Fancy sprinkles founder

Fancy sprinkles founder DEFAULT

Investment aligns with the firm’s intent to invest in direct-to-consumer, e-commerce driven businesses

CHICAGO/LOS ANGELES – September 26, 2018 – Sterling Partners (“Sterling”), a diversified investment management firm committed to building great companies and inspiring growth, has invested in Fancy Sprinkles, a woman-owned, women-run, direct-to-consumer, e-commerce business that strives to make the very best in confectionery sprinkles. This is the first institutional investment for the company.

Based in Los Angeles, Fancy Sprinkles is led by CEO and Creative Director Lisa Stelly Osbourne. Sterling’s investment in the company aligns with its commitment to working with entrepreneurs and driving transformational growth for its portfolio companies.

Stelly Osbourne conceived the idea of Fancy Sprinkles shortly after welcoming her second child and launched the company in 2016 with just $2,000. A passionate cake artist, Stelly Osbourne was constantly in search of decorative, sweet, and high-end toppers, and she was dissatisfied with the choices available in stores and the lack of options overall. Over several months, she became a sprinkle connoisseur, sourcing rare, artisan sprinkles, manufacturing her own custom colors, and combining them into something she would want to use. Today the company prides itself on the options it provides and creating choices consumers never knew they had, for almost any occasion and baked good.

Sterling’s capital will support Fancy Sprinkles’ needs to hire and expand infrastructure and evaluate growing its product pipeline and retail partnerships. Stelly Osbourne will continue to lead the business. She will focus on developing products and creating content for the company’s social channels to further grow and connect with her customer base.

“I am so excited about Sterling’s partnership. I know it’s a true testament to the model my team and I created,” said Stelly Osbourne. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this point and I cannot wait to take Fancy Sprinkles to the next level and reach even more of my fellow bakers. If you want to be the best, you must learn from the best and Sterling’s team has been incredible thus far. I have no doubt we will do great things together.”

Fancy Sprinkles sells its products à la carte, through a monthly subscription, and through partnerships, including an upcoming engagement with Neiman Marcus. Products include but are not limited to vegan sprinkles, crunchy and round sprinkles, seasonal sprinkles, sugar shapes, like stars and hearts, and their signature CRUNCHY JIMMIES,® a powdered sugar-based sprinkle that yields a sweet, and exceptionally crunchy taste and texture.

“Sterling was founded initially not as an investment firm but as a group of individuals who were building disruptive technology-driven companies,” said Steven Taslitz, Chairman and Co-Founder of Sterling Partners. “Investing in Fancy Sprinkles and working with an entrepreneur like Lisa is at the core of who we are and what we do. We look forward to growing this e-commerce, direct-to-consumer venture and expanding the joy and fun this product brings consumers.”

Sterling’s direct-to-consumer, food-focused investments include Roti Mediterranean, SusieCakes, and Forbidden Root. Learn more at www.sterlingpartners.com.

About Fancy Sprinkles: Fancy Sprinkles is a woman-owned, women-run company. It was started in 2016 by now CEO & Creative Director Lisa Stelly Osbourne. Fancy Sprinkles strives to make the very best in confectionery sprinkles as a direct-to-consumer, e-commerce-based business, and has the ability to work directly with its customers and provide them with exceptional goods and customer service. For more information, visit: https://www.fancysprinkles.com/.

About Sterling Partners: Sterling Partners is a diversified investment management firm with a distinct point of view on how to build great companies. Founded in 1983 and having invested billions of dollars, Sterling is guided by its stated purpose, INSPIRED GROWTH®, which describes Sterling’s approach to investing in differentiated businesses and growing them in inspired ways. Sterling provides valuable support to the management teams of the companies in which the firm invests through a deep and dedicated team of professionals, including a strong network of outside directors and advisors. The people at Sterling believe in ideas and ideals, in people and in partnerships that drive long-term success.

Sours: https://privateequity.sterlingpartners.com/sterling-partners-leads-series-a-funding-for-fancy-sprinkles/

Fancy Sprinkles strives to make the very best in confectionery sprinkles. In other words, our stuff is bar none. As a direct to consumer, e-commerce based business, we have the ability to work directly with our amazing customers and provide them the highest quality goods and best customer service.

Our business is dedicated to hiring women of all ethnicities, backgrounds, views, and religions. We boast a diverse staff of ladies, a few gents, and are proud of our safe, growth-friendly work environment that offers benefits and most of all supports working women & mothers.

Fancy Sprinkles was founded in 2016 by now CEO & Creative Director Lisa Stelly after winning her battle with Post-Partum Depression. She is a single mom of three little girls, and runs the ten thousand square foot sprinkle facility based in Los Angeles....

Fancy Sprinkles strives to make the very best in confectionery sprinkles. In other words, our stuff is bar none. As a direct to consumer, e-commerce based business, we have the ability to work directly with our amazing customers and provide them the highest quality goods and best customer service.

