We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacie Zollars and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacie, what do you attribute your success to?
Commitment. There are many factors that play a huge role when you are in the service based industry, but in the end the brand is only as strong as your commitment. I worked 3 jobs and 19 hours day to help grow my business because I believe in myself and have a passion to help people live a balanced life through food and fitness. Now, I only work 2. At least I am headed in the right direction! It is easy to say I have a passion for x-y-z but after 2 months are you still working as hard as you were since day 1? Building a business thrives on my attitude during the months that I hit rock bottom, the months I am debt free, and the months that I make more money than 6 months combined. It is a whole different world when you see your projects crash and burn but another ball game when you choose to continue to thrive above any given situation. The level on commitment during the tough times will translate to the success of your business along with your time and dedication. For 12 months I didn’t touch the remote to a T.V because every second that I was awake and able to work I was committed to it. Now, I am able to binge watch re-runs of Modern Family a few hours a week, HA! Anyone love that show or what?!
What should our readers know about your business?
In short, before SugarFace Bakes I suffered years of bulimia. I knew I couldn’t live this way forever and something had to change. I realized the one thing I could not give up was brownies. From there I learned to balance out the sinful treat with healthy, less fatty meals. I cooked for myself, experimented with flavors, ingredients, textures, and styles of cooking. I tell every one, “if I am going to eat calories it is going to be dessert!” I stumbled upon a recipe I whipped up in the kitchen one day and EVERY ONE would always ask me for the recipe. Fast forward, this created the idea of brownie kits. I wanted to provide a service that contained similar ingredients to my homemade brownies to provide to an easy way to create delicious treats that tasted like they were made from scratch. If a person were to open my package the first thing I want them to see is a card that says, “Hello, Sugar Face” with brownie ingredients under it. That is how the brand name was brought to life. My next step was to figure out how to create a presence online. Social media is the best way to get seen, Instagram and Pintrest are the most popular platforms so I started there. It took me 2 weeks to figure out how to start a blog from scratch this way people have a place to find all my recipes. I was living in the stone age for 4 years before I started all this, it was a nightmare to figure out website lingo! I still to this day have no idea what I am doing but learning as I go! I am very proud how far I have come in the tech world haha I remember I had a roommate at the time and I was up until midnight into the wee hours in the morning to figure out the social media game, SEO, overall strategy that others are doing that I lacked. It was a very tough time wearing 3 different hats a day as I crammed 3 jobs in a 24 hour period, but it was worth it because I knew the only way this brand could survive was to give it the attention it needed. I haven’t worked this hard since studying finance in college! 1.5 years later I can proudly say I am now bringing my idea to life with Global Belly who has partnered with me to create my kits and host online baking classes. From receiving the high school senior award of “Class Ditz 2008” to graduating with top honor in college to business owner paving her own way, this gives anyone hope that you, too, can create your own path if you are willing to put in the work to chase your dreams.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Many people think that because I cook and bake that I am a foodie. That is somewhat true, however, I am a homecook/homebaker so I don’t eat out too often. I think I just lost BROWNIE points saying that, HA! My favorite spot to have a bite varies from upscale to your local causal eats. I love Local Foods in the River Oaks district, Toulouse is a spot I have a drink at the bar with a healthy bite, A’bouzy is always a place I would take someone. Gorgeous interior and unique bites with the signature “A’BOUZY” shout out when a bottle is popped! The Dunlavy and Backstreet Cafe are great brunch spots, girly and laid back respectively. Lastly, my obsession with Doris Metropolitan is borderline scary. This is one place that is a must try if you love Mediterranean flair. For a beer and bites, Flying Saucer is a classic and for a burlesque show with a group of friends or date night, Prohibition downtown. This is a place to check out, even just walking inside will blow your mind! The oyster bar next door is great, too. Stay-cation approved! My favorite dessert take out is the paleo chocolate cake at Ruggles Black, the chocolate cake at Relish, and of course the triple truffle tower cake at Cheesecake Factory. Do you notice a pattern here? I clearly love me some cake after dinner! You can find me at YogaWorks practicing or teaching. I love to walk through the park or roller blade since I live on Allen Parkway and the bats under Waugh is thrilling to watch at night. Thousands fly out for at least 10 minutes! Comedy shows at the Marquis are always happening, I am a sucker for a good laugh and for a weekend getaway Galveston is always a great choice!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A great company always places the highest value on the people who invests in it! My family is my #1 cheerleader. My parents are my best friends, they always know how to make me laugh when I need it most! I always appreciate everything they do for me no matter how many times I have had to leave a family party early, family vacation time early, etc, they are beginning to become more understanding and realize when I am not working my brand is not growing. I am still learning the work life balance as I built something from scratch so I am the person that wears most of the hats in this company….for now! They are always along for the ride no matter which direction I pull them in. Reyne Hirsch, she is the press Queen! She fights to get my name out there and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on my side. I am in the early stages of this brand, without her I wouldn’t be on media outlets exposing others to this newly found venture. Ellen Yin. This girl is a rock star! I met her 1 month after I launched my blog 1.5 years ago not knowing ANYTHING about technology, hashtags, facebook, content, etc, and she broke it all down along side teaching me how to build an audience in a service based industry. I am a risk taker and it paid off. She was a total stranger to me at that time and here we are today growing together! Not least, my subscribers, the readers, my audience, my social media followers, everyone who engages in this brand are the real heroes! I place my highest value on the guests that visit my blog, try my recipes, save my recipes, that comes over and test out my food, the PEOPLE are to thank. Without all of you, this brand would not be where it is today. I celebrate each and every person that continues to support the SugarFace Bakes brand in some sort of way. Especially the ones who are reading this! Another THANK YOU is to media companies. I appreciate you all just for allowing me to share my story. I am not a mega brand (yet, I have high hopes!) but I appreciate the support and willingness to support a girl with big dreams! Lastly, GlobalBelly who I signed contracts with to create brownie baking kits. My brownie kit idea is how the creation of SugarFace Bakes came alive! I am thrilled they scouted me out with millions of home bakers out there, they chose me. I couldn’t be more thankful. Dreams can come true if you are willing to put in the time and efforts. My 5 year plan just turned into my 1 year plan.