Enessilee G McClain, owner and operator of GoneGreens LLC in Hyattsville, Md.
The website: www.gonegreens.com
1) How long have you been in business?
2) Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry?
In 2010 [I] published a cookbook “The Worlds Gone Collard Greens”, within this cookbook I chronicle my family’s cultural connection to collard greens. The business of exploring the culinary distinctiveness of collard greens was born; meaning my company GoneGreens was born.
3) What makes business/product unique?
GoneGreens’ mission is to design innovative new approaches for people to enjoy collard greens only. The company’s focused [on] understanding of the benefits of collard greens and our attention to the design and development process of each facets of our product gives us our competitive edge. Our customers, and their needs will be exclusive met by us with their being no direct competitors for custom collard greens based products.
4) You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
I think the answer is within your question: my success starts with me. Working for myself gives me the freedom to set my own goals and initiatives and I find that most fulfilling. An example of our present and future goals and initiatives:
• Our hope is reclaim the strong minds of our youth, refocus their natural energy and preparing them for the future. So as GoneGreens grows so would our “GreensREgrowth Initiative.”
• One of our goals is to continue to cultivate and support our local farmers. We go the extra mile to incorporate as many of their fresh produce into each of our recipes.
5) What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?
Eighty percent of my product are sold at farmers’ markets, this concept was new to me but very exciting. I was a full two months into the famers’ market season and then there was rain.
I had a ton of product as normal and I only made three sales that day; I had a ton of leftover product. My first big lesson: each week before production of the product, check the weather. Something cool came from that experience: I was able to donate a ton of great all natural freshly made product to a great cause.
6) Every female professional should have __________.
The ability to be flexible. The excitement of flexibility give us the ability to move fluidly forward with our vision.
7) If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why?
I’ve never really thought of this before and I [am] not very familiar with a lot of business moguls but I tell you the ones I’m familiar with are the every day mothers (shout out to the single mamas). Although I’m not a mother, I have watched them all my life as they successfully and some of them unsuccessfully navigate the business of life. It is amazing watching them work, play and love all at the same time sometimes. With my business, I am able to work, play and love all at the same time.
8) What is your business motto?
I don’t know if I have one yet, here goes: The Worlds Gone Collard Greens.
9) If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?
I don’t know if I’m ready to put on that hat yet but here goes:
- If you love doing something then make time to plan to develop it.
- Make sure you enjoy the work because there will be a ton of it.
- Make a plan to give back, even if it’s not a part of the start-up make sure it’s a part of your end visions.
10) Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
11) What is your goal for the next year?
The make more retail connections; to grow my staff; to find a more permanent production facility; and to just enjoy the process of being a part of something new.
12) When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
Oh my goodness, I’ve never had collard greens like these before. They taste great, they’re all natural and my family and I can’t get enough of the Collard Green Pesto, Collard Green Chili Paste, Collard Green Pico De Gallo, Collard Greens Bruschetta and the Collard Green Chutney. We love them all.
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