Our business is dedicated to hiring women of all ethnicities, backgrounds, views, and religions. We boast a diverse staff of ladies, a few gents, and are proud of our safe, growth-friendly work environment that offers benefits and most of all supports working women & mothers.

Fancy Sprinkles was founded in 2016 by now CEO & Creative Director Lisa Stelly after winning her battle with Post-Partum Depression. She is a single mom of three little girls, and runs the ten thousand square foot sprinkle facility based in Los Angeles.

More information
Sours: https://www.f6s.com/fancysprinkles
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Full Transcript:

[00:00:00] We would like to open this episode with a trigger warning, as it contains discussion of eating disorders, body image issues, and or weight loss or management. If this does not feel safe for you at this time, please skip the episode and come back to it if and when you're ready. After, you know, I got like an official like partner. I, the first thing I said was we need to get a CEO in here because I am A, not a CEO and B I don't want to be one and I don't ever want to be one in the future.

[00:00:30] So I really wanted someone to come in and like, steer the business in the direction it needed to go so that I could focus on the creative and the content and the product development, the things that I'm really good at.

[00:00:41] And I think that that's one thing that entrepreneurs sometimes struggle with. That was the voice of Lisa Steli, founder and CCO for Fancy Sprinkles. In desperate need of a delicious star shaped sprinkle for a 4th of July cake, Lisa remembered the [00:01:00] sweet and crunchy sprinkles she had discovered while traveling in Europe.

[00:01:04] She realized the key was to use powdered sugar instead of the wax and cornstarch used in most American sprinkles and decided to make them herself. A friend encouraged her to sell her sprinkles after trying them on a donut and Fancy Sprinkles was born. Today we're talking about identifying and following your strengths, the importance of play and listening to your inner child.

[00:01:31] Hi everyone. We're your hosts,  Ashley Brooke James and Elizabeth Moore, co founders of TRILUNA and this is the Wellness Community Magic podcast. A podcast with a pro- donut, anti-racist, Glenda- the- good- witch agenda. We're here to take on diet culture by making self-care realistic, sustainable, and inclusive.

[00:01:51] So settle in, get cozy and join us on our journey to build community and redefine wellness. Let's get started.

[00:02:02] [00:02:00] Thank you so much for being here. We like to start the podcast off by asking everyone the same question. And the question is if you were any donut, what donut would you be and why? If I was a donut. I would probably choose classic glazed. I'm sure a lot of people say that, but it's true. It's like, if you're in the mood for a donut, you can either be in the mood for chocolate or something with sprinkles or like a maple.

[00:02:33] But if someone gives you a glaze, like if they're out of the other ones, you're not sad about it. You know what I mean? So it's like glazed is the classic. Yeah. You just like, can't go wrong with a glazed. So our second part to that question is why doesn't your donut have sprinkles on it? Um, because they don't sell good sprinkles anywhere except uh, we're the only people that make good sprinkles.

[00:02:58] Yeah. I [00:03:00] don't, I never get sprinkles on anything at any ice cream places or donut shops because the sprinkles that are out there just, they don't have any flavor. They're kind of waxy and mushy. They don't add anything. So I'm like, I'll scrape them off. So that's like the perfect segway because I have been obsessed with fancy sprinkles for about a year now, since I discovered you like pretty, pretty majorly obsessed.

[00:03:25] And I did not know that I was a sprinkle person. Because I had never had good sprinkles. I'm also a kind of a branding freak so I had never seen sprinkles with good branding. So when I found the marriage of those two things, I was like, they're going in every box. We're going to have them all over our house.

[00:03:42] I'm not eating anything unless it has sprinkles on it from now on it's because it's so little, I have like an entire cabinet now just full of fancy sprinkles. She just loved to look at them. Do you just like to look at them? Sometimes they just make you happy when you look at them? They do. And I think I like to collect [00:04:00] things.

[00:04:01] And so I have, like, I like having my collection of sprinkles and glitter much to the chagrin of my poor boyfriend who absolutely hates glitter. I now put it in all of my cocktails. It's in all of my wine. I travel with it. It comes with me everywhere I go.

[00:04:19] I have to admit I'm not as sprinkle crazy as Liz, but I do have a collection and I do like them on a nice cocktail. Um, I was following you like crazy during the holidays because you were like posting a lot of different cocktails with them and like this, now this is my jam right here. On a latte, on a anything like, yes. That's where I fall in love with the sprinkles and I love the branding.

[00:04:50] I love the, um, the, the one sweatshirt I asked Nick about and he was like, yeah, we don't have those anymore. The sprinkles snob, sprinkles snob. That one, like I love all the [00:05:00] branding, the apparel. It's great. I think that's a good segway into why you like them. And the reason for that is because you have been doing a lot of inner child work.

