Jeremy Weisz

Um, I like that word hibernating. That’s like a very positive positive.

Andrea Herrera

We’re doing meal family meal service. We’re doing first responder meals. We have done some work for social service agencies and we are working with a lot of our couples who have been postponing weddings. Our first wedding is actually July 2, we’re super excited about, um, but that business is on a serious slowdown. We’re down about 90% in revenue. So, um, March 13th, I laid off about 80% of my team, and a few weeks later reached out to a bunch of amazing entrepreneurs. I know through eo and around my business experience and was told you need to start up in the next 30 days. So I jumped in. Um, my my purpose in life is to foster connection to create community. And I tried to look at the research resources I had with Amazing Edibles Which is food and drink and connection and celebration? And how could I bring that to people without the events? And I also saw that for a lot of sales people, CEOs, the lunches that they took people out to and the dinners and the bowls games are non happening, gone. Yeah. Gone. Um, and so how could I replace that with a shared experience? And thus came by experience, I have a lot of experience with food and beverages. So I’ve been curating these cool things, but I wanted it to be personal. It’s more than a gift box like how do we unbox the gift box? So the idea is you’re sharing instead of going to lunch you’re going to send this result Oh, Italian meal with wine and ricotta and cheese, and a personalized video or audio card that they open up and they see your face saying, hey, even though we can’t have lunch this Friday, let’s meet over zoom crack open the bottle of wine and ketchup, or a cup of coffee if you prefer coffee, but a lot of them include refreshing beverages. And so I jumped in. And it took us three weeks from deciding to open to launch. And we’re now four weeks in, and we have sold around 300 boxes, which was really fast. I want more, um, but it was a quick jump and leap. I didn’t feel I had any other choice. Um, I have a company, I have a team. And for us to move forward, I needed multiple streams of revenue.

Jeremy Weisz

So So how did you come up with the name and decided to go this route? Because you could have gone on a lot of routes, you’re like, well, we could just focus all in on delivery, you know, like just delivering food and that’s, that’s a huge need right now, too.

Andrea Herrera

Yes. Um, so I worked with my leadership team. I laid off a lot of my staff, but we kept our leadership team and we did some whiteboard sessions, and had everybody come up with every idea. They had. For what we could do, we do concierge dinner service we do concierge grocery service people take three weeks to get groceries from Whole Foods two months ago. Nobody wants to go to a grocery store because you might get cooties on all these things. Um, and so we looked, I looked at starting summer camps, virtual summer camps, because people are going to need to do stuff with their kids, because after three months of homeschooling people are ready to kill them. So try two

Jeremy Weisz

days of homeschooling. There you go. Yeah. So

Andrea Herrera

we we threw a million, you know, ideas at the wall. And again, looking at what resources we have a 5000 square foot kitchen, who are connections, Community Services, universities, schools, corporate couples, um, and I also felt like I needed a business. Um, this is going to sound really bad, but I’m just gonna say it that would cater to the 1% because honestly, I need people who have money to buy,

Jeremy Weisz

they have to pay for the services,

Andrea Herrera

they have to pay for the services. So I was looking For a business, that was probably a little bit more high end. But for people who still have revenue and resources, and can employ it differently, and so I came up with this as a way for sales people who have budgets for travel and entertaining to have another way to connect with that client that they’re not currently, um, one of my thoughts is if someone’s spending $100,000 a year with you and your business, you can’t really send them a box of oranges, fruit of the month $50 box of oranges doesn’t quite match the value of the relationship. Yeah, you also can’t send them an iPad, because it kind of looks like a bribe. So can we do something in between? Can we do something that’s thoughtful, that’s meaningful that replaces that experience and encourage them to share it together. So as a salesperson instead of calling people which for the most part is not terribly welcome these days? Can you get your client to pick up their phone and call you and connect Connect deeply and they’re going to remember you because the breadboard of that Moscow Mule mugs are going to be sitting in their house because they’ve got their name on them not your name. nobody really wants to have to wear a box virions t shirt, but if it’s got there and I do,

Jeremy Weisz

I’d wear a box parents t shirt and a sweatshirt experience. I will for sure thanks t shirt people send me their sweatshirts, Andrea and I wear them like on a daily basis

Unknown Speaker

for you.

