Brandi-Marter-Bedrock-Eats-and-Sweets

Brandi Marter // Bedrock Eats & Sweets

Brandi Marter is pretty much the definition of a woman on the go. She’s the chef owner of food service company Bedrock Eats and Sweets. Her paleo/primal empire includes a full service restaurant, a food truck, an online meal delivery service, and grab and go food kiosks all around Memphis.

Brandi lost everything when her high paying job of twelve years disappeared after the financial crisis. She worked a lot of different jobs looking for something that would fit her. Finally, she realized she had to do something that she wouldn’t dread every morning. With nothing left to protect and no children, Brandi found herself unconcerned about a paycheck.

She’d made wedding cakes out of her home for a few years due to a random second job. This roundabout opportunity taught her all the basics and although unqualified, she replied to a Craigslist ad for a pastry chef. Eight years later here she is the owner of very own food business. Read on for a raw look at what it’s like to take a leap of faith when you have no idea what you’re doing and to successfully learn along the way!

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When did you know that you wanted to call the shots?
I always daydreamed about owning my own business. I’m not sure I was ever really brave enough to want to once I knew what was involved… thank goodness for friends that push you to do what you’re afraid of!

I always daydreamed about owning my own business... Click To Tweet

Why this business?
There are many reasons but in the end it’s really about helping people who want to do better. Changing your lifestyle is difficult and it’s easier a lot of the time to give up and go back to old habits. Bedrock helps to keep people that are struggling from throwing in the towel. That makes me happy.

Bedrock helps to keep people that are struggling from throwing in the towel. That makes me happy. Click To Tweet

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Please describe your typical day.
I usually get to the shop awhile before we open so I can sit in the quiet and have a coffee before all hell breaks loose. Once the doors are open, we’re slinging food and making deliveries. I’m cooking and doing administrative work while trying to grab bites of food in between.

I always leave for a couple of hours to go down the street to CrossFit Hit and Run and work myself into forgetting how irritated I was at whatever problem has popped up during the day. Restaurants have so many more mechanical/production issues than people not involved in the inner workings realize. I spend the late afternoons closing down the shop and getting us ready for the next day. I tend to watch mindless TV with my dogs when I get home. It’s far more satisfying than it sounds!

I struggle just like everyone else does. It just happens that my fight is one that I've chosen. Click To Tweet

What’s the best decision you ever made that moved your business forward?
Moving out into our own space and separating from our former parent company to become our own entity was the best decision I’ve ever made. I was simply an employee before. I was the only reason Bedrock existed. I was the only Bedrock employee at the time but I wasn’t profiting in any way from the business being successful. Separating made Bedrock mine not only in spirit but, finally, in reality.

I was stuck before in the comfortability of knowing that if it failed it wasn’t on my shoulders. Once I took that step I realized that instead of it being a burden (employees relying on me, bank account balances to worry about, taxes to pay, etc.) it was a gift. It’s still hard and those burdensome things are still something that I have to deal with but the good most definitely outweighs the bad.

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Tell me about a growing pain you’ve experienced in your business.
Once we moved into our own space and opened as an actual full service restaurant I really had no idea what I was doing. Those first few weeks of sheer terror and no sleep were the stuff nightmares are made of. Of course it just took some time and we’ve settled in now but the beginning was rough.

I had never cooked to order before I opened the new location. I didn’t know the meaning of most of the words in my operating agreement. I had no idea how to calculate food cost and deal with appropriate percentages in the world of profit margins. Dividends were a mystery to me. I truly knew almost nothing about what I was doing.

The fact that I own this business does not make me rich or cool. I think the opposite is more true. Click To Tweet

I’m by no means a stupid woman. I’ve done a lot of things in my life that involved me taking on something I was unfamiliar with and more than a little afraid of. I knew I’d learn but having all of that unknown hovering over you like a cloud is daunting. I couldn’t turn off my mind. I was awake every night wide-eyed and neurotic about what to do first and how to gain all of this knowledge.

But in the end it’s that drive to learn and that need to know that made me get down to business fast. I dove in head first. I still mess up all the time. That’s ok with me and, thankfully, ok with my staff and customer base. Communication and care is all people really need. If you tell them what’s going on and make sure they know how much you want to take care of them they tend to be very forgiving of your momentary ignorance. I grew and I kept my head high. I’m still doing those things every day.

It's that drive to learn & that need to know that made me get down to business fast. I dove in… Click To Tweet

What was the biggest change in your business this year?
The food truck! Making that decision and moving forward with it has been a fun process and I’m really glad I wasn’t too chicken to do it.

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What are you most excited about right now for your business?
The spring/summer. We opened in July of last year and, of course, weren’t ready to capitalize on the amazing street we’re on. We have these great patio doors that open up the entire front of the restaurant onto the sidewalk. South Main will be full of people and I want to feed them all!

South Main will be full of people and I want to feed them all! Click To Tweet

What is your favorite thing about Monday?
I get organized on Mondays. I pay bills, I write schedules, I do inventory. That sounds brutal but after I’m done I feel good and definitely less burdened.

I get organized on Mondays... that sounds brutal but after I'm done I feel good. Click To Tweet

Owning your own business is hard. I’m lucky to be able to do it and I understand that completely but I think people have an idealistic view of entrepreneurship. The fact that I own this business does not make me rich or cool. I think the opposite is more true. I struggle just like everyone else does. It just happens that my fight is one that I’ve chosen.