[00:05:14] And this was something that you felt was just like, really brought that to you. And so I want to direct the question to Lisa as to first, why sprinkles? And do you feel like this plays right there with the inner child work that we should all be doing? Yeah. Yeah. So to answer part one of that question, why sprinkles?

[00:05:38] It really all started when I started getting into cake decorating as a hobby. After my second daughter was born, I was super depressed. I had really terrible postpartum depression, anxiety, and it just, I felt like my entire life was about being a mom and having kids. And I just felt like I didn't have anything that was mine, um, that I could do that had nothing to do with [00:06:00] them.

[00:06:00] So I sort of went down the rabbit hole of like, cake decorating videos on YouTube. And I've always historically done things in the art space. Like whether it's painting or crafting, I'm just like, I'm really handy and nifty. Like I, I do all kinds of stuff around the house. Um, and I was like, I could do that.

[00:06:16] Um, and so I just sort of like watched a bunch of YouTube videos and then I researched it, bought all the stuff and then I just started cake decorating and I fell in love with it because I always explain it like. Artists typically really subjective to the person who's viewing it. I can look at a painting and say, Oh, that's beautiful.

[00:06:34] That really speaks to me. And then you, Ashley, can look at it and say, I don't get it. I get it. But nobody looks at a beautifully decorated cake and says, I don't get it. They say, Oh my God, that's amazing. I want to eat it. It's beautiful. So, and it's also something that you can start to finish in one setting where you don't have to like go back to a painting and maybe forget it and become uninspired.

[00:06:54] So that's why I was really drawn to cake decorating. Um, and then once I [00:07:00] started going down that path and that became my hobby, I realized, wow, there's nothing on the grocery store aisles or crafting store aisles that's speaking to me. It's all really terribly packaged. I'm the type of person who buys things based on packaging.

[00:07:12] So like, If they got eight shampoos, I'm picking the one that I liked the brand in the best. So on that person, there was a lot of me out there. And so I was like, nothing speaking to me. I don't understand any of these products. I felt like there was a huge barrier to entry into like what I was buying. You know, I just felt like brands weren't doing a great job of explaining what the products were for, how you could use them,  and there was certainly nothing that I wanted to put on my calendars that like matched with my decor. 

[00:07:39] I was like, wow, the sprinkles are really ugly. And I would see like, you know, people from other countries posting like more beautiful sprinkles.

[00:07:45] And at that time I was traveling a lot. Um, and I was in Germany and I came across these sprinkles and they just looked so pretty. They didn't look like the sprinkles that I was used to and I tasted them and they tasted like powdered sugar. They were so crunchy. They were [00:08:00] delicious. I was like, what are these. Like, why don't we have these? Where in America, where we live.

[00:08:05] And so that kind of got my wheels turning and I just decided to like start the business. It started really small. And then from there it just grew because there was a need for it. And I think when there's a need for something, it naturally just has a path and a course to success because you know, some of the best ideas are born out of necessity.

[00:08:25] And to your second question about exploring my inner child in this business, I think it's huge for me because you really have to get in touch with not only your creativity, but also allow yourself to just have fun and play with things. I have three children. So I would say probably in the last eight years, I've done more inner child work than ever before.

[00:08:51] I think it's really important. I think play is a major part of creativity, um, and how you can heal a lot of past trauma. [00:09:00] And things like that through just like play. So I play with my kids all the time. I play make-believe with them, lots of imagination games, and just kind of like, I'm just inspired by them and their innocence.

[00:09:13] And I think it sort of makes me look back and reflect on myself. I think empathy is a really big part of learning about your inner child. I read a book once. I can't remember the name of it. It was kind of a trash book, but there was one part of it that, that really resonated with me. And it's sort of, she didn't use the words inner child, but she used the words younger self.

[00:09:36] And I think, especially as women, a lot of times we look back on our past experience and, you know, we'll say things that are really degrading. Like, God, I was so stupid then, or why did I do that? And I think if we look at ourselves, our younger selves, like we would be looking at someone else. And, you know, I would have empathy for [00:10:00] a 20 year old girl who maybe is in an abusive relationship who is having a bad time and is making some bad decisions.

[00:10:06] I just have empathy for her. So why can't we look at our younger selves that way and say, my 20 year old self, like have empathy for her, it's me, but I'm having empathy for her. And I think we can heal a lot of past traumas and explore in our child more whenever we have empathy for our younger selves.

[00:10:23] Yeah, I really love the idea of not just sprinkles, but creativity and inner child work as self-care and yours came, it sounds like, actually as a form of self-care to find something for yourself to work through some anxiety and some postpartum. And I, I think it's such a unique perspective on how to engage in self care, because usually we, we pigeonhole ourselves in the idea that it needs to be like a bubble bath or it needs to be exercise, or it needs to be kind of these like more traditional forms of wellness, but play and joy is such an important part of that.

[00:10:57] And I think that's why I fell in love with the sprinkles earlier on this [00:11:00] year, when it was like, everything was so bleak and hard. And I just wanted a little bit of joy and it happened to come at the time that I found this like rainbow color plethora of sprinkles and glitter. And it was just the exact thing that I needed.

