Real Talk with Laurie Harrison, Owner of Le Pops Gourmet Lollipops
Most new entrepreneurs focus solely on building a company or brand, and never think past that. It’s all about creating and building, but the reality is that for some people those businesses are only a chapter in their life. For Laurie Harrison, her company Le Pops was a great experience, but now it’s time to sell and start something new. I spoke with Laurie about the fuel behind her decision, what she learned from starting Le Pops, and how she’ll use that experience in her next business venture.
Name: Laurie Harrison
Location: Boulder, CO
Company: Le Pops Gourmet Lollipops
What it is: A specialty lollipop cafe
What inspired you to start Le Pops?
An avocado popsicle got the whole thing started. I love to cook and it seemed like a simple concept in which you could be creative.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up around 6:00 or 6:30 in the morning and read the news, answer emails, pay bills, etc. — all the office management part of the business. Then I jog and go to the shop. I like to stay involved with making pops (including creating new flavors), waiting on customers, catering deliveries, and shopping. We eat dinner late because I typically don’t get home until 7ish and I cook dinner 90% of the time.
You’re in the process of selling Le Pops and starting something new in a new location. What fueled your decision to sell?
I’ve been running the shop off and on from Boulder, CO for the past few months. It’s difficult to do even though I have incredible employees taking care of things.
What’s the hardest part of starting a new business?
Waiting for things to happen before actually opening a shop and financing.
What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
Interacting with customers and creating a product I’m proud of.
What did your experiences with Le Pops teach you that you’ll carry over into your next business endeavor?
When we started Le Pops, we had no idea how to run a business. It took about three years to get really organized in all of the aspects involved. Making pops is a relatively small part of the day to day operation. Our shop in Boulder is much more organized and we have a better idea of how to handle issues that arise.
What will you do differently with your next business?
Catering has evolved into a big part of our business in Little Rock. We will be much more proactive with that aspect in Colorado.
How has social media helped grow Le Pops?
We have relied on social media for most of our access to customers. I love the interactive nature of it.
How do you make sure you stand out on social media?
We try to have eye-catching photos and fun language. One of best responses to a post was voting for a flavor. We need to do that more often.
If you could have given yourself a piece of knowledge or advice when you started what would that be?
My advice would have been to learn how to be a photographer and how to do hand lettering.
Would you do anything differently?
There are plenty of little things I’d do differently but most of our major decisions have turned out to be good ones.
How do you define success?
Success is still being excited to go to work even when you’ve worked 10-12 hours a day for weeks during the “season.”
What are your hobbies? What do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working I read and cook. And I still have a daughter at home.
How do you balance your work with your personal life?
I’m not sure I put a lot of thought into it. I just do what needs to be done each day.
What’s next for you?
Developing the business in the Denver/Boulder area. My son and I have a couple of other ideas we’re thinking about.