Girl Boss of the Week: Nicole Beltz, Serendipity Shops

 

Nicole.Beltz.Serendipity.Shops

If you’re an Avalon or Stone Harbor beach-goer, you’ve probably shopped at Serendipity on Dune Drive. You may not know that they have two other locations, in Doylestown and Chestnut Hill, PA. And I’m sure you don’t know that the founder is 27-year old Doylestown native Nicole Beltz (pictured above third from left). Yep, 27 years old and operating three successful retail locations. Read more about her impressive journey below.

 

PP: Thanks for talking with us, Nicole! Let’s learn more about how you got started. What attracted to you to the retail business and when did the idea for Serendipity come to you?

Nicole: I have always worked in the retail business. From a young age I enjoyed creating items and selling them to friends, family, and neighbors. As I got older my passion grew into a love for retail. I worked numerous retail positions throughout high school and college. My love for the industry grew deeper, working hands on in the small business environment when I took a summer job at Global Pursuit in Stone Harbor; I got to experience all facets of retail trade. After graduating college, I worked corporate retail for one year before quitting and voyaging into small business for myself. Together, my mom and I took on a pre-existing business in Avalon, NJ and turned it into Serendipity. We took on a large storefront and began working with makers, creators, and boutiques from the tri-state area to outfit the space. September of 2013 Serendipity was established.

 

PP: Why the name Serendipity?

Nicole: The name Serendipity came from its meaning of making a desirable discovery by accident. Our variety is something sure not to be found anywhere else. Customers frequently quote they found something they weren’t even looking for.

 

PP: Love it! That has always been my experience shopping Serendipity as well. And how did you decide on your three locations in Doylestown, Avalon, and Chestnut Hill?

Nicole: Our three locations came about because they are all in towns we live, love, and now operate from. Serendipity began in Avalon: our summer oasis, we vacationed here since I was just a kid. Shortly after we opened in Avalon, I added a second location in my hometown of Doylestown. Two years later, Serendipity was opened in Chestnut Hill as a new adventure and has now become a home away from home.

 

PP: Very impressive! How do you hope to see Serendipity grow in the next couple years?

Nicole: As Serendipity grows over the years, we hope to have a bigger web presence and look forward to adding more locations in the tri-state area.

 

PP: What has been your biggest challenge since branching out on your own and how did you overcome it?

Nicole: The biggest challenge about being in business for yourself is being able to wear all hats! When you go into business yourself, you don’t realize how many tasks come along with that.

 

PP: Agreed! But that gives us much more opportunities to grow and learn about ourselves. What have you learned about yourself since starting Serendipity?

Nicole: What I learned the most about myself since I have been in business is that I am capable of way more than I ever thought I was and so is everyone else! If there is a goal—achieve it! Anything is possible with a little blood, sweat, and tears.

 

PP: Currently, you’re responsible for a lot of different tasks with running Serendipity. What is your favorite thing to focus on?

Nicole: My favorite task to focus on is working in the store with staff, customers, and merchandising. I love working with people and making them feel good about themselves whether it is a customer or an employee. I love merchandising because I love to make the store look special and inviting.

 

PP: You do such a great job with that! What do you think your high school self would think about what you’re doing now and how successful it has become?

Nicole: My high school self would be proud I didn’t settle and work for a huge corporate company. I have always wanted to be self-employed and be able to express my creativity. As far as I can remember, I have enjoyed small towns and living local. Now I am proud to be working amongst the people I have always been inspired by.

 

PP: Yes! That is so great. Finally, what is your favorite shore memory?

Nicole: All shore memories are great; I can’t pick just one. Overall the best memories come from the friends made down the shore! Friends from the beach stay with you forever.

 

Shop Serendipity Avalon:

2268 Dune Drive, Avalon NJ 08202

(609) 368-3103

Shop Serendipity Doylestown:

33 S. Main St., Doylestown, PA 18901

(267) 880-6260

Shop Serendipity Chestnut Hill:

8506 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

(267)-368-5002

Like Serendipity Doylestown, Avalon, and Chestnut Hill on Facebook

Follow Serendipity Doylestown (@serendipityofdoylestown), Avalon (@serendipityofavalon), and Chestnut Hill (@serendipity_chestnuthill) on Instagram

Visit Serendipity’s Website

 

 

The Girl Boss series celebrates women business owners who are making their dreams happen.