Connect with Brandi // Bedrock Eats and Sweets // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // Images by Lisa Mac

Kat Selvocki – Flat Mat Yoga

Kat Selvocki // Flat Mat Yoga

Kat Selvocki is yet another entrepreneur I met through the Being Boss community (find out more about that right here). She’s high energy, genuinely interested in others, and sports a hairdo that just won’t quit. She doesn’t seem like your typical yoga instructor, at least not one I’ve ever met! Her clients are also not the first types of folks who come to mind when I think about yoga. And I love everything about that.

In this interview, Kat takes us through an entrepreneurial journey that started with wanting to open a pie shop and ended with teaching yoga to roller derby girls. She shares both her successes and her struggles as she figures out how to integrate an online side of her business that includes two podcasts and a Youtube yoga channel with what she’s doing in the Seattle area.

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When did you know that you wanted to call the shots?

I had the first hint of wanting to call the shots for myself in 2009, when I thought about opening a pie shop. After doing a lot of research and baking and some promotion and baking contests, I realized that I wasn’t really interested in opening a food biz in New York City without a partner. I continued to do my thing in the nonprofit world until 2011. That year, I started my yoga teacher training the same week that I was in a training at Columbia University for mid-level managers at nonprofits. Those two things together helped me realize that I wanted to forge my own path, rather than keep doing what I was doing for someone else.

I wanted to forge my own path rather than keep doing what I was doing for someone else. Click To Tweet

Why this business?

It’s the perfect combination of the skill sets that I developed over the course of my career: event planning, writing, managing websites and social media, leading groups, teaching skills. I also love being active, so the opportunity to do that as part of my business makes sense! I’ve geared my programs specifically toward roller derby because it was a community that I loved when I skated for Gotham Girls in New York, and I missed that camaraderie. Though I only skate casually now, it’s awesome to be a part of the derby world!

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Please describe your typical day.

At first, I laughed at the idea of a typical day, and then realized that I’ve finally settled into a little bit of a rhythm – so that’s exciting! Mornings are usually creative work: writing blog posts, recording voiceover for yoga videos, creating program content. I check in on social media in the morning, too. I’ll work for an hour or two, go for a run, and then get back to it after I eat and shower. I teach midday most days, then come home to answer emails, check in on social media, play with my puppy, and take care of any other pressing tasks for the day, whether they’re work or household chores. I teach again in the evening and usually head to bed right after class!

For me this is so worth all of the exhausting days & teary nights. Click To Tweet

What’s the best decision you ever made that moved your business forward?

Going to RollerCon (the largest roller derby convention in the world – it brings 5,000+ skaters to Las Vegas every July) to teach in 2013, even though I didn’t have anything set up for my business at that point. I saw that they were looking for more off-skates teachers, especially for things like yoga, and decided to send in class ideas. It gave me an amazing platform to start building my name and my mailing list, and I had so much fun meeting skaters, watching bouts, and enjoying the experience.

Tell me about a growing pain you’ve experienced in your business.

It’s easy to get people to share your blog posts and download free offerings. It’s easy to build a name for yourself as an expert. It’s so much harder to get those folks to purchase products or programs. I quit my other part-time job last year (the one that I was doing in addition to Flat Mat and teaching classes in the Seattle area), and that’s been an interesting challenge to work with over the past year. It’s a slower build than I’d hoped it would be, which is particularly tough because I’m single so if I don’t bring in the money, my rent doesn’t get paid and I can’t eat! Six-figures in six weeks–or whatever the current spiel is–well, that’s not the reality of most businesses.

Six-figures in six weeks... well that's not the reality of most businesses. Click To Tweet

Kat Selvocki – Flat Mat Yoga

What was the biggest change in your business this year?

The biggest change in my business last year was the transition from it being a side hustle to more than half of what I do! This year, I’ve added more ongoing information in addition to the blog (podcast, YouTube channel) as well as a new program. Within the next year, I’m also planning to expand the scope to include climbers, distance runners, and other athletes, since I work with those folks on a regular basis here in Seattle already.

Creating and finding support systems with fellow small business owners has made a huge difference. Click To Tweet

What are you most excited about right now for your business?

Podcasting! I started two podcasts this year: Flat Mat Radio, which is about care and maintenance for skaters, and Yoga Skeptics, which I co-host with my friend and fellow boss Jen Mullholand. I love getting to chat with awesome people on the regular and share their knowledge more broadly!

What is your favorite thing about Monday?

It’s a rest day after my long runs on Sunday. 🙂 It’s also when I often do podcast interviews for Flat Mat Radio, and when my roommate and I have our weekly breakfast for dinner date. Basically, Mondays are rad!

Entrepreneurship–and especially solopreneurship–isn’t for everyone, but for me, this is so worth all of the exhausting days and teary nights. Because let’s be real: we all have those sometimes! I work harder now than I ever did for anyone else, and I love it and can’t imagine going back to a “normal” job. Creating and finding support systems with fellow small business owners has made a huge difference for me, and I can’t recommend that enough if you’re choosing this path.

I work harder now than I ever did for anyone else and I love it. Click To Tweet

Connect with Kat // Kat Selvocki // Flat Mat Yoga // Instagram // Facebook // Periscope // Vimeo