Jeremy Weisz

You know who so who’s ideal for you to be using you right now. Like who have you found is like, Oh, we love this, you know more of those type of people, our company.

Andrea Herrera

Um, you know, I’m going to go back because you asked me how I came up with the name and Fran Biederman gross and advantages helped me launch this company doing the branding. So they came up with ideas. I came up with ideas we smoosh them together we worked virtually and they were incredibly instrumental in helping us launch in three weeks. Um,

Jeremy Weisz

how do you know friends

Andrea Herrera

through email, we have been friends for about 11 years. She did her y workshop around purpose for eo in Chicago about 11 years ago, I was present in the room and incredibly impressed. And we’re very active and involved in the women of vo, which is the entrepreneurs organization. We’ve both been very involved and kicked off the first summit napkin five years ago. And so our lives have kind of circled around, we’re in different cities, we do different things. Um, but as I was figuring out what to do, we got on a call one Sunday morning. And, um, she knew everything I needed. And she had the team and the resources to do it. And so we work really fast. And I launched a month so I’m sorry, I know I

Jeremy Weisz

yeah. So what Tell me in that in that four week period, what did you have to get done and what did you have to prepare with your team with Fran?

Andrea Herrera

Sure. So we had to come up with a name for the company. We have had to come up with a website, we had to come up with the products, we had to come up with a source for boxes that are made in Idaho and then hand branded for us. We had to come up with the contents for the boxes. I had to figure out licensing, because I was moving super fast. And it was like, Okay, well, let’s get the box. Let’s do this, and then I’ll worry about it. And you know what, it’s almost impossible to send liquor around the country. There are a UK liquor license laws. And it’s almost impossible, but I was about two weeks in before I figured that out. So we switched to wine, because wine, I have a distributor that can ship wine all over the country. So we have boxes that have liquor available that are um, that we can distribute to the Chicago area because I have a food and liquor license here in Chicago. And then I have boxes that can go all over the country that have wine or non alcoholic items, and you’re showing some of them now. Thank you awesome. So figuring out the boxes and the contents, figuring out the website, figuring out order forms and business cards and letterhead. And who is our client? And what are the objections? And how much should they cost? And, um, where are we going to put

Jeremy Weisz

What are some of the objections?

Andrea Herrera

the objections, they’re too expensive. I already do that. So they’re too expensive to me, if your client, if you would take your client to lunch and spend 200 bucks, this is a $200 gift, that’s the same, and you’re going to share the same experience with them. Um, we already do that. What most companies do is send something with their name on it, a cool water bottle, a Yeti bottle, cool, cool. But again, it doesn’t feel that personal. So this is something that is not really replacing a gift box. It’s replacing that shared experience. Um, those are probably two of the top ones. Um, and one of the biggest challenge is event for me that it takes educating the client about what it is because otherwise they look at and say Get Fox. And it’s like, no, it’s not a gift box. I mean, it is a gift box. But it is ideally more than a gift box because it’s an experience.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, it’s personalized.

Andrea Herrera

Yes. Also, a lot of personalized stuff is

Jeremy Weisz

gift boxes aren’t typically personalized at all. Right? It sounds like there’s some lasting components, not just the food, but there’s some lasting components in the box to talk about some of that, like you mentioned here, the glasses and

Andrea Herrera

yes, in this Italian box, there’s a beautiful wooden marble wall. And so it has a family name on it. So what’s going to happen is someone’s going to throw this in their kitchen, and every time they see it, they’re gonna think of you know, it doesn’t have to have rise 25 on it right. When they see it, they say Jeremy sent me this cool thing. Way better than, than an advertisement. So this is a gift not an advertisement. JOHN Ruhlin of Giftology, who you may have heard of, I believe he has

Jeremy Weisz

been I know JOHN Yep.

