Julie Harrelson, CEO of the Harrelson Group and manager of Cascade Angels, has a beloved penchant for taking selfies with entrepreneurs, investors and people of Oregon who support building a strong Oregon through entrepreneurialism. This is the first in a series of selfies + blogs about the amazing people she’s met in the last couple of years. #julieselfie
I actually don’t remember the first time I met Sarah Pool. Sarah is an entrepreneur and CEO of Pacific SuperFoods, a healthy, vegan snacks company, which she founded Portland and relocated to Bend. Seems like we’ve known each other for a long time. Sarah has a tireless optimism, a strong work ethic and wears great hats. In our recent conversation, I was reminded of a New York Times article where Ruth Bader Ginsburg told Gloria Steinem that she liked her rap name-“Notorius RBG” and relayed to Steinem that by searching an online rap name generator she found that Steinhem’s rap name is Glo-stick. Hence, I present you with a conversation between Sarah P. Slam and Julie aka Queen Ritz.
Julie: What are a couple of key things you’ve learned in the last 2 years?
Sarah: How bad you want ‘it’ + how willing you are to dedicate your effort towards achieving it = the predominant formula that determines success. It’s those things that don’t make us blink when the inevitable challenges of business arise, and the things that drive us — necessarily — to find ways to be more innovative, smarter, and quicker. One of the most fun aspects of building a great business is building a great team and witnessing the different ways people show up in big and often unexpected ways to help drive the business forward. I can wholeheartedly say our people have made all of the difference. Lastly, ensuring our financials are the hub of our decision-making. The better grip we have, the better decision-making, the greater longevity.
J: What are three things you are looking forward to in the next 2 years?
S: We are entering one of the most exciting times in our company as we place a huge emphasis on and investment in new product innovation. We just launched a food incubator here in Bend (in a new space downtown), where we are solely focused on developing revolutionary products. Our primary emphasis is in the arena of healthy snacking; for example, can we make a Twinkie healthy? We are experimenting with every type of plant that exists, with the aim of bringing as many truly healthy, truly delicious snacks to the market.
J: What is one thing you would suggest to someone starting a business?
S: Just do it. Really, the worst that could happen is the business doesn’t work out (which your ego and bank account can recover from). But the rewards on the flip side are innumerable. My favorite, the opportunity to offer a product or service that positively impacts others’ lives.
J: How many hats do you have?
S: Ha! I am always on the quest for the “perfect” hat, but I only have about 3 hats at any given time. Once I find a perfect hat, I wear it out. I currently have more hats than I’ve had in years, because I’ve gone through about 7 of our signature “Kale” hats, and have kept all of the worn out ones.
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].