[00:11:16] And it's not, it's not normally something I would associate with myself. I like wear all black and white and Brown, and I don't have a ton of color in my home until now. And it has brought so much relief into my environment to have color like that in it. Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes I entertain myself by reading Facebook comments from people who are maybe not even a customer or a follower.

[00:11:40] And over the summer when we did a lot of ads featuring prison powder in Rose and cocktails and wine, so many people and you remember this was like, pandemic was like, we were all really kind of shut-ins like, we weren't really doing anything. And it was sort of the beginning of it. And so many people had such negative comments.

[00:12:00] [00:11:59] Like I don't get it. What's the point, but why? And I was like, because it's fun. Like just let me live. Like, you know, so many people loved it and they were like, Oh my gosh, this makes me so happy right now. It's like, you know, if I can just give anyone a little bit of joy, you know, it's like, it's the little things.

[00:12:18] It's the little luxuries. It's not, it's not, it doesn't mean a diamond ring. It doesn't mean, you know, a Prada handbag. It's just like the little tiny luxuries that can make you kind of feel elevated throughout your everyday life. Why not? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I like how Liz put that, that was you finding self care for yourself because you know, we're, we're big believers of the world making us feel like we're not well enough.

[00:12:45] And one of the things that attracted me to you was the fact that I'm out here. I'm about to go to McDonald's, I'm about to eat these sprinkles. I'm about to live my best life [00:13:00] and I don't care. I mean, and what I love the most is that you're in California, right? Yeah. It's very taboo. And I was like, you know what? She is real.

[00:13:09] I really like the realness about her. I really liked the fact that she's not letting the world tell her that she's not well enough because so many times, obviously with us being a wellness company, we see that. We have these conversations.

[00:13:24] So where did you get to that point where you're, you know, being in LA, obviously in California and there's so many, you have to look like this, you have to eat this, you have to, when did you come to a point where you were like, you know what, I'm going to do whatever it is that makes my soul happy, or have you always been that way?

[00:13:43] I think I've always been that way. I'm from Louisiana. I grew up on the Bayou and I just, you know, when I moved here, I was really young and I was in the modeling industry and so, you know, I kind of developed early [00:14:00] physically. So even when I was a young girl, I was always really self-conscious about my body because I developed early.

[00:14:05] Right. And I'm in the South, it's like, Oh, you need to cover up. Like, you know, so I always kind of had a complex about it. So whenever I became a model, it was like, here it is. You know, and then you're just judged so much. And I just hated it because it never really resonated with who I was as a person anyway. 

[00:14:20] But, you know, I've gone through patches where I've been super self-conscious about my body, super insecure, like low self-esteem. But I would say probably just like in the last few years, like, I've really gotten a handle on it. Like I really don't care. Um, you know, I think it also has to do with like, you know, loving yourself, but also really believing it, being in healthy relationships, healthy friendships.

[00:14:45] Uh, you know, I stopped a couple of years ago. I stopped following a lot of Instagram accounts that were making me feel bad about myself. I was like, why am I following this? Like, I'm a mom with three kids. I'm a single mom now seeing all these mothers with their kids and matching pajamas and their [00:15:00] hair's like perfect.

[00:15:01] And. I'm just like, how? I just, and you know, it was just making me feel bad about myself. So I just stopped following those accounts. I think it's just like taking it out of your field of vision. You can't see it. It's out of sight out of mind. And at the end of the day, I've always suffered from anxiety disorders and the whole gambit of like ups and downs with depression. 

[00:15:22] I talk about it all the time. I'm a big, big mental health proponent. I, I really, really believe in taking care of your mental health, whether that means taking medication for you or not. You know, I, I think, I think they go hand in hand. I think a lot of people who are anxious tend to scrutinize themselves more and then they have, again, the whole wellness industry is like, You're not well enough, like you were saying, it's, you know, and it's just like, well, geez, I'm doing everything right.

[00:15:48] I'm not drinking out of BPA plastic. I'm eating healthy. I'm eating organic, but I still feel like shit. Because if you don't have your mental health together, you're going to feel terrible. Honestly, when [00:16:00] I was eating a hundred percent organic years ago after I had my first child, I was, you know, I couldn't breastfeed anymore.

[00:16:05] Cause I was so stressed out. I was making formula for my daughter. Like I was like a hundred percent organic. I almost passed out in the mall once because I refused to eat anything in the mall. And I'm like, this is not healthy. No, I was more miserable than I had ever been. My weight was not great. I was too thin and too thin from my own health.

[00:16:25] Not like looks wise, but a lot of it is really just like a lie and it comes down to health, to happiness. I'm not preaching for people to be unhealthy. I'm not preaching for people to eat McDonald's every day. I'm saying, if it makes you happy eat the damn cupcake. Yeah. You actually said a quote that we say all the time when you were talking just now, I mean, you didn't say the exact words, but you basically said it.