Andrea Herrera

So, um, he and I have spoken and I followed him for years. And so a lot of my philosophy is the same. This isn’t it’s not an advertised. Yeah, this is something saying I value you. And that’s it. There’s no you don’t have to give me anything back for it. It’s just simply, I appreciate you. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz

So you would just come fly to Chicago, and put me in a headlock if I sent something with our name on it.

Unknown Speaker

Right.

Andrea Herrera

Yeah. To someone. That is exactly how it works. Yes. Um, so I am a proponent of that. But that takes a little education because for the most part, company owners are used to let me get my name on everything. So everybody knows who I am. Yeah. And your client knows who you are. They spend $100,000 a year with you. They know who you are.

Jeremy Weisz

So that was a good example like the cheese or what other things can people think about getting or customizing within your boxes like

Andrea Herrera

copper mugs, and so we would put your initials and perhaps your partner’s initials, so it’s really cool if it’s yours. It’s even cooler if it’s yours and your spouse’s because now you included again in john Rowland terms inner circle like you who are the big business person who is always getting wined and dined and taken to Gibson’s for lunch and Alinea for dinner, like no big deal that someone sends you a box. But if we send something in it also has your husband’s name on it because he’s at home taking care of the kids. And he doesn’t get wined and dined all the time. But all of a sudden, this box you open you deliver to someone’s home, so they’re opening at home, and there’s something for both of us. There’s food and drink that we can share. There’s it goes really well. We’ve been doing these now for about a month. And so I’ve got Fox perience videos up on LinkedIn and Facebook and all over the place, and people opening it with their kids and opening it with their spouse. And kind of that surprise and delight factor is big. So we also have corkcicle mugs, like the metal cups for champagne flutes for being set with Prosecco We have mugs, we have a branding iron, we have a grill barbecue box. So who doesn’t want to put their last initial, you know, their initial their last name on their steak or their burger when they’re barbecuing?

Jeremy Weisz

I love that. Yeah,

Andrea Herrera

it was just fun things. They’re not a million dollar gift, right? But it’s something that’s kind of thoughtful and special because it’s personalized to you. Um, again, we’re not trying to pay anybody off with this. It’s just something that’s going to cause some surprise and delight today, and hopefully be left behind and remembered later.

Jeremy Weisz

You mentioned Um, and I want to talk about you sent out these influencer boxers, so we’ll talk about that. But um, you mentioned price point, and I feel like the sky’s the limit. It’s like a blank slate people could do anything and customize this. What’s the range? Would you say? Where would it start with? Like, okay, I want to send like 10 of these. What’s like would be the starting price to think about and then it probably goes on up from there.

Andrea Herrera

awesome question. Ah, all the boxes are 215 a piece. plus tax and shipping, we have a $20 flat rate shipping around the US. And then if you buy five or more, they go down to 185. That includes a handwritten or audio card. So when they open it there is your message in your voice which everybody knows Jeremy because you are on podcast all of the world,

Jeremy Weisz

like 10 people who listen. Yes, but yeah,

Andrea Herrera

I know John Ruhlin is gonna watch this one.

Jeremy Weisz

Yes, you definitely Well,

Andrea Herrera

he’s been mentioned six times now. And then or a video card and the video cards an extra 50 bucks. Okay. Basically 200 to $250 kind of out the door. Now, yes, if you want a bottle of Dom in this box, I am happy to include that. We are doing custom boxes, I have found that people want custom. We’re working with someone for kind of a virtual tradeshow that’s doing a virtual conference and doing basically a goodie bag because all the sponsors can’t get their stuff to people now. So we’ll put in some food and drink in a smaller basis. But then have room for For swag, um, from a conference, we’re doing them for HR groups for onboarding C level executives. So you can do something with the company name on it something with their name, and then some company treasures and paperwork and stuff that need to get out. So I’m finding that there’s application that way high end realtors are using them as gifts when someone buys their condo or home, um,

Jeremy Weisz

so talk about the 40 influencer boxes.

