In honor of Women’s History Month (all of March!) we spoke with the founder of Molly & Me Pecans to find out more about her journey of launching a woman-run business--something we can relate to at VelvetCrate.
Kay Holseberg started Molly & Me Pecans in 2008 after picking pecans from her own 200+ acre farm, and sharing them with family and friends. We asked her more about her humble beginnings and what she would share with other female entrepreneurs.
What was the inspiration behind Molly & Me Pecans?
I know this sounds funny, but the movie Baby Boom! It was about a woman who found herself fed up with the corporate world and city life, bought a farm and moved out to it, then realized she needed to do something to make money and fight the boredom. … I never aspired to being a huge company, but loved the idea of moving to the country and making something from my own land. When we bought our farm, it had pecan trees so of course that's where it all started.
What are you most proud of with your business?
I love the fact that I can help other people here in Holly Hill. The women that work for me are amazing! I have always treated this as a team, not as owner and employees. We celebrate our successes together, we worry and pray for each other when things are tough. My cook just went through chemo, but she never missed a beat. I admire her. I ask their opinions and we figure things out together.
What advice would you give other women hoping to start their own business?
Go for it! I didn't know what I was doing when I started my business. I worked in the corporate world for other people my whole life, so yes, it is a little scary stepping out of your comfort zone, but I am so thankful I did. I get to meet so many people that I never would have met sitting at a desk for the rest of my life. Start out small, take your time and figure it out as you go. Hire people to do the things you are not good at. I am terrible at bookkeeping and a little too old to know a lot about social media and marketing, so I hired other people to do those things. I am also fortunate to have an amazing daughter who has been a huge influence and help with my business. I couldn't have done this without her giving me advice and reeling me back in when I get a crazy idea!
What do you enjoy most about gift-giving?
I love the idea that people are actually choosing our gift boxes or bags of pecans to give others! It makes me so happy to know people enjoy what we make. We are passionate about every detail and I tease the ladies in the cookhouse that I want each box that goes out to look like a "party in a box." No matter what the occasion, I want the person opening the box to feel special.
Ahhh, Saint Valentine’s Day. That mid-February reminder that you should tell your significant other how much you love them. Chances are you’ve missed the mark at least once, so here is VelvetCrate’s fail-proof guide to the Dos and Don’ts for a perfect Valentine’s Day to amaze the love of your life.
DON’T ignore Valentine’s Day. If you do nothing else, craft a beautiful note telling them how much they mean to you—it’s not nothing, and likely it’s more meaningful than anything one can buy.
DO make your own Valentine. Surprise your love with a handmade Valentine’s Day card. Maybe you use watercolors, a heart-shaped stamp, or your kids’ crayons. Regardless of the artistic ability, the fact that you made your own card, will make it one to treasure.
DON’T buy an average box of chocolates. Chocolates are always wise choice, but make sure it’s a box that’s worth savoring. Find a candy shop or chocolatier in your area that make mouths water.
DO remember Fido and Puss. Speak for the voiceless! If your loved one has a pet they couldn’t live without, find a clever way to incorporate them into Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s a big red bow, or a love note with a paw print; whatever you decide, your S.O. will swoon.
DON’T make a reservation. Nothing says I love you like a home cooked meal—especially if it’s unexpected.
DO send flowers, just not roses. Pick a flower that reminds you of your love together. Maybe it’s an exotic bloom or a potted succulent; plenty of flowers on this earth can be symbolic of love.
DON’T give a pricey gift. Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it shows how much you love them. Originality can mean more than price tags.
DO send them a “Love” VelvetCrate. This unexpected crate will surprise them with a blend of hand-picked gifts that illustrate love. Included is the “Love Potion Candle” by Brooklyn Candle Co., of which 10% of all candle sales go to the ACLU; a colorful floral notepad from Rifle Paper Co.; and Sugarfina Sugar LIps. Trust us, this crate will keep the spark of V-Day burning long after February 14.