[00:16:47] We say it all the time. You can eat all the kale in the world, but if you have a ton amount of stress, what is that going to do for you? Nothing. Cortisol is a real thing. Yeah. It's a real thing. People, you know, it's like, I was stressing [00:17:00] more about the amount of wellness I was doing. I had like 55 supplements everyday.

[00:17:05] I was stressing out about taking my supplements, drinking my green juice, reading all these blogs about, well, no, we've actually discovered the cure for thyroid issues. And I'm like the reason I have thyroid issues is cause I'm so stressed out trying to do well. So I really had to find the balance. And, you know, like, I think I have a good balance now.

[00:17:23] I still eat a lot of organic foods. I love healthy foods. I love salads. I love vegetables. I eat all of that stuff. But when I want a slice of cake, I eat a slice of cake and I don't feel bad about it. And I think just not feeling bad about it and not stressing out about what it's doing to my body is actually healthier then if I would not eat the cake. 

[00:17:46] Absolutely. We talk about that all the time. The impact of guilt and how that lives and manifests in your body and it is corrosive and it's, yeah, I mean, if you're stressing out about not getting the right green [00:18:00] juice and you're raising your cortisol levels as a result, you're making yourself less well.

[00:18:04] And we find ourselves in the wellness space, we find ourselves doing so much unlearning and trying to help the people that we work with unlearn, but it is so deeply engrained in how we see the world. And it's like things that are actually not grounded in that much science are seen as fact. Like BMI is like a totally BS metric.

[00:18:28] It's complete bullshit, but we have taken it as a Cardinal fact and it just builds this guilt. And then also people don't get the kind of medical attention that they need because people are making assumptions about them based on absurd metrics like BMI. So it's yes, we understand what you're saying.

[00:18:45] We're exactly on the same page. You're speaking our language, Lisa.  There is a lot of, um, eating disorders too, around wellness, like there's obsessive compulsive eating like healthy. Um, where people like make themselves sick and they're not getting the right nutrients because they think that if they only eat [00:19:00] kale or broccoli that they're getting, that's all they need.

[00:19:03] Like there's people who don't eat and they try to absorb the sun. Like they're a plant, photosynthesis. Yep. I met someone who claimed to be a breatharion on a retreat in Bali, and it was truly one of the most bizarre experiences of my lifetime. I'm just really happy that she used the word photosynthesis.

[00:19:22] I hadn't heard that word in a long time, so thank you. I also want to ask, I want to talk about more sprinkles. There is more sprinkles to talk about, but I do have to ask you, what do you get when you go to McDonald's? It depends on my mood. If I'm really hungry, um, I get the crispy chicken deluxe combo. But if I'm just like want a little snack, I'll get a large fry and a diet Coke with extra ice.

[00:19:49] Or if I want like a medium snack, I'll get a McChicken with fries and a Coke. But I read recently, every time I go, I'm like so mad because they got rid of [00:20:00] the spicy chicken sandwich, which I loved, but I saw it on a bus the other day an ad, it's coming back. And I was like, yes. That's amazing. I will, to the end of my life claim that McDonald's has the best soft serve ice cream.

[00:20:16] Oh yeah. If their machine works. Yeah, that's true. We need, like my best friend literally has a machine, a McDonald's machine locator app, Kiva, to see if it's working or not. I didn't realize so many things. Yeah. Because so many don't work. My favorite thing at McDonald's is in the fall when they have those, the pumpkin cream pies.

[00:20:38] I eat like, I eat so many of them and guess what? I put sprinkles on them this year. Oh, wow. That's amazing. I didn't eat. I've never even heard of that. Oh my gosh. Every time I left your house, there is a McDonald's right there.

[00:20:55] My other guilty pleasure I have to say is Taco Bell, like forever big [00:21:00] Taco Bell fan. I haven't had Taco Bell in a while, but I think the one, okay. There's a Taco Bell in East Nashville that is like notorious. Like they do the crate, like they'll put like one piece of lettuce in, in a taco shell and like serve it out.

[00:21:14] And so there's like whole threads in the East Nashville Facebook group just dedicated to pictures of how badly this Taco Bell is getting it wrong. And it is one of my favorite things. Do you guys have Checkers? No, but I grew up with Checkers, okay. You know, those fries, you can not. Go by it's one in East Nashville.

[00:21:32] When you said East Nashville, I was like, Oh my gosh, every time I'm there, I'm like, I gotta have Checkers fries, this greasy cheeseburger. It's like Popeye's fries, but better. They're always hotter. And then my favorite part is when you pull up and they say, "Welcome to Checkers. Say Checkers when you're ready."

