Nikki Lewis had a passion for three things: Dessert, Family and Entrepreneurship. Combining these three loves, Nikki launched Mallow Crunchies® in 2009 as a result of her memories in the kitchen with her mother, Patricia. The business has gone on to be named one of the top minority businesses in MD by the Baltimore Business Journal and Nikki has been named one of the “40 Under 40” 2013 by the same publication.
She competed on Lifetime TV’s Supermarket Superstar to represent the product in 2013 and in 2015 was chosen by Inc Magazine to meet with billionaire investor, Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s The Profit.
Nikki and her husband Trey launched their podcast, “Biz Underdog To Topdog” just recently to discuss their business journey and speak with game changers in the business community who can help entrepreneurs get over the hump from where they are to where they want to be.
What don’t most people know about you?
Nikki: Was on the Supermarket Superstar TV game show – she did it SICK as a dog and she battled through it!
Trey: His son is a model!
What do you have going on right now?
- Business – Mallow Crunchies started in 2009 and they started out at Farmer’s Markets!
- Decided to open the Mallow Bar – a crispy treat bar café (failed after 6 months their first go at it!)
- After that first failure, they were hearing from so many about the “hump in business”, so they decided to launch Biz Underdog to Topdog to interview those who “got over the hump”.
- They ask every interviewee “what did it take to get to over that hump (or through “the dip”)?”
Lessons learned in podcasting
- Nikki and Trey talk about lessons learned in both business (their failed operation): Do what you’ve gotta do; and about how important it is to trust your intuition (they had the opportunity to take funding for the Mallow Bar and they denied it – ended up being a GREAT thing!)
- …and also about lessons learned in podcasting: They realized they were their own avatar, so they decided to ask their guests the questions THEY had – that THEY’RE trying to figure out – and it landed.
Biggest success moment
- An “ah-ha” moment they’ve recently had: to pull together a “Best Tips” from all of the interviews they’ve done and share that with their audience.
- Realizing and appreciating that they’re learning so much from the people they interview.
What struggles have you faced in getting started?
- The time involved in creating and launching the podcast is something they didn’t really expect.
- Fighting perfectionism and finding out there are so many pieces to the puzzle.
Nikki and Trey share their launch strategy
- Launched with the 3 episodes
- Social Media – put themselves on all platforms, including Periscope
- Sent a newsletter to their snack business letting them know about the podcast launch.
- Recorded videos on their cell phone – then sent those videos as a personalized FB message to friends, family, etc. about their podcast launch.
- Asked their friends and family to Subscribe, Rate & Review to help them out.
- Best strategy: using video!
Once again, it comes down to a personalized relationship and reaching out to individuals in order to create that touch point.
“Just do it!! Just launch!!”
“You’ll never get the experience and learning you need until you launch.”
Nikki and Trey’s Podcast: Biz Underdog To Topdog
Thanks to our Host, @IAmTheRealBrian for another amazing Podcasters’ Paradise Interview!
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