 

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Best Tips for Day Trips to the Beach

 

day.trips.to.avalon.stone.harbor

Written by: Emma Veon

 

Dear Day-trippers,

Without the right tools, you can be stuck with weeks of planning for only one day of shoreside satisfaction. Skip the heavy research this time – check out these quick travel tips and location recommendations that I picked up during a group trip to Avalon/Stone Harbor.

 

General Tips:

 

Setting a Budget: Everyone loves a good shore day, but tanning, swimming, eating, and shopping all come with a price. Make sure to set a realistic budget for your trip. If you’re heading down to the shore in the morning, calculate the cost of several meals and maybe an ice cream cone or two. Another must for those who can’t get enough of the sand and sunshine is money for beach tags. If your plans include golfing, kayaking, shopping, or participating in other activities, check websites for fees. Add some extra “just-in-case” money to your budget for any unexpected situations (or sales). Whether you use paper or plastic, bring a wallet and keep it in a safe place.

 

Securing Transportation: After choosing a date, time, and location, it’s important to find the method of transportation best suited to you and your beach buddies. Taking a car is best if you plan on visiting more than one area or want to store bags, towels, umbrellas, and anything else that you don’t want to carry all day. Make sure you have a vacuum, though, because driving your car to the beach can be as sandy as it is handy. For the group unwilling to bring a car, New Jersey Transit offers buses to the NJ beach towns. Take a look at their homepage for round-trip fees and schedule times. If you grab a bus, be sure to pack light!

 

Finding a Place to Change: If after swimming you want to grab some food, hit the boardwalk, or shop the strip, you’ll probably want to ditch the itchy bathing suit for something a little less sandy. Bring some extra clothes and find a place to change. Locate your beach’s public restrooms for a quick change. Never underestimate the importance of a sandless pair of underwear.

 

Our Shoreside Favorites:

 

Avalon:

Food: There’s nothing I love more than crispy chicken fingers and fries after a long morning in the sun, so I recommend Shorebreak for a quick, delicious meal. For something more upscale I insist you check out the menu from The Princeton (try the crab cakes!). The Buccaneer serves my favorite ice cream – if you’re feeling especially ambitious, take a crack at devouring The Shipwreck Sundae.

Shopping: I can’t surf to save my life, but I love shopping for bathing suits at She Be Surfin’ in Avalon. After I’ve snagged that perfect suit, I head over to The Preppy Palm, mainly to admire the bright colors.

 

Did you really go to the beach if you didn’t make the sunset your Snapchat story at least once?
Did you really go to the beach if you didn’t make the sunset your Snapchat story at least once?

 

Stone Harbor:

Food: Avalon Pizza is my favorite pizza shop at the shore. After munching on a slice (or two… or three…), I head over to Springer’s for a stacked cone of my favorite flavors.

Shopping: I’ve never been disappointed when I head to Stone Harbor to shop. I’ve found some of my favorite summer styles from Mimi’s & Suncatcher. Stop in and take a look at the Pinkly Perfect display. When I’m finished hunting for sales, I stop in Murdough’s Christmas Shop to bring back that holiday spirit and buy an ornament.

 

Good luck to all you aspiring beach-trippers! I wish you a budget without limits, a drive without traffic, a bathing suit without sand, and a summer without end.

 

With love,

Emma

 

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Shop the Pinkly Perfect Booth this Summer!

shop.pinkly.perfect.summer.festivals

 

Happy summer! It’s hard to believe that Pinkly Perfect has been open for only three months and we’re already being sold in multiple retail locations (like Serendipity Shops of Doylestown, Serendipity Avalon, Sundae Best in Avalon, and Mimi’s & Suncatcher in Stone Harbor, NJ in addition to our online shop.

