We recently connected with Aliyah Sims and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Aliyah, thanks for joining us today. What was the most important lesson/experience you had in a job that has helped you as a business owner?
One of the most important lessons that I learned from my previous career is resiliency and how to always hunt the good stuff. When I first started Sunflower Kitchen, I was transitioning out of the military. The lifestyle that comes along with being a soldier, a wife, a mother and a new business owner was one that required great perseverance. At least yearly, we were always trained on master resiliency. We were taught that no matter how difficult situations may get, we should always hunt the good stuff and find positive aspects of every situation. Those trainings have stuck with me to this day and I continue to live with that attitude of “hunting the good stuff”..
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
My name is Aliyah Sims! I am a private chef, nutritionist, and philanthropist. I am the owner of Sunflower Kitchen by Chef Li, founder of the Babauta-Sims Foundation / Walk of Life Scholarship and aspiring registered dietician.
I came into the food industry with prior military culinary training which laid the foundation of my business. I currently offer in-home private dining, meal preparation, small group catering, season mixes and health and wellness plans. What sets me apart is the fact that I, not only prepare and serve amazing food but also can give you food, recipes, plans that will attribute to your overall wellness.
I am super proud of all the hats that I wear and want past, present and future clients to know that I will always do my best to provide an experience with each dish I create.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
I built my audience on social media with the support of my friends and family. They are the stepping stone that helped me get a good start. From there, I really had to tap into groups and workshops and peers that gave me tips and showed me different ways to present my content that is appealing to potential customers. My advice to those starting to build their presence on social media: ask for help! I could not be where I am without my village and my clientele. Ask for their advice and what they like to see. Also, what you would personally like to see if you were a customer? Keeping those things in mind, you can’t go wrong!
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
The past year has been extremely pivotal in every aspect of my life. My business is thriving while I transitioned into a life outside the military(which was my primary source of funding in the beginning ). In the midst of a thriving business and lifestyle change, I also started my own Non-profit organization called The Babauta-Sims Foundation and launched my first big project. Regardless of all the “pivots”, maintaining an organized schedule allows me to get it all done.