Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tara Becker, Owner of LIbby Lou's Fun Factory, located in Columbus, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Libby Lou's Fun Factory is an over-the-top ice cream and candy shop offering crazy shakes along with all of your fair and carnival favorites. You will find churros, funnel fries, mini donuts, made-to-order Belgian waffles, shaved ice, and more than 60 flavors of freshly spun cotton candy. The highlight of the shop is my 24 extreme shakes. Our customers, young and old, go crazy for them.
Our customers are all young and old; there is something to please everyone at any age. Nostalgic and crazy tik-tok trending candies make our customers excited when they see something that is "trending" or something from their childhood that they have not seen in a while. On top of all of this, I offer a variety of event services and birthday parties.
Tell us about yourself
I am a single mom to four wonderful kids. I have dabbled in the events/hospitality industry since my oldest son, 28, was just a little guy. I've always enjoyed planning parties, drawing, painting, and just creating in general. In 2006 is when I really ventured out for the first time and opened up a small shop where kids could come to dress up, get their hair done, and have spa services. They could have full-on parties or purchase individual packages. I had character entertainers who went out to parties and corporate events and performed as well as planned and hosted large-scale events such as sweet 16s, quinceaneras, and bar and bat mitzvahs.
In 2010, I went back to work in the corporate world, and I really missed the business and interacting with the kids. I had to leave due to health issues and being pregnant with my third child. I attempted to go back to event planning in 2015 but found out I had the same health issue again and was pregnant with my 4th child. Finally, in 2019, I decided this was it. I went out and started re-developing my business, planned leased space, and was ready and set to go, but literally three weeks later, COVID hit and shut me down. I also went home to work at my corporate job at this time. Three weeks later, they laid us all off, so I took a very quick pivot. Start building candy bouquets and hosting virtual birthday parties. It skyrocketed, so it really drove me to find a new small space with the intention of just recreating what I had previously had.
Well, let's just say things took a twist, and now here I am, 37 crazy ice cream flavors later. Being a role model for my kids is my main motivation for everything I do. I want to show my kids that the sky is the limit and you can have whatever you want as long as you are willing to work for it. Believe me, there are days when I wish I only worked a 9–5 job, but I never give up. No matter how hard things get, I never give up.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating my business from literally zero dollars and building it to what it has become in the last two years, I mean, I honestly cannot believe how quickly it took off, and the following we got online is crazy in just a short amount of time.
I made it happen from nothing because I was determined to make it happen one way or another. There are still days when I am not sure how I am going to keep making it happen, but I figure it out.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
You never stop working, and no one will care as much as you do. No one will ever run your business the exact way you think it should be done. You are in business for a while, and when you are getting started, you wear a million and one hats all at the same time, and it can be pretty stressful at times.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do it! Just Do! Of course, research your idea and have a vision and some sort of plan to use as a guide.
- But really, just do it!
- You will never know unless you just get out there and do it.
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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