Lauren Montgomery, founder of Monty’s, on making simplicity the new sophistication through her line of plant-based dairy products
Describe your business in a few words?
Monty’s makes clean and craveable plant-Based essentials like cream cheese and butter that nourish your mind & body. With simplicity and nutrition at the core of the brand, Monty’s selection of cream cheeses and butter are made from real-food ingredients and crafted using time-honored techniques like fermentation.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I started believing in myself. I found a passion I wanted to share with others, that I truly felt would be impactful in the way that I shared it. Creating more consciousness through food. I was doing life coaching, transitioning from a career in fashion right after culinary school and felt an overwhelming calling to share everything I had learned in my own unique way.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I studied psychology, went to business school for marketing, worked in fashion buying for several years at Barneys NY & Balenciaga. I pivoted and got my health coaching certification and went to Natural Gourmet Institute for culinary school to follow my passion for nutrition & health-supportive cooking.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
In retrospect, yes. My family had a business and it was something I was always interested in, I just didn’t know what exactly that thing was that I wanted to create until Monty’s!
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?
I didn’t have a plan! I just started sharing on social media, doing food demos, samplings and events and it naturally spread by word of mouth.
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?
Ask for help! There were several times where I thought I could l do all production on my own early on, and I wish I sought out help sooner in order to be most efficient and maximize my time where I am most needed.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Getting out of my own way and recognizing that my worth is not defined by my success or productivity.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
What are you most passionate about? What’s that thing where you are totally present doing and give yourself to fully?
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Mostly unpredictability around timing of production as well as sourcing ingredients/materials.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
More Monty’s everywhere! We will be launching DTC and in some key retailers and growing our distribution a lot over the next few years!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Nothing is certain; lean into the unknown and live in the flow.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
There are so many things involved that I would have never known, if I hadn’t just started. There’s always more to learn, but that shouldn’t stop you from starting!
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
It ebbs & flows, but for the most part I do feel more grounded. This year has taught me that nothing else can work if we don’t. If we don’t slow down and take care of ourselves. Learning T M has helped me immensely and leaning on my family and friends more.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Absolutely. More than ever! I don’t think I had that until now, I am still learning! Balance is a never-ending journey! But turning off a certain time every day AND making sure I do the things I need for myself to feel well and staying accountable to friends/family and in my personal life as much as my business has helped.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I am not vegan! I make ultra-clean plant-based dairy essentials because I feel my best not eating dairy and am obsessed with ingredients! I believe everyone should listen to their body, their intuition when it comes to nutrition..and well, everything in life. We’re all so different and beautiful!
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Meditate, move frequently, AND write it all down.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an entrepreneur means wholeheartedly believing in myself and creating the life I want to live; by passionately sharing my vision, my creations with others, building meaningful relationships with everyone I encounter and inspiring others to believe in themselves too & to share their unique gifts with the world.