There are two types of small business owners: the ones who have everything figured out before they start and the ones that figure things out along the way. Kate is the latter half. Sure, she had a well thought out design and ideas of what she was working to create: a way to show a little extra love to clients, co-workers, family, and friends. But she didn’t have all of her products perfectly designed before she started, she just took the leap of faith to start working on her passion.
When Kate was first starting out, she stayed true to her original flavors. With time, she expanded her portfolio by always having a passion for creating new combinations and always taking it up a notch. She was and is committed to getting the product in the hands and more importantly in the mouths of everyone as she feels that is her best marketing tool -the product speaks for itself. However, it didn’t take long before she realized she could get similar results with way less product and most unexpectedly fell into her number one selling product-the niblet.
There she was at Metazoa Brewing a couple of years ago at a tasting. She had created a lovely display with jars of niblets for people to taste instead of the ½ rods which she typically handed out. A most intrigued patron came up and offered to buy a “jar” of product. Well at the time they were just samples, but it immediately gave her the idea that if there was an interest, there may be a market. And thus the niblet was born showcasing itself in a 4 oz, 8oz, and a jar-packaged product. This is just many of the ideas that continue to evolve as you grow a business.
Labels change, boxes change, vendors change. The product is added and some are taken away. Even the concept of naming her products. When she first started, most of the products were as they are, such as almond, MM®, pecan, Butterfinger®. With the wisdom of her advisors and taste testers (family members), she got creative and started adding cute names to her standard portfolio of pretzels and ever-expanding portfolio of artisan truffles. You can find a How To Kiss A Millionaire or Keep Me Up All Night truffle but you will not find mint or coffee.
As she has evolved, she has also sought out strategic partnerships with like-minded, high-quality vendors. From the beginning, she was passionate about working with a local coffee roaster for her coffee truffle, but after several failed attempts of people just not getting it, she was introduced to Jerry Hubbard of Hubbard and Cravens, who welcomed the opportunity to support her efforts and now every coffee truffle has a little H& C espresso powder in it. She still is looking for strategic liquor partners as she has not found quite the right fit to date. She knows that when the time is right, it will present itself and be far greater than she hoped or imagined.
You can’t think small as an entrepreneur but you have to think strategically, thoroughly and be patient with yourself and others. Her motto in starting out: under promise, over deliver and always put your best foot forward. There will always be hundreds of opportunities to chase, but knowing who you are and what you stand for and most importantly why you do what you do, keeps your head up and allows for continued growth. This philosophy has kept her thriving business from making mistakes and enjoying the unexpected and timely opportunities for some amazing connections and collaborations.
Again, Kate had no idea that the niblets would be as successful as they have been, nor did she even think about creating them at the beginning of her business. “As a business owner, you go in with one idea and then it evolves into something else. Some people wait until they have everything sorted and all of it looks the best. For me, it is a constant evolution.” Kate says.
In honor of the birth of the niblets and celebrating collaborations, this Small Business Saturday, we’re going SEXY and giving away a bag of 4oz niblets to every order that comes through on Saturday, November 24 from 8am-12pm and a complimentary Keep Me Up All Night truffle. Get your sexy on this small business Saturday.
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