 

Last weekend we also had a booth at the 2016 Skimmer Festival in Sea Isle City, NJ, where we sold our entire line of perfect canvas accessories, beach clothing and Sea Isle-specific leather accessories.

 

It was SO fun to be directly connected to our customer and see their overall excitement for our brand philosophy and merchandise.

 

If you’re not a Sea Isle girl, we are happy to announce that we will be at more festivals this summer where you can shop with us in person! Take a look at the list below and be sure to visit us. 🙂

 

Thursday, July 21st

Anglesea Night Market

North Wildwood, NJ

4 PM to 9 PM

 

Saturday & Sunday, July 23rd & 24th

Long Island Summer Festival 

Farmingville, NY

Saturday: 3 PM to 10 PM

Sunday: 3 PM to 8 PM

 

Saturday, September 17th

Pike Fest

Lower Gwynedd, PA

10 AM to 3 PM

 

Know a festival we’re missing?! Let us know in the comments section and we will try our best to make it there! 🙂

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Girl Boss of the Week: Adriana Botti, Little Words Project

girl.boss.pinkly.perfect

Adriana Botti is the founder of Little Words Project, a jewelry company offering a way for girls to “keep the love circulating” through featured words of encouragement on beautiful beaded bracelets. What started in her sorority at The College of New Jersey has now taken off as a successful company that has attracted thousands of followers. Learn more about her inspiring journey to distribute positivity to girls who need a little pick-me-up, or would simply like to pass it along to friends.

 

PP: Thanks for talking to us, Adriana! We’d love if you could tell us about how Little Words Project got started and what the ah-ha moment was when you realized you could build it into a company.

Adriana: I started a version of Little Words Project while I was in my college sorority. We needed a way to “keep the love circulating” amongst a group of 60+ women daily. So I came up with the idea of passing around these little word bracelets when sisters needed pick-me-ups or words of encouragement. Pretty soon, the idea took off and sisters were passing them around like crazy! After graduating, I wondered what kind of effect they would have if I brought the bracelets to the masses. I just knew there was something to be said about the simple act of giving someone something off your person for the selfless purpose of making them happy. I didn’t know that I could necessarily build it into a real company at the time, but I knew I wanted to try.

 

PP: That’s amazing! So how did you go about manufacturing/ choosing e-commerce as your main platform when you first started?

Adriana: I think I just knew I had a product I wanted to sell, and knew that the easiest way to do that this day and age, was to put it online. I wanted the product to feel like it had a brand behind it and wasn’t just me in my basement beading bracelets (although that is certainly how it started behind the scenes)! I knew that the online community would be the best way to get this launched and with the help of my sorority sisters, we we’re able to spread the link and earn about 30 sales on the first day!

 

LittleWordsProject.PinklyPerfect

 

PP: Congrats! So much about LWP seems to be rooted in the sisterhood/personal connection of the traveling jewelry. How do you personally try to connect to your customer to build a larger sisterhood of girls that encompasses smaller groups of girls?

Adriana: We really want the customer to feel like they’re joining a big community of women that all believe in and cherish their own Little Words. By allowing customers to share their stories publicly, they are able to see that others out there are going through similar experiences. It’s a great way for women to find comfort in the stories of others and even help provide them further comfort in the passing on of their cherished bracelets. That passing process really enables our customers to connect with one another. Not only did they both fall for Little Words Project as a company and a concept, but they’re fully on board with our mission and are willing to part with this new favorite piece of jewelry. That connection is extremely genuine.

 

PP: What has surprised you the most about how the brand as evolved since you started it in 2010 as a passion project?

Adriana: Seeing how much it’s caught on, has definitely been a fun surprise. Of course, I always believed it could, but deep down I had a real fear that it would flop. I have been so pleased and honestly shocked to see how many people have registered, passed bracelets on, and have come back for more again and again. It’s just so clear that when people know the story and can get behind the mission, they really enjoy being a part of our community. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it- but I like that feeling.

 

PP: What has been the most “traveled” word?

Adriana: Our most purchased and likely most “traveled” word is definitely “Strength.” We all know someone who could use a little “strength” in her life and it’s been a fan favorite since the beginning.

