There are so many opportunities to embrace lifelong learning, but we can easily get stuck in our own little box. We can all benefit from the words of wisdom that Spencer Johnson offered in Who Moved My Cheese?: “What would you do if you were not afraid?” Therefore, I Start Wondering… will periodically feature some examples of people who are following their curiosity in order to live their fullest life.
Sharndell Lowe-Aitch’s current wonderings are focused on building her own business. Previously working as a corporate information technology business analyst/project manager, Sharndell decided to change her professional direction completely by starting a food truck, Cupcake and a Smile, in 2013. Her business has gained a loyal following, thus prompting Sharndell to open a storefront in Richmond, TX.
How did you come up with the idea of a food truck?
The idea of operating a food truck came from watching Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. I thought, “If they can do it, then so can I!”
Why cupcakes? Did you always love to bake?
I chose to make cupcakes my item of choice because I can be creative with different flavors, fillings and decorations on multiple cakes of various types, instead of just one sheet cake.
What resources did you use to learn how to do this?
Google, the Food Network and a variety of cookbooks.
One of your most recent learnings is growing your business into an actual physical location. Why did you decide to do this?
The growth of my business has been customer driven. While serving my customers from my dessert truck, I was often asked, “Where are you located?” So after two years of working to perfect my food truck business model, it just made sense to expand into a brick-and-mortar location to satisfy my customer’s demand.
What’s been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
I have learned the process improvement in my business never ends. I have also learned that all in means ALL IN — all of your time, all of your money, all of your energy, all of your being!!!! Thus, time management is a must in order to have a true work-life balance.
What advice would you give to someone else who is facing these types of new challenges?
Find a partner with the same interest. I am tackling this brick-and-mortar location on my own. I have a lot of emotional support, but I am doing all of the work. Once I venture into the next phase of my business (franchise), I will go to Shark Tank in pursuit of a partner.
Enjoy this interview with Sharndell.
You can connect with Cupcake and a Smile through:
If you’re in the Houston area and want to visit Sharndell’s store, it’s located at 1410 East Highway 90A #400, Richmond, TX 77406