Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Whitney Lounsbury, Founder and Owner of Just Made Sugar Free, located in Oceanside, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We have created the most delicious clean ingredient sugar-free, low-carb, gluten, and grain-free line of desserts that even the pickiest eaters love. We are helping families reclaim their favorite childhood desserts without the unhealthy ingredients, so no one is left out when it's time for cake.
Tell us about yourself
When our own family went on a journey to eliminate sugar, gluten, and grains to support our young son with medical complexities, it became clear that there weren't convenient dessert options available that he would enjoy. We wanted to make sure he would be included in life's celebrations even if he couldn't have sugar or gluten. After seeing the gap in the market and realizing how many families were struggling with the same issues we were, it ignited my passion for creating the most delicious and healthy desserts possible made without sugar, gluten, or grains that were also keto-friendly so every celebration would be full of joy instead of sugar. When I hear from parents that their child was able to have a cupcake that they loved because of our work, it makes all of the hard work worth it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a founder is always pivoting when life throws challenges our way, and through that hustle, managing to grow to 45 Southern California retail locations and continue to ship nationwide, collecting over 1500 5-star reviews in the process!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a solo entrepreneur, sometimes you have to wear so many different hats to take your business to the next level and succeed, and you are still only one human. We all go through phases of feeling invincible and then getting knocked back a bit. The difficult part is pushing through those moments when you are knocked down and getting back to moving forward.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The first tip I would give someone looking to start is to just put your thoughts into action, even if you don't have every single detail figured out. Get the ball rolling in some small way and start researching your market. Make sure you have a product-market fit, and then find a way to become as educated as possible about your industry if you aren't already. Next, I would say network with other founders and be of service to them without asking anything in return. If you have something to give, be it your time or a connection, offer it with an open heart. The third tip is only to start a business if you wake up in the morning excited about the prospect of the most mundane part of your potential business as well as the making money part. Because the making money part isn't what will sustain you when times get tough, you must have a mission that helps motivate you and drives you.
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.
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