Meet Stephanie Urlando

Stephanie is the owner of Little Rose Cookie Co & Lilly Scribes. Stephanie has a heart of gold and is all about sharing her story to inspire others. Stephanie is a single mom who has successfully built a business for herself purely from her passion to bake. She has 2 little girls and has made it her mission to show them that they are worthy of their dreams too. Stephanie is the kindest soul and is always taking the time to inspire and uplift other businesses. She is the true definition of a #socialbabe which is why we asked her to be one of the Babes Of Influence for the Fall 2020 Campaign.

The Interview.

Tell us about your business and how got started 

I love this question; it truly feels like a divinely orchestrated road brought me to start my business. A true manifestation story. When I was on maternity leave, pregnant with my first daughter, I didn't have a great income so I got crafty and made my own baby shower favours - cookies. Then I made cookies for a couple of other family occasions, and thanks to social media (I could go on and on about how I love social media for business), the business really came to me once I started posting my sweet treats and sharing the journey on my Instagram page. The orders started coming in and I put relentless energy into it from there to grow it. It felt so organic and I nurtured it along. Ironically, I was a personal trainer just before starting cookie decorating (I was not at all following my true passion and I felt very stuck in that moment), but I see now that just like the other jobs I worked before entering the cookie world, it was a stepping stone that gave me the tools I would need to run my business: personal training taught me to stay active to maintain a busy lifestyle and to present large quotes to clients, bartending taught me to be quick-witted, efficiently serve, and how to build rapport with customers, working in a grocery store bakery taught me about decorating desserts and some baking tricks, and working in retail taught me how to handle cash, organize receipts and balance numbers. They all equipped me with enough knowledge to start the process of building my business to what it is today.

I believe that when you start to see things through the lens of "I am doing exactly what I need to be doing right now for my highest and best outcome", you attract that outcome to you in life. 

Who introduced you to entrepreneurship?

My amazing parents. I KNEW in my soul I would be an entrepreneur from the age of 8 or 9. Around that age, my parents had their own business and I watched them present numbers, educate themselves, and practice self-development in every way. I watched my dad work hard sometimes seven days a week, and I watched my mom get creative with business ideas to provide for the family. I was lucky to get to go to business meetings and go on business trips with them. I listened to inspiring business tapes in the car with them that not only talked about business strategies and people skills but the power of manifestation and dreaming big. This resonated with me at a very young age and although for a few years I left this idea on the backburner, starting my business reminded me that entrepreneurship and building something from my creative vision was what I was always meant to be doing. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

How did you get started in entrepreneurship?

Little Rose Cookie Co. was really the start of it for me. It was so challenging yet rewarding to build the business and still is! Every hiccup, every re-route, every obstacle, every late night, every tweak, every creative idea... I can't imagine being anything but an entrepreneur now. I truly love the journey.

Biggest Struggle In Entrepreneurship?

Balance and boundaries. This was hard for me in the beginning, but I've learned that with building a business even in this hustle-mentality world, If we don't take time to take care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, we're not LIVING! We are human and we're meant to live! I truly love my work but I had to learn when to say no and how to set healthy boundaries. Number/money management was a challenge too and I am still learning in that arena.

Biggest Win In Entrepreneurship?

Financial stability. I feel humbled and I feel so much gratitude in my heart to be able to solely provide as a single mom for my two little daughters. It's so empowering and I sometimes feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Also the incredible friendships and connections I've made with other female entrepreneurs! Look how far we've come, ladies!

Favourite way to celebrate your wins?

Taking time off to create beautiful memories with my daughters. Making time to celebrate milestones with friends and family. Treating loved ones to dinner, going on nature adventures, and also being able to pamper myself for the first time (pedicures ftw!).

What Inspires you?

Great spiritual or self-development teachers. A personal favourite of mine is Joe Dispenza because he combines self-development, science and spirituality. Too many to name here! My family inspires me too; we're a very close family and I've been shown such unconditional love that I'm only beginning to understand the beauty of recently. Maybe I'm getting old (haha). But I pray that I can perpetuate the love and kindness my family creates and exudes for generations to come (cheesy but so real!).

What is Your Morning Routine?

My favourite practice is to notice how I feel when I wake up. Am I grouchy? Am I happy? Am I sad? Am I inspired? And then I make sure that by the time I get up, I've moved through those emotions and have found gratitude and joy in my heart before I get up. Generating gratitude generates things to be grateful for. I also love a good morning tea and audiobook! 

3 Lessons You Have Learned In Business 

1. Follow your joy.

2. Set healthy boundaries.

3. Learn to delegate where appropriate.

4. (I had to sneak one more in there) Gratitude gratitude gratitude!

Favourite Social Media Platform To Be Social On 

Instagram without a doubt! It's the reason I've been able to build the business, learn from others, and build some truly treasured relationships with clients and other entrepreneurs.

Tips For SECURING THE BAG (making that money Hunny!) 

Know your worth and ask for it! Practice confidently quoting. Increase value, don't discount. For example, I sometimes offer a free cookie per dozen, but generally try to stay away from offering 10% off, etc. It shows your clients that you know your value, but that you also want to treat your clients and are generous!

What is something you wish you knew that you know now when you started your business? 

Trust your own instincts. You'll hear a lot of advice and a lot of "you can't do that" and "that's not going to work". If I stopped every time I heard that, I wouldn't have made it. I would reassure 2016 Stephanie that her own inner voice already knew what she could create. Don't second guess your own instincts.

What would you say to someone who looking to start their own business but scared? 

Just follow your joy, and give it your energy. What inspires you? What captivates you? Chase it! Don't let your thoughts get in the way of your heart. 90% heart, 10% logic (of course we need some logic in business!). We sometimes give in to that little voice that says a 9-5 is the only way to have security and that work isn't meant to be fun. I say the world is changing and we are moving away from a corporate-centred world and we are creating joy through supporting local artisans who are following their inspiration and are truly offering the world what their soul is meant to offer. I could talk about this all day. Find that joy, give it your energy, manifest the business of your dreams! 

Secondly, it's okay to start small! I had only the most basic, tiny amount of cookie decorating tools at the start (I'll be blunt - I was broke!) and with each cookie order, I would invest small amounts back into the business. As the business grew, the income grew, the investment grew, and the business grew more! Rinse and repeat. It's okay to start small.

What is your favourite Girl Boss quote and why? 

I can't remember the exact wording of the quote, but I once heard Kim Kardashian (no groaning, please) say that she thinks she is successful because she intuitively followed her inspirations. With each new chapter of her life that brought new inspiration, she would embrace it and find a way to turn it into a business. When something would resonate with her soul, she would chase it and create something. I think this is the key. Everyone has the tools no matter how small, to simply start. Even in a small way. Find what speaks to your soul, what lights your fire, what resonates with you and what inspires you, and just do it! 

For more inspiration make sure to follow Stephanie & follow her journey @littlerosecookieco on Instagram and listen to her episode on the Hey Social Babes Podcast.

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