[00:21:56] Oh, that's hilarious. That's great. That's not where I thought this [00:22:00] conversation was going to go. And I'm so happy. I'll talk about fast food all day. And I was going to take this opportunity because like, I still have those moments where I'm like, I just want a double cheeseburger. I just want a soft serve ice cream with some fries to dip it in, you know, so I wanted to have this conversation with the like-minded individuals.

[00:22:19] So thank you for going out of the road and off the road with that. So did you like. We know as an adult, you didn't think that sprinkles were good, but as a child, did you like sprinkles? No. I've always had kind of a refined palette. I say as I'm like, um, I'm like a flavor person so if something doesn't have flavor and like the texture is wrong I'm just like, eh, next. 

[00:22:47] So yeah, it was never really a thing where I was like, oh, sprinkles. A lot of kids just like sprinkles because it's rainbow and it looks like candy. You actually just taste store-bought sprinkles. They don't taste like anything. They're mushy, they're crumbly. It's [00:23:00] basically just like cornstarch, wax and like the smallest amount of sugar.

[00:23:04] I mean, they'll last through an apocalypse. They're just not great. They don't add anything. Um, and the difference between those sprinkles and ours is pretty simple. Ours are made from powdered sugar and they go through a process called hard baking so they're crunchy and they're sweet. They actually just taste like crunchy donut plays or something.

[00:23:23] Like they actually add something to it. So if you put it, you put it on ice cream  it adds a crunch and like a little sweetness versus like just mushy, nothing. Yeah. The texture is it for me. I love crunch. I do too. Like I cannot eat a bunch of yogurt. Like for some reason, a lot of yogurt, like just makes me sick to my stomach.

[00:23:42] But my new favorite thing is a little bit of yogurt with fresh berries and sprinkles because it has the crunch and it has the tartness and then the honey makes it sweet. And then the berries make it sweet. It's like my new favorite thing right now. Yeah. If I have ice cream, I usually put like [00:24:00] nuts and sprinkles in it.

[00:24:00] Cause I don't really like everything. If something's too smooth, it tastes like baby food to me. The only smooth thing I like is McDonald's soft serve, but like, other than that, if I'm going to have like scooped ice cream, it has to have like nuts or chunks of something in it. Like I need to chew it. Yep. Same. That's why I like the sprinkles because it gives it a crunch.

[00:24:18] Yeah. And we have, okay. We have to talk about the names of these sprinkles. We have a weakness on our team and it is naming things. We really struggle with naming things. It is one of the hardest things I think we have to do, but every single one of your names are hilarious. And then the branding matches them so perfectly.

[00:24:38] And I talk about the branding all the time. How are you so good at naming? I don't know. It just comes to me. Do you have a process? Would you name this episode right now? Thanks.

[00:24:53] Give me a second. Let me noodle on it for a minute. Uh, I'll come up with something, but yeah, no. It's like, I go through an [00:25:00] entire creative process whenever we make bloods. So you know, we typically put them out in different collections as either a capsule collection or something that's evergreen, meaning it lasts year round.

[00:25:10] So I'll have an idea in my head of a color palette. And then as I'm making it, you know, I listen to different music. Sometimes inspiration strikes me when I'm like in the shower or most notoriously when I'm trying to go to sleep, which is the worst thing. I have like an expo marker next to my bed and if I have an idea when I'm trying to go to sleep, I just get up and write it on the mirror.

[00:25:30] Because that way I can go back to sleep and not be like, try to remember that in the morning. Right. So I keep dry erase markers next to my bed. And I'm like always writing on the mirror at like one in the morning being like, you know, so, um, I like edgy sort of irreverent fun names. I mean, it's like, it's not that serious.

[00:25:49] We're just selling sprinkles. I like to think I have a good sense of humor. I love making fun of myself. Um, like my dream is to be like roasted. [00:26:00] Like on a stage, with all my friends. I love that. Like, it's so hard to offend me. I'm like the least defendable person. Like, I don't know, I just come up with stuff and it's just, sometimes it's funny.

[00:26:11] And then sometimes I'll get input from other people, like, do you like this? But yeah, pretty much I do all of the naming. And the creating and the color palettes and the mood boards and the decks. I mean, we have like full creative decks and like it's a whole process for each blend to be born. But thank you.

[00:26:28] Yeah. So this all started as like a passion project around baking, and now you run and have founded this very successful company. What has it been like to go from a hobbyist to a real and true entrepreneur? Um, I'd probably rather cut off my right arm than re- live the first three years of a startup. Um, it was really, really rough.

[00:26:53] I'm not gonna lie, it's been very rewarding. Nothing has ever been more rewarding other than having kids, obviously, [00:27:00] but it's been very, very difficult. This started as something that I saw as something that I could do to essentially fill my time. I mean, I've always been sort of like dipping in and out of the entrepreneurial world.

[00:27:12] Like my dad's an entrepreneur. Like I knew I wanted to have a business. I just didn't know what was going to be this. And I didn't know what was going to take off like it did. And I didn't know it was going to get the interest that it got. So, you know, a lot of people want to work for us and we've really, um, got a stellar team now.

