Plans

I have a plan to write the ever elusive business plan. 

But, before I get to the part about what the plans are for making my writerly way toward the perfect business plan, I realized you all may not know how I got to this point right here … this exact moment where a plan is necessary.

So, let me catch you up. I promise it will be brief and delightful. And if you’d like to do some serious delving into the pie-filled past on your own you can start at the beginning here: teenypies.tumblr.com

Without further ado. 

Once upon a time I was a very tiny girl who stood at the elbow of her mother and learned how to make pie. Birthdays, holidays, picnics … my childhood was filled with flaky, homemade pastry. I left the nest to pursue an education and a career in acting which led me to Ithaca, NY and then on to Chicago, IL. I moved into my first grown up apartment and my mom sent me  a care package including my very own rolling pin and pie tin, which I promptly forgot about until one Sunday in October, four years after moving in. I began baking a pie once a week to chase away the winter chill. One pie turned into several pies which turned into hosting pie parties and contemplating a huge change in the direction of my life. I decided to go on a Tour of Pie … an apprenticing journey across the U.S., hopping from pie shop to pie shop to learn the ins and outs of baking in bulk and small business owning. The tour of pie was a resounding success, I met women across the country who became teachers and mentors, and most importantly I learned exactly what it took to start a business.

Halfway through my trip, after proving to Workman Publishing Co. that I was a witty and wonderful writer as well as a super pie baker they agreed to let me write a cookbook. I wrote about my travels, friends and the adventure of changing my whole life all the while dreaming up new pie flavors I wanted to give to the world. I moved to Washington, D.C. with my then boyfriend/now husband, completed and published the book, Teeny’s Tour of Pie, and because that wasn’t nearly enough I started my own business, Teeny Pies. I spent the last two and a half years working out of communal kitchens and selling at farmer’s markets. Which brings me to here … the point where I go from farmer’s market ace to pie shop proprietor.

Much like when I began the Tour of Pie I’m not quite sure how to move forward, despite knowing change is the next and right choice. What I loved about being on tour was that with lots of passion and hard work everything seemed to fall into place; the more I learned the clearer the way seemed to become. So, with a lot more to learn and a hope that things will become clear, it’s time to have a plan.

The business plan plan is where I plan to start. I’ve several excellent examples to model after and a few mentos and fellow business owners who have expressed a willingness to provide feedback. My hope is that I’ll be able to write the hell out of it. The first draft was bad not great. I think in an attempt to sound very serious and professional I forgot to be engaging or compelling; my voice was lost amidst the dry prattle of facts and figures. The fact is I have an engaging story, an epic and compelling amount of experience, and I’ve been told I’m a pretty great writer. 

So, the plan is to write, write, write, write, over-write, read it, have other people read it, then edit, edit, edit. I’m pretty sure that’s the way I’m going to write a stellar business plan. I might also throw in some cartoons or clip art … that’s sure to show the money people that I’m serious … right? 

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Making Moves

Well, it certainly has been a long time since I’ve thrown words out into the great wide open. I would apologize but over the past two years it’s seemed much more important to throw copious amounts of pie into people’s faces. I wish I were the type of person who could single-handedly make three hundred plus pies in a week, sell said pies, and then have the wherewithal and wit to be able to blog about funny or clever things that happened along the way, but I’m decidedly not. I’m more of the make delicious pies, sell delicious pies, then fall asleep sitting up, whiskey in hand while attempting to make it through a full episode of Star Trek before bed kinda gal. I’m not ashamed. My pies are damn fine and my sleeping while sitting skills are unparalleled. 

However, I’m jumping feet first back into the wild and wacky world of the internet because the times, they are a changin’. 

First things first, Teeny Pies is no longer in D.C. It was a big decision for us, but we slowly came to terms with the fact that we didn’t see D.C. as our forever home. So we packed up our apartment, bid farewell to our friends, and over a shared bag of sunflower seeds, ladybird, Aaron and I moved to our temporary home in Kentucky. 

Which brings us to the here and now, with six months of Kentucky living to accomplish two very large things. 

ONE. Teeny Pies needs to get a little businessy. The first rather terrible draft of my business plan has been written. I’m new at this and needless to say I’m a much better baker than serious document maker. But since I’m a lady boss as well as a lady baker, I will get better. I’ve also made it my beeswax to find where they keep all the money, money, money. Whether it ends up coming from a bank, pie enthusiasts, or small business investors who love a good and flaky pastry that fits in the palm of their hand, I will find it, prove that I deserve it, and use it to open the best pie shop in all the land. 

And speaking of land … that brings me to the second big thing that we have to accomplish in the next six months — finding a forever home. A place where Aaron and I can start living like the grown-ups that we are and *gasp* buy a house or something. A place where ladybird can run footloose and fancy free (she loves to feel the wind in her ears). A place where I can take the next huge step in my ladybakership life and one day open the doors to my very own pie shop. 

A place that is either Cincinnati, Denver, or Pittsburgh

This is me (and Aaron and ladybird) leaping once more into the unknown and taking you all along for the ride. All suggestions — if backed by scientific evidence — are welcome. In the meantime, I’ll be here in Kentucky brewing sweet tea and making pie … stop on by if you’re in the neighborhood. 

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