“I felt so strongly about this concept and this business, that it never occurred to me to not go full force with it.” ~Leigh Kellis
Leigh Kellis is the proud owner of The Holy Donut located in Portland, Maine. She built her business from scratch after craving the comfort of a “deeply satisfying yet healthy comfort food – specifically a donut.”
As a newly divorced mom, Leigh experimented with donut recipes in her kitchen that eventually became her signature Holy Donuts. Five years later, The Holy Donut has two locations in Maine and has been featured in Elle Magazine, Boston Globe, and was named one of the 10 best donut shops in the U.S.
In this episode, Leigh shares her journey from humble beginnings to a highly successful brand, and some of the key lessons she’s learned along the way.
Putting herself (and her donuts) out there for the first time was scary.
Leigh took us back to when she offered her first batch of homemade donuts to the owners of her local coffee shop. She was nervous, but she was all in at that point. The fear was there, but she wanted it more than she was afraid of it.
She felt a strong sense that if she was craving that comfort food, other people probably were, too. She felt that a “handcrafted, rustic product” would be well received. Leigh also realized that donuts create a nostalgic feeling of comfort much like the feeling you get from eating your grandmother’s food. She wanted to create that feeling for people and allow them to indulge in a healthy, wholesome sweet treat.
Her orders quickly grew from one dozen per day to 40 dozen per week, then to 100 dozen per week. That’s when Leigh knew that she was on to something and would have to do something to keep up with the high demand.
Leigh took a leap of faith…
After five months into her wholesale donut business, Leigh could no longer keep up with the demand and work her job. So she did what any single mom would do, right? Not quite. Leigh stepped out on faith. She quit her job and decided that she would live off of the profits of her business. This was a courageous move, but one that had to be made.
“I felt so strongly about this concept and this business, that it never occurred to me to not go full force with it,” Leigh explained. Quitting her job felt like the right thing to do so she would have the energy to put toward this “thing” that she felt so strongly about.
When you feel a strong desire to do something…
Go for it! Leigh encourages you not to stop at go – just keep going at full force because that thing is calling you for a reason.
You have to show up every day.
Be prepared to “work your butt off” in the beginning, to lay the ground work and really get your business going.
In the beginning, Leigh did everything – she made all the donuts, iced them, cleaned up, hired and fired employees. You name it – she did it.
Test your market with your business idea before forging forward, which will reduce some of your risk.
Biggest Challenge as a Mompreneur
Leigh had to invest a lot of time and energy into her business, which often made her daughter feel a little left out. It was hard figuring out how to balance her time and attention between being a single mom and an entrepreneur. Leigh admits that she is getting better, but she’s still a work in progress, as we all are.
Leigh’s 3 Tips for Success
Leigh recommends that you read
The Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life by Barbara Stanny – this book is about the spiritual side of allowing yourself to have abundance and feel good about earning money
Where You Can Find Leigh Online
Or you can search for “The Holy Donut”
Leigh’s Parting Words of Wisdom
“It takes a team to build an empire of good.” In other words, it takes a team, and you need to build a tribe. Ask for help so you can bring more good to the world.
Yoli Tamu helps mothers and their teen daughters create a genuine heart-to-heart relationship. As a seasoned high school and college educator and founder of the nonprofit Unity Theatre Foundation, Yoli often met young women who struggled in relationships with their moms.
As a result of her many conversations with teen girls, Yoli created HeartVERSATIONS, a groundbreaking coaching program that helps mothers and daughters transform a mediocre or toxic connection into an unbreakable bond.
In this episode, Yoli shares some of the common issues that teen girls are facing, how she supports them, and how she heals fragile mother/daughter relationships.
How Yoli Supports Troubled Teen Girls
Yoli has worked with girls with different issues such as teen pregnancy, “cutters”, suicidal thoughts, abuse in the home, parents with addiction, and more. Yoli shares her personal trials with the girls so they see that she can relate to what they’re facing.
Small group settings help the girls bond with each other and realize that they’re not alone. By the end of her program, her girls have a new outlook on life, have grown, and are ready to work through their issues.
How Yoli Supports Mothers with Teen Daughters
Yoli helps moms develop healthy self-care and wellness rituals. You can do this by setting aside just 20 minutes out of your day to meditate or take a break, which will help you transition from your work day to being mom.
