The Brave Ones

May 20, 2015

I had the honor to attend Leadercast last week and the message was centered around being Brave.  Rorke Denver a former Navy Seal said, “Bravery doesn’t have to be a solo experience, make it a team sport.  Surround yourself with brave people.”

So much of what I walk through with my business is fear.  Fear of the unknown because I’ve never had to do it before.  For example, I’ve never led a team of people before (one that keeps growing), or made weighty financial decisions that impact my whole operation.  Little bits of fear make me question my intuition daily and sometimes it can be paralyzing.  I feel fortunate to have friends across all kinds of industries that share how they walk through their fears and how they make decisions.  In the video below is a friend who boldly built a business around birthday parties.  It is an inspiring watch, a reminder to be Brave.

In the darkness they shine…

The Brave Ones from Caravan on Vimeo.

“Shape the shapeless, lead the lost, we can change what seems unchangeable.”
-The Brave Ones



May 18, 2015

I sat down with a mentor back in December and he encouraged me to take a step back and survey where I was physically, emotionally and spiritually.  It pained me to admit that even though my little dream was thriving, I wasn’t.  At the time I was trying to make some big decisions and I couldn’t get to the bottom of my answer on my own.  When I sought out his advice for business I didn’t realize it would be the kick in the pants I needed to look at myself.  The easiest place to start was the physical.  I was physically not at my best.  I’ve been a runner since college, I thrive off the challenge of the discipline of pushing my body. But the business of having a shop left no chance for me to make it a priority. And frankly the thought of getting out of bed at 5:30 am every morning to put on my running gear on and make my way out into the dark wasn’t appealing.  I knew I needed it.  I sought out a running partner.  My criteria was pretty simple, someone who could get up early and someone who wasn’t going to make me die as we trained.  We started with 3 miles in December two or three times a week.  We trudged through January adding on tiny bits of mileage here and there.  We ran in sleet in February.  When your weather app reads 28 degrees you could easily sink into the covers but not when you have someone waiting on you.  You get up and run.

What if we treated the world this way, our jobs and our purposes on this Earth.  What if we treated them like someone was depending on us?  How different would life look if we just got up and ran to the hard stuff?

My latest run was a 10 mile trail run in Tyler State Park, it was a hard muddy run:
running Collage


Eat / Thoughts


November 17, 2014

Some of my favorite podcasts:

While I will always love NPR and This American Life, I have a few others that I love to listen to early in the morning while responding to emails and they are in no particular order of favorites:

After the Jump: Grace Bonney interviews loads of small business owners and they share really great insight about the ups and downs of running business, creativity and just general life stuff.  It’s short and wonderful!  It is also recorded in a little studio in a Brooklyn pizza place we popped into last winter, so I love the back ground noises of chatter and pizza eating.  There is something so warm and familiar about hearing restaurant chatter in the background to me.  Here’s a photo from that pizzeria:


Spilled Milk: My love for all things Molly Weizenberg, hello her blog, books and restaurant and her podcast is no different! This podcast is a quirky take on food and comparing food, and it just makes me laugh.  I usually learn something too, it always has a bit of knowledge mixed in there.

Death Sex and Money:  This podcast is just interesting, it hits on really sensitive topics in a genuine way and I love hearing peoples stories and opinions.


Six months and counting…

October 28, 2014

It’s been six months at the shop.  We celebrated with caramel ice cream and pretty gold speckled espresso flavored macaron sandwiches from Cake Walk Bake Shop, at home we clinked our glasses and said cheers and I cried a little, we have come a long way.

six months

It’s easy when you run a business to only see the obstacles, the hurdles and everything holding you back from what you want to be or become.  It is easy to look at your shop and see all the flaws, we need to repaint that, we are suppose to add these displays, we need to relocate the stereo, that tile that’s been broken since before we opened should really be fixed before someone trips on it.  The list isn’t just repairs, it’s marketing, catering, percentage analyzing and everything in between.  To an extent I think it is really healthy to feel this way.  You are constantly trying to improve and striving to be better.  Every healthy business probably never feels as if they have arrived.  For me, I try and break up things every month into micro-goals and work towards improving or accomplishing those goals along with my day to day tasks.  To keep perspective sometimes you have to be reminded of how far you have come and celebrate those tiny victories along the way of accomplishing those goals.  For me it takes my husband reminding me where I was six months ago or one year ago.  What helps you keep perspective?




Highs and Lows

October 7, 2014

We at MELT are shy of just six months of business.  In those six months I have hit some incredible highs and lows along the journey, here’s a few:


Having an actual functioning store where people can buy and eat ice cream.

Having the best team of people I could have ever dreamed of (sometimes I get teary eyed because I am so thankful for Arika, Valerie, Corin, Wesley, Jayne and Julie and all the others that were here over the summer).

Being on TV unexpectedly on a Tuesday.

Meeting and hiring the perfect consultant help us at the perfect time.

Literally most of my customers are incredible people with incredible stories.

Partnering with local businesses that are passionate and getting to know them like: Stir Crazy Baked Goods, Avoca Coffee, Twisted Dog Pretzel, Martin House, Swiss Pastry Shop, Moore Jam and Cane Rosso!


I did a lot of things the wrong way to start with.

Building maintenance is stressful and expensive.

You can not please everyone no matter how hard you try.

Nothing is predictable.

No one teaches you how to be a boss, you figure it out by making mistakes.

It’s a lot of stress to manage.

I am learning that the business is a balance.  It’s a lot easier to work for someone than to open your own business.  When you are the proprietor you have to make decisions even when you don’t know what’s best.  They should call it practicing business.  Some days I want so bad to have a business partner who I can bounce ideas off of or who can take the reigns so I can sleep in and watch movies in my bed and disappear for a day, I would turn off my phone and my computer and hide out under the covers and order Thai food from Spice down the street and I would only decide what movie and whether I wanted spring rolls or crab ragoons.  Then other days I am like, this is so awesome, people come to my shop and eat food and smile and laugh and then come back again, and there is a group of people who have become like my family in helping run it.  Like I said it’s a balance.