 

BELIEVEMERMAID

 

PP: What has been your favorite word and what word do you think is most needed these days for women?

Adriana: My favorite word is “Believe.” I really think that we could all benefit from believing in ourselves and truly knowing that we can accomplish whatever it is that we set our minds to. So often, we as women can think of the 10 reasons why something is impossible rather than the one reason it’s not. I think we need to start truly believing that no matter what it is, we can make it happen so long as we “Believe.”

 

 

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The Girl Boss series celebrates women business owners who are making their dreams happen.

 

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Celebrity Sightings at the Jersey Shore

celebrity.sightings.jersey.shore

Written by: Emma Veon

 

We all love kicking back and relaxing at the shore, but a little bit of frantic fan-girling is never a bad thing!  Celebrities like Bradley Cooper and Tina Fey have both been seen enjoying a little bit of sun and surf at local beaches.  Check out this list to see which stars have stopped by your beach town and make a plan to get some autographs this summer!

 

Cape May, New Jersey: The quaint beach town has long been a favorite destination of select actors, musicians, athletes, and, even, presidents.  Recently, Anne Hathaway and Tina Fey, both Northeast natives, were sighted vacationing in Cape May.  Funny woman Kathy Lee Gifford has also been spotted strolling down Main Street.

 

Stone Harbor & Avalon, New Jersey:

Truly “cooler by a mile,” Avalon is the favorite beach of retired Philadelphia Flyers iceman Tim Kerr.  Further down the island in Stone Harbor, one might catch a glimpse of Stedman Graham and his longtime partner Oprah Winfrey.

 

Bradley.Cooper.Brigantine.NJ
Bradley Cooper and some lucky scoopers at Richman’s Ice Cream and Burger Bar in Brigantine, New Jersey. SWOON. Photo Link: http://media.philly.com/images/bradley-cooper-richmans-brigantine-600.jpg

Brigantine, New Jersey: If you’re hoping to casually run into one of the sexiest men alive (according to People Magazine and us, anyway), check out Brigantine Beach.  Bradley Cooper, 2010’s Sexiest Man Alive, has been spotted in this beautiful beach town.

 

Ocean City, New Jersey: Summering in Ocean City is always a delight, but tanning right next to Bradley Cooper might make your vacation that much better.  This Hollywood hunk was spotted in Ocean City with his mother in 2015.

 

Atlantic City, New Jersey: Known for casinos and concert halls, Atlantic City has welcomed countless celebrities in its glamorous buildings.  Foodies were excited to see Martha Stewart in the area.  Nostalgic beach-goers were treated with sightings of Paris Hilton and Jesse McCartney.

Who else have you spotted in your beach town? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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Pinkly Perfect’s Summer 2016 Kickoff Party

 

pinkly.perfect.contributor.dinner.party

As many of you know, I have a very talented team of (mostly) high school girls who have been contributing blog articles to Pinkly Perfect since last fall. (Read a great article from Creator that goes into more detail on the strategy behind that.)

 

So last night, I hosted a dinner in their honor to both show them how much they mean to me and also celebrate the start of summer!

 

But planning parties is not my line of work so I turned to my friend since elementary school, Ashley O’Brien, to take the lead with her company, Party Perfect Events.

 

How adorable is this table setting?
How adorable is this table setting?

 

Ashley went above and beyond and put together the cutest party for my contributors and I that included a set dinner menu, seashell napkin holders, sparkling pink lemonade in pink glitter pitchers, and cupcakes topped with quintessential shore snack, cotton candy, among so many other little details I never would have thought of own my own.

Cotton Candy Cupcakes!
Cotton Candy Cupcakes!

 

We had the best time chit-chatting about summer goals, upcoming vacations, and school drama and are officially ready to kick off Summer 2016! Follow us on all of our adventures on Instagram @pinklyperfect_inc 🙂

 

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Girl Boss of the Week: Emily Dimant, Makeup by Emily Dimant

 

girl.boss.emily.dimant

Emily Dimant is one impressive Girl Boss. From getting licensed at age 18 to running a successful makeup business all while in school full-time, Emily is a great example of making your dreams happen. We sat down with Emily to learn about how she got started in the makeup industry, her biggest career challenge, and her advice for high school girls.

