In Conversation with Diana Moss of Mini Melanie
Describe your business in a few words?
Our company Mini Melanie specializes in beautiful and delicious desserts for all occasions. We are a female-owned sister-led business based in Brooklyn, New York. From custom cakes to corporate-branded treats to dessert tables of bite-sized sweets, our team does it all with exceptional customer service and attention to detail. We deliver our signature cake truffles, cookie cakes and cookies tins nationwide.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
After several years as a lawyer and in the start-up world, I joined my sister Melanie on the journey to build the Mini Melanie brand that she started.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Before joining Mini Melanie, I worked as a Human Rights lawyer in London and in various commercial and operating roles at a hospitality startup from the early days through the sale of the business.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
The Mini Melanie marketing strategy has always been organic. The primary tools are instagram and work of mouth. Having such a beautiful and photogenic product really lends itself to social media and the time we launched the business really coincided with instagram growth.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
This year has definitely been the most challenging. After NYC closed in March, we had to figure out how to reopen our kitchen safely. We knew we wanted to give our team work and continue to deliver and delight our treats to our customers who were stuck at home. We took a two week breather and quickly regrouped and came up with a plan to pivot our business. These difficult times allowed made us realize and value the need for a business model that is flexible. As a self funded business, we were able to make quick decisions!
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Being a sister-led and female owned business in the culinary space.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
As a bakery in NYC, we have been greatly impacted. We closed our shop at Chelsea Market and really changed the direction of the business from local event catering and wholesale to predominantly e-commerce.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Life is filled with uncertainty. If you make smart long term investments in your product, you can weather most things (including pandemics).
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Running a business on your own is more challenging. It makes sense to find a partner to work with. Since Melanie and I became partners, Melanie’s quality of life has improved and with two dedicated people the business has been able to accelerate faster. Short term goals are important to set but it’s also important to establish long term objectives for the business in order to make smart decisions, set the business up for success, and build something that lasts.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
This year has been like no other. We have felt immense love and support from our community. We encourage everyone to continue to support small businesses like Mini Melanie through this time. It is helping!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Melanie and I each have two kids so it’s always a challenge. We are lucky that this in so many ways is a family business and our husbands, children and extended family are all part of Mini Melanie. This means we are always working!
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
Melanie and I have another sister, Julie. We are all incredibly close.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Building a team of loyal customers who show incredible support in the good times and difficult times. Being there for our customers through every life moment, with delicious and memorable desserts.
Special Offer: Head over to our Entreprenista Picks and enjoy 15% off your Mini Melanie order with the code Entreprenista15. Enjoy!