In 2001, an earthquake hit the Seattle area, leveling the building that Seattle Chocolate was renting. The building was condemned, so suddenly, the company needed significant investment to buy and prep another building to make its confections. Thompson went from investor and owner. Shortly afterward, the company’s CEO resigned, and the company was entirely in her hands.
“I luckily was so naive as to how difficult it would be and how steep the learning curve would be that I just thought, ‘It’s a great product, and I love chocolate,’ and I’d gotten a little bit of a taste for it, so I decided to try running it myself,” she says. “And that was 20 years ago.”
The key to surviving any challenge is figuring out your brand’s trajectory and having patience with yourself, Jean says.
“I forget the silly ballplayer or coach who said, ‘We didn’t lose – we just needed more innings,'” she says. “I thought about that many times because it’s the long runway that allows you to work through all the difficulties.”
Surviving a competitive environment can seem like a massive jigsaw puzzle year after year.
“If you give yourself enough time, ultimately, somehow, miraculously, it seems to work,” she says. “Or at least that was the case as I look back on my 20 years.”
In Part 1, Jean talks about:
* Gratitude for the support and hard work from the people who work at Seattle Chocolate.
* An overview of the two brands – Seattle Chocolate and Jcoco.
* How an earthquake changed her role in the company.
* The challenges of running the company without a marketing background or business degree.
* The case for patience and perseverance.
For more on Seattle Chocolate, visit: https://www.seattlechocolate.com/
This episode is brought to you by Yotpo.
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