By Malia Durbano
When Kirsten Gum and Emyrald Sinclair decided to be business partners they both had plenty of experience but still had questions that advisor Tom Holcomb helped them answer. Both women were new to the community and didn’t really know what resources were available or where to start.
The partners had to decide what kind of entity they wanted to be. Was it to be a partnership or an LLC? How would they divide the partnership, what were the percentages? How would they word their operating agreements? Should they operate on a fiscal year or a calendar year? “There were so many things to consider and Tom gave us options to think about,” Kirsten stated.
She explains, “He asked us lots of questions and gave us a list of questions to ask ourselves.”
They decided on an LLC and opened a wholesale operation in 2014. They have now been in a retail location behind the old Brickhouse Café, currently Your Flesh Tattoo, on North Main for nine months. Holcomb helped them crunch the numbers and “helped ease the anxiety everyone goes through when opening a new business.”
Both are passionate about providing raw, gluten-free, dairy free, vegetarian food to as many people as possible. Their food contains no soy, no meat and the only animal product is honey. “We want people to eat local and to eat more plants.”
They are proud to have achieved their goal of offering a “safe kitchen for those with special dietary needs in the Four Corners. People are thrilled when they realize they can eat anything prepared in our kitchen.”
The partners met with Tom Holcomb twice a month for three months. He provided worksheets and homework for them to focus on in between meetings. They formulated their Operating Agreements and Business Plan. They speculated about their demographics and were fairly accurate in predicting their main customer base. Gum says, “We get lots of moms who have family members with special dietary needs. Most are between 25 and 65 years of age. They want their family to eat healthy – they are just very busy.”
“There is also a generation who never really learned how to cook.” Earth Girls loves providing families with healthy, organic snacks, meals and deserts.
Advisor Holcomb also provided practical warnings about not getting into debt or growing too fast. He counseled them on start-up costs and having enough working capital. “We discussed getting a loan or having investors.” Gum found great value in having the set meetings so they had deadlines to have their homework complete.
“If Tom didn’t know the answer to a question, he would find somebody who did and get back to us,” explained Gum appreciatively.