Kathryn Gilmore, Vivid Foods
When I started my salad dressing company, I knew how to make food, but I was totally in the dark about everything else – sales, marketing, packaging. It was so overwhelming that the idea of throwing in the towel was highly attractive. Until I met Deagon. She listened to my plans and questions and quandaries with great intensity and respect. And then she helped me find solutions to all my concerns. Her recommendations as far as how to find the right co-packer, which stores to target and even suggestions on labeling made me feel like I had a true partner. And my business flourished along with my confidence. After just a few months I had placed my products in multiple stores around the Bay Area. Just as importantly, when I started considering whether or not to continue, she talked me through pros and cons and provided an objective opinion about how to best assess the future of my business.”
Jessica Nguyen, Bicycle Banh Mi
“Deagon helped us turn big ideas into reachable and tangible goals. Her communications style is simple and very straightforward. This makes working with her incredibly easy. Every meeting starts with a list of goals and concludes with a list of to-dos. She follows-up every meeting with an email summary of what was discussed and the next steps. When I have questions or a business issue I’m trying to figure out, the best feeling is knowing I’m not alone.
“Deagon helped Bicycle Banh Mi develop our financial model. The process of developing this model laid a foundation for us to evaluate the viability of our business. Deagon guided us through a deep dive and exploration of our cost of goods sold (COGS). This opened the door for us to evaluate the items on our menu that weren’t profitable or financially feasible. Had we not done this, we wouldn’t have been able to analyze what was working and what was hindering us. Getting to this point was one of the most eye opening milestones in our business. The numbers tell a story of where we are now and where we want to be in the future.
“Within a given week, Deagon provides support on a wide range of business issues — financial projections, branding proposals, client engagement, growth strategies and customer issues. Her ability to cover a wealth of matters speaks to her depth of knowledge and experience.
“There are many challenges to being a business owner. There’s the feeling that you’re all alone, constantly second-guessing, overthinking and questioning ‘why I’m doing this’ and ‘what am I doing’. Deagon is someone I deeply admire professionally and personally. Beyond her role as a consultant, she knows how to offer support on all levels. She talks me down from my fears of failure and screwing up. No matter what my business may be going through, Deagon’s strength lies in her ability to establish true confidence in me and my business. It is with her time and expertise that Bicycle Banh Mi is able to map out our vision and build a framework for success that aligns with our mission and values.”
AnnaLise Hoopes, Green & Go
“I met Deagon in early 2016 and she’s been a godsend. In the time we’ve worked together, I’ve made tremendous progress in growing my business — getting my products into Whole Foods in the Bay area, expanding to the Pacific Northwest and, most importantly, having confidence in myself as an entrepreneur.
She has helped me to set big picture goals for my business, problem-solve in very difficult situations, and be there to listen when times are tough. She is an expert in relationship management, which is exactly what I needed when we met. She helped me understand the human side of business dynamics, something I find makes all the difference.
Because of Deagon’s deep culinary experience, she can advise and problem-solve any issue I bring to her. She has directed me to several helpful resources — books, websites, distributors, and loan opportunities. Sending her weekly updates keeps me on track and provides structure and accountability — something that’s hard to find as a solo entrepreneur but critical to growing a business. She always responds with thoughtful questions, insightful feedback, and genuine encouragement.
Before I met Deagon I felt very alone in running my business, because there was no one to talk through my challenges, brainstorm options when a problem came up, or even to say “great job” when things went well.
Deagon has been an incredible source of support for me since we met, and I can’t express enough gratitude for all that she’s helped me to do with my company. I wish I’d found her three years ago when I was just starting out!”