I meet a lot of people in my world. Many people I meet have been working in their selected industry for years, and some people are just at the beginning. I fell into my industry and line of work, and by habit, continued to write and create content without the idea that it would turn into my career.
Nowadays, everyone is considered an influencer. Born into millions? You’re apparently influencing people. Parents pay for every item and bag? Keep on influencing.
But what about the people, like myself, who didn’t have any of the above (not that you aren’t still successful if you did) but had to work a little bit harder to surround yourself with the right resources? When do we get the appropriate credit?
I felt inspired to start a series with people who inspire me. Teens under 25 who are truly making it on their own always catch my eye.
This week, I wanted to interview Grace of Little G Ice Cream, which is a Boston-based ice cream company. Grace has appeared on shows like Rachael Ray (me too!) and has really taken her business to the next level overnight. Did I mention she’s 17?
A: How did the idea of the business come about?
G: At five, I baked my first birthday cake, for my dad, with my older sister. After that sugary afternoon, I was hooked on baking. I began baking form scratch, coming up with my own recipes, and perfecting these recipes. I also have always loved ice cream. I have fond family memories of summers on Nantucket with daily visits to the local ice cream parlor. When I would visit my grandparents, we would eat ice cream for breakfast. Ice cream is my whole family’s favorite food. I received my first ice cream maker when I was eight, and quickly found ice cream to be the perfect complement for my baked goods. I baked, spun, and tested hundreds of flavor combinations. In July 2015, I established a work base at a commercial kitchen in Dorchester, tested even more ice cream ideas, wrote a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan – a task many food entrepreneurs hire a professional to do, and built a website. I launched little g ice cream co in January 2016 in one store. Now I sell in 20 whole foods, 10 specialty stores, and online with nation wide shipping. I will be adding a lot more stores in the coming months to.
A: What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
G: It sounds cliché but I would say to push through the hard times because there will be a lot of trials at the start. I hit so many speed bumps and hurdles when I was setting up my company. Even today, there are an immense number of obstacles to dodge everyday. Don’t let the hard parts bring you down!
A: What is the hardest part of running a business at a young age?
G: The hardest part of being a young woman business owner is being taken seriously. Sometimes it’s hard to make people see that my business is not a hobby or after school activity; it’s a real business. Similarly, it can be difficult to command a room. I’m usually a shy person but when I’m dealing with business I have to be loud, proud, and confident.
A: What has been your greatest success so far?
G: It’s hard to pinpoint one “greatest” success. There have been so many successes that have made my business what it is today. For example, some of the great successes were starting shipping online, getting a call from Whole Foods about having my product in all north east stores (in the process), and just the overall growth over the year. I’m thankful for every success, big and small.
A: What is your overall goal?
G: I admittedly have big goals. I want to grow this company as big as possible without sacrificing quality or food safety. I dream of being the next Ben & Jerry’s, haha.
Thank you, Grace, for answering our questions, and keep on pushing for your goals! You deserve it.