Most importantly, don’t stop at Valentine’s Day, remember to celebrate love every day of the year with three simple words, “I love you!”
One item that has remained in the VelvetCrate rotation are notecards. We love notecards! Notecards are a life essential to always have around because you never know when you’ll need to write a just because note--especially a handwritten note.
According to the Emily Post Institute, “Handwritten notes are warmer and more special than other forms of thank yous. The rule of thumb is that you should send a written note any time you receive a gift (even a ‘thank you’ gift) and the giver wasn’t there to be thanked in person.”
We at VC agree! But because we like notes so much--don’t stop at Thank You.
Here are a few of our most favorite reasons to send a note and what to write if you’re at a loss for words.
FIRST HOME - A roof overhead is necessary (not to mention expensive) and first time homebuyers have a special naivety about the investment. Highlight it in your note.
Congratulations John and Jane! Your new home will be the scene of so many of life’s memories, including the one where you realize how expensive roofs actually are! Enjoy settling in, we look forward to seeing what you’ve done with the place.
A PET TAKES THE ETERNAL NAP - No sympathy note is easy to write, especially one about an unconditionally-loving pet. Keep it short and reference a fond memory.
Jane, I am so sorry about the loss of Mr. Squishy - I know how much he meant to you. I’ll never forget the time we dressed him up for Halloween as a unicorn and passed out dog treats to the kids! His spirit will live on.
A CAREER MILESTONE - Regardless of what kind of milestone (new job, promotion, etc.) it’s propre to acknowledge and congratulate others’ achievements, even if it makes them laugh.
John, way to go on the promotion to director. I always knew you had a keen ability to direct! Looking forward to seeing the ladders you’ll climb in this new role.
A NEW BABY - This one seems easy, but more than anything parents want to know that you actually care.
Welcome baby Sarah! We are so excited for you everyone--it has been a joy to see your family grow over the years. Since we’re just across town, don’t hesitate to let us watch the older kiddos while you recuperate. Here’s to many more memories together.
“Taking the guesswork out of gift-giving”—that’s what VelvetCrate promised in 2014 with their carefully curated gift boxes. Not surprising, just three and a half years later they continue to bring joy to recipients all over—all year-round.
But did you know you can build your own?!
This fall, explore the anatomy of your own VelvetCrate, tailored to your recipient with their interests in mind. The founders set a precedent early on for each collection, with a variety of gifts, each VelvetCrate touched on four main areas: stationery or fine paper goods, artisanal treats, luxurious scented items, and useful/fun items.
With those themes in mind, they maintain the VelvetCrate shop with a manageable number of items (too many choices can add the guesswork back in!). This in turn allows gift-givers the chance build their own and still achieve the VelvetCrate panache!
Check out these American-made items to go into your own VelvetCrate this fall.
Early Bird Kiss My Oats Granola – Checking the artisanal food box, this yummy blend of oats, and 100% real maple syrup almost reminds us of fall morning breakfast. For your food conscious friend, this Brooklyn-made granola is a treat by the spoonful or the bowlful.
Illume Copper Rose hand cream - This lavishly scented hand cream is ideal for someone who enjoys the finer things. Made from coconut, jojoba oil, and mango butter (among other ingredients), this rich blend will leave hands feeling soft and beautiful.
Sideshow Press Message Pencils – For the one who loves to write notes. This set of five playful pencils will brighten up any desk. Sayings such as, “Happy Campers,” “What’s yet to be Discovered,” “Doing Good Deeds,” there will be a pencil for every occasion.
Rifle Paper Co. Lively Floral Set – Speaking of handwritten notes, the husband-wife team of Rifle Paper Co. know just how to make the perfect notecard. The Lively Floral Set offered at VelvetCrate is a creative mix of feminine and masculine floral patterns. Blank inside, one of the cards can easily make its way back to you as a Thank You! - Katy Ibsen