Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elaine Kanelos, owner of Snow Owl Confectioners, located in Denver, Colorado, United States.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Snow Owl Confectioners makes decadently delicious all-natural hot fudge sauces inspired by my grandfather, Andy, who created Andes (R) Candies, the world's best-selling after-dinner mint. I think of it as Happiness in a Jar. We're absolutely passionate about using only the highest quality, natural ingredients to create sauces so sumptuous and luscious you'll want to eat them with a spoon. You should feel good about treating yourself and your loved ones with sauces that are a natural, artisan indulgence.
Tell us about yourself
With a family with 100 years of chocolate history, it becomes part of who you are. Except I resisted joining the family business. I wanted to make my own success in the world. I did that to become a widely respected marketing and business development expert in the world of high-stakes architecture and construction.
Then I took a trip to Greece to reassess my career and explore my family roots there. Visiting my ancestral village reconnected me with my grandfather - from his very humble beginnings to his great success. I returned home thinking about his hot fudge sauce - my very favorite of all the chocolate treats in my world growing up.
I was determined to turn a decades-long dream of mine into reality and start a hot fudge company that honored the wonderful sauce of my grandfather - natural, delicious, and special. It's not easy starting a company when you're close to retirement and when you have to learn and re-learn the family tradition. But it's been hugely fulfilling for me. Making something truly delicious, absolutely natural, created with the best ingredients, and honoring my family's history motivates me daily.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting Snow Owl Confectioners! I've held big responsibilities at internationally known firms, but starting a business from scratch, on my own was by far the most significant achievement of my business career. We're small but growing every day and with a very dedicated following of customers. When I'm at a farmers market, holiday market, or tasting for a local store and someone takes their first taste of Butter Me Up or Snuggle in the Dark, the expression of pure joy on their faces makes me indescribably happy. And I know I'm doing the right thing.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Figuring it out on your own. I use every resource I can find and talk to many trusted advisors. But ultimately, I'm responsible for the success or failure of Snow Owl Confectioners.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Find people who have done it before you and reach out to them. When Snow Owl was just an idea I was determined to make real, I reached out to complete strangers who had started food businesses on their own. Everyone I contacted agreed to talk to me, and they were universally kind, insightful, and supportive. They gave me great advice and the encouragement I needed. They were invaluable to me.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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