We had the good fortune of connecting with Shontel Kealoha and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shontel, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I’m sure I could list several things that aide in the success of the brand I’m building. Aside from putting out good product, I feel that I am the most important factor. I say that because I love what I do and it shows. I have a lot of personality and I never meet a stranger. I pride myself on providing the customer service that I want to receive as a consumer.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I enjoy making cake pops and coming up with other treats to offer. Being a homebased business and making some of the items I make isn’t an original concept. There are MANY talented people out there. That being said, what makes me stand out is me, who I am as a person. I’m warm, I hug people, I draw them in. I make an effort for my customers not feel like just another order. I understand there are many options out there and that people don’t have to spend their money on my products. It is imperative that I not only provide quality product, but great customer service. I am extremely proud of that. Starting this business was not something I had planned. I was making treats for fun. It did become clear that perhaps it was something that I should take seriously. I believe that deep down I knew it could be a legitimate business. I was scared to take the leap. Transitioning from baking for fun to a fun baking business wasn’t hard. Mostly because I had been getting customers over the years. Financially, it wasn’t a huge hardship to become a business because I had been buying supplies over the years. I didn’t have to spend a large sum of money at one time to get going. Figuring out the best way to grow it at this stage is a bit of a challenge. There is no perfect plan. I believe that as long as I stay consistent, I will continue to grow. Failure is not an option. One of the biggest lessons I learned is that your journey is YOURS! You can’t look at someone else’s success or what they’re doing and compare yourself. You are only seeing a caption of what is going on. You have no idea what it took for that person to get to where they are. Just like nobody knows what my path has been. Staying true to your vision is so important. Creating Flavor Magic is a major part of my brand. Providing tasty treats that makes your insides dance. Lol! Another part is paying it forward, help be a voice for others. I wouldn’t be at this point without the support of people. It is my belief that I am obligated to do the same by posting about other small businesses, buying their product or using their services. It’s not easy as a small business to be seen. You definitely need all the positive support you can get. I FIRMLY believe that we all need each other to make it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite places to go is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. ANY time of the year is a great time to go. It’s absolutely beautiful, and never disappoints. The Atlanta Peach Roll is a lot of fun. It’s a pedal tour that has different tour options any day and evenings during the week for locals and tourists. A couple of great restaurants to try are Folk Art, Sun In My Belly, Red Sky Tapas & Bar and Einstein’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
How do I even answer that question? I’ve always maintained that while I do the work, it is the support of family and friends that helped get me where I am now. If it wasn’t for the push and encouragement from my village, especially my parents and husband, I wouldn’t be doing this. They believed in me and my ability before I did. Not only do I have a consistent and growing customer base, some of those same people would see supplies that I could use and buy it for me. Or make me things with my logo on it. The support has been endless and I am eternally grateful.
Professional photos by Gerren Clark of Gerren Keith Photography