Andrea Herrera

Okay, so, um, I wanted to get some feedback and find out like if this was a great idea in my head, or some some actual application, so I sent them around the country to people like John Ruhlin and John Spence and Dave Randell and lots of kind of speakers and leadership influencers. I’ve hosted leadership conferences for EO. So I know lots of really cool people that do interesting things. I sent it to entrepreneur friends, I send it to people kind of in my target markets, to open them up and see if they worked. And, um, and it was super enlightening. I didn’t warn people. They were Coming so they didn’t know what they were getting. So I got lots of surprise and delight. I also read one

Jeremy Weisz

of the real reaction

Andrea Herrera

Yeah, real reaction because I’m going all in I’m

Jeremy Weisz

What do you send them angelic the first initial outreach to get their information because some of them I imagined you didn’t have it. What do you say it without tipping them off that you’re sending them something?

Andrea Herrera

So well I said I, you know, we’ve worked together before I have a new company, I’d like to send you something and get your impression of it. Can I have your home address and everybody gave it to me? No problem. Um, as I said connection super important to me. So while these folks aren’t my best friends, they’ve spoken at conferences and such for me, so they weren’t scared that I was coming to their address. Um, and so I sent these around and one of my friends um, who owns a company a staffing service, Anthony Ramirez opened it and Lincoln security And he loved it. And he did a LinkedIn post the next morning. And I have to tell you, I could not have done a better job if Fran and Advantages had done this post beautiful picture, awesome words. Um, and he is pretty active on LinkedIn. And two hours later, I got my first call. Someone wanted to order the boxes, and they were not friends and family. It’s one thing like your friends and family have to support you and have to buy a box to send somebody. But this was someone who had never heard of me and he wasn’t an EO member, and he just saw it and thought it would be good to connect with his clients. And so it felt like that first little possibility of maybe I have something here maybe maybe beyond my head. This could have some legs. So that was that was my favorite.

Jeremy Weisz

What were some of the other reactions or conversations after they got the box.

Andrea Herrera

Um, so people are excited about it. Most people didn’t notice the initials on the monogrammed mugs, because they’re copper mugs. And unless you hold them up in the light, or they didn’t notice that they had both couples initials, so I had to point that out. So we ended up figuring out there needs to be a content card so that they look for it on the box lid is reversible. So it has a call to action. And then a last name, or this is a sample of our Father’s Day lead. But you split it off the month off the table, and I’m like, oh, and then they’ll look and see their name, but they weren’t seeing their name. Somebody else thought later when they picked it up to close it. So I was realizing I think it’s super cool because now it becomes the holder for your kids Matchbox cars or your garden tools in the in the garage, and again every time

Jeremy Weisz

so I was gonna say cuz it looks like something you can reuse.

Andrea Herrera

Yes. So the box is nice enough that you would keep it as a keepsake. And again, it’s a reminder. So yeah, so some of the personalization wasn’t being noticed right off. So we ended up putting in a contents card. So they understood that I didn’t put my business card so if they wanted to order something didn’t have a piece in there for them to call me and say yes. Another thing I realized was I said, Well, this is kind of a pricey gift. And I need initials, I need your client’s home address. This is all going to be a relationship based business, they’re going to call us on the phone. You know what people don’t want to call you on the phone, they want to click on your website and buy something, even if they’re buying 40 of them. Healthplex is buying 40 of them to send to to clients around the country. They want to be able to order online and that was a big Miss on my part. So our website as we speak, is being optimized to add e commerce, um, you don’t know what you don’t know. And I went really, really fast, which was great. I think it was important and I needed to, but there were a few steps that I made educated guesses with the information I had at the time, and some of them were right. And some of them were a little bit off. So we I

Jeremy Weisz

mean, the important part is like you are always seeking feedback. From your colleagues, your peers, but also from actual potential customers or actual current customers, because they’re going to give you the real feedback.