[00:27:28] Thank God. What, the reason I use the first three years is because we had a very, very small team. And I was like in charge of everything. I had like 17 jobs. So now it's gotten a lot better. We have a real CEO, which was one of the first things that I wanted to do, you know, as soon as we got, we got, um, funding. We did like our series a, of like two years ago.

[00:27:53] And after, you know, I got like an official like partner, I, the first thing I said was [00:28:00] we need to get a CEO in here because I am A, not a CEO and B, I don't want to be one and I don't ever want to be one in the future. So I really wanted someone to come in and like steer the business in the direction it needed to go so that I could focus on the creative and the content and the product development, the things that I'm really good at.

[00:28:18] And I think that that's one thing that entrepreneurs sometimes struggle with. You know, a lot of founders just naturally default to being the CEO. And that's great for some people, they might have the educational background for that. They might have an MBA, or this might not be the first company they founded.

[00:28:32] Um, but for me, because this was like the first company that I founded that actually was like really successful. From the start, I knew that that's not a role that I wanted. That's a tip to other entrepreneurs is if you don't think you can do it and you think it's going to hold the business, change it. You know, I do whatever's best for the business.

[00:28:51] So that was probably like one of the most significant positive steps that I took in being an entrepreneur was like not being afraid to say, okay, [00:29:00] I want someone else to come in and steer it. And that way I can just focus on what I'm good at and you can focus on what you're good at. I like to be the least smart person in the room.

[00:29:10] I like to be surrounded by people who are smarter than me, because that's really how you learn and grow. And then, you know, having honest conversations, taking feedback seriously. Yeah. These are just all things that are really good for entrepreneurs to know and learn and be able to execute on. I want to go back really quick and touch on what you said about doing what's right for your business because I thought that that was very, very smart for you to put that out there. 

[00:29:35] And I think that's a part of the growth, right? Like my personal self, I have no marketing or branding or anything, and I don't claim to like, even want to know that. And I'm really finding my own personal path and what it is that I want to do for this company and for the future.

[00:29:50] And what I think is going to be best. But I just wanted to circle back around to that, because like you said, just because you started a business, doesn't mean that you have to be the one that's in the [00:30:00] driver's seat. And we have a local company here, Slim and Husky's is three guys. They're wonderful creators.

[00:30:07] Um, they have the first black owned business on Broad street, uh, here in Nashville. And they did that. And once they did that, their business went from being a local business to be, I think there's a Slim and Huskies in California now, or it's, it's on its way, but they're everywhere. But I just wanted to say that because we do have a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to our podcasts.

[00:30:30] And I think that that's something that people have to remember. And we say that about the wellness industry too. We say that, you know, just because someone is really great at their craft of whatever it may be doesn't mean that they are going to be the best at driving, being the leader. Yeah, we see that a lot in the wellness space is like people starting businesses because they like wellness and not because they like business.

[00:30:55] And then they get burnt out really fast because owning a business is a [00:31:00] completely different skillset from being a wellness instructor. And it's not that you can't do both. It's just that it's super, super hard. Yeah. In order to grow it. And it just depends on what your business plan is, you know, is it a business that you want to have forever and just take a salary from, is it a business that you want to scale and sell?

[00:31:20] Is it, you know, there's different types of businesses and different paths for every entrepreneur, but I made my decision early on about what I wanted this business to be and what I wanted to do with it. And I did everything that I had to do, and I sacrificed so much. I mean, my last baby that I had, I had her in beginning of 2018 and 2017 was the second year of my business.

[00:31:48] We were going through her first round of Series A funding and I was going through a divorce simultaneously. I don't even hardly remember it because it was so traumatic for [00:32:00] me going through all those different things at once, you know, I gave birth and then literally an hour later, I remember I was like brokering a customs deal from my computer an hour after giving birth.

[00:32:14] So there's a lot that people don't see that goes into being an entrepreneur. And like, you have to be prepared if you're going to start a business. To do that type of work. Like I was up till three in the morning, every single night and then up getting my kids ready for school. And somewhere along that path is where I decided like, okay.

[00:32:35] Like I have to, and I'm still, you know, I'm still struggling and learning self care. I think, I don't think self care is like, I've got it. I've figured it out;  my path to wellness. I think it's a constantly evolving thing. And then I'm surrounded by people who check me, you know. I have a great relationship with our CEO and every week we talk and it's like, she's like, what can I help you with?

[00:32:59] What are you [00:33:00] struggling with? And she helps me prioritize my things. I think that's another really good mark of a CEO is that they can help you prioritize and help you feel like you're doing less, even if you're doing more. And so I really appreciate that relationship. And I think it's important for entrepreneurs and people in business to have relationships with other people who can sort of like help them see things from another perspective, because sometimes when you're doing it and you're in it, it's so hard to see that you're being spread so thin.

