We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Singer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After spending 30+ years in Corporate America, I’ve been planning my “retirement” and wanted a platform that allowed me to be involved in my local community and give back to animal rescue groups, which I have been involved with for the greater part of my adult life. I’ve always been involved in the hospitality/hotel industry and love serving others, opening a local coffee shop was a great marriage between the skills I have learned in the corporate world, and also being embedded in the community and helping local organizations. Deciding to buy into a franchise that has the same core values was the icing on the cake. A turnkey operation that lets me “be local” and not have to build everything from the ground up was the perfect opportunity for me. A coffee house is a great place for the community to gather, catch up with friends, celebrate successes, build a side hustle, or even just do the day job with new scenery. I love being able to be a part of my neighbor’s lives every day and celebrate with them, or be the shoulder to cry on.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Working in the hotel industry for 30+ years has allowed me to learn so many different aspects of business. From being a hotel manager and serving guests, learning and understanding what a makes a positive guest experience to working for a franchisor and learning from hotel owners what a successful and profitable business looks like, I have had the opportunity to build an extensive network of incredibly smart people. I have been lucky to work for a lot of people over the years which have taught me how to be a good leader, how to keep people engaged, how to be humble and check the ego at the door, how to give and receive feedback. Hearing constructive feedback from managers, leaders, peers and direct reports is sometimes hard to hear, but it has helped me become self aware and knowing where my strengths are and where I need to lean into others because others have strengths in areas I struggle with. One huge opportunity my time in Corporate America has awarded me was to go through so many personality and skills assessments so I understand the types of people I need in my organization so we can be successful together and being able to clearly articulate my core values. I know that I am a numbers person and a big picture strategy person. I also know that I get lost in the weeds and get bored with the day to day tactical aspects of a project. My first hire was an operations person with similar core values, who is successful in getting projects over the finish line. We’ve been a force to recon with together!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Funny, my friend literally thinks I am her personal travel agent. We would definitely go to a culturally historic destination, such as Italy. We both love history and how we’ve gotten to where we are today through innovation and discovery. Since she is a devote Catholic, Vatican City would be on the itinerary. We would have to do all of the historic tours, but we would need to find a tour guide who will tell us the history, but also the real life version of what it was like to live then. The Vatican is awesome, the center of the modern day Catholic Church, but also the underground meetings of the Free Masons and the scholars who were pushing scientific thought to the people in opposition to the religious teachings of the church. We would choose local, family owned cafes where the owners greet you as one of the family. We would always try to explore the land as a local and not a tourist. The corner grocery, the local pub, and hole in the wall cafe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am so appreciative of all of my former colleagues with a wide range of skills that I have been able to lean on and learn from while launching my business. The marketing experts, the branding masters, the HR and training experts, the loyalty experts. Even though we don’t still work together day to day, their knowledge, expertise and willingness to help me grow has been humbling. They have all been so supportive through the process of opening, and beyond. The reality checks, the honesty, the suggestions and critical feedback has made me better than I could ever be on my own. There are too many individuals to mention, but they all know who they are.
Image Credit: Just Love Coffee Cafe Atlanta Perimeter