Some days things just work out. That was my day Thursday. I had the great honor of spending the day in our front room at MalamaDoe with 40+ attendees for our first Fireside Chat featuring Goody Gourmets’ own Jackie Chesser.
The emotions were high. As I looked around the room, I could see the friendships we created as we moved forward launching this idea, over the past four years, were blossoming. Talk about moving from concept to reality.
As I kicked off the meeting, I saw that at least 15 of the attendees had been with me on this journey, started in May 2014, to connect a community of business women in a physical space: the Shorewood Village Planner and now BID Director Ericka Lang; a finalist in the Dolphin Tank competition and soon to be restaurant owner – Maggie Skarich Joos; my first MalamaDoe members who came to the first meetings – Jamie Lynn Tatera and Niki Kremer; our newest members Molly Allen and Kathleen Maguire; my faithful companions who ensured we launched MalamaDoe the right way – Jen Burfeind, Julie Knox, and Carey Vollmers; my Advisory Council member and constant supporter Amy Egan; my first friend in Shorewood – Paula Wheeler; potential members who may someday join; and so many more.
As we celebrated, we all witnessed how our mission – that women flourish, build community, and help society when they are empowered by role models and one another – really happens at MalamaDoe. We were all elated and proud. And, of course, because we are fun, upbeat women – we celebrated with granting ourselves the opportunity of listening to Jackie Chesser, an extraordinary role model and a “women who made it”” as a small business owner.
Jackie Chesser, who opened Goody Gourmets on Shorewood’s Oakland Avenue in 2005, was the perfect speaker to kick off our first Fireside Chat series. In her truly joyful, fun, warm and friendly style, she discussed her journey leaving Corporate America to follow her dream of opening her gourmet popcorn shop. And it was there where she found her purpose. Jackie met the very eager 40+ attendees and answered their burning questions about how she successfully navigated her launch into business ownership.
Jackie’s work ethic, positive attitude, and her drive were apparent in everything that she said. She explained to us that she is a creator and was slowly dying inside in her corporate day job. She could not create and be who she wanted to be prior to becoming her own boss. Jackie encouraged every woman in the room to garner the courage to do what they love, to keep it positive, and to make their dreams a reality.
She also gave great management advice about firing fast – even family members – and conducting business by being direct and honest. As we women like to do it all, Jackie assured us this was not the case with her – she delegated from day one and forged crucial partnerships with people so the business brand could grow bigger than just being her. She mesmerized the room as she guided us all on a more fruitful professional journey. And she did it with so much class.
Goody Gourmet’s website says the following….We genuinely love what we do at Goody Gourmet’s, and we’re certain you will, too…..You’re always welcome.
At MalamaDoe we make this world a better place by helping women use their talents to be the best they can be. Jackie Chesser embodies this with her wisdom and her life work. She is always welcome here and we are so grateful for her support.
Please connect with Jackie on her Facebook and Twitter handles @goodygourmets. And stay updated on future Fireside chats by following Malamadoe on Facebook.