Andrea Herrera

Yes. Um, and that and that’s been great, because as we started sending them out for customers, you know, checking in with the client and saying, did your customer call you like, Did it work? Were they happy? One of my clients said to customers called because their wives were at home and open the boxes. And we’re so excited and said, like, you have to work with this person. This is so cool. Um, so it was fun kind of hearing how people are experiencing them. And then obviously seeing some online when people are opening them and having fun with it. So yeah, so we learned a few things from that first batch, and we made some improvements. We put some more things in the box to help explain things if they didn’t get it. Um, we wrote scripts, so if you buy these, and you are going to use audio video, we have six scripts that you can use, you can customize it and do whatever you want, but people are nervous. By the time they do the six or eight they get pretty proud. Just by just making it easy for people to by making it easy for people to see how this works, and now we’re starting to get a few reorders, which is exciting.

Jeremy Weisz

In a short period of time, it’s amazing. Talk about EO is an influence to your business. And, you know, in general, you know, over the years I

Andrea Herrera

I love EO, so eo is the entrepreneurs organization. We have 15,000 members around the world. I got involved about 11 years ago in what was called our accelerator program, which helps businesses that were at a quarter of a million to 750,000 accelerate their growth up over a million. I was in the program for about 18 months. I drank the Kool Aid and joined to a end of the year it was like December 23. We were about to close for the winter holiday and added up all my revenue, and we just crossed the 1 million and I opened a bottle of champagne with my chefs in the kitchen and was so excited. Um eo helped me course correct. I had run my own company. for 12 years, I don’t want to say it was a lifestyle business. But I had a small kid, I worked and we just kind of kept going. And I didn’t really set big goals for myself, B hags, or I didn’t look far into

Jeremy Weisz

when you were small, and it wasn’t smoking, you’re trying to survive. I mean,

Andrea Herrera

and I had an I’ve had a great life. And my son went to school here in Chicago, and we like to travel. But I wasn’t really I wasn’t very goal oriented. I wasn’t looking very far into the future I was looking at today I was working, we would say in my business as opposed to on my business. And so accelerator in eo helped me look up and look out. And all of a sudden, I was in this group of amazing entrepreneurs that were doing such cool things and wanted to help me just because I needed some help. And I was not afraid to ask and admit I didn’t know everything. Um, and so I got involved immediately. I was in leadership for about five years in the Chicago chapter. I did learning events and I ran the accelerator program and I ran what’s called our forum, which are small groups that experience, share and help inform a board of advisors essentially. Um, I was then president of our chapter, I then held a conference on leadership on revealing a leader that would define your legacy and had amazing speakers from all over the world here in about 500 people in Chicago for four days it rocked my world. Um, and then I got involved in global leadership. I’ve been very instrumental in helping develop women leaders and yo yo is about 85% men to join yo you have to do at least a million in annual revenue. Women have a lot of small businesses they often don’t have businesses at scale up over a million dollars. So um, it’s been really exciting to help I’m encouraged diversity in our organization and diversity in our leader

Jeremy Weisz

who are some of the eo women members that people should check out their businesses and what they’re doing.

Andrea Herrera

Ah, Fran Biderman-Gross of Advantages in New York City. Laura Webb in Web Insurance in Tampa. Ah, Marsha Rawls in Washington DC has an art business. Gosh, the Houston twin engines in Houston, also marketing and branding.

Jeremy Weisz

Do you know ANDREA HOUSTON,

Andrea Herrera

I do know ANDREA HOUSTON. Okay.

Jeremy Weisz

And you’re off course Yeah. Andrea Houston’s amazing.

