Make + Create Ep. 5 - Tasty Treats and Running Lean with Red Velvet NYC

Hello Readers & Listeners!

Welcome back to Make + Create. This space houses  inspiration to keep you motivated and will hopefully empower you while on your own journey! I know this episode is going live a bit later than usual! But better late than never and it's still Friday after all. If any of you follow me on social media, you might already know, but I recently had a major surgery so I've been out of commission the last few days. I'm an avid runner and have been focusing on building my strength and making a point to prioritize working out in my daily life. Well, the universe had some other plans for me this summer and I ended up rupturing my Achilles' tendon and had to have surgery this past week to reattach it to my calf. I'm out of commission for the next 6 months in a cast, using a walker to barely get by and on some strong meds to help with the pain. But, I'm trying not to be down about it. There is always a lesson to learn in hardship, am I right?  Well, all this craziness pushed my schedule back work wise, thus causing me to be a bit behind releasing this week's podcast. BUT I'm done with it, it is still Friday and I was able to get it done!! 

All images courtesy of Red Velvet NYC
 Now, enough about my crazy week, let's talk about this week's guest. For this recent episode, I had the opportunity to talk with Agathe - the founder of Red Velvet NYC. Red Velvet is a company that creates dessert kits that make baking gourmet desserts foolproof. The brand launched in 2015 delivering kits with everything needed to bake cakes, tarts, cupcakes and more right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Agathe shares her journey on how she bootstrapped the company and grew it to now expand into shelf-stable kits sold at gourmet markets and further develop the online side of the business. She’s working to not only make an impact on the business world, but the brand also believes that giving back is an important part of the value they bring to the world through charities such as Bright Pink, a nonprofit, working to save women's lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age.

Throughout the episode we talk about the nuances of launching a start up, why entrepreneurship is in her blood and how she managed to boot strap her company. We talked about the hardships of running lean, growing a business and what the process was like developing a food related monthly subscription box. She shares some insights on what has helped her develop her brand, grow at a steady rate and how she deals with the copycats who are coming along and why transparency is important in business today. Agathe also shares some fantastic advice for entrepreneurs starting out. Keep listening for the full interview. 

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Thanks for listening to this latest episode of Make+Create. Agathe is a fantastic example of a woman on a mission. She knew what she wanted, went for it and has been working hard since to build her brand from the bones up. She highlights that while planning is vital, it is also important to just start. So many people interested in launching a business or brand get so caught up in the planning phase, that they can miss out on executing on it.  If you want to learn more about Agathe or get your own subscription, check out The desserts are scrumptious and the boxes are a fantastic way to get started baking, even if you are a novice. You can also follow the brand on facebook at RedVelvetNYCxoxo and Instagram  at redvelvetnyc

I hope you are enjoying the show and if you feel so inclined, take some time to subscribe to us on iTunes, AnchorFM, Google Play, via your RSS feed or any podcast listener you utilize. You can find a new episode live every other Friday! 

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Make sure you check back in two weeks for our next episode. I’ll be talking with an amazing Latina – Tyzza Macias from Factory Glam. Tyzza’s career as a beauty professional and entrepreneur began after graduating cosmetology beauty school in 2007. She continued her beauty career as a makeup artist, brand ambassador, product educator and developer for the beauty industry, including professional cosmetic brands such as Bare Essentials, Estee Lauder Brands, LVMH Brands, Lush Cosmetics LLC and Sally Beauty Supply LLC. After years of working with corporate brands, she knew she was meant to do something even bigger. Her experiences provided her with the knowledge to create something on her own with a team and the mission to share the excitement regarding Factory Glam beauty products and her company and brand culture.

The last few conversations I’ve had with entrepreneurs have brought up a similar theme.  The theme of starting before you are really ready. Planning is imperative and important, but it seems that people often get caught up in this process. Rather than finding a way to just start, sometimes people find comfort in the idea of planning. Yet, in order to bring an idea or dream to fruition, you have to just start. We are never truly 100% prepared for what life has to throw at us, yet we wake up every day and face the world. In business, the idea is the same. Executing on your ideas and dreams can be frightening, but remember, it’s better to have tried and failed then to have never tried at all. There will always be something to improve on, work with what you have. You don’t need a million people in your network, but a strong one or two alliances will suffice and can end up helping you develop dozens more. Sometimes, starting before you are ready allows your customer base to help you develop the strongest product or service due to the feedback you will get along the way. You can research all you want, but sound feedback from a potential customer base can work wonders. 

I also think that much of this also comes down to self-confidence. We are programmed to believe that negative self-talk is humbling. Yet, it is important to speak our ideas into existence. Rather than think that you can’t, why not just give it a try because you can? Will it be uncomfortable at first not knowing what will happen? Of course, but you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in terms of taking a giant leap with a business. The beauty, though, is that most people end up figuring things out as they go. It’s important to build yourself up and to literally believe that you can do what you want to do.  I recently started re-reading one of my all time favorite books – the Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. If you haven’t read it before, I highly recommend it. It’s one of those pieces of literature that will expand your mind and touch your heart in ways you would never believe is possible. It’s one of those books I share with friends, family and my students when they need to adjust their life perspective. One quote that I always come back to when I wonder“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

The thing is, though, that we often want what we want when we want it. We get so caught up in our plan of what is right and what is best, that we don’t always just let go and allow what is meant to come to us, actually come to us. If there is one thing I can leave you with this week listeners, it’s this. Don’t get so caught up in the plan, be open to what the universe is bringing your way. Allow yourself to let go of the things that are not benefitting you because when you do, you are opening up space to allow something even better to fill it. We can plan all we want, but sometimes things just don’t happen that way and it’s up to use to be flexible enough to still make things work and move forward. 

Til next time, I’m your host Jen Veguilla-Lezan, thanks for listening

Podcast mentioned in this episode: How I Built This 
Books mentioned in this episode: Growth Hacker and The Lean Startup

Music included in this episode
Neutral Bay by Peyruis Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Music provided by Music for Creators

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