Our “aha” moment for starting Tiny Pies…
Amanda: The idea for Tiny Pies was born out of a conversation with my son. We had just finished pie for dessert and he wanted to take a piece in his lunch sack to school the next day. After explaining to him that the pie would be all messy, he exclaimed, “Why don’t you make a pie that I can eat with my hand?” From that simple question came our business idea.
How we expanded from farmer’s markets to running two pie shops and shipping nationwide…
Amanda: We launched Tiny Pies at a farmer’s market in 2011 and sold out of all 75 pies on our first day. From there we grew incrementally by selling at additional farmer’s markets. Our goal was always to open a brick and mortar store but finding a retail location was more challenging than we initially anticipated. We began catering weddings and corporate events and also developed a website to sell online. Our appearance in O, The Oprah Magazine’s O List blew up our online store. We finally opened our first retail store in our third year of business. The store was immediately successful because we already had a great following. We just celebrated the one-year anniversary of our second store. Our new shipping partner has enabled us to ship to many regions for only $10 and this has helped us grow our nationwide shipping business.
The quality you admire most in each other…
Amanda: My mother’s work ethic. She’s one of the hardest working people I know and is definitely the hardest working grandma I know. She put in long hours as Chief Baking Officer in the kitchen for the first two years and now runs our catering department. She’s also incredibly creative and many of the products that we offer were developed by her.
Kit: Her ability to keep multiple balls in the air at once. She handles social media and merchandising with a keen sense of the customer. She absolutely is responsible for the growth of Tiny Pies with her forward thinking. Working so closely with her, I glow with pride as I watch all aspects of her professionalism.
Lessons we’ve learned about working with family…
Amanda: Working with family is wonderful but it does have its challenges. Our relationship has definitely changed over the past six years in good ways and in bad ways. However, the best thing about working with family for us is that we completely trust one another and have each other’s backs. I can count on her.
Kit: It has kept me on my toes. In all of my work experience, I’ve never wanted to please someone more than I want to please my daughter. I trust her unequivocally. I admire her not only as a daughter but as a colleague.
I trust her unequivocally.
How have you inspired each other to embrace ambition?
Amanda: My mother always told me that I could have anything I wanted if I was willing to work hard enough. She’s always believed in me and that has given me the confidence to take risks in my life, like Tiny Pies.
Kit: My daughter has been the lightening rod that I have followed in a venture that I would never have imagined only a few years ago.