How my passion for ice cream became more than a business

Let’s recap the day before with a listener from Natasha Case, founder of & CEO of Coolhaus from Los Angeles, California. He shares how his business idea went from being a Google search engine to a product sold in thousands of stores across the United States. Check out the stories of other women around the world who have built #morethanbusiness here.

Ice cream has always been my passion in life and when I went to architecture school I thought I could use food to make architecture more enjoyable.I knew I was into something when my friends devoured my crazy ice cream creations: gingerbread cookies and chocolate wasabi ice cream, anyone got anything? My partner Freya Estreller and I decided to do a Google search (“hipster ice cream truck”) to see if anything like my ice cream experiences already existed. Nothing appeared. After doing this research, we saw an opportunity to take the leap of faith and turn my hobby into a real business. In 2008 we converted an old mail truck into an ice cream truck and drove it to a music festival – and Coolhaus was born.

Coolhaus currently serves more than 7,500 grocery stores, has three locations and operates 10 ice cream and mobile carts in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. It has been a rewarding, challenging and delightful journey. Along the way, people have asked us countless questions about how we built and grew our business. For us, the answer has always been to follow the advice of mentors and partners. You can learn from other women entrepreneurs, whether they are further along in their careers or just starting out.It’s normal—almost natural—to think or feel too much that we need to prove something before asking for a mentor or partner. Do you have the courage to ask; the worst will be “no”; but the benefit is much greater.

Now that we have over 10 years of experience, it is our passion to mentor other women entrepreneurs. Here are some of the lessons we learned:

Fail Forward. You will fail, so make the best of what you do.If you must cut the thread of an idea, do it efficiently and don’t protract it.
We talk a lot about the minimum viable product, which sometimes means that an idea just has to be published to see how it works. Focus on building, measuring and learning.
Lack of experience is not an obstacle. When you realize that the status quo isn’t hard truth, you start taking risks you didn’t know you had.
We are in an important time where there is a real energy of women helping and supporting one another. We’re not only proud of the business we’ve built, but also the opportunity to lead by example. We want other women to turn their crazy Google search ideas into reality.

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