Andrea Herrera

There’s just, there’s 2000 women in a row around the world. I’m doing incredible things. And so it’s been super exciting. I’ve been in global leadership for the last five years, I was just named the champion for women do and so this next year, I will spend my time connecting and developing and creating opportunities for women in our organization and hopefully increasing in retention and recruitment of women into organizations. I’m super excited.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. So you know, Andrea Houston has a great podcast and shelter on Attitudes Design you know, Lead Like a Woman Show. Um, what’s your advice? Andrea for young female business leaders, entrepreneurs. Now that you’ve been at this for a couple decades, tickets cod make me sound old. Experienced. Okay, experience Yeah.

Andrea Herrera

10 years, whatever, family, that’s okay. Um, find people find your tribe. Um, whether it’s a group like EO or Vistage or the Women’s Presidents Organization, or a group from your college or your neighborhood or your incubator. I think very often we think we have to go this road alone. Um, and there are men and women that want to help support all entrepreneurs and some of my mentors and best some of my best friends in eo are men. I like men. I like women, lots of amazing people anywhere everywhere. I take ask for help look at the communities that you’re part of. You got to carry your own bags, you have to ask for help. You have to give help. You have to be someone who is ready to help and support others. Very big on servant leadership. I’ve done lots of mentoring, I serve on boards. I’m chair of the ribbon Delta theater ensemble in Chicago. I think if you jump in and you give of yourself and you show up with an open heart, um, people respond. This business pivot was really fast, and I had so many people who have helped me have introduced me to people who gave me ideas about sales and marketing and introductions. Um, you don’t have to do this alone. That would be my I guess, biggest thing. Ask for help look for friends.

Jeremy Weisz

I want to know, you know, like we mentioned the Levy Organization you really had a lot of experience with that what some aspects you learn from maybe an individual there or the organization That kind of you still think back on

Andrea Herrera

here. Um, at the time, I had worked for them for a few years left and done other things and went back as a general manager running the restaurants and bars at the Goodman Theatre at the time 27 years ago. That was their first cultural institution and foray into now they have a venue in Lincoln Park Zoo and do stuff all over the place. Um, but for them, it was kind of a a new opportunity. And so I was not 30 years old, and they gave me this jewel to take care of, but they gave me also this back end support and there’s marketing people and there’s accounting people. So it was an incredible training for an entrepreneur because I really got to make all the decisions myself, but I had all this bankroll behind me, experience that I could lean on. Um, so I really appreciated the trust they put in me and the support they gave me to do a good job. I’m Larry Levy, and Mark And who are the owners, founders of the company. But just lots of people who showed up and were around and I had an amazing team. I was there for almost 10 years. And it was wonderful to be in an arts organization. You talked about my background. Yeah, I made from college, I wanted to run the Art Institute, I went there, ah, the job, you know, to run the artists to shoot and it was already taken. So it was kind of cool. 10 years later to be back in that building.

Jeremy Weisz

And there was like a perfect mix of your experience.

Andrea Herrera

It was, I’ve been really fortunate. Um, you know, I believe things work out I believe in karma. I believe some of that whoo stuff. I’ve done a lot of personal development work. Um, and I think as hard as this time is right now, pandemic world has been a very challenging world for my business. Um, I also see silver linings. I see people like Warren rostand, who in our entrepreneurial world and your world is an amazing giant and we leadership Dean of our leadership academy, um, who has supported me who I call for help when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. There’s just so there’s so much good in the world and good around us if you open your eyes and open up to it. Um, yeah,

Jeremy Weisz

you mentioned Andrea, you know, resources, you know, from organizations like EO and some of those other ones. Um, I wonder if you have any recommendations as far as resources like books or audio that you think people should check out? Like some of your favorites?

Andrea Herrera

Um, oh, gosh, um, if you’re starting up, it’s E-myth, right by Michael Gerber. Um, I think four hour workweek by Tim Ferriss and his new tools of Titans are really good just for mindset. Most of us don’t have businesses that we can work only four hours a week, even in that idealized version. But the idea that you don’t have to work 100 hours a week I think is really important. When my company was small. I started at five in the morning. And I went till 10 at night and didn’t sleep and

Jeremy Weisz

you don’t have a catering and Now those of you doing events, it’s like nights and weekends is the busiest, but you have to prep the whole day for those nights and weekends.

