236: Julie Busha: From Sports Marketing to Slawsa

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rsz_julie_bushaWhat does it take to be an Entrepreneur? Join us as Julie shares her Entrepreneurial mindset and an inside glance at her journey to becoming a successful Entrepreneur.

Using her background in sports marketing, Julie helped build the marketing agency for NASCAR Champion, Bobby Labonte. In addition, Julie has been published in the Sports Business Journal and was fortunate to have had General Mills as a client for nearly a decade. Julie is now responsible for the latest condiment to hit the market, Slawsa, which she has successfully placed in over 4,200 retail stores within her first two years!

Click to tweet! ➪➪➪ Inspiring interview with Julie Busha! EntrepreneurOnFire.com/JulieBusha @JohnLeeDumas

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  • Julie shares many challenges she has faced throughout her journey. Perhaps her biggest challenge was having to buy out her partner who couldn’t take one more day of living the Entrepreneurial lifestyle.

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  • For Julie, it was more of a slow awakening than ONE BIG, HUGE moment… but when the sun illuminated her vision, she knew where her life passions would lead.

Current Business

  • Slawsa is exactly what you would guess… if you had 7 or 8 guesses. :-) A mixture of cabbage cole slaw and salsa, of course! It sounds pretty yummy to me, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a sample! Ahhhh, the wonders of being the host. ;-)

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  • http://senjomarketing.com/ gronesy

    Julie, Paying attention to where you are and what you can learn from it is a huge lesson more entrepreneurs could learn from. Whether it’s injustice, shady practices or how a successful company you’re working with does things, paying attention and acting are two habits that could serve all of us. Thanks for sharing! Jeff

    • Julie

      Thanks so much, Gronesy. You’re only as good as the people you choose to surround yourself with and I am a big believer that when you stand up to do the right thing, things eventually work themselves out. Every one is put in those positions at some point in their lives and your actions speak for your character.

      • http://senjomarketing.com/ gronesy

        Actions speak louder….absolutely! I think it’s also important for entrepreneurs not to blame themselves when they find themselves in those positions. Sure, if we did something wrong, it MAY be our fault. It’s just that the blame is unproductive.

      • http://senjomarketing.com/ gronesy

        BTW, I’m absolutely loving the upgrade to my veggie dog original Slawsa has made. And with people like Dr. Andrew Weil talking about how good fermented veggies are for digestion and health, it’s a win-win! How did you decide on the flavors?

        • Julie

          Thank you SO VERY MUCH for giving Slawsa a try and yes, we should ALL be eating more things like cabbage in our diet. Slawsa is definitely on the path to making people think twice about the typically boring and flavorless vegetable. The Slawsa Original recipe actually stems from a very old family recipe but the variations are just a modern twist on the original. Sad to think it’s been around nearly 30 years before the public got to experience it but I’m planning on making up for some lost time. Appreciate anything you can do to help spread the work in your circles!

          • http://senjomarketing.com/ gronesy

            Have you tried to get it into sports/event concessions? I could see a sporting event where tons of it was consumed.

          • Julie

            Absolutely…we’re in a few. The biggest is Vanderbilt University and we’re also in some restaurants and do business with hot dog carts too. When introducing something so new, you have to build consumer awareness/demand on the retail side before many of the food service opportunities open. It has to do with food service distributors and how they generally don’t introduce new items because the sales reps are so busy fulfilling orders (i.e. the demand has to come from their customer so you need many aboard before the houses can commit to bring you in). Definitely something I plan on growing more in the coming year. Certainly a great opportunity to grow awareness to aid in retail sales too.

          • http://senjomarketing.com/ gronesy

            What things have you done to drive consumer demand? What do you think is the biggest reason Vanderbilt went with Slawsa?

          • Julie

            Two big things to drive awareness: getting Slawsa into mouths (the taste sells itself) through mass consumer events and pitching media to grow awareness and peak interest in consumer trial. Fortunately, Slawsa is also very communal in nature…meaning it often gets taken out of the house and shared with others at grilling and tailgating events. It’s getting introduced a lot faster to the market as a whole because of that. Vanderbilt is a University with high standards and is always looking for a way to “class up” their offerings to their fans. Slawsa fit the bill and it helped that I went to Vandy to pitch myself. Now, only if I can clone myself. THAT would be nice.

          • http://senjomarketing.com/ gronesy

            You’ve definitely got a lot of things going for you! Good work! I’m always glad to hear when a relationship like yours with Vandy pays off. Did you get a chance to take a look at that product page mock-up I did for you a couple weeks back?

  • Michael Ferrin

    Great idea. By and large am pleased with the results when slaw accidentally blends with other condiments, like ketchup. Whodathunk of slaw+salsa? Kudos!

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Michael, have you tried it yet? So tasty! :)

      • Michael Ferrin

        Nope, still looking forward, and keeping my eye out for it …
        Btw, last night I was in a Souplantation (not to brag or anything), and sat me down with some really righteous slaw on my plate, and proceeded to have an “Aha” moment – that I could make my own slawsa right there.
        But alas it didn’t become an “I’ve made it” moment, because Souplantation doesn’t have salsa.

        • Julie

          Wish it were as easy as mixing the two but hopefully you’ll have that “aha” moment when you try the real thing! I’m counting on you, Michael Ferrin, to be a voice for small business!

    • Julie

      Trust me when I say, this unique blend might just be the condiment that changes your life! I am so blessed to have the opportunity to grow it each and every day!

      • Michael Ferrin

        Will it cure me of my laziness? ;-)

        • Julie

          It might. Slawsa has been known to do some miraculous things!

  • Rocky

    Julie, I was able to resonate with much of your message. Thanks for the inspiration. I will be writing about your story on my own blog and sharing your inspiration. The best part of your story was when you shared how you were financially prepared to become an entrepreneur. That is huge! My passion is not only to see people pursue work that they love, but to also be prepared when opportunities show up. New ideas and chances show up, but many times people can’t take advantage because they are financially unprepared. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Julie

      Had my husband and I not made the decisions we made in our lives over a decade ago, never would I have been able to take the leap of faith to follow my dreams and become an entrepreneur. Growing a company, particularly a CPG company, takes a great deal of fiscal responsibility and personal sacrifice in terms of reinvestment so that sense of responsibility lives on in my life every day! Thank you for reiterating this very basic lesson, especially to our younger generation. I hate to see young people start out in a financial hole in life.