Mexican Today by Pati Jinich; I gift the book Setting the Table by Danny Meyer to my employees; my favorite reads are Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte books
14. Who is a “WOW Woman” in your life who inspires you (and why)?
My mom is a WOW Woman and she inspires me because she is tough, forgiving, tenacious, and still remains a young spirit
15. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc.)?