Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Sarah Wilburn. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Sarah, appreciate you joining us today. We’d love to have you retell us the story behind how you came up with the idea for your business, I think our audience would really enjoy hearing the backstory.
I got the idea to start Lost Buddy Spices when my first born was 6 months old. I had been reading “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero (if you haven’t already, I highly recommend you grab a copy and start reading!) and I was feeling inspired to step out of my comfort zone and develop a plan to start a new company. For a while I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of company I wanted to start… I already own a company as a BCBA, so I was pretty sure I wanted to stay away from a service-based industry. One afternoon I was on a run and it dawned on me- this spice rub that my family has been using forever would be the perfect thing to try to market and sell! I remember calling my dad and asking him why we weren’t selling, hoping there wasn’t a reason I hadn’t considered that would stop my plans before I had a chance to even make them. After talking for a bit and learning there was no real reason I shouldn’t or couldn’t move forward, I pitched my idea to sell Lost Buddy.
It wasn’t too hard to convince my husband that this was something I wanted to move forward with. He has always supported my crazy dreams, and this time was no different. The thought of raising a baby, running my other company, keeping the house in working order (including taking care of 3 dogs and 1 cat because, evidently, we thrive on chaos), and starting this brand-new business somehow didn’t seem like a completely insane and overwhelming undertaking. With my husband by my side, I moved forward in solidifying who I wanted on the Lost Buddy team and we got the business rolling!
It’s amazing, once we launched, we had an immediate and incredible support system. Heck, even before we launched, we had family and friends cheering us on! The love for our family, and for this recipe, is outstanding and unmatched. This rub is something that has defined our family meals for my entire life. Family and friends ask for it all the time, we even gave it out as our wedding favor when we got married 12 years ago! And now, we are able to share it with not only our original supporters, but with any one who wants to experience it. The feedback that we get is positive, and the people that we get to meet in the process are amazing. Looking back, I can’t imagine what life would be like without Lost Buddy, and I am so fortunate to have a team of people who said YES to stepping out of our comfort zones and making this happen!
I often get questions about how I was able to manage everything, family and business, and why I wanted to start a new company in an already busy life. One thing that has stuck with me- from the initial idea to this very day- was that I wanted to show my son what I am capable of. I want him to look back at this time, a time that he won’t actually remember but will hear us talk about and think “I can’t believe what my mom did!” I want to leave him, and now our second son, an amazing legacy and inspire them to step out of their comfort zones and follow their hearts. I hope that when they grow up they see it’s possible to have a dream and watch it come to fruition. I hope when they grow up they know that their dad and I will support them in anything they want to do, just like my family supports me in the Lost Buddy dream we are currently living.
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 back background and context?
I never set out to be a business woman. In fact, I was under the impression I needed to work for someone else my whole life in order to be successful. My first “grown-up” job was as a special education teacher- which I truly loved- but I knew almost as soon as I started teaching that it would not be my end-all-be-all career. I got a masters degree related to special education and realized that I could step out of my comfort zone and start my own gig. When I became established in my first company it dawned on me that I didn’t need to stop there, my opportunities were endless!
When Lost Buddy Spices started I had SO much to learn, but I also had the drive and the support to move forward with it. We had this Original Dry Rub recipe that I knew was well-loved, and we had this support system of family and friends that were cheering us on. Once we brought in our second recipe, Garden Salt, our popularity grew even more than I could have fathomed.
We are aiming to be the only spice blends you need in your cabinet. When you need to season something, literally almost anything you can think of, you can use one of our blends to enhance the flavor and bring your food to an entirely new level of taste.
I am personally very proud to represent this female-owned business in a male dominated industry!
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
The best source for new clients for Lost Buddy Spices is definitely getting folks to smell and taste our products. When we are able to provide samples, like popcorn with Garden Salt or quick-pickles with Original Dry Rub, we have an almost 100% buy rate. Even our smell test is effective, and it is just what it sounds like, open the jar and smell the spices! If we can get in front of customers and have them smell or taste our products we can almost guarantee a new customer relationship is made.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
I believe that the quality of our products helps us build and maintain a great reputation in our market and with our customers. We have been around for several years and just launched a second product within the last 12 months. Why is that? Well it’s not because we don’t have ideas for new and exciting recipes… it’s because we want to get them right. We have no interest in putting out a product that is not superior to every other blend out there. We want to stand out as the best quality, best taste, best blend you can find. Taking our time with recipe development, testing on multiple foods, with multiple audiences, until the recipe is the absolute best it can be is important to maintaining out reputation with our customers.
- Website: www.lostbuddyspices.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/lostbuddyspices
- Facebook: facebook.com/lostbuddy
- Twitter: twitter.com/lostbuddy
Brittany Paul Photography