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Friday, May 13, 2011

Lisa Gundersen of Polka Dot Pound Cake

 
~ From Ballet Slippers to Banana Bread ~

After owning a dance studio for 12 years, I decided to hang up my tutu so I could be home with my two year old daughter Emily. A year later, Hannah arrived and soon a favorite afternoon activity for us was baking.

A very fast 10 years later, as flour flew around the kitchen, I found myself thinking of creating a new business...and the answer was on the kitchen counter, the Banana bread that had been baked earlier that day. 

In the fall of 2008, after taking care of all the legalities, I started selling my cakes at various fairs and festivals on Long Island NY. I was filled with a passion for baking and the entrepreneurial spirit.
My passion for baking was inspired by my childhood memories of the heavenly aromas of my Norwegian mother's daily baking. Her influence is found in the traditional American classics that are baked lovingly at Polka Dot Pound Cake. The company name and signature polka dot ribbons are a tribute to my mother. A sweet reminder of the decorative ribbons that she sewed onto my childhood dresses that she made for me.

The biggest obstacle I faced this year was finding a commercial kitchen space that was affordable to rent.  Finding one was necessary to take my business to the next level. Thankfully I found one after months of searching.  This will allow me to sell at 4 LI Farmers Markets June-November. I am thrilled to take this huge step forward!  I also look forward to the day that I can hire employees. Currently I hold the crown for employee of the month J
It can be difficult at times to juggle being an entrepreneur, wife, and mother.  Family and friends had suggested for years that I sell my baked goods. They continue to be incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about my goals and dreams. They believed in me from the beginning even when I had my own doubts!  
I feel that it is necessary to connect with other women entrepreneurs. The Networks that I belong to { Savor the Success and Martha Stewarts Dreamers into Doers} have been a valuable source of advice, and friendship. It is very easy to find myself working almost 24/7 when building a business, but making time for my family and for me is so important. One way I find time for me is teaching an adult tap class every Monday night.
My advice to anyone who has an idea for a business would be to start slowly. Do not be in a rush, let the business evolve and take you on a journey. For me, when I look back and connect the dots…I see why and how I got to be where I am now. I look forward to where Polka Dot Pound Cake will take me.

To contact Lisa or to order her amazing baked goods visit www.polkadotpoundcake.com
lisa@polkadotpoundcake.com
www.facebook.com/polkadotpoundcake
516.641.2586

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Thak you Sharon!
So many friends have enjoyed reading this.

~Lisa

Vintage Chic Delights said...

Another lovely inspiring story!