(Photo above by Hope Helmuth Photography www.hopehelmuth.com)

 

PP: Thanks for sitting with us, Emily! Tell us about what attracted you to the makeup industry.

Emily: I have always been a painter my whole life. In addition to makeup, I am also an illustrator, focusing on fashion and beauty illustration. I am happy to combine my love for both art and makeup.  I was also always a girly-girl! I loved playing with Barbies as a child and I always appreciated their fashion and beauty aesthetic. I decided to become a Pennsylvania licensed cosmetologist when I was still in high school, so I attended a vo-tech school half the day, and public school the other half. I was also working at a salon by age 15 getting my foot in the door of the beauty industry. After two years of hard work, I was licensed by the age of 18!

 

PP: That’s incredible to be so accomplished at such a young age! What was the best piece of advice you received in terms of working for yourself?

Emily: Never undercut or sell yourself short! Your rates and pricing should always be what you believe you deserve for the work you are doing. Do lots of research and be confident in how much you are charging, no matter what you are doing!

 

PP: Absolutely. What are your favorite types of shoots to work on or clients to have?

Emily: I absolutely love beauty and skincare shoots, so I can see my work in a high definition camera up close and personal. This allows me to critique my work and make myself a better makeup artist. My favorite types of clients are the ones who sit down in my chair, and say “do whatever, I trust you!” That makes my job easy and rewarding.

 

Makeup by Emily Dimant
Makeup by Emily Dimant and Photo by Wyche Studios (http://wychestudios.com)

 

 

PP: I bet! But I assume there are also some challenges. What has been your biggest career challenge and how did you overcome it?

Emily: Definitely that I am a full-time student while running my own business. It is 100% possible through hard work and proper time management. I started this business when I was 18, and it is very difficult for people to take you seriously when you are young. I had to prove everyone wrong by showing that I am mature and professional. My clients always questioned my age when I was doing their makeup, but I showed them that age does not matter, but talent does!

 

PP: Definitely! I remember at our first shoot, I was so impressed with how young you were! What have you learned about yourself since you started?

Emily: I can handle anything. When a client is being rude or mean, I do not let it get to me! Sometimes people have bad days and a makeup artist’s job is to cheer them up by making them feel beautiful.  I have also learned how to be more understanding and appreciative of everyone in the customer service industry.

 

Makeup by Emily Dimant
Makeup by Emily Dimant and Photo by Hope Helmuth Photography (www.hopehelmuth.com)

 

PP: What is your favorite makeup trend?

Emily: I love dewy and glowing skin. Clean, fresh skin is so in and it all starts with good skincare. I love using cream products all over the skin for that dewy look. Cream foundations, cream highlighters, and cream blushes applied with fingers just always look so amazing!

 

PP: Now you have me wanting to head to Sephora and try it out! Finally, what message would you give to high school girls in terms of beauty and confidence?

Emily: You do not need makeup to feel beautiful. Remember, trends will pass and while you may think that contouring is important now, you will realize how silly it is one day! I do not wear makeup regularly, because I feel comfortable in my skin! Makeup can clog your pores and cause breakouts. It’s super fun to wear out at night but it is not necessary every day. Your skin will thank you! You are beautiful without it and anyone who loves you will agree with that!

 

 

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The Girl Boss series celebrates women business owners who are making their dreams happen.

 

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Treat Yo’Self: Finals are Over!

 

done.with.school.rewards

Written by: Sarah Felbin

 

Summer is here! No more tests, quizzes, or homework – and best of all, finals are finally over! After so much stressing and studying, everyone deserves a break… But your summer budget has to last until the end of August, so hiring Justin Timberlake for a backyard concert might not be the best idea. Instead, treat yourself with these fun, fabulous (pink!) finds, all for under $15!

