We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Shelar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Like most things, it’s relational. I strongly believe in the quality of the TX Brisket Biscuit product, so whether I’m growing the retail distribution points or selling directly to customers at local markets, it’s all about building that lasting rapport and brand loyalty with those purchasing your product.
In today’s multi-faceted marketplace, you have to learn to use social media as a tool to build your brand. It’s an absolute MUST. You can connect with a myriad of people doing interesting things, some of which will intersect with your efforts and others who will connect you to sources and people who are beneficial to your business growth and sustainability.
It’s also important to remain flexible in your expectations and to persevere through tough times. Let me use COVID as an example-TX Brisket Biscuit was a mere six months old when the pandemic began to take hold. Plans for expansion and growth were shelved, and there was an uncertainty about what was ahead for everyone. Doors closed. Retail foot traffic slowed. Delivery services thrived for takeout orders. I went from growing retail locations to selling at local farmers’ markets-and I will note, that proved to be one of my best unforeseen destinies. It allowed me to grow my confidence as a startup business through direct customer feedback and take many of those relationships from “customer” to “friend.” It’s about finding your place in uncertain circumstances and making that work for you.
Lastly, keep things fresh and fun. You often hear that entrepreneurship is exhausting, and it is. But, watching your business expand is exhilarating, and there’s a sure sense of accomplishment. Wake up to each new day with a fresh perspective and a positive outlook-you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results!
What should our readers know about your business?
With TX Brisket Biscuit making its debut in 2019, there have been more than a few challenges but even more rewards. I often tell people, “I’ve never worked so hard at something in my LIFE!” And I haven’t. But the excitement of seeing your business flourish is undeniable. Anyone who’s taken up entrepreneurship identifies with the work involved-for me, my goal was to build things organically, getting to know and experience every aspect of the business. Reminders to go slow and steady in your business growth. That’s code for “don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
One of the most exciting things is hearing customer feedback and being able to interact directly with buyers. It’s been pointed out that the TX Brisket Biscuit product has really captured the millennial market, and it’s true. They are some of my best customers, and they’re always happy to share their experience (and buy MORE!).
Challenges include unanticipated pandemics and equipment failures (brand new commercial freezer breaking within the first 24 hours and repeatedly thereafter…), but you can’t let those things drag you down. It’s important to see past those things, find NEW ways of doing what you do, and always be resilient. It’s all about making the best of a bad situation.
I’m excited about the future in so many ways. With just a little over two years since hitting the first retail shelves, the product is now headed to a major grocery chain! It’s hard to imagine what the future holds, but those doors that continue to open, I’ll gladly walk through them every time.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m all about getting out into nature. We have so many great State Parks here in Texas, many of which are within two hours of the Metroplex. Each one offers something unique. There are many amazing restaurants to be enjoyed, and for SURE, if there was something going on in the Dallas Arts District, we’d find ourselves there. I also LOVE visiting the OMNI in Fort Worth, so a show there followed by a visit to a FW saloon (with music) would likely be in order!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Without question, God. And without God’s “prompt” via an exceptionally detailed dream (in response to my request for a new career direction), this idea never would’ve taken shape nor this business growth come to fruition.
There have been a few unexpected obstacles along the way, but door after door has continued to open. When those opportunities come along, I’ve learned to walk through those openings without trepidation.
Certainly, other businesses have proved to be instrumental in helping TX Brisket Biscuit grow. The small business community is great with uplifting and supporting others, while recognizing the common struggles along the way. Also, finding a good local market for selling your product on weekends is an invaluable asset. It’s a great way to connect directly with customers and get the exposure needed to take your business to the next level.
Customers at local markets will often say, “This is such a cool idea! How on earth did you come up with it?” And I will gladly tell them, “It wasn’t my idea.” I’ve built the product line out to what it is today (15 different biscuit/butter varieties), but the original idea came straight from God.