What did you want to be when you grew up?
Chances are it’s either the complete opposite of what you’re doing now, or some elements of your current career emulate the passions and interests you had as a kid. As we age, we learn about societal norms and begin to change ourselves to fit in. We lose our way and stop doing things that we’re interested in.
I fell in love with darkroom photography around 12, but it quickly transformed into graphic design and photoshop as I could see my progress as I went. I spent hours taking photos, editing them, and making slideshows for friends and family. I freaking loved it. Creating memories with music to elicit emotion was just all I wanted to do. At one point, my entire wall was covered with pictures from top to bottom! But because I didn’t think I was good enough, I shelved it away in my adolescent years.
It’s funny how things we dabble in as children often come back to us in adulthood but in different forms. One way this has come back to me is @paxthedood. All of a sudden, I found myself taking photos, documenting moments, and editing them for hours on end. It came full circle.
Carolyn Pascual White from The Social Sipper has a similar story. Our female founder this week grew up in the restaurant industry, then dabbled in different areas of the business , and now she has found her purpose through food & cocktail styling! Her beverage blog shares fresh and easy cocktails that can be made at home. She has several successful brand partnerships, and she’s just getting started! She’s also a wiz at brand strategy and development. The Social Sipper also helps beverage brands and influencers who are struggling with social media create a visual brand so they can attract the right followers and customers!
Carolyn was the first person I met when I moved to San Diego. She’s been my friend through many reincarnations and special moments. I’m proud to say I’ve also been able to witness her growth throughout the years. As long as I’ve known Carolyn she’s been searching for her entrepreneurial purpose. She even had a semi launched business years ago that she later felt wasn’t a profitable or scalable idea so she didn’t end up following through with it.
I think those type of experiences are very important as we work towards success. Because in order to reach success we must go through trial and error. Carolyn shares in her feature how this is something she works on everyday. She states that one of the biggest challenges being an entrepreneur is fear.
“A lot of worry comes up for me about making a wrong choice or not getting everything right. I constantly have to remind myself that my success is inevitable and it's all about experimenting and growing.”
I can imagine how many of you are nodding your head in agreement to that statement! We logically know we have to take risks and chances but it can be much more challenging to actually take the step forward.
She follows that statement by saying the only way to battle through those fearful thoughts is to not wait for things to be perfect and to just begin.
If you are interested in collaborating or even learning from Carolyn she loves instagram so feel free to DM her to start a chat! You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and her website, thesocialsipper.com
I can’t wait for you to get to know her today! So let’s get to it!
What is YOUR story!? Tell us a bit about your background both personally and professionally.
Food has always been a big part of my life. Growing up in the restaurant industry, I was thrown into the kitchen as soon as I was old enough to hold a knife. And in my family, quality time has always been spent eating together (and hanging around) in the kitchen. Somehow, I still never would have guessed I’d end up working with food and beverage professionally. With dreams of being an entrepreneur, I got my MBA in International Business and Management. After graduating and not finding a corporate role that felt right, I reluctantly got a few part-time jobs while exploring industries to decide what business I would pursue. Kismet and some persistence connected me to an amazing food stylist and I found myself on the set of a commercial. It all took off from there. I developed my skills working with food for film and photography and eventually was able to ditch the part-time jobs and work as a food stylist full time. Freelance life was nice, but I didn’t have any control over my schedule and I found myself driving 2-3 hours for a job pretty often. I loved the work but knew it wouldn’t be sustainable forever, especially if I wanted to have kids someday.
I started thinking about how to use my skills in a way that would allow me to work more flexibly. I started The Social Sipper, a beverage blog sharing fresh and easy cocktails that can be made at home. I dream up the drinks and my husband, Travis and I capture them together. I knew that with a platform, we could connect with brands and monetize. The Social Sipper now has several brand partnerships that allow us to make money at home!
How did you get your idea or concept for your business?
