Sharon: In three words or less, why did you start your business?
Fatty Sundays: To modernize chocolate covered pretzels. We wanted to modernize, challenge ourselves, and take advantage of the timing of everything. A lot of things were happening at the time, so we can’t pinpoint the exact "aha moment," but we were in the right place at the right time. We couldn’t shake the idea, so it became a now- or-never moment.
A lot of people let those moments pass. You didn’t. Why?
We started working on it while Lauren was in school. She deferred her job for a year, and we knew, if all else failed, Ali could also go back to working as an accountant. We went for it, but we also had a security blanket and back up plans. We spent a year doing research and testing before we got to our now or never moment.
What made you push through the difficult testing phase?
The more research we did, the more we realized there was a void for fun, delicious chocolate covered pretzels that didn't look like they were made 30 years ago. Our mom made them so much better! We kept thinking, everyone is missing out on chocolate covered pretzels that taste good and look good! We also knew there was an opportunity. A guy we know kept calling it a sleepy industry–we wanted to wake it up.
What’s the thing that got you out of bed when it was hard AF?
There were so many terrible moments–and we can laugh about that now-but there were an equal number of awesome moments. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve cried over chocolate covered pretzels! We used to say “thank god it’s chocolate covered pretzels and not mayonnaise!” There were days when we’d rather die than see another chocolate covered pretzel. And at the end of the day, it’s not brain surgery. Our pretzels make people happy, and it’s fun.
We also knew we had a one-year deadline or we were going to be in an office doing audit work until the end of time. It was satisfying to be our own bosses and see it through.
It was also because we had fun creating the brand and creating the product. We were in our pajamas at our mom’s house–there were so many fun moments when we thought, “even if it doesn’t work, this is kind of the best time ever!” We were obsessed with it.
How do you take care of yourself?
Ali: I have a daughter now, so it’s finding the time to take a walk, or getting coffee that will set me straight. I walk to work in the morning and listen to my podcast–it's my 30 minutes of me time. I also go to exercise classes. I like to cook and do things in the kitchen when I have time.
Lauren: The simple things. Anything I can disconnect with– yoga class, mindless TV, anything that I’m fully disconnected with. Getting my nails done makes me feel better. We’ve never been manicure people, but we are now!
What’s made you manicure people?
For a couple bucks a month, you get to feel like a boss. You feel good when you’re typing on the computer. We do a lot of photography of our hands too.
We have an awesome team that allows us to not have to pack boxes on the daily anymore, but we work a lot with our hands. We pitch in.
What’s been the biggest mental shift as you’ve gone from packing every box to having a team that does it?
The hardest part has been letting go of control. We have an amazing team that we know will get it done. We realize that we can’t do it all ourselves, and are learning how to manage it.
People see their business as their baby, how do you deal with the tension that exists between control and trust?
We know we can’t try to do it all ourselves. And we’ve learned the hard way – we would take over and do it ourselves and we wouldn’t get too far. We had no one to blame but ourselves. Mentally and physically, there were days when we had been working too many hours, we just couldn’t move the ship forward. Ali was going to have her baby and we knew she couldn’t be here all day every day. We needed to learn to delegate and set ourselves up for long term success. If no one else can do it but us, we’re not doing it right.
What do you love most about your pretzels?
They literally taste the best out of all the chocolate covered pretzels in the world and they hands-down look better, too.
Looking to get your Fatty Sundays fix?!
They're a part of the January Go Love Yourself box, which you can get here while supplies last!
Visit Ali and Lauren online at www.fattysundays.com or on Instagram @fattysundays
Go Love Yourself believes that when women support women, incredible things happen. That's why we support at least ten women owned businesses with every box.