WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WISH YOU COULD OFFER YOUR FORMER, EXPECTANT SELF?
Start lining up childcare options early. You are going to need overnight, during the day, and even some weekend help. And they will not be the same type of person. Each style of care you need will take a different temperament of caregiver. Build up your contacts and get some references.
YOU WERE A YOUNG MOTHER WITH A YOUNG BUSINESS. HOW DID YOU MAKE THAT WORK?
I was actually a corporate director, but felt our family business needed more attention and a kickstart. I could no longer make the corporate world work and knew my family needed to come first. I started building on the family business when my son was two and my daughter was seven months old.
BURNT FINGER IS AN AMAZING EXPRESSION OF YOUR TALENT AND AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR PASSION FOR THE BRAND. YOU ARE MUCH LOVED! HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS SHIFTED AS A RESULT OF COVID?
As a competitive barbecue professional, travel reduced so we had time to doubled down on product development. With everyone cooking more meals at home and needing an alternative way to source protein, we shifted to single pound portions of pre-cooked meat that customers could order and conveniently place on AutoShip. Our barbecue offerings went from indulgent party meals to a great lunch option or family dinner any night of the week.
YOU WORK AS A FAMILY BUSINESS. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ABOUT THIS TO WOMEN CONSIDERING THE SAME?
Do your very best to not talk business during downtime or family gatherings. You can always set up another meeting to talk business, but those family meals and time together are precious.
YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH SUPPORTING OTHER WOMEN IN HOSPITALITY ALONG WITH THE CORE OF YOUR BRAND, HOW DO YOU FIND THE ENERGY?
I’ve always believed that successful people want to see other people being successful. Executing this thought gives me energy. I just love watching people flourish, especially women Pitmasters!
YOU WORK LONG HOURS AND OBVIOUSLY POUR YOUR PASSION INTO ALL YOU DO. HOW TO YOU KEEP YOUR SELF CARED FOR? RESTED? WELL?
Over the years I’ve discovered spending time outside settles my soul. I look for reasons to sit outside for coffee or lunch, to take a walk or even take a nap. I guess that’s why cooking outside on a barbecue pit is my happy place.
HOW EASY WAS IT TO PUT A CHILDCARE ARRANGEMENT TOGETHER AND DID IT WORK FOR YOUR FAMILY?
Childcare arrangements were and are the biggest challenge I face. When I worked in the corporate world I felt like their caregivers were getting all of the children’s good energy, leaving us with the evening tasks of feeding and winding them down. We were fortunate to have my mother-in-law take over and watch the kiddos in between some of my barbecue family business obligations. That is when it finally worked for our family.
WHEN DID THE “NEW NORMAL” SET IN FOR YOU?
Once I knew my children were taken care of and truly nurtured, I knew I could go full force towards building our business. That is when the new normal set in and every challenge was worth the betterment of our family. I had the flexibility to be with them and the stability of knowing they knew they were loved even if I was not physically standing next to them.
WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE WORKING? IF NOT, WHAT?
I can find time to work in the nooks and crannies of daily life… The biggest challenge was making sure my children were taken care of when I absolutely needed to be away or could not give them my full attention.
WHAT PRO-TIPS DO YOU HAVE TO SHARE WITH OTHER MOTHERS?
Find ways to include your children in your goals. Give them something to look forward to, to celebrate, and to embrace. They will hold you accountable if you let them in, and they are very good at celebrating too!
WHO WAS YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF SUPPORT IN RETURNING TO WORK?
I didn’t have a big source of support returning to corporate life, but I did have an incredible network of peers pushing me and cheering me on in the barbecue community. They were the ones asking me what was next for the BBQ business and to see photos of the growing family. Ultimately this network of support gave me the confidence to take the leap to spend more time with my children and grow the barbecue business.
As a working parent, I never expected trusted childcare would be so hard and getting sauce nationally distributed would be so much easier.