Heya! Bella here :)
On May 18th, we proudly celebrated one year in business as Coconut Whisk!
As we reflect back at this past 365 days, there's a sense of pure awe. There's also a sense of deep gratitude. To give you an idea of how humbling this journey has been, we want to share with you some of my favorite highlights and lessons from this year.
This year came with some big wins and firsts.
From winning our very first business competition to selling out at farmers' markets to leasing our commercial kitchen to getting into 11 stores to our new products launches, it's all been incredible.
My favorite highlights included
1. Being at the Twin Cities Veg Fest with our family and friends. I never felt more connected to a community than that day.
2. Being on the front cover of a magazine (River Valley Women). It was so unexpected and enlightening!
3. Our launch party in Mankato where we got to celebrate with our community and cut a big ribbon :)
4. Getting invited to speak in front of 500 people at the 2018 Best Prep Luncheon. As someone who never wanted to be in the spotlight or raise her hand in class, this was a personal victory that was made possible through Coconut Whisk.
With the highs, there's also the not-so-fun parts. We've hit major roadblocks and obstacles this year (from bad investments to getting ripped off to the icky growing pains, it was tough). The one that we're still working on is balancing our personal relationship and business relationship as a duo. When you do something you love, it's easy to let it consume all aspects of life. Myles and I hit a period where we were working so much that we lost connection with one another. Seeing a couple's counselor, scheduling date nights and limiting conversations about work after office hours has helped us reconnect!
We've also had plenty of late night cry sessions and arguments but we've come to a point in our relationship where we know that our relationship has to be top priority. We need to because our business would be toast if we're not working as a cohesive pair. Coconut Whisk, our team, and our community deserve our best. That's the #1 lesson that I learned this past year. So if you're in business with your S/O, my biggest piece of advice is to make time for your relationship outside of work and business.
No matter how exhausted I might be or how many hours I put in, there's nothing I'd rather struggle for. There's nothing like hearing feedback about how happy our products make a customer feel. Our favorite is when we get reviews about how our mixes have made someone's life easier. Or when we see a customer's face light up when we say that everything we make is vegan and gluten-free. The peers we've been blessed enough to connect with also make this crazy journey worthwhile. There's nothing like those sweet moments of connection and camaraderie with a fellow small business owner. I've met some of my greatest friends in the vegan community that will last me a lifetime.
In short, I discovered what true community feels like. They're encouraging, uplifting, genuine and supportive. They want to see you win just as much as you want to see them win. It's been my life's greatest privilege to be able to be a part of such a thriving and loving tribe. The people we meet and the customers we serve is our heart.
Here's a list of people and organization that have helped shape us. Cheers!
Thank you Hyvee Mankato, Lakewinds Co-Op, Seward, Herbivorous Butcher, Eureka Compass, Farmaste, Macleod & Co, Colin., Amber Dunlap Photography, Anastasia Star Photography, Bite-Sized Beet, MN Brands for Good, James F., Heidi W., Hannah B., Wes O., Yvonne C., Kinsey F., Brittan from Financial Advisher, Kristine O., United Prairie Bank, College of Business- Mankato, SBDC South Central, Grow North, Midwest Pantry, Women Who Really Cook, FEAST, PLNT BSD, Linden Hills Farmers' Market, Ommie Snacks, Superior Switchel, K Mama, City Girl Coffee, Reverie, Jen's Fars,. and beyond <3
Okay, I'll stop with the Oscar speech now but honestly, thank you.
We're so grateful for our heart-centered business and the way it's allowed us to serve and connect with others. We can't wait for what year #2 has for us!
Cheers to many more,
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