We recently connected with Sakina Jackson and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Sakina thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. What sort of legacy are you hoping to build. What do you think people will say about you after you are gone, what do you hope to be remembered for?
I hope my legacy will be one that inspires the everyday person to listen to their inner voice as it relates to purpose while on this earth. I want my family and others to know I worked hard to build a company that would enable me to help others. Some of the community work I have been humbled by was working to educate and empower disadvantage students in a hospitality program.
Many of the students had various struggles in life and just needed a chance at a better life and opportunities. Working alongside a team of professional chefs and program manager who had the heart to believe we as a team could make a difference. Another opportunity was working in a food desert community of which had either no viable grocery stores or simply a community mart with little to no fresh produce or limited items usually at higher cost. One of the local colleges had a large farm of which I worked alongside farm director and student farmers who planted, worked the farm to harvest and distributed organic produce throughout the community. During the height of the pandemic, we were able to donate fresh produce to local churches to be distributed to our elderly population.
I love seeing people succeed no matter what their challenges may be. Volunteering is something I recommend everyone should take part in as it may change your life and someone else’s.
Sakina, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I was a mother of five who worked in corporate America, and city government for years. Our youngest daughter was soon to graduate leaving me feelings as if your life passed me buy. I also was slated to become a grandmother again so my thoughts and where I was in life started to shift towards family. The only way I could control my time was to retire or retire and start a small business to fill my extra time. As the head of our department, we found ourselves having spreads for employee’s birthdays as well as the holidays. This created potential thoughts about startups and maybe doing something in the food industry. I know first-hand how busy launching and running a restaurant could be, so I opted for something similar such as seasonings. I would launch my own brand to flavor the world via ecommerce!
The problem I would solve would be bringing quick delicious healthy meals and recipes to social media platforms as part of my marketing our blends. This has been huge during the pandemic as many people were now cooking at home.
What set us apart from others are our focus on bringing families back to the traditional table! The rise in technology, cellphones to name a few has taken intimacy out of family mealtime. Our message to our customers is to exclude your devices during family mealtime. Families are able to build healthy relationships with one another. I am very proud that I took the scary leap into entrepreneurship! The main things I want our customers, followers or fans to know is I get so excited learning where they are from and how much they love our blends. I really get excited chatting with them through social media about the different dishes they make for themselves or their families.
I also want them to know realistically, starting a business is hard work! There are times when sales are low, or a grocery chain does not allow you to become a supplier. Hearing or receiving NO can be disheartening but do not give up! There is always a silver lining around the corner such as having a few celebrities such as Grammy Award winner Sherri Shepherd, Comedian and actress Luenell and Jacky Chisolm Clark of the Clark Sisters try, purchase or showcase your brand on their social media platform! I had that very thing to happen multiple times and I was so humbly grateful.
Big Toe Seasonings LLC has enabled me to give back to the community in dollars and time. Although I loved my former career, I know I made the right decision and that is a great feeling. We welcome the support and soon I hope to assist other with taking the same leap I took when starting their businesses. Look for my full story coming soon via my book Go Big and Go Home! Thank you for your continued support and by all means follow us on all of our social media platforms.
Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter. You may also shop directly from our website at www.bigtoeseasonings.com
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
Big Toe Seasonings launched as both an e-commerce and onsite vendor primarily on military bases. Our launch went great, however at the end of our first year the pandemic made its arrival. This cause many if not all of our onsite marketing to come to a halt. They were no longer allowing vendors on the premises as most of their employees were now working from home.
This took away a large percentage of our revenue. While I was still a new business, I did not have the resources at the time to hire a social media person, so I had to learn and learn quickly. We had our website; however, we need to drive customer to the website through social media, we established an Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and a few others as part of our pivot plan! It worked and sales pickup and so did our followers. We are still growing all platforms; however, we learned each platform has its own culture and it is important or viable to the success of the business to learn the culture of each platform.
Most of these platforms are free but there are times you may need to boost a post or ad to take full advantage of all platforms, be ready for whatever may come by listening and watching what is going on in this world.
Can you open up about how you funded your business?
While working in city court I knew a change was coming, I just did not know when. While many may not be in a position to do what I did they can take a few notes. Because I wanted to finance my own startup, I knew I had to start somewhere so I began to start saving every paycheck until I had enough revenues to get the ball rolling. So, if you have dollars, you can save do it! I do not advise anyone to finance a startup with credit cards, but some do. I am not opposed to obtaining small business loans or reaching out to family members just make sure you do what is best for your startup and beyond.
- Website: www.bigtoeseasonings.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bigtoeseasonings/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/infobigtoeseasonings
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sakina-jackson-ba009518a/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/BigToeSeasoning
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9FHJNQrUNNuRMP5pI9y7bg