 

 

Relaxing R&R

One of the best ways to relax is by amping up your bath time! (Yes, we said bath.) These products will help you get the most of your suds and bubbles, so you can enjoy being worry-free.

 

pink.flamingo.lush.cosmetics

Pink Flamingo Reusable Bubble Bar: $7.95 at Lush Cosmetics

If there’s a better way to capture summer in a few short words, we haven’t found it yet!

 

Pink Chiffon Shower Gel: $12.50 at Bath&Body Works

A lightly scented shower gel is just the thing for a fresh start to summer! (Shhh, don’t tell, but this one is perfect year-round!)

 

Pink Bath Bomb: $4.95 at Lush Cosmetics

Inspired by Audrey Hepburn, this sweet bath bomb is just the thing after a long day at the beach!

 

 

Bright Mani-Pedis

In the mood for a new shade? Any of these stunning pinks make for a majorly marvelous mani! Feeling bold? Go for a perfectly painted pedi instead, or mix and match for the ultimate summer combo!

 

Essie.pink.diamond.nail.polish

 

O.P.I. Strawberry Margarita: $6.85 at Walmart

This fun shade is a perennial favorite and comes in both a regular and a long-lasting formula for extra resistance against the sun, surf, and sand.

 

Essie Pink Diamond: $8.50 on Amazon.com

Shiny, shimmery, and bright, this pink is perfect for graduation parties, Sweet sixteens, and everything in between!

 

China Glaze Petal to the Metal: $3.77 on Amazon.com

No summer would be complete without the perfect coral polish! This vibrant shade just screams ‘summer,’ don’t you think?

 

 

Soft Waves

Hang on, not the kind you’re thinking of! While we can’t wait for sea breezes and ocean waves, what we really want is soft, wavy hair, the kind that makes mermaids jealous. These products will help protect your locks from harsh sunscreens and sea salt that can dry them out.

 

bed.head.after.party

TIGI Bed Head After Party Smoothing Cream: $12.21 on Amazon.com

With so many pool parties and barbecues to go to, it can be hard to keep up with your regular summertime hair routine. Opt for this one step system instead; the light formula leaves hair silky and shiny without weighing it down.

 

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer: $10.00 at ULTA Beauty

This spray is a life-saver! Applied before blow-drying, it can help your hair dry faster and add shine. An added bonus? It also helps protect your hair against heat, which means healthier strands with maximum wow-factor.

 

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Floral Essences: $7.29 on Amazon.com

Can’t stop, won’t stop beaching it all summer long? This dry shampoo lets you keep going days after your last dip in the pool! Fresh hair + awesome scent = your best hair ever!

 

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Shop Pinkly Perfect at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown

 

shop.beach.clothing.accessories.for.teens

Happy weekend! Hope everyone is enjoying the sun, eating ice cream, and lounging by the beach with her besties.

 

Annnddd while you were doing that, I was moving some perfect beach clothing and accessories into yet another store that will be carrying Pinkly Perfect this summer! Yay!

 

That’s right! You can now shop with us online, in Avalon and Stone Harbor, NJ and at our newest location at the Serendipity Shops of Doylestown, located right on Main Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

 

What I L-O-V-E about Serendipity is that every vendor has the opportunity to completely customize his/her display. Being that I have always wanted to have my own store, this was like completing a little dream of mine and I really had the best time making it Pinkly Perfect. 🙂

 

The space is located in a little section in the back left of the store. You may think you could miss us but fear not! I spent a couple hours on Friday painting the (very tall) walls our signature pink and it really pops!

 

Isn't it the best when your work also doubles as a workout?
Isn’t it the best when your work also doubles as a workout?

 

Then we (read: me and my very helpful mom) installed some metal clothing rods and hung up everything from our Montauk Tote Bags to Avalon Sweatshirts. We lined the floor with our Sanibel Flip Flops (more sizes can be found hiding under the bench with our pouches, keychains, and beach towels).

 

PinklyPerfectShopSerendipity

 

To finish it off, we hung up some beautiful photographs from our first ever photo shoot that was on display at Pinkly Perfect’s launch party featuring models from Expressions Agency in Philadelphia and Makeup by Emily Dimant.

