“Witty, Passionate, and Gregarious”
After having her first child, Kristina began to wonder if the corporate work environment was for her. Like any new mother, she wanted to spend as much time with her child as possible. It wasn’t until she started thinking beyond the day to day routine and looking into the future that she in fact knew she wanted to pursue something else.
It was the constant struggle with being away from her kid for too long. “I didn’t want someone else raising him.” Kristina took it upon herself to make a change knowing that there was going to be risks involved. She reviewed the family finances and looked for opportunities to make adjustments.
“What did we absolutely need?” What was important to have? Society makes you believe that you need a fancy house, new car, and the latest and greatest clothing. This isn’t the case.”
Cutting down on the bills and meal planning were both strategic decisions she started to implement and it paid off. These efforts, along with the support from her husband, afforded her the opportunity to pursue her hobby side business of making cakes to a full time job and business. Kristina currently owns and operates Sugar on Top Sweet Shop located in Duluth, MN.
After graduating college, Kristina felt like so many others that she had to get “the job.” You know that one that pays you well with full benefits? But she always had a feeling that the corporate lifestyle and culture were not for her and it became even more obvious when she welcomed another tiny human into her life. “The society norm is not for everyone and that is ok. Happiness is feeling fulfilled and I wasn’t because I wanted to control my hours and have flexibility to care for my family.”
Raised in an entrepreneur family, Kristina looked up to her dad that owns and operates two successful businesses.
“He has always been my backbone for bouncing ideas off of and asking questions.” He has been the man that she has looked up to for all of her life. The attributes that she admires the most about him are: hard working, resilient, authentic, family-oriented, and strategic. She explains that entrepreneurship has its own set of challenges like waking up really early or staying up really late after everyone else in the household has gone to bed. The hardest struggle of all has been able to finally believe in herself.
“I let fear consume me for too long. It took me almost a year of actually owning my business for me to feel like I made it.” The voice in her head was telling her that she wasn’t good enough and wouldn’t be able to make this a full time job to help support her family.
Turns out, Kristina did have something special to offer. With a steady flow of repeat customers and new inquiries and referrals, she had proven that voice wrong. “You need to get your head in the game. Always remember, YOU are your own worst critic.”
Kristina recalls telling herself this several times,
“If I fail, it will teach me a lesson. If I’m successful, it would be the outcome that I want.”
Her customers can relate to what she is doing through her unique one of a kind creations because of her ability to be relatable to them and so compassion for their special event, day, or occasion. Her personal touch and catering to the individual and not the masses has set her apart from her competition.
“When owning a business, growth is important but so is family. It’s really community over competition. I have great relationships with others that do what I do. We use each other for referrals and to bounce ideas off of.”
What does the world need right now?
“Females need to be confident is their own skin. Believe in yourself and your ideas. Like your body the way it is. Women need to speak out more and share their stories with others for both emotional and psychological reasons. There are many women struggling with probably the same things that you are. We need to share and inspire each other more.”
What does the word feminist mean to you?
“It’s standing up for women, supporting each other, and being treated the same. Unfortunately, society has made this word political and portrays it to be a negative word. We need to go to bat for each other and fight the norm against the word out there together.”
What is gender equality?
“People (man or woman) need to be treated equally. There are stigmas around pay, this should be based on the person and experience NOT their gender.”
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you tell younger girls?
“Trust your gut: It is usually right. Sometimes you have no idea what will happen next. Failure is ok: Learning happens through everything- getting married, having children, and owning a business. It teaches you how to move forward and make new decisions and adjustments if needed. Believe in yourself: do the best that you can because that is all that you can do. One of my favorite sayings is, “Turn your mess into your message.” Be positive and the world will respond accordingly.”
How to connect with Kristina:
Duluth Moms Blog: https://duluth.citymomsblog.com/author/kristinaamys/