#GIRLBOSS – Sarah Sexton

LatelyIMG_20150514_102403 I have been at a bit of a crossroads with my career path and where it was going so I decided to make some big decisions to leave my great job and make the move transatlantic to pursue other options! While doing this was invigorating it is also scary so I was eager to meet other people, women in particular who had taken risks and with hard work and determination the risk had paid off! So then I decided what better idea for a blog series!
I have reached out to a number of successful women in business to share their story and inspire others. Our first #GIRLBOSS is the lovely Sarah Sexton!
 
Be as organised as possible! Make sure to schedule everything and try keep to it.
Sarah Sexton is the one (wo)man band that is Bean Brownie! Bean Brownie make and sell healthy alternative baked snacks at markets and at selected coffee shops around Cork. Bean Brownie began in 2014 and has been hugely successful in the past year largely through word of mouth. She has begun to fill the huge gap in the Cork market for tasty sweet treats that are also healthy!
Sarah is a UCC  Arts graduate in Spanish. She spent one year in Barcelona on Erasmus where she found her love for food, healthy lifestyle, design, style and coffee! She is married with two beautiful children and has a kick ass business!
Sarah’s Journey:
  • 2008 – 4 Home , Purchasing Assistant
  • 2009-2011 – EMC, Logistics
  • 2011-2013- Musgraves, Logistics
  • 2014 – BEAN BROWNIE
What was your first job out of college?
My first graduate job was an assistant buyer in 4 Home. This was a great first job with a very quick learning curve. Here I met a great mentor who thought me how to bring ideas to the table and be counted.
When and why did you decide to make the change and start Bean Brownie?
Over the years, as I progressed in different jobs, I had a growing feeling of discontent. The working week was a hard grind, along with the early mornings and late evening creche runs. Friday would come about and I would be desperate for some family time and Mondays would roll on too quickly! I know there is nothing unique in that complaint but I really felt my heart wasn’t in it. I kept seeing these people on TV talking about how they loved their job and how working wasn’t working when you loved your job. I wanted that. I felt my work life balance wan’t what I wanted it to be.
 I knew that I loved running, working out , baking clean treats and spending time with my family. I had started to make a few snacks for myself and my husband for work.
Then around the time I was on maternity leave with my second child I was in the gym and my gym offered to sell them for me which was a huge surprise! So I went home and rang the FSAI to see what getting certified would entail. They were extremely helpful and called out to my home in a few days and within a coupe of weeks Bean Brownie was born.
Biggest Obstacles and challenges?
Time. Time is my biggest challenge! Trying to fit in mummy, market, buying, baking and life is a struggle. Sometimes you feel like you are constantly back peddling. Trying to stay really organised is key to overcoming this issue.
What goals are you currently trying to work on?
Staffing is my biggest goal at the moment. I would love to be able to employ someone full time that would allow me to grow the wholesale part of my business. Right now it is just me and that can be demanding.
What advice do you have for working moms?
Be as organised as possible! Make sure to schedule everything and try keep to it.
On the other hand of that , know when you need to take a minute to enjoy the mommy moments! Sometimes I need to remind myself the reason I decided to work from home.
Even if it is only once a month try and fit in coffee with a girlfriend or a romantic night with your husband. It is all about trying to get a balance even if its only once a month.
What would you tell your 23 year old self?
Take more risks.
Where do you see Bean Brownie in 5 years?
Still doing the markets but I hope that the market culture grows even more and it becomes part of peoples weekly shopping. And that there will be proper market facilities to enable the growth.
I would love to open my own business and would welcome anyone else with similar ideas and products to join me. I really love the business side of things so having my own cafe/place where people could come to get alternatively healthy treats would be great.
I also hope to be employing people and to have more done with the branding and marketing side of things.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The people. Having started Bean Brownie I have met so many amazing people along the way. People are so helpful and encouraging.
Both my customers and the market people and independent coffee shop owners have been so supportive always eager to offer help and support.
While its professional,
Bean Brownie work environment is wonderfully informal – it has allowed me to make connections with people I think can be difficult for businesses to achieve in a corporate setting.
What is your dream vacation?
Japan! I was there 10 yrs ago and fell in love with the food, culture and scenery. I felt my senses were completely overstimulated it was great! I would love to explore it more.
If you could have lunch with any woman who would it be and what would you order?
My Mom. And I would order a cheese board a nice bottle of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate to finish !

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You can find Bean Brownie at the following locations:

Farmers Market:

  • Tuesday – Wilton
  • Thursday – Mahon
  • Saturday – Douglas

You can also find her products for sale at the following locations:

  • Menloe Stores, Blackrock
  • Joup Cafe, Ballinlough
  • Lemon Leaf Cafe, Kinsale
  • Green Kiwi Cafe, Ballincollig
  • Bookshelf Coffee Shop, South Mall
  • RocketMan HQ, Princes St
  • Yummie Cafe, Glanmire
  • Fitnessworx Gym, Tramore Rd
  • Women’s Fitness, Kinsale Rd
  • Crossfit PMI, Docklands, Limerick City

 

Keep tabs on all things Bean brownie :

Instagram: @beanbrowniecompany

Twitter: @BeanBrownie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeanBrownieCo

Email: beanbrowniecompany@gmail.com

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