Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shantelle Schulz, Co-Owner of Gearhead Coffee, located in Wylie, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Gearhead Coffee. We focus on different genres of auto enthusiasts who are serious about coffee as much as their cars.
Tell us about yourself
I am a wife, mom, office ninja (that's what it says on my business card), accountant, production manager, and janitor for Gearhead Coffee. My husband was a navigator for a desert racing team. I would ride in the chase truck going from pit to pit. Some of these races could last over 24 hours. Coffee was essential. When we looked around, however, the only thing that was provided were energy drinks, which are not the best for you over a long period of time. That's when the idea came up to start Gearhead Coffee. It is definitely a labor of love, but it has its rewards. My daughters see me working. They go to races, and they get to participate in shows passing out postcards and drawstring bags and selling products. They may be entrepreneurs one day too. I keep going with GHC because I can see the progress the company is making and the potential we have. I run a coffee company. How cool is that?
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One accomplishment is that we have made our growth. We are about to waterfall with our business, which is great. We have recently signed on with MAC Tools as well as Summit Racing Equipment. We have grown so much that we are looking at expanding into a larger facility. It is also rewarding to have people come up to us and praise us for not only our coffee but the personal touches we give to each customer, like personally written notes on each packing slip or stickers included in shipments, etc. We want to make sure that they aren't just a purchase. We recognize and appreciate their support. We have also grown to where we can give back. Some of the foundations we support are A Kid Again and the Jessi Combs Foundation. Having daughters, we want to empower them as females and teach them to give when they can with other kids as well. We hope to be able to do more when we are able.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Making time for my family. There are times when I miss events that my kids are doing, or I need to hop on a call instead of sitting down and having quality time. I try to step away, but sometimes it's hard. Thank goodness my husband is there to support me and help out.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Keep moving forward. If you have customers that are praising you or giving repeat business, you are doing something right.
- You will never know everything there is to run a business, so find mentors (I am mentored by my husband) and connect with people that will help you be successful.
- Always give (without expectations) when you can, and it will come back around in its own way.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.