Women Who Own It
Founder of Feed Your Soul
What inspired you to start your business?
In my former life, I was a trader on the American Stock Exchange. I went to law school in the evenings. Life was exciting, but lacked meaning. What could I do to follow my passions for baking and giving?
So I started a cookie company over a decade ago based on the principle that one single delicious cookie could brighten someone’s day. These cookies are made with the highest quality ingredients.
For every dozen cookies that Feed Your Soul sells we donate cookies to those in need. Because everyone deserves the kind of joy that a cookie can bring.
It’s the simple things in life that truly feed your soul.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
Being an entrepreneur - male or female - is no easy task. I found that being female and having a bakery was often considered “cute.” I was not always taken as seriously as I would have liked in terms of bidding on certain opportunities.
I learned everything I could about my industry, my competitors and my goals. I aligned myself with a network of people who believed in my brand and its mission. It is the challenges I have faced that have helped me thrive as a female in my industry.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Do something you love. When you are passionate about what you do, your energy is contagious and your power is greater than you know.
Set expectations and be realistic about your goals. (Understand the difference between a hobby and a business.)
Maintain structure and consistency.
Believe in yourself. Trust your instincts.
Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. We live in a world where you can find answers to basically anything, at your fingertips. Know that you can do this and that you will figure it out.
Define your own success. Build a life you are proud to call your own.
What three traits define you?
Optimistic, Purpose-Driven, Passionate
What do you love about being a business owner?
I love watching the hard work and passion that my team and I have invested come to life. I love knowing that I can create a lifestyle that works for me and my family.
What's the hardest part about being a business owner?
While there is a certain freedom that comes with having your own business, there are times when you are confined by the notion that it is all your responsibility at the end of the day. The sweet spot is finding the balance, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and learning how to work on your business - not in it.
How do you define success?
Success is a sense of freedom. Success is the ability to follow your dreams, to take calculated risks, knowing, it is ok to fail. Success is feeling empowered by your goals, and surrounding yourself with the people and moments that matter most.
What do you like about your workspace?
When you enter the bakery, the smell of freshly baked cookies and brownies fill the air. The workspace is innovative and clean. I enjoy working in a positive environment, where everyone works together to bake something simple, timeless and delicious.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Inspired by Willy Wonka as a young child, I wall papered my room with Candy Dots... I thought it would be amazing if friends could come over and literally eat off my walls. I always knew that feeding people and creating meaningful desserts was in my blood.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I.. stop and go to a quiet place in my mind. I ask myself, “what is the situation,” “what is the best strategy to overcome the challenge as quickly and seamlessly as possible,” and most importantly I remind myself that it will be ok.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself ... Nothing. While I would like to say I would have done many things differently, had I known all the obstacles and things I have overcome, I may have scared myself. I am humbled by the loyalty of our team, our customers, and our growth. I know we are where we are meant to be at this time.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is…the people I love. And chocolate.
By this time next year, I will be… expanding our manufacturing and distribution capabilities as we continue to grow our foodservice accounts and the Feed Your Soul brand.
To get my creative juices flowing, I…like to run. Running gets my body and my mind moving.
Feed Your Soul
Feed Your Soul is a gourmet bakery with a mission to Pay It Forward. For every dozen cookies purchased, Feed Your Soul donates a cookie to The Coalition for the Homeless, the oldest not-for-profit advocacy group focused on homelessness in the United States. By taking something as timeless as a cookie, and transforming it into its ultimate form of comfort, simplicity and generosity, Feed Your Soul is slowly reaching every home in this country. Feed Your Soul bakery offers a full line of wholesale items (cookie dough, individually baked and bagged cookies and brownies) as well as a boutique gift line.