How do you transform a “very bad day” at the office into one of New York City’s hottest brands? Marlo Scott, was tired of dealing with “bad bosses” — which prompted her to do her homework and map out an entrepreneurial path.
While working a corporate job in media, Scott would spend late nights and weekends working on her business plan. After receiving her last pink slip from Time Inc. in 2007, she realized that it was time to make a change.
“I was really mentally and financially ready,” says Scott. “I swore I would never get another one (pink slip) of those; luckily I have a great boss — I’m never going to lay myself off, unless it’s called retirement!”
Learn how Marlo Scott leveraged what she learned in Corporate America to fuel her success as an entrepreneur and why you should be relentless with your vision.
|Location:||New York, NY|
|Industry:||Food and Beverage|
How I Got Started
I was laid off from three companies … in a row. I found inspiration in working in less than inspiring corporate environments. And several years ago, I decided to take charge of my professional destiny and happiness by opening up Sweet Revenge, an NYC-based cupcake, beer and wine bar.
Being my own boss while serving cupcakes and booze has indeed been a very sweet revenge! I invested my life savings, secured a $400K small business administration (SBA) loan, and brought to life my business plan and cupcake recipes in July 2008 – a year and a half after my layoff from Time Inc.
Best Success Story
My greatest success is being the face of Ink, a small business credit card offering from Chase Bank, in their national ad campaign that debuted in July 2010 and continues to run from time to time. My Ink television ad has had major airtime on CNBC and my full page Ink print ads ran heavily in Fortune magazine.
Both companies laid me off. What are the odds!?
Biggest Startup Challenge
The toughest startup challenge was surviving my first year in business while the recession took hold. I was upside down financially and paying bills was extremely difficult. Managing my cash was critical.
In order to keep payroll costs down, I bartended seven nights a week — often I worked by myself at my wine bar and without taking a paycheck. The tough part was juggling day-to-day operations with more strategic marketing efforts like media outreach.
I was constantly challenged about what to focus on — activities that kept costs down or activities that might drive revenue. It was frustrating. Thankfully Time Out New York wrote about me and I went on the Martha Stewart show. This visibility helped drive patrons.
By offering a delicious escape to our customers and having amazing media exposure, I right-sided the business financially about 12 months into it.
#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs
Get comfortable with others being uncomfortable with the path you’re on. Be relentless with your vision and confident in your capabilities. Do not waste time with a plan B.