It is one thing to pursue a hobby you love in your leisure time, but the dimensions change dramatically once it becomes your full time job. Being an entrepreneur is no soft cookie and we brought in Amy Jo Pedone, the creator of Valenza Chocolatier (VC), to share how she is thriving in her hobby-turned-passion of creating exquisite chocolate delicacies.
Straight out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Business School, Amy was content in climbing the corporate ladder until her beloved cousin, Sheri, lost the battle to ovarian cancer. Shook by the fickleness of life, Amy was forced to think about what she would do if she could start it all over. Falling in love with making cookies, and receiving constant appreciation from friends and relatives for her baking, she realized her talent. Thus, the chocolate making firm was born.
Amy wants VC, based in Costa Mesa, to be what she fully envisioned in her mind, and hence steers clear of orders that might water down the authenticity of her brand. “Having a strong emotional connection to your startup is important and being authentic is even more,” she stated. “It easily sets you apart from the competition when you stick to your identity.”
Although a firm believer in complete autonomy, she adds that having an advisory board is a good thing for your startup. She says that an emotional connection often prevents you from thinking objectively about many situations your startup might go through and that’s when an advisory board comes in handy.
Amy has one piece of solid advice for all the budding ANTrepreneurs out there. “Be authentic! Piggybacking off a trend in the market is never good. Running a venture tests you physically, emotionally and spiritually and if you are doing what you truly love, it would be a far more easy battle.”
Article by Jatin Mehta.