My Chocolate Affair an online chocolate business where we assemble an array of beautiful gift baskets, tins and other packaging with all our yummy, delicious chocolate treats.
What inspired you to start your business?
I have always dreamed of having my own business every since I was little. I never thought I would be in the chocolate field but who doesn’t love chocolate?! My signature product, the chocolate-caramel covered pretzel, was the perfect combination and it has been popular since I’ve opened my online doors.
How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 5 years.
What did you do in your past work life?
I was a meeting planner for an association. It was here that I learned how much I enjoyed putting gift baskets together for the association’s board of directors.
Describe your ideal workday.
As a mother of three girls, I love waking up to little feet getting ready for school (after I, of course, have to wake them up 3 or 4 times). I drop them all off at school and I begin my day making the chocolate orders, sending out emails, making calls, and/or meeting new people. I enjoy having the ability to pick my girls up at school and returning to work full force. I enjoy managing staff and securing new clients.
What have been some of your major successes?
A major success has been to secure a major client after months of work. I learned a lot from the experience and even now I look back in times of insecurity and pull that strength and success to help me move past any fears I have now.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Closing down the actual retail portion of my business due to the market and bad timing. I am challenged everyday to figure out a way to reopen a location and build my business.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Looking back on the success and realizing that I believe in what I am doing. I believe in being a strong woman role model for not only my own three girls, but the teenage girls that work for me. I believe that hard work, motivation (and a little sleep deprivation) and a vision is the drive that keeps any dream alive!
Do you have a motivational quote?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Have a plan, but continue to live in the attitude of success even if the plan doesn’t seem logical.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Saying no to the things that do not move me in the direction of my immediate goals.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
I like all the low priced or free networking tools available to us small businesses, like Facebook or Constant Contact. They help my business look just as big as the big businesses.
What is next for your business?
I am working on building my business so I can move it to a retail location and work on getting into some other grocery chains and move forward to make my product quicker so the costs can be reduced.
Your two cents sales pitch?
My signature chocolate-caramel covered pretzels are the tastiest combination of salty and sweet and make the perfect snack or gift!
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