When Eden Hertzog dropped by for her photoshoot, we were immediately drawn to her calm, cool and collected personality. You see, Eden isn’t new to the whole entrepreneurship game. Since 1997, she’s been running her vegan bakery New Moon Kitchen that offers an array of healthy and delicious baked goods.
With over 20 years of experience in her back pocket, this self-proclaimed “Baker Babe” has certainly created a career worth watching. Through good ol’ hardwork and an unwavering passion for baking, Eden built New Moon Kitchen from the ground up and although that experience wasn’t without setbacks, she used them to set herself up for long-term success. Today, she’s happy and inspired as she seemingly has found that perfect balance between maintaining a profitable business and prioritizing the things and people she loves.
Lucky for us, we had the opportunity to tap into the wisdom of this inspiring cookie connoisseur! Keep reading as Eden opens up about the early days of her business, her thoughts on taking risks and the important lessons she has learned throughout her entrepreneurial journey:
Tell us about a time that life handed you lemons. Did you make lemonade?
I've made lemonade so many times, but my favourite was when I had just taken the company over as a sole proprietorship and was on a real learning curve. I took on a distributor who ended up ripping me off for almost five thousand dollars, which was - back then - a lot of money, and I wasn't sure how I was going to make rent. I never got my money from him, and I have no idea how I scratched the rent together, but I ended up reaching out to two of the other business owners who were ripped off by the same guy, and one of them became a mentor and dear friend who inspired me and helped me grow my business.
After that first year, how did you scale your business and continue to grow?
I took on as little overhead as possible, worked my ass off (no, like I really worked my ass off) and saved money hard until there was enough to take the next step to expand. I don't believe in going in over your head.
How do you measure success in your career?
The only real measure I trust is my level of engagement and happiness. If I'm inspired and productive, then I'm successful. The rest just comes.
“I learned that no matter the cost, upholding and standing by my values is always the first priority.”
How much of your success as an entrepreneur has come from taking risks versus playing it safe?
I'm not the hugest risk-taker, I admit. I prefer to be slow and steady with my business, and have something solid and secure I can always fall back on. Risks are good every so often and I should (bad word, I know) probably take more...but hey, something is working if I am able to raise my kids, have a solid income, and not have to work very much.
You're 30 minutes away from walking into an important meeting. What do you do to get yourself in the right headspace?
I talk to myself in the car a lot. Pep talks and general encouragement...I sink down into my gut and know that if I'm myself, I'll win it. I also think looking good is important; wearing something I feel confident in. Preparation is the real key though - did I do my research? Did I care enough to get some back story? Am I coming in with a good, developed pitch? Can I swing a good joke and be relaxed, but not too relaxed?
Was there ever a moment that you questioned your decision to become an entrepreneur? How did you overcome it?
I've actually never questioned it because I know it's who I am and I know I could never work for anyone else...
What do you love most about yourself?
I'm truly excited by and in love with life.
Who is a fellow Toronto-based entrepreneur that inspires you and why?
Ruth Tal will always be an inspiration to me. Fresh (back when it was Juice For Life) was an account that helped me get catapulted into the next level of business, and Ruth was always encouraging. Now, I admire her hunger for expansion and the fact that she travels a lot, and seems to be jazzed by the whole adventure of business-owning. She really went for it, and continues to go for it.
If you could re-live one career-defining moment in your life again, what would it be and why?
I was once in a very sticky situation with a very large company, and they'd made a huge mistake. They asked me to take responsibility for the mistake and I did it because I thought it would secure the account. I was wrong, and it cost me - both the account and a chunk of self-worth. I learned that no matter the cost, upholding and standing by my values is always the first priority.
What is a personal or professional challenge that you're faced with right now?
I'm way too comfortable. Way, way too comfortable...
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