Today is National Popcorn Day and we here at See Jane Write can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with Naughty Buy Nice Kettle Corn Co., a female-owned, Birmingham-based business.
Tanesha Sims-Summers and Tiffany Turner of Naughty But Nice have been strong supporters of See Jane Write, sponsoring our first ever Scandal watch party.
If you missed that event, you can get a taste of Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn today for free!
Get a free snack pack at Wasabi Juan’s and at Sozo Trading Co. in Avondale.
Recently, I had a chat with Tanesha what it takes to get your business popping!
I know that you both were bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at an early age, but how did you decide to go into the popcorn business?
It’s funny. We have considered several other options. This idea was encouraged by my Aunt Janice in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She had been raving about kettle corn and its popularity for over a year. She suggested that we should consider looking into it because it was lucrative. Because we are foodies ourselves, we realized that the Birmingham and Alabama market was virtually untapped and it was great potential to offer this product to popcorn enthusiasts and foodies alike. So Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Company was born.
How do you all balance working on your business with working your full-time jobs and, you know, having a life?
This part can be extremely challenging. It takes a lot of sacrificing and multitasking to create and grow a successful company and brand. It requires communication and will to see the bigger picture. We try to schedule meeting times and conferences. We utilize technology to get things accomplished. When you are determined to materialize your dream, you find a way.
How did the CO.STARTERS program help your business?
CO.STARTERS was instrumental to the growth of the company last year. It helped us to really think through and apply our theories. It also helped us to connect and network with a like-minded community.
What changes have you or will you be able to make with the $5,000 that won from REV Birmingham’s Shark Tank-style competition The Big Pitch?
The Big Pitch was a Big Deal! It helped us to put our investment from CO.STARTERS to work. We applied a lot of principles we learned in the class to establish the credibility and growth potential of our business. We were ecstatic to have won the $5000! It allowed us to reduce the company’s debt by almost 50 percent. We will spend the remainder of the year working towards operating a debt free company.
What tips would you offer to aspiring female entrepreneurs, particularly, any tips on being confident enough to be yourself and on taking yourself seriously as a businesswoman?
Entrepreneurship has been near and dear to our hearts as long as I can remember. It’s a sweet spot. The advice I would give is to never ignore the bug. It’s there for a reason. Everyone, surprisingly, is not called to this endeavor. It’s a lofty role to fill and takes a lot of guts and passion. So if you get the itch, you should entertain it. Don’t be afraid to try ideas if it doesn’t require huge risk. Even if you don’t complete that one thing, it actually builds your confidence to keep trying. There is no perfect situation and environment in which you should pursue entrepreneurship. If you think it is and you continuously wait and push it off, it may never happen.
Educate yourself early. I knew I walked to be an entrepreneur so I have followed other successful men and women, read magazines, books, invested in different courses, tried different things, and always prayed that God would give me the wisdom to plunge into the right thing.
Some people simply don’t enjoy their 9 to 5 and some do but that passion burns so deep that no matter what you are doing, you’ll always think of what it could be like to trust myself to build this legacy. For Tiffany, it’s being able to be free to utilize her skill asset in way that it will make a great impact. And being creative. For me, it’s those things plus being able to be an example for my four children and eventually leaving a legacy for them. We both have a passion for community and entrepreneurship, which allows you to take on this responsibility.
We women have great responsibilities and we wear so many hats. We are so much stronger than we realize and we are a lot of times the emotional, spiritual and in some cases financial foundation in our homes and communities. While it may seem really tough at times, we should give ourselves more credit and be blessed to be able to juggle so much. So don’t wait for the for the perfect opportunity. Don’t give up. And always surround yourself with like-minded women and other people who are positive, encouraging, purpose-driven dreamers. Always believe that God has something big for you and you’ll always have the confidence that you need to gain respect and be taken seriously as a female entrepreneur.
If you need more help to jump start your blog, brand, or business, sign up for my free 5-day e-course The J.A.N.E. Jump Start. Course starts Monday, January 25!