[00:33:27] It takes someone else being like you're spread too thin. Yeah, we've relied really heavily on mentors from the beginning to get, I don't even know if we'd be as far as we are right now if we hadn't had like a huge team of mentors. Yeah. You'll burn out and have like a full-on mental breakdown. I've had a couple.

[00:33:46] Yeah. Yeah. Christina is the CEO, correct? Yeah. Yeah. We actually have a funny story about how we got connected in the first place. I don't know if she's told you this, but we had put your sprinkles in one of our boxes. So we do wellness [00:34:00] boxes that are connected to content. And we had put you guys in our cozy yoga and pumpkin spice box, which is like one of the first ones that we did.

[00:34:08] And I don't know how we got connected, but she reached out to me and was like, Hey, I see a lot of similarities here. We should definitely collaborate. And I was like, actually, you're already in our box. And so it was like, from the beginning, we were like, Oh, this is like a dream collaboration. And now y'all are in every single box that we have.

[00:34:28] There's not a single box that you're not in. When I saw the box and I read about what you guys were doing, and I was like, this is exactly my philosophy. Yeah. I had no idea that there was anyone out there being like, no, this should be wellness. Yeah. Not what we traditionally think of wellness. And they were like, they're so on brand with you, Lisa, and everybody in the office was saying that. The universe pushed us together for sure.

[00:34:54] So before we wrap up, here I go with my two part questions [00:35:00] again. What has been your biggest challenge running this business? And then what has been your greatest reward? My biggest, I mean, there was multiple answers to each of these questions. The biggest challenge for me was not only just the day to day of figuring out how to run a business and just like having a fake it till you make it attitude.

[00:35:28] The biggest challenge for me, I would say would be managing the growth and managing my work personal schedule. I made the mistake of making no personal time for years. And I'm finally, as of the last year, really carving out personal time. And I think getting to that realization earlier would have been helpful to me.

[00:35:54] So I would say that that's definitely been the biggest challenge whenever you're busy and you're running [00:36:00] a business and you're doing all these different things, it's really hard to be like, okay, I need to stop and like go get a massage or sit outside in the sun for half an hour. Or like do something that I love doing like cake decorating.

[00:36:12] You know, there was like a six month period where I didn't decorate a single cake because I was too busy. So I think learning how to manage my personal life versus the business is a big, big one for me. And the most rewarding thing obviously is like, there are so many things, but it's really cool whenever people know about the brand that I would never expect to know about the brand. 

[00:36:36] When I started dating my boyfriend, now, he was like, Oh, I told my friend about your company and his wife like popped on the phone and was like, Oh my God.

[00:36:48] Um, and one time I was in the grocery store and I was standing behind a lady and it's not that I was eavesdropping on her phone. She was just like right in front of me. And I could see my website on her phone. She was like on the Fancy Sprinkles website [00:37:00] in front of me in the grocery store line and I was like this is a trip.

[00:37:03] Like if I go into a bakery and I could see a sprinkle blend on some donuts or something, and I'm like, that's probably all the donuts. Like, you know, I went to an ice cream shop in LA and they were like, which sprinkles do you want? And I was like, that looks like unicorn barf. I looked in the back and I can  see all the Fancy Sprinkles bags.

[00:37:21] So for me, that's been like the absolute, most rewarding thing is being like, Oh my God, it's working. So yeah, it's been great. Awesome. Well, Lisa, we could talk to you. We want to talk to you all day. All day long. Yeah. Um, when you make the trip to Nashville, we'd love to meet you in person. And we just want to thank you.

[00:37:45] We want to thank you for your time today in this conversation because it's just refreshing to us to be able to speak to like-minded individuals. And I feel like you were right there at the table with us when we decided to start TRILUNA,  a lot of the stuff [00:38:00] that you said today. So I thank you for that.

[00:38:03] Yeah. And thank you for your team. Your team has been an absolutely extraordinary help to us. And we're so grateful for them. Thank you. Yeah, this is great. Next time you guys come to LA, let us know. You can come to the, um, sprinkle factory, Willy Wonka, sprinkle factory. I'd lose my mind. We're going to go to the sprinkle factory.

[00:38:22] Cool. And then me and you, we have that soft serve ice cream date with some French fries and the crispy chicken sandwich. Now I'm hungry. All right. Well, I guess that's it. And that's all.

[00:38:40] Thank you for listening to the Wellness Community Magic podcast. If you liked this episode, leave us a review or drop us a message and tell us your favorite part. You can find us on Twitter @wellness_pod or online at TRILUNAwellness.com/podcast. Tune in next week for more tough but necessary conversations about the future of self-care.

[00:39:00] [00:39:00] If you're interested in learning more about TRILUNA or ordering one of our wellness gift boxes for a loved one or yourself, check out our website at TRILUNAwellness.com.

Sours: https://www.trilunawellness.com/wellness-community-magic/lisa-stelly-fancy-sprinkles
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