The work will always be there but the people in your life and moments that you share with them won’t be.
Having been in sales in the family business for over 15 years, Carolyn Barbarite was accustomed to selling and marketing products and services. But it wasn’t until the birth of Javamelts that she realized the natural and automatic sales and marketing instinct that kicks in when the product is your own and the passion is real.
In 2016 the Javamelts product, an individually-wrapped cane sugar-based melt for sweetening and flavoring coffee and teas, was created. It was the beginning of a journey that Barbarite could only imagine. Through trial and error, researching and developing, knocking on doors, and networking with the finest in the business, Barbarite grew Javamelts from her initial idea at her home to the current facility where it is made today.
Javamelts are unique, and because of all their benefits offered to the consumer, everyday traveler and professional, they were easily introduced and taken in by local gourmet groceries and businesses, thus appealing to the daily shopper or neighbor next door. But Barbarite knew that was just the beginning of something much larger and soon made her product available to corporate customers, where production would need to increase significantly. The presence at many trade shows throughout the country was key to getting to the next level in marketing Javamelts. Through those connections and networking, Barbarite has brought Javamelts to the attention of national brokers, distributors and corporations and intends to take Javamelts to the highest level with no signs of stopping.
Barbarite holds her Paralegal Degree from Becker College and married her high-school sweetheart soon after their college graduations. She credits her substantial legal background in helping establish herself as a well-rounded businesswoman who has worked and negotiated with Fortune 500 companies throughout the world. Barbarite was raised in Smithtown, New York, and has remained there with her husband and three daughters.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
The idea of JAVAMELTS came to me while I was having coffee with my husband on Valentine’s Day, 2016. He purchased cards and caramel filed individually wrapped candy for me and my girls. I looked down at the packaging and the idea of individually wrapped flavored sweeteners came to me – thus, JAVAMELTS was born!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day is getting up early, grabbing a cup of coffee with JAVAMELTS, of course, getting on the computer and working for about an hour, running to the gym, coming home and the day really gets going with emails, phone calls, meetings, etc. Each day is pretty much the same, which really helps me stay focused and thus productive. I do all of the necessary work first and never put it off because it just piles up. If I have a lot of extra work, I work after hours to get most of it done. It’s all about priorities. Some things can wait, others can’t.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Bringing an idea to life is something that I am very cautious about. I don’t do anything without consulting with my operating partners who collectively have decades of experience in the business and food and beverage space. After much consideration and research I then hit the ground running whether it be with respect to designing the new packaging or new labels for a container that we decide to use or just a new style box or bag. I always do prototypes and then I play around with them until everything is just right. It takes a lot of time and patience but it finally gets done.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that really excites me now is the paying it forward trend. I absolutely love to see people making it a point to make someone’s day better by just paying for their cup of coffee or food at the drive-up window. Random acts of kindness are needed in a world where it’s go, go, go. It’s so refreshing that people take the time out to brighten another’s day!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My habit…. I go to the gym every day! It helps me keep my mind and body healthy and it’s easier for me to sit down and focus after a good workout. It’s something that totally makes me more productive because I am on a schedule from the minute I get up in the morning to make that early class.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I would give my younger self is: Don’t be in a hurry to grow up and have it all! Travel and take time to enjoy life while you’re growing. The work will always be there but the people in your life and moments that you share with them won’t be.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The one thing that I believe to be true that I don’t get a lot of agreement on is that I am not getting to where I want to be fast enough with my product and brand. I know what goals that I set and I haven’t reached them in the time that I gave myself to. Others feel that I am way further than most people in my shoes in the amount of time that I have had thus far.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The one thing that I do over and over is to always look for another way to get my name or brand out there and for as little money or at no cost to me. I take time out of most every day to answer inquiries from reporters or reaching influencers/bloggers looking for stories with valuable content to share with their readers or followers. I feel that if I can share my story and be able to help people while getting my name and brand out there then it’s a win, win!
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The one strategy that helped me grow my business is networking. I literally will talk to anyone who is interested in my story and they usually connect me with other people. I get invited to events mostly for charity and get opportunities to be at trade shows that most people don’t get to attend at such an early stage in their business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The one failure that I had as an entrepreneur is that I wasn’t able to play ball with the big stores that I wanted to get in to. The reason is you have to prove your brand first and then land the distributor that can get you into the stores little by little. How I overcame it is I didn’t give up! I persisted and finally convinced someone to take a chance on me. It took me a long time to get a distributor on board and that was a key component for me to succeed.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A business that I think could really be successful is an exercise group online for the elderly. Often times the elderly are alone and stuck in the house and they need to come up with something similar but not exactly like Peliton for seniors where they would have a subscription and they could interact with people on the TV or online. They could be motivated and inspired to move and not just sit. It would give them something to look forward to with people their own age. Especially during the colder months when they just can’t get out at all.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I spent recently was to take my parents mini golfing with my three young adult children and my husband. They are 84 and 80 years old and my business will be there with the work but my parents will not always be! It’s okay to take some time off for loved ones and yourself.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Quickbooks online is what I use and it’s a savior….. I have all of my business accounts and cards connected to it and it helps me stay organized in an area where I now cannot afford to pay too much attention to. My accountants have access to it and it saves us time and money.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One of the many books that I recommend is the Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. It is terrible going through life thinking that you are not good enough or worthy of opportunities, because you are not like others who might perceive as better than you. If we truly accept who we are it’s a lot easier to go through life. Realizing that you have something special that others don’t – seeing things differently offers suggestions and value to others. This world would not be what it is today without everyone’s individuality.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote: Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In business, often times, people feel the need to pull rank or feel entitled because they have achieved a level of success that others have not. It’s not okay to treat them differently. Whether you are a low level employee just starting out or the executive of a huge corporation, treating people with respect is necessary. People respond much better to a team player who LEADS the team rather than a boss who RULES the team.
- Lead by example. If you want others to be a certain way, show them by your own behavior.
- In order to fix a problem that might have occurred you need to find a solution that works for everyone without pulling rank or placing blame. The goal is to find a solution not place blame or fault where the problem originated from.
- The way you speak and treat others will result in mass success or terrible failure. Over the course of you building your brand you must stay focused and motivate people around you to help the company to succeed. If they feel appreciated and valued they will more than always go above and beyond for you. Take the minute or two to put yourself in their shoes and respect what they do as well. Everyone has value.
- Business is about building long-lasting fruitful relationships with people. It’s not about products.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.