 

Shop.Pinkly.Perfect.Serendipity

 

And I am SO happy and in love with how it came out! So next time you’re near Doylestown, grab an iced coffee and your besties and stop into Serendipity to shop Pinkly Perfect! And stay tuned for updates on our new arrivals coming very soon!

 

 

 

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Girl Boss of the Week: Megan McCusker, Function Coffee Labs

 

megan.mccusker.function.coffee

Written by: Maureen Devenny

 

Megan McCusker has been many things–an Ivy League graduate, a teaching fellow in England, an accomplished pianist–and is most recently the founder of Function Coffee Labs, a Philadelphia coffee shop that opened its doors in April 2016. Pinkly Perfect chatted with Megan about how her “hummingbird” personality has helped her in her career, her most stressful moment at the coffee shop, and what advice she’d give to herself in high school. 

 

 

PP: Thanks for sitting down with us, Megan, and thank you for the coffee! Now, on to the reason we’re all here–what made you decide to start your own business?

Megan: Well, I’ve always dreamed of owning my own business – the hardest part was deciding what kind it would be! When my fiancé, Ross, and I met we shared a common interest frequenting independent local coffee shops, and we joked about opening a coffee shop. After living together in England and traveling all over Europe to find the best coffee, we decided we could open our own place using the knowledge we’d picked up. The a-ha moment came when Ross decided he didn’t want to teach anymore and my visa couldn’t be renewed in the UK. We thought, why not start a new adventure back home!

 

PP: Wow, what a great story! What do you enjoy about running the coffee shop? What is difficult?

Megan: The most enjoyable part is also the most difficult: I’m responsible for everything! I love being able to make my own schedule, implement my ideas and make decisions. Sometimes the amount of work to be done is overwhelming! But I wouldn’t change it for the world. When we opened our doors, I was overwhelmed by support from friends and family.

 

PP: Opening a coffee shop sounds like a daunting task. What’s the best piece of advice you received about the business?

Megan: When I was an undergrad I took a course at Columbia Business School that taught me to make a business plan. Ross and I created a 17-page business plan that outlined our mission, focus, business model, marketing strategy, startup costs and financial projections. We left no stone unturned. This allowed us to stay true to our goal when making every decision and not get carried away with details that weren’t crucial to our business.

 

Megan.Function.Coffee

 

PP: What advice would you give to our readers as they think about their careers?

Megan: I would tell them not to be hard on themselves for not knowing what to be when they grow up. It’s okay to have many interests and explore them. My path wasn’t a straight line and I love that because my perspective is broader. Watch this video of Elizabeth Gilbert describing the two types of people in the world: those that are driven towards one passion and those that live more like hummingbirds, landing on multiple interests and spreading what they’ve learned to wherever they go in the future.

 

PP: A hummingbird, what a nice analogy. What do you think high school-aged Megan would think about what you’re doing now? 

Megan: On one hand, I’d be surprised that I made such a big commitment to one thing since I have so many interests. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be all that surprised because I’ve always set big goals for myself!

 

PP: What have you learned about yourself from this process?

Megan: I’ve learned I can handle an overwhelming amount of work, stay focused, meet deadlines and reach any goal I set. I am a boss!

 

PP:  Speaking of being a boss, can you tell us a story from a crazy day at the coffee shop?  

Megan: One morning around 8am our grinder broke. It was so embarrassing because it made a loud noise that scared our guests and we couldn’t make coffee for people. We’re a coffee shop – how can we not have coffee?! Luckily, Ross fixed it in under 10 minutes!

 

PP: Whew, way to go Ross. Looks like the shop is getting busy so one last question: What’s your favorite shore memory? 

Megan:  After graduating from high school, 12 friends rented a house in Ocean City for the summer. It was a blast and I will never forget it! Now, my favorite memories are sitting on the porch at my grandparents’ house in North Wildwood.

 

Visit Function Coffee Labs at 10th and Carpenter in South Philly.

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The Girl Boss series celebrates women business owners who are making their dreams happen. 

 

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