"A small business is an amazing way to leave an impact"
There is always an event that triggers it. Something happens, you experience something, you observe someone or some other business…but something triggers it. What you ask? The desire, the passion, the yearning to be your own business and boss. The nonstop persistence within you to take a leap without knowing how, when or if it will end successfully, or at all, that's what a small business owner has inside them. #smallbusiness #dream #dreambig #femalebusinessowner
At a young age I discovered my passion for creating my own rules and ways of accomplishment. At the family dinner table, if it was my night to be in-charge, I hand-wrote out menu’s and handed them to my 3 other family members. “Grand Kelley’s” was the name of my kitchen, and I can vouch that though I may have expected tips, the food had to be quite basic because I still have been known to burn macaroni and cheese. It is crazy because I have no idea where this idea came from in my head. I have no idea why my family just played along, but above all, I have no idea where I got that courage to just put this idea out there, unaware or caring of criticisms or reactions they may have. I was young, but from that moment on, I knew the idea of running my own hustle would be forever in my soul.
When I was fifteen, my dad fulfilled a dream of his, and eventually mine, to purchase a soft serve ice cream shop. He purchased a seasonal, old-school walk up ice cream shack in 1999, and it still remains in my family today. Ignoring all financial aspects of that shop, it has been a family staple for so many other reasons. It taught me the basics of a dream, it taught what to and not to do, it taught me where to bend and where to be firm, but above all, it taught me that if I wanted it, I could put the work in and get it. #hustle #drive #smallbusinessamerica #icecream #smile #youcan
In college, I ran the shop entirely and we had a strong love/hate relationship. There was more than once that I missed the popular party or night out to be at Kelley’s Dari-Delite serving ice cream. When I started out, I took every complaint and compliment to heart. I gave that shop and those years a lot of my tears, but the truth was, that shop and those experiences were grooming me to make a name years later in a saturated, competitive market that I have never felt inferior too. That shop, in short, gave me balls. That shop introduced me to people and fans that I could never forget. That shop gave the meaning of small business to my soul. That shop, in short, showed me that no matter what you are working in or trying to accomplish, you can... with discipline, character and grit, and I guess a strong rebound rate.
Through the same years of running Kelley’s Dari-Delite, I was exposed to my grandfather
and the legendary tales of his success. Though my dad is absolutely my fallback and number one cheerleader, my grandfather sparked my interest to look big. My grandfather got my eyes open to any possibility. He passed way too young in my life, and honestly I did not appreciate him early enough, but his demeanor and work legacy took their toll on me. I came from a line of boys (cousins and brother) on that side of the family, and trying to keep up and stay up was a struggle I embraced. Fighting for his attention was something I enjoyed to no end, and winning it was the ultimate feat. He silently showed me with enough determination and self-awareness, you can have whatever you want. #thisislegendary #family #familyties #thankspap
My first business, besides Kelley’s Dari-Delite in Bethel Park, PA, was the purchase of a Sweet Licks in Shaler, PA. At the time, I was working full-time in public accounting, but the opportunity was too sweet to pass up. I leased the building for five years, rebranding it as Kelley’s Dari-Delite on Babcock Blvd. My time there taught me two important lessons…first, understand what your goal is and what is needed to get there, because distractions are everywhere and most are just that, a distraction from your goal. Say no, stay focused, persist forward. The other main lesson was accomplishment. The shop did well, the community I grew to love, and the workers could pick me up even me up in bad times. If I had to leave with one memory of that shop, it would be the full circle feels of small business America. The workers, the community, the regulars, the vendors, all together made me dream bigger. #lease #grow #community #memories
Churn opened in the last year of Kelley’s Dari-Delite on Babcock’s lease. It was the final year for Kelley's, not because the business struggled, but because I learned that very valuable lesson. Focus, time, energy, are not endless. Churn’s quick success made me focus and want to deliver more. The end of my own Kelley’s, the passing of my grandfather, the start of churn, all left me realizing the natural high of chasing a dream, reaching for it endlessness, striving for success, is something I cannot compare to anything.
We are now in the eighth year of churn, have had fives buildouts, have grown current spots, have removed others, have shrunk some and have really learned lessons. That said, I expect this year to be our best. I could not be more focused or ready to charge forward. We just launched an app, something I never thought I would be able to handle but with determination and dedication it became a reality. We launched online ordering and kiosks, and this year we are launching a brand new product lineup that I cannot wait to introduce. We have also started franchising and are reaching to take the yumminess of churn nationwide. For now, stay tuned. Our eighth year will be our biggest to date. #churnup #churngetsme #franchise #growwithus #livethedream
Remember, if you can see it, if you can dream it, get it. Do not let others hold you back.