She reminds mothers of how important they are to their daughters, and that they have to learn how to be open and transparent with them. She encourages them to write out their past experiences (good and bad) and write the lesson learned from those experiences. This is cleansing for the mothers while it helps their daughters see that they are not perfect, and that they can talk to their mothers about their issues.
Yoli speaks directly to moms who feel like their teen daughter would rather be with her friends. She reminds you to not take it personally and to give her a little space to explore her independence.
Create a mother-daughter ritual that the two of you do together. This will create special bonding time that you can both look forward to sharing.
Yoli Recommends that You Read:
Mothering and Daughtering by Sil and Eliza Reynolds. This mother-daughter team gives great insight on how to understand one another from their own perspective.
Where You Can Find Yoli Online
Web site: http://yolitamu.com
Yoli’s Parting Words of Wisdom
“Your child will help you resolve the unfinished business of your past.” ~Unknown
“You can’t reflect the best of who you are on the outside when the inside is not right.” ~Uchenna Eboagwu
Uchenna Eboagwu, popularly referred to as “Queenchenna”, is a pacesetter on a mission to help people discover, claim, and live out their dreams.
She is the visionary and founder of The Life Circle, a marketplace ministry with a vision of raising and establishing a circle of passionate, compassionate, world-changing women around the globe.
A preacher and dynamic leader, Uchenna currently serves as associate pastor at Open Door Missionary Church in Laurel, MD. She’s also the CEO and founder of VIP Image Consulting, where she specializes in helping individuals and organizations create an image and/or brand that conveys their vision, ingenuity and purpose (VIP).
Above all that she does, Uchenna loves being a mother to her beautiful six-year old daughter.
In this episode, Uchenna and I discover that we have a lot in common with regard to our past experiences and the challenges we were able to overcome. She opens up about an extremely difficult chapter in her life and reflects on how her pain inspired her to begin her journey as a life-changing mompreneur.
Your Pain Leads to Your Purpose
Uchenna has learned that your painful experiences and challenges get you closer to your dreams, even though it feels like you’re getting further away, as you go through the process.
How She Manages Her Busy Lifestyle as a Business Mogul and Mom
Uchenna doesn’t have a specific system that she follows to manage her life; she relies on daily prayer to stay centered and moving in the right direction. She has learned that everything doesn’t have to be perfect or get done all in one day.
To manage her busy schedule, Uchenna chooses the 3 most important things she needs to do daily in 3 specific areas – her family, her church, and her business. This strategy, along with her mindset shift from trying to do it all, has helped a lot.
Uchenna encourages women to replenish and take a break so they don’t have to serve others when they’re empty. To replenish, Uchenna treats herself to regular manicures and pedicures, and she enjoys spending quiet time with The Lord.
Her Greatest Accomplishment So Far
Finding her purpose is Uchenna’s greatest accomplishment. Nothing compares to the peace and joy that she has found from walking in her purpose.
The First Step You Can Take to Find Your Purpose
The first step is to go to the one who carved out your purpose. Uchenna knows that the answer about your purpose is with God, and that’s where you must go first. When you ask, He will answer you.
You may not hear the “voice” that you expect, and it may not happen quickly. Be patient and listen. Slowly, you will begin to get a nudging feeling in your heart that will keep showing up to guide you in taking small steps toward your purpose.
Also, think about the things that you do well and write them down. Often you’ll find your purpose is intertwined with your gifts.
Uchenna’s Suggested Books
The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth am I Here for? by Rick Warren. She found this book to be life-altering.
The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, which was an excellent read that has helped her with personal relationships as well as being a mom.
From the Pit to the Palace, is Uchenna’s forthcoming book, and she’s very excited about releasing it soon.
Uchenna is excited about her VIP Image Consulting shows, where she partners with models for Philadelphia Fashion Week in June and popular brands, helping them convey their vision, ingenuity, and purpose.
Where You Can Find Uchenna Online
This year I stepped up my game and attended Lisa Nichols’ Speak and Write to Make Millions event in La Jolla, CA. I’ve wanted to go for the past three years, but every year I found a way to talk myself out of it. I decided that I wasn’t doing that this year. I made up my mind that if I would go as a VIP attendee.
The conference was incredible! The speakers were great, and I got so much out of this experience. On my plane ride back to New Jersey I decided that I would record an episode to share my takeaways and golden nuggets from Speak and Write.
I hope you enjoy this episode and get something that you can use to help you take your life and business to the next level.