I was posting photos of cocktails on my personal Instagram account and saw that they were performing really well. I always thought of enjoying a beautiful and delicious cocktail as a special moment and wanted to share ways for people to make this happen at home. Since the work is so visual, I knew that Instagram would be a really good platform to share my recipes and tips on and connect with brands.
Tell us more about your business and what you do!
In addition to sharing simple and beautiful cocktail recipes, we also help beverage brands and influencers who are struggling with social media create a visual brand so they can attract followers and customers. I really enjoy the work we do with brands, so we created Beverage Curator a done-for-you content creation subscription to help beverage brands achieve better results on social media. We’re actually in the process of launching it now!
Looking back would you do anything different?
I'm really happy with the actions I've taken so far but I definitely would have started learning about limiting beliefs and mindset sooner. I love business strategy but am learning more and more that strategy alone is not enough. I'm constantly recognizing when I have limiting beliefs that are getting in my way. I try to call myself out when I find myself worrying about what others think, judging or dwelling on making the perfect decision.
What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
I love the endless possibilities. It's seriously the coolest time to be an entrepreneur with all the opportunities to have an impact and reach people online. A lot of my friends say they can't imagine not having the comfort of a consistent paycheck but I think it's exciting to know there are no limits on that number. Oh and I also really like working in yoga pants.
Share your favorite moment or moments while growing your business.
Getting our first brand partnership was a big moment for me. It happened 3 months after we started and with less than 1,000 followers on Instagram. I was convinced that I had to build a huge account to get paid so it was really exciting to prove that not to be true. It made me question the other limiting beliefs that were getting in my way which has been so valuable for me as an entrepreneur.
What about some of the challenges you face as a female entrepreneur?
I find myself struggling with pricing and talking about money. As a female, it's generally really easy for me to build and nurture relationships but I find myself in fear when I'm asking for money. It's something I'm working on.
Advice for other other female entrepreneurs or those looking to get started?
Don't wait! It's so easy to say you'll take action "once you have 10k followers" or "when you have a more professional website," etc. There will ALWAYS be another thing to do. Get out of your own way and take action as soon as you can!
What is your favorite quote?
"If not this, then something better"
How do you avoid burnout?
This is a work in progress for me. I realized that the burnout comes in when I'm doing things that are out of my zone of genius. So I am constantly evaluating what I'm excited about doing and what brings me joy in my business and try to do more of that and less of everything else.
We know all entrepreneurs work differently. How do you schedule your day?
All my days are different. When we're not shooting, I usually start my day with a workout and give myself a lot of flexibility throughout the day. I find that I'm most productive in the afternoon, so I allow my mornings to be relaxed and take time for myself.
How do you advertise your brand?
Right now, I just get the word out by sharing content on Instagram and my site.
What are your MUST have tools?! (things like organization, calendars, social media, payment platforms, business development sources...etc.)
I'm an old fashioned paper and pencil kind of gal so my planner and desk calendar are necessities for me. Otherwise, Plann for planning Instagram, VSCO for editing photos, Canva for designing graphics and Dropbox for delivering photos. I also couldn't live without Google Drive.
Thank you Carolyn for your time and energy. I know a big take away for me was about your money mindset- especially as a female. I feel as if (at least I do) have a need to be liked and I don’t want to cause waves - ESPECIALLY when I am landing a new client. I have learned through experience and other coaches that this all about my relationship with money which comes from my childhood and learned experience.
It’s very normal for women to downgrade their packages and prices due to not feeling worthy. Hopefully with the army of female founders blossoming around the world we can make change and build confidence. We’ve been taught to not talk about money when we really should be talking about!
A few things that have helped me are:
Getting to know my value and what I do for clients.
Accepting that not everyone will be ok with my prices.
Following through with my packages when I present them. I also always pause after I say the prices instead of trying to cover it up with jibber jabber!
Being OK when I do get paid the amount I ask for (not feeling guilty)
We will have another feature on this topic in due time but in the meantime do you have comments or ideas on how to build a healthy relationship with money? If so, Leave us a comment below!