We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Pastusek and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amanda, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is an essential part of growth, not just in business, but in life. Learning, growing, becoming something more than we were–these things do not happen in our comfort zones. They only come by taking risks. Welcoming failure. Celebrating it, even. Celebrate failure? Yes, exactly. Think of the hardest moment of your life, the biggest failure you’ve ever experienced. In that moment, you had two options before you. You could wallow in grief and misery forever and never try again, or you could dust yourself off, learn something valuable, and let that experience make you better than you were before. What I’ve learned over the past year of starting a small business literally from nothing, is to get comfortable with failure. I’ve had to learn things this year very quickly, and with little to no prior knowledge in many cases. I am not an accountant, or a marketing exec, so I’ve had to learn to do those things and more with a figurative hand tied behind my back. And you know what, this first year was hard. But, I’m seeing a pattern in the hard things…that the things that were hard the first time I tried them weren’t so hard the second time. They were even easier the third. The times I failed were just me tripping on the bottom step of a grand staircase that gets smoother the higher up you go. Which brings us back to risk, and the fact that we are taking the big leap and opening a brick-and-mortar storefront here in our hometown in just a few months. This is by far the biggest risk yet. It’s a huge investment financially, as we are using our personal savings to finance the opening. It’s a risk to my ego for sure–if it fails, will it show that “I” am a failure? And that’s where I think a lot of people stop short of going for their dreams and don’t take the leap. Monetary risk, sure, that’s a lot of pressure. But I think too many of us equate the success of our dreams to our own personal worth, and that is a risk just too big to take for many. Let’s separate those two once and for all, and let’s acknowledge to ourselves and to each other that we are more than our successes and failures. At the end of the day, I believe in taking risks because I know who I am, I know I was created with value and purpose, and I know that even if this dream crashes and burns in epic proportions, at least I will have tried. If we lose all our savings trying to make this work, it’s just money. We can’t take it with us anyway. If you never try, you will never know what could have been. I’d rather try and fail than spend my whole life wondering what it might have become if I had gone for it. I am not an exceptional person, and I have no special skills. From what I have seen in watching others who have succeeded before me, I’ve noticed these things–that they are comfortable with risk, confident in who they are and what they have to offer, and don’t quit when it gets hard. I am honored to be among a new generation of entrepreneurs who are flourishing and taking the world of small business to new places. Come and see us in our new store, opening July 2022!

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Welcome to The Art of Grazing! We are here to provide gorgeous, easy-to-enjoy, luxury grazing boards for any reason or no reason at all. Our goal is for you to have an exceptional experience from the ordering process, to delivery, and through the last bite of the board. We take great pride in the details, where we believe our products excel and stand out from our competitors. Building personal relationships with our customers is so important to us, and is one of the great features of small businesses that you don’t get with chains or corporations. We know each customer by name, we strive to remember your tastes and preferences, and will always customize for allergies or dietary restrictions. We would love nothing more than to have the privilege of making a board for your special evening or party. It is truly a joy to serve you, DFW!

We have been a commissary kitchen business for over a year in west Fort Worth, and will be opening a brick-and-mortar storefront in July 2022! It has been a crazy year of growth, learning, highs and lows. But we believe that Fort Worth needs this business, and we are ready and pumped to bring it to you this summer! Come by and see us, we would love to meet you.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Start at the Drover, the cool new cowboy hotel in the stockyards. Have lunch at the restaurant there, 97 West, or at Provender Hall around the corner. Next head to Clearfork for some amazing shopping, and stop by to see our friends at Collins & Conley for the most adorable kids clothes. Grab one of the luscious macaron ice cream sandwiches at Joy for a post-shopping snack. Work off the calories with a run on the nearby Trinity Trails, or take a hot yoga class at Indigo Yoga (my fav!). Clean up at the new Harper hotel downtown, with its stunning downtown views from the top-floor lounge. Head out to dinner at Wicked Butcher, and then head to the southside of town to wind down with a cocktail at the semi-secret speakeasy inside Wishbone & Flynt, called The Amber Room.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
From the top: The idea for The Art of Grazing did not come from me, but from God putting the idea in my head. I take no credit. God gave me a husband who has been my number one fan since the first day I shared the idea with him. My husband has been the greatest source of encouragement when I have doubted myself, and I wouldn’t have kept going without him walking alongside me. My sister and partner, Kathryn, has been essential to the growth of the business in countless ways. She has worn many hats this past year with ease and enthusiasm. I would never want to (or be able to) do this without her! Our mom, Stephanie, has supported us in so many ways this year, including handling our deliveries and watching our babies so we can work. The “Cheese Team” members, Meg and Maria, have been a direct answer to prayer, and have been the most amazing blessing at exactly the right time. Lastly, but definitely not least, my four daughters. They are always asking how they can help, if they can make boards, and when they can come work in the store. They are the most important thing in the world to me.

Website: www.theartofgrazingfw.com

Instagram: @theartofgrazingfw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theartofgrazingfw/

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