I’m Kathy Leskow, founder of Confetti Sweets, and we make totally awesome cookies. I was a stay at home mom with big ambitions and a sweet tooth. I loved to bake, so I ran with my passion and opened a cookie booth at the local farmers market. Could I make a business of just selling cookies? Absolutely!
Twelve years later we sell through our storefront location and online, as well as the food service sector, grocery stores, and a variety of specialty stores across Alberta.
The hardest part was taking the leap from a hobby job to a business with debt, that would eventually be my only source of income to support my family. Thankfully my Scotiabank business advisor was really my coach and cheerleader, and she spent the time getting to know me personally as well as my business. She was by my side every time I had a growth opportunity (usually needing another loan).
The Scotia Women Initiative has also been a wonderful resource. From advice on digital marketing to cash flow, there always something to improve on. I am currently working through the 20 tips to improve your LinkedIn network. It’s something I know is important, but now I have an implementation checklist to follow. Also, our local SWI Bootcamps have been fantastic. I walk away feeling motivated and inspired, both personally and professionally. The fact that they focus on the whole person is a breath of fresh air.
There’s growth and then there's profitable growth.
To those looking in, it looked as if my business was growing rapidly, as we were doubling sales year over year. However, in the early years, I was so focused on revenue, I lost track of the bottom line. For example, when we launched in our first grocery chain, it included a guaranteed sale agreement where we would buy back any inventory that didn’t sell. With a short shelf life product such as cookies, that was a horrible business decision! Thankfully we were able to bounce back and to pivot quickly.
I can honestly say that the hard work, long hours, and sleepless nights were worth it. Being an entrepreneur, leading an amazing team, and working for yourself is extremely rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.