It was such an honor to be featured as one of “The Change-Makers” in Orlando Voyager in March 2022. During my interview, I share how I got started, some challenges along the way and things that I’ve learned.
Here’s a excerpt from the article or you can jump here to read the full interview.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna Hinsz.
Hi Deanna, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I started my business in December of 2015. It actually happened by accident. I never planned to be in marketing. I left my corporate job in 2010 to be more present with my boys. I loved my job, but I was missing school events and things that were important to them. I thought that I was giving them everything that they needed because they had the latest video games, took vacations and we had the money to do whatever they wanted.
But I completely missed the mark when my son, Alex, who was 10 years old at the time, told me the only thing he wanted for Christmas was to be able to spend one day home with me, sitting on the couch, drinking hot cocoa and watch a movie. My heart shattered. I called my other son, Petey, into the room to discuss it and learned that they both felt the same way. They opened my eyes and made me realize that all of the material things meant nothing, what they really wanted was me, their mom.
So, I quit my job. As a single mom, with no safety net, this was pretty crazy. I looked for a job but couldn’t find anything that paid enough to cover the bills and provided the flexibility that I needed to be available to my boys. I decided that if I couldn’t find it, I would create it. I started making Cake Pops out of my home and shipping them.
Now, cake pops were not around in Ohio or most of the east coast when this started. They were huge on the west coast and in Texas though. I knew I had a small window to brand my product and business. I never used the word cake pops, but instead called the “Sweet D Bites”. I started shipping nationwide, getting corporate accounts, and keeping myself busier than I thought.
I had an amazing mentor at the time who pushed me to get uncomfortable. Lenny Fisher, owner of Handel’s Ice Cream was a previous client of mine from the corporate world, who saw me on TV and said he wanted to mentor me. Looking back, I learned so much more than I realized from him and today think back to those conversations when trying to make a decision.
Anyhow, Sweet D Bites was doing great and a year later I was one of the winners of Top Mom’s in Business by Discover Card and StartupNation. It was an award that recognized moms who started a business and did a great job with their marketing. When that happened, I started to get a lot of women reaching out to me asking how I did it. I was using Facebook and Twitter at the time and it was still a pretty new concept when it came to using it for business. I shared everything I knew, with a disclaimer that I had no idea what I was doing.
Well, apparently, I did because it worked for them too! As word spread, more and more women wanted to learn, and by the end of 2011, I was hosting workshops teaching social media. I did this for years, until one day, I realized that people I had never met were reaching out and wanting help with their social media and website design. This is how CarbonSilk was born!
To read the rest of the interview, click here!