We were lucky to catch up with Stephanie Hernandez recently and have shared our conversation below.
Stephanie, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with 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.
Growing up, my mom and I would make charcuterie boards together-only more like “lunch-able” type boards since the term wasn’t really popular yet. We would go shopping together, pick out a million things, then use maybe 20% of it and snack on the rest over time after finishing our variety of foods displayed on the board. As I got older, the idea stuck in the back of my head that it would be fun to make charcuterie boards as a business. It was more of a dream, rather than a reality to me at the time. I was terrified of failing but also didn’t know how to balance having two kids, working as a teacher, and starting a new business but the idea kept coming back to me over and over again. Fast forward a few years; my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her diagnosis was crushing to the soul-I remember every single detail about the day the doctor told her. She was already stage 3 and needed to start chemo immediately. Being on chemo, she had a wide variety of tastes that all depended on the day, her mood, and her palate. Charcuterie boards were one of the few things that catered to that. You can choose what you want to eat and it can be small amounts of dozens of things, plus its fun to make everything look pretty in the process. Throughout her courageous battle with cancer we continued to make these together. When she passed away in November of 2021, I immediately knew it was time to make my dream a reality. Her death made me realize that life was short. It was something I always knew, and you always hear; but when someone you’re close to passes away- life literally feels like it begins and ends with the snap of a finger. In the process of me bringing this idea into fruition, one of my closest friends was going through a transitional period in her life as well. She was also grieving-but instead of grieving the loss of a life, she was grieving the loss of her marriage. She decided through that period that she was going to be open to any and everything life brought her. I knew she was creative, had a zest for life like none before and was ready for an adventure. This is where our journey began with “Board Dragonflies Charcuterie”; a dual meaning of not only dragonflies commemorating my mother, but also dragonflies representing transformation and life.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
We consider both of us to be creative people at baseline. We’re always doing some sort of project or concocting up a project for our houses and knew we needed something creative in our lives. We’re both teacher by trade and also a mothers but were looking for something more. Charcuterie isn’t something you study per-se, it’s something you practice and over time become better and better at. I don’t know that we’ll ever get to a point where we’ll feel like it’s perfected-but that’s the fun of it. You can do what you want with it and every single board is different in its own way. I’m proud of the passion we feel behind the scenes while making a board. We truly look at every single detail and try to focus on the client and wanting them to see the “wow” factor in their boards. Personally, my mom was my best friend (as cheesy as that sounds) and doing this in her honor brings out a passion like no other. I know she would be proud of me, and although I still think to call her most days to talk about not only the business but a million other things, I know she’s watching over us and helping us grow as a team and as a business.
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
I would say the biggest compliment but also best source of new clients is always word of mouth. We are big on connecting with our community and although it’s a semi-big city, everyone seems to be connected in some way to each other. Our business has been growing steadily since the start and keeps growing due to our wonderful clients telling friends, family, and co-workers about our business.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
I truly think that everyones’ reputation precedes them- the good, the bad and the ugly. Living in a big/small community-everything gets out eventually. If you aren’t stabilizing good business practices and aren’t working well with clients or eachother; naturally your reputation isn’t going to be one you want to stand by. We try our hardest to not only keep open and honest feedback with eachother, but also keep our standards high with our business practices as well as customers. We want to ensure every single customer is happy with the outcome of their board, and if not, we want to try our hardest to make it better. In the end-customers are the ones that make your business grow.
- Website: www.boarddragonflies.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/board_dragonflies_charcuterie/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boarddragonflies
- Other: email@example.com
Jamie Haswell Photography