Andrea Herrera

Yes, um, but you have to have a life too. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs get lost in the work part, um, and give up the lifestyle part. And and I did I mean, I raised a small child doing this, and we’re very close, but I missed things. And so some of it I had to write, it’s a financial job. If wedding is Saturday, you have to be there Saturday. But I think it’s also I’m really grateful that in the last 10 years in my EO world, I learned to prioritize things in addition to work. The other book I love is Michael singer, the untethered soul. And so that is not strictly business, but I think it’s an amazing personal development book. I read it like 10 years ago, and it didn’t hit me at all. I missed it. I picked About three years ago, and it was like singing to my heart. So I think a lot of these business books Good to Great by Jim Carr. I mean, there’s there’s literally 10 million business books out there. Um, Fran has a new one out the three keys, you know, delivering on purpose. Um, my friend Winnie has one about standing out and how do you make yourself stand out in the world? Um, there’s, there’s so much

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, I’ve had several entrepreneurs actually recommend the untethered soul. So

Andrea Herrera

it’s, it’s if Have you not read it yet? No, I haven’t got to read it. Okay.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, I just wrote it down. It’s on my list now.

Andrea Herrera

Um, one one tiny bit from that book, you know, at a time it taught there’s a lot about presence in the book and you know, how you get something in your head, you just can’t get it out of your head. It’s all you can think about pandemic world right? It’s am I gonna get sick is it this is that I was driving down the road listening to it, and it was talking about if you’re driving and you see trees on the side of the road, right? You see them, they’re there. They’re lovely. They’re Brown, they’re green, or whatever they are. But then you drive past them and they’re gone. And you don’t have to hold that forever, that thought can disappear. And I may not be saying this exactly right. But it was huge. Because if you’re perseverating on something, something’s making you crazy, and you can’t let it go. And you can, like, you actually can just like that tree disappears from your thought, and you don’t have to stay in some negative place. getting crazy. You can you can address it and see it and acknowledge it, and then move forward. So for me, that kind of work has been really important. Um, anyway,

Jeremy Weisz

thanks for sharing that. Yeah. So it takes me like seven times, seven times people to tell me before I actually do it. So this is probably like the ninth. Yes, exactly. Um, Andrea, first of all, I totally appreciate you sharing your story and your expertise. I have two last questions, but I want to point people towards Cateramazing.com they should check it out. No Do you do if it’s in Illinois, Chicago Do you do outside and in other places, Wisconsin or how far out do you go?

Andrea Herrera

Sure. So right now in Chicago starting Friday, you can have events of up to 50 people. Um, so breakfast lunch, dinner parties in people’s yards at venues we can do in the Chicagoland area. Generally we have done things in we’ve got a party in July in Indiana. I’ve done parties up at Lake Geneva in new buffalo I would say within two hours if you’ve got a summer home somewhere and you want to have a fabulous celebration this summer we would be happy to bring a team and food and throw your party sounds great wedding social um whole shebang so yes, thank you I’m here 312-563-1600 You can find me and cateramazing.com

Jeremy Weisz

we’ll link it up on the website. Yeah cateramazing.com and then boxperience.net. People could check that out. And anything to point out on that.

Andrea Herrera

Um, there are about a dozen boxes listed there, we have added a half dozen more that we the photoshoot is next week. So we don’t have but um, if you want to do something special for someone if you want to connect in a more significant way, um, I think it’s a really lovely way to do that. We’re happy to customize things for different industries. Um, and we’re super nice people so we’ll take really good care of you. And

Jeremy Weisz

I love it. And I mean, I’ve made it a practice at least every month sending someone something in the mail you know, we’re used to getting emails text, but getting something physical in the mail is a totally different experience. And obviously something cool like, like these, these boxes.

