August 2, 2023
Incorporating her love of coffee and self care, entrepreneur Shaquanda Reese launched Burst Beans Coffee LLC in March of 2022. In the short time she has been in business, Shaquanda has swiftly incorporated lessons in investment and marketing that have helped her business grow and thrive. Read on to learn more about Shaquanda’s growth through authentic partnerships, commitment to her core brand and her powerful connection with her customers.
Burst Beans Coffee focuses on using your coffee time as a way to connect with your inner self.
Why did you start your business? What motivated or inspired you?
Burst Beans Coffee started in 2020 and launched in March of 2022. My inspiration for starting Burst Beans Coffee came from my love of coffee and self care. Burst Beans Coffee coffee is a coffee company focused on self care and mental wellbeing. I incorporated self care into the coffee/morning routine with a positive affirmation printed on each bag of my specialty coffee to help kickstart your morning with a "burst" of positivity. Coffee is known to connect and bring people together; but Burst Beans Coffee focuses on using your coffee time as a way to connect with your inner self. This is what I call "the mindful coffee experience".
What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started your business?
Something that I know now that I wish I knew when I first started Burst Beans Coffee is that the brand story and the brand message is just as important as the product itself. Consumers are smart and informed and are seeking brands that they connect with. When I first started I pushed my product; its benefits, its quality but my business turned around once I incorporated my brand story, my why. This helped me connect with my consumers.
Why did you decide to join The WMarketplace?
I decided to join the WMarketplace because I am passionate about women supporting women. I enjoy working with and learning from other female entrepreneurs and am always fascinated with the story behind these amazing women-led brands.
What has been the most challenging thing about getting your business up and running?
The biggest challenge to get my business up and running is the reality that "you have to spend money to make money". Starting a business requires an investment of both your time and financial resources. Many new businesses don't have access to capital for equipment, marketing etc and that was the biggest challenge for my business.
What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of owning your own business?
The most rewarding part of owning my business is the positive impact I'm making in the lives of others. Burst Beans Coffee donates a portion of sales to Mental Health America in support of their continued efforts to promote mental wellbeing for all. Encouraging a lifestyle of mindfulness, authenticity, self care and mental wellness is something I'm very passionate about and now I'm able to share this with others through my "self care powered coffee".
Can you identify a moment in your business that was pivotal in your success? Have you had an “AHA!” moment(s)?
An "AHA" moment in my business that has positively impacted my success is when I made a shift in my marketing strategy. We learn our biggest lessons after some tough failures. I've had big marketing fails, money lost, and hard lessons. When I shifted my DTC marketing strategy; cut ad spend and focused on a more connected marketing strategy via events, partnerships etc it changed the pace of my business. The AHA moment is don't be afraid to change the plan mid way if it isn't working.
How long have you been in business and has your business changed since you started it?
Burst Beans Coffee has been in business for over a year. (16 months to be exact). My business has had many changes since we launched. We started out as direct to consumer only, then shifted to expand my offerings to include wholesale and private label supply and distribution which has had a major positive impact on my business growth.
...when it gets really challenging, don't quit...that's when you're about to have your biggest breakthrough.
Do you have a mentor, formal or informal? What role have they played for you?
I do not have a formal business coach/mentor. However, I collaborate and engage with other women business owners to share learnings and best practices. I am an active member of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and I stay engaged in industry events and initiatives such as the CCRE (Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity).
What communities have been important for you as you grew/developed your business?
Women in Business events and associations, SBA, CCRE, SCA.
Do you have items, photos or mementos on your desk that inspire you each day? What are they?
In my home office my coffee bags are on display alongside some journals and affirmation cards. Each blend of my coffee is named after a characteristic I strive to embody in my own self care journey and the affirmation on each bag ties directly to the blend name. Each day it keeps me inspired. Reading through past journal entries and seeing where I am now has been a big inspiration for me. My office wall is full of inspiring quotes, my college/grad degrees and photos of my family/children is all the inspiration I need to stay motivated.
Do you have any advice for other women who are getting started in business?
My first piece of advice for women getting started in business is to know your core audience and make sure your messaging and product solves a need for that audience. Second piece of advice is when it gets really challenging, don't quit...that's when you're about to have your biggest breakthrough.
If a journalist were to write a headline about you/your business, what would it be?
Self Care Powered/Intentional Coffee beans, helping you pour into yourself one cup at a time.
Are there any apps or business services that you just can’t live without that you would like to give a shout-out to?
Canva, Klaviyo and Shopify are three business tools that help me stay efficient.
Is there a non-profit or other social/mission-oriented business that your business supports? Can you tell us about this?
At Burst Beans Coffee our mission is to provide quality, great tasting coffee while encouraging authentic and intentional living through reflection, self awareness and mindfulness. As a coffee, lifestyle/wellness focused brand, Burst Beans Coffee donates a portion of sales to Mental Health America (MHA) in support of their continued efforts to promote mental health for all. Learn more about MHA at www.mhanational.org.
Thank you, Shaquanda, for sharing your advice and journey with the WMarketplace!
SHOP burst beans coffee
Launched in 2020, TheWMarketplace is a nationwide e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses to sell their products and professional and personal services. Offering favorable terms to its sellers, it also is a supportive community of women entrepreneurs that have access to learning opportunities through the trademarked HER-Commerce™ programs. With over 500 women-owned businesses selling 4000+ products and services ranging from home goods to coaching, in over 35 states, TheWMarketplace empowers shoppers with a new way to find the communities they want to support, including Black-woman owned, Latina-owned, AAPI-owned, Veteran woman-owned, and more. The Her Story Q&A is one benefit ThWMarketplace provides to sellers.