Take a walk down the path of these entrepreneurs, business owners and progressive women.
We had a chance to interview Essilfua Bartels, founder and Spice Mixologist of , offering gourmet, handcrafted Spices and Sauces made with West-African cooking Techniques and spices and other flavors from around the world. This year Essie’s products landed on the shelves of both Brooklyn Whole Foods locations where you can shop exoitc flavors like Mango Chili Medley, CoCo for Garlic and Tamarind Oh!
What inspired your journey into business?
Curiosity and my love for food and travel
What steps did you take to start your business?
Started small, lots of research, experiments and just giving it my everything
What did you do before this and is this your first business?
Worked in Global procurement in International companies
What is one thing that really helped you with starting your business?
Passion. You cannot do without that.
What are your biggest business ownership fears?
Not delivering my best work or being a failure. Also giving away too much of my company for equity or to the banks.
What do you do to stay motivated when you feel like giving up?
Call my mother. She is my rock. Alternatively, I just take time out to travel and pray or just make sure I immerse myself in nature; I always find zen in nature.
What do you enjoy the most about business ownership (what’s most rewarding)?
The fact that I’m impacting people’s lives each day with my sauces because I’m literally feeding them. Also because my work directly impacts my supplier of spices and artisans who create the products for me.
What do you enjoy the least (what’s least rewarding) about business ownership?
Having to juggle so much. Hoping I would be able to afford more hands so that I’m not doing a million things and dropping the ball sometimes.
If you had to do it again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
What’s one thing in business you cannot go one day without using?
What’s your secret to cultivating a good relationship with your customers/clients?
Make sure you’re accessible and listen to what they have to say.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
Growth, expansion beyond the North East and new products and offerings
What are 3 tips you can share with anyone wanting to be a business owner?
- Be extremely passionate
- Harness your network