Being a young entrepreneur/How i got here.
Growing up I never really knew what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be. I always hated that question. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" huh? I went to college just because I felt like everyone goes and I had no direction.How can you ask a 17 year old to pick a college or their life path. I chose Salisbury University in Maryland basically because it was close to a beach and surf year round (and I only looked at one other school). School started and I basically called my mother everyday telling her it just was not for me. She told me to keep going and just pass classes and get it done. I just thought about all the time I was spending at school not seeing the world. All the life experiences I was missing out on. I trudged on regardless. After basically getting Ds in all my mandatory classes, I decided to not fight it any longer. I would be an art major and focus on Graphic Design. Why was I trying to stray from what I was good at. What I always excelled at. ART. I quickly made the deans list and excelled while basically not even trying. When you find out things you are good at, or interested in, it is no longer hard. It is enjoyable. I graduated college in four years and all of my friends frantically looked for the perfect internship/job and I never really stressed it. I went back to my bartending job at a night club in New Jersey and spent my winters doing art and traveling to exotic locations to surf and see what the world had to offer. I was truly happy doing this but in the back of my mind I realized it would have to end soon. It was at this point that a little super fruit berry came into my life and little did I know it would eventually change my life forever. I discovered acai bowls for the first time in Puerto Rico with some friends who were from California. It was the perfect meal after a long surf. I craved the refreshing taste and natural energy and basically was on an all Acai diet. I instantly fell in love and because infatuated with making the perfect bowl combinations and recipes. I moved out to California the next winter for a few months and tried bowls everywhere I went. I could not get enough. I moved back home and started sharing my recipes with family and friends not thinking much of it. A year or so passed with my same routine, bartending all summer and surfing all winter. I met my boyfriend and shared my passion of acai with him. He pushed me into opening a small pop up stand in front of the pizza shop we lived about in Belmar NJ. He shared my passion for surfing and travel and joined up with me in my venture and creating the brand Playa Bowls.
It started off as a hobby and was a lot of work. I would bartend all night then open the stand in the morning. The stand consisted of a kitchen table, a bane marie fridgerator, chalkboards and Robs chocolate lab. We had to tell the same story day after day of Acai and where it came from. How we traveled and came up with our recipes and concept. We handed out flyers on the beach until we were blue in the face and built Playa Bowls customer by customer. That whole first summer went that way. It was work. It was being persistent and believing that this could be something bigger. We closed up shop as winter approached and worked all winter on ideas and locations for the next summer. Forming an LLC, changing blenders, updating menus. Summer came quick and we were approached to expand to a store front in Belmar in a falling down gym located right next to the pizza shop where it all started. We eagerly committed and got the store up and running in a matter of weeks and opened our doors July 3, 2015. We had a line that entire day. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life and I will ever forget it. We also expanded to another pop up stand in Belmar as well as a location in Manasquan Nj! That summer was the hardest of my life. Balancing bartending and a growing company, working hands on with my employees to deliver the in demand products we had created as a hobby just one short year prior. Since that summer, we have expanding to a total of 9 stores. I have quickly learned and continue to grow as an entrepreneur. I may not always know the answers, and I frequently make mistakes, but I take a deep breath and handle shit. I take pride in being so young and successful with this business that I built from the ground up. Everyone around me gives me input and tells me what I should do to make this business better, but the truth is, I don't listen. I built PINEAPPLELAND with straight up hard work, focus, sacrifice and the idea that i would never work for another person ever again. It seems to be working out well for me. Welcome to P I N E A P P L A N D.