Andrea Herrera

I agree. You talked about lumpy mail. I we still write handwritten thank you notes to everybody. Um, which is kind of an old school thing, but but there’s something about holding something sorry, holding something in your hand. Um, I think has a very real um, it’s a physical thing. emails are lovely. I love getting lovely notes by email. But there’s something about opening a card about opening a gift that takes you outside of that and kind of brings you right back to the present.

Jeremy Weisz

No. Yeah, totally. So check it out. cateramazing.com boxperience.net. Last two questions, Andrea. Um, I always ask since inspired Insider, what’s been a low moment, challenging point that you had to push through? And then on the flip side, what’s been a proud moment for you? You know, it’s like the overnight success after 1020 years, what’s been a challenging moment, low moment that you had to kind of push through?

Andrea Herrera

Sure. Um, so I have a 5000 square foot kitchen at 14th in western west of the West loop area, and I bought it 11 years ago, and we had outgrown our kitchen on Chicago Avenue in the Ukrainian Village. I’m super excited. We’re building it out. I’m designing it, it’s going to be amazing. It’s five times the size of our old space we’re going to be in in November in time for holiday season. So I’m doing triple the business, I’m taking all this work like crazy. And I had an evil contractor who ripped me off and did fake waivers of lien and wasn’t finished on time. And I would get up in the morning and I’d throw up and then I would go to my old space where of work was happening. And then I come to the new space where nothing was happening. And then I go back and do my work day. And I did that for about two months until I fired the contractor when I figured out he was never going to finish. Um, and I had a really really hard holiday and New Years and then I called 20 people and we came in for a weekend and finished all the stuff he didn’t finish and we opened Wow. And um, we were in this beautiful space that despite a real terrible contractor and build out experience has good Juju. We have lights skylights and sunshine and and it works And I was really nervous. Um, and this will roll into the positive thing. I’m this little caterer. And, you know, I don’t know, how are we going to do this? I’m going to triple my overhead, so I’ll just triple my revenue. That was pretty much my business plan. Awesome. Um, and I was trying stuff. And all of a sudden someone introduced me. One of our staff worked at Harpo studios, which was Oprah studio, and they were looking for a new caterer. So like, Okay, well, you can do a tasting. And I was terrified. I said, Yes. And I was terrified, because like, this was for Oprah. And who are we? And they’re gonna figure out I’m FFO. Right? Sheryl Sandberg. But like, we’re gonna get so busted. Like, I don’t even know what I’m doing going there. Um, they like their food. They liked me. They liked me. I feel like Sally Field

Jeremy Weisz

that sounded like her actually.

Andrea Herrera

And they hired us.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. What did you present at the tasting you remember?

Andrea Herrera

Everything, um, chicken and steak and vegetables and salads and pasta. I mean, we had like two six foot tables, piled up with Thai food for 100 people. And we then started doing dinner three nights a week for her team, which was 100 people. And it was Cajun, one night, you’re French, the next night, Italian The next night. And so we got to be really creative with menus. It was regular, consistent business, which was really important for a small business because Oh, the other part of this, this was 2009. So I bought this new space and decided to triple my revenue. You know, the week the financial crisis hit, I close property was really good. Um, but all of a sudden it started working and once I had once I had Oprah Winfrey in my pocket, um, things started opening up. This was the same time that I was getting more involved in EO and all of a sudden I was on MSNBC, and I was on CNN, and I was getting pressed and I was in USA Today. Everything started building on everything. Um, and so it just takes like one door opening it takes one little confidence boost to kind of for me to make me ready to step into everything else and it’s been great.

Jeremy Weisz

I feel like you’re good luck charm is that count me downturn

Andrea Herrera

2008 boom servation Ovid

Jeremy Weisz

boom. So this is the next this is the next boom

Andrea Herrera

for you right so remember that

Jeremy Weisz

everyone check out boxperience.net checkout cateramazing.com Andrea I totally appreciate you having you know you coming on and and sharing your experience.

Andrea Herrera

Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure Jeremy I look forward to catching up soon.