Dana Pollack of Dana’s Bakery – Sweet Success

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What if your job was making people happy at the most special moments of their life? Can someone make a career change at 30, follow their passion to build a very successful business with dozens of employees, and win major accolades as a business leader —all without a business degree? Dana Pollack, CEO and Founder of Dana’s Bakery (which revolutionizes the traditional French macaron with an authentic American twist), joins Socialfly founders Stephanie Cartin and Courtney Spritzer in the MouthMedia Network studios for a conversation about her journey to success, a surprise, and a brainstorm.

In this episode:

  • Dana’s former career at Muscle and Fitness magazine
  • Her light bulb moment – when she asked for a raise and was declined
  • Faced with screen of oily men working out—asking will she really do this the rest of my life
  • Photo industry in transition, switching digital wanted to do something different after 10 years=–what would she want to do
  • Realizing she loved baking and entertaining
  • Dana realized she should get formal training, and within a week enrolled in culinary education and quit job, and broke up with boyfriend
  • Everyone except for her mom thought she was crazy to do this at 30 years old
  • Never anticipating what it the bakery became
  • How she knew could always pick up work in editorial world, but never had to
  • Found a job as pastry cook while going to school to get experience as fast as possible
  • Never went to business school, learned largely online basics of starting a business
  • How her mom helped her, no investors or partners, bootstrapping
  • When she photographed macaroons like sexy perfume, people were drawn to them
  • Using American flavors instead of traditional macaroon flavors
  • Social media as marketing helped people find out about them all over the country, then Dana hand-delivered and was not making a lot of money because the cost of delivering
  • Collaboration with Drake for Valentines Day
  • Favorite flavor is the “Mallomac” – a Mallomar bar without gluten
  • Biggest mistake made in packaging  — $60k of unusable branded inventory
  • Making a formal business plan vs. getting things done
  • A surprise for Dana and idea for a new flavor!
  • The challenge of hiring the best talent
  • Why she has no partner to date
  • Why it is best to hire people who are better than you are at skills
  • Being at 35 employees
  • Typing and email answering assignments with new employees
  • Expanding the operating and offerings
  • Why showing up is such a major thing
  • Marketing strategy
  • Partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • The Mookie – a macaroon inside a cookie
  • How an Instagram contest created a new product
  • The rainbow black and white cookie
  • Looking at ROI of every dollar spent
  • Organic social media posts have always worked, preferring marketing dollars for ad words and FB ads
  • Sharing her entire days on Instagram
  • Planning days, every day is different, the importance of the calendar in phone
  • How Dana doesn’t have a set schedule every day
  • Running personal and business Instagram accounts, and how running a business account like a personal account speaks to the brand
  • Dana’s most used apps
  • How helpful people are, and why being willing to ask for help is huge
  • Being able to recover by recognizing when something goes wrong in the business
  • A brainstorm for a new flavor idea for the holidays
  • And, a big accolade as a business leader without a business degree is a credit to her team

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