We decided it was time to take our KCCI blog seriously. You can check out our page on the site here. Otherwise, for your convenience, I posted the blog here as well!
Blogging on this site, on a consistent basis has, you may have noticed from our almost-two-month hiatus, proven to be consistently difficult for us. Unlike our shop’s blog, where we blog about things like cupcakes and classes and the day-to-day workings of lil’ ol’ ephemera at whim (you may check it out right here if you feel so inclined:www.ephemeradesign.com/blog/), this space seems to ask for something a bit, well, MORE. So, we get hung up and run out of ideas and get all crazy and overwhelmed and then, as a result, we post nothing.
When we were approached several months ago, we were asked to write on Entrepreneurship (notice the capital letter which, of course, implies that This is a Very Important Thing). And it IS an important thing for you because, after all, without the brave, brave souls who embark on this adventure called Business Ownership, the vibrancy and spice and texture that comes at us through the doorways of every small business out there would cease to exist and the place where we live would be a whole lot less interesting.
There are so many things that Karen and I question and feel our way around as we maneuver through our own life as shop girls but one thing we know, without any hesitation, is that it is absolutely necessary for the life of a business to embrace and include and welcome those who venture in and support it. It is good for everyone involved to know the story of a business (and I promise you that every business has a pretty good one). When the story is told, the customer becomes a part of that story. And when the customer becomes a part, they become partly responsible for making sure that that business is kept and cared for and looked after. With that, we are dedicating this space, every Tuesday, to an ongoing series in which we introduce some of our favorite local business owners to you. They will share some snippets and bits with you so that you can feel a part of what is happening within their four walls. And for the daydreamers out there–the ones with an idea and a plan and a vision, the ones who have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug whose bite won’t let you rest until you find out “what if?,” we hope that you will see a bit of yourself in this space and that you can get a glimpse of what might be on the other side if you were to take that leap.
When Karen and I moved to Des Moines, one of our very first Favorite Places was a little lunch spot that Karen’s sister came across while a student at Drake. That place was “Flarah’s ” and there, Erin VanDorin is dedicated to bringing esteem and dignity back to your lunch hour while getting as many mini-cheesecakes in as many hands as she can. You can find her at 2815 Beaver Ave.
Until you can make it there, visit her on the web at:
And until you can make it THERE, check out our conversation right here:
When you were 18 years old, what would you have predicted you’d be doing right now?
I was completely unsure of what I would do….I never finished college and so kinda felt that my chance to have a “career” would not happen….i really thought I would be a stay at home mom…..
What were three defining moments that led you to start your own business?
when I realized I couldn’t fail at something I hadn’t tried. 2. i loved what I was doing. 3. If people were buying from my basement why wouldn’t they buy from a retail location?
How did you choose your business’ name?
It is my middle name, named after my grandmother who graciously let me hang on her apron strings and learn to love the kitchen like she did.
Tell us about a moment when you felt like you owned a “real” business.
My first day open…Feb. 14th, 2005…..i unlocked the door…and waited……people came…i knew it was for real!
Has your business evolved into something different from the original vision? How so?
YES! No way five years ago could I have told you a business plan…I had NO idea what I was getting myself into…I just knew I had a passion and a product that was taking off…..fast forward to today, it is a completely different business than it was…even more of a passion and a confidence in what we can do.
When thinking about the course your business has taken thus far, what has been:
The most difficult thing? Keeping the emotional out of the daily grind
The most satisfying thing? I still LOVE IT and can’t imagine doing anything else!
Is business ownership what you expected it would be?
More…and I mean that sincerely…..there are alot of days that I sit in my restaurant all alone and think WOW…..I have come a long way and done what alot of people only dream about doing……i have overcome fear and pushed forward amidst adversity.
If your customer had to choose one adjective to describe their experience in your business, what would you hope it would be?
What is, in your opinion, the most important question somebody who is thinking about starting a business can ask themself?
Do you have such a passion for this business that when you think about the day you sell it or retire will you be able to say it was a great ride….i know for me…the day I hang my apron up or sell my restaurant I will be able to say that was the “best” career…..:)