This Founder Is Bringing Healthy Burgers To Every Table
In our Ask A Founder series this fall, we follow 10 female founders on their entrepreneurial journey. Thousands of women have experienced our Selfmade virtual business coaching program, led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and sponsored Office Depot OfficeMax. Here, we hear from Selfmade alum Desiree Calixte, founder of Easy Oat Burgers, a DIY veggie burger mix, about her aha moment, how she stays focused on priorities, and what selfmade means to her.
How would you describe your brand in five words? Real, cool, practical, unique, and yummy.
What mood do you want your brand to evoke? A feel-good mood! I definitely want people to be excited to try our products and I want to evoke a wholesome and fun vibe.
What was your aha moment before starting your business? Growing up, I was raised by the most amazing single mom, who at times worked three jobs. Working three jobs meant we ate more fast food than I’d like to admit. As I got older, I realized this lifestyle wasn’t what I wanted for myself. This sparked me to begin my personal health journey. I started attending health seminars and playing around with foods. As a SAHM of two, I wanted to contribute to the family financially but wanted to monetize something I do naturally so it wouldn’t feel like work: Aha – Easy Oat Burgers! What started off as a healthy plant-based quick meal that I make for my family grew into something I could share with the world.
What were you doing before you started the business? I’m still doing it - lol! I’m a full-time homeschooling SAHM of two. I also had two other attempts at business that weren’t lucrative but there were lots of lessons learned.
What’s one thing you wish you knew as an entrepreneur? The amount of sacrifice it takes to be one.
How do you get in the right headspace to start your day? Starting my day with prayer and spending time in devotion give me my ability to focus. Also, being excited about my goals and hopes for the business gives me energy for the day.
How do you celebrate the small wins? I do a happy dance with my kids, and we make up a fun song to go with the win.
What is the most powerful thing you do in your day? Focusing on what I can do and not what I can’t do. Focusing on what I have versus what I don’t have and not letting what I don’t have discourage me from doing anything at all.
What are your go-to snacks? Easy Oat Burgers! They are actually great to snack on as a patty alone but my new fav outside of my product is “It’s Nola” granola bites! They are the perfect sized healthy treat for on the go eating.
What is your go-to productivity hack? Make a list, finish the things that are quick first to get them all out of the way. Getting the easy things done sometimes knocks off more than 50 percent of the list, giving you a sense of accomplishment. When you see you’ve actually gotten some things done it can give you the push to finish the harder task so you can knock off the total list.
What is your favorite desk essential? Probably my thermal printer.
Fill in the blank:Good reviewsgives me all the feels.
What has receiving the Office Depot OfficeMax scholarship to Selfmade done to help you grow your business? The Selfmade community has really taught me that it’s ok to go for it and to not be afraid to promote yourself. Through Selfmade, I was able to compete in my first pitch competition and that’s only because I pushed past my doubts and didn’t let fear stop me from putting myself out there. I like to believe that that allowed other doors to open for me that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enter had I not made the first step. Selfmade has also highlighted the value of community. I love to see how everyone is so willing to work together to reach their goals.
How have Office Depot OfficeMax services/products helped you accomplish more in your business? Currently, we are not able to run paid ad campaigns, but the branded material offered through Office Depot OfficeMax allows me to attract the eyes and attention of potential customers at different events I attend. Because of this, I am able to grow my email list just from the call to action on my marketing materials courtesy of Office Depot OfficeMax. I was struggling with this before the opportunity came about with Office Depot OfficeMax. Even the simple essentials like paper, ink, a printer, etc. help make the day-to-day life of an entrepreneur a little more seamless.
What does the word “self-made” mean to you? Self-made, to me, means determination and it cancels out the word impossible. Being self-made is beautiful but it also represents not having anything handed to you and that you started from the ground up. It truly is a badge of honor as it is the definition of hard work, resilience, being a go-getter, and a visionary, and represents the power and will to figure it out in spite of circumstances.
Thanks Desiree! Staying focused on the task at hand takes practice. Office Depot OfficeMax can help you organize & save time with a suite of business services & solutions to help you accomplish more. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax it’s never been easier to think big.
Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.