Bringing ideas to life can be scary, exhausting and confusing, but having patience and gumption and connecting to that deeper reason — that “why” — will help keep you grounded and focused.
Originally from New Jersey, Devon Loftus moved to San Francisco post-graduation with a B.A. in Creative Writing and Journalism. After working at a women’s lifestyle website that eventually went under, Loftus took this opportunity to go back to school and studied product development at FIDM. Here, she learned everything that goes into creating a product and a brand and fell madly in love with the process. After these studies, she started her own clothing line, which taught her how to collaborate, find factories, build a team, understand profit, and more. Loftus was then interested in diving into the fashion industry further and opted for the traditional 9-5 route, but this life was not conducive to her creativeness or health — eventually teaching her how crucial self-care is. She founded her current venture, Moon Cycle Bakery, in 2017, with the goal of helping people regain their empowerment, sense of self-care and to help others find support during cycles that can be challenging and alienating.
Where did the idea for Moon Cycle Bakery come from?
The idea for Moon Cycle Bakery started the morning after my “west coast bachelorette party”. A group of my friends organized a night out in Oakland, CA where we stopped at several bars, ending at my favorite — the “Kona Club” where pictures of Tom Selleck hung on the walls and caused everyone who walked in to swoon. They had arranged for my now husband to meet us at the last bar and bring a cake for all of us to share — he did not disappoint. In walked Brian with a homemade 3 tiered chocolate cake with cookie dough icing and chocolate ganache. There was total silence for several minutes as we all devoured the cake and replaced our Mai Tai tongues with chocolate covered lips. Eventually, the silence was broken by one of our good friends who came over, tapped Brian on the shoulder and said, “I just needed to tell you, this is the best thing I have ever eaten. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m about to get my period or not, but I almost cried.” Needless to say, we were completely in love with such an honorable and real reaction and with a huge smile I assured her: “Don’t worry, Summer, we’ll bring you a slice every month.”
When I woke up the next morning, I realized there was something here — Summer’s comment popped into my head and I realized the power in gifting someone. I realized that so many women were craving something to nourish their souls as much as their bodies — a time of the month where they felt seen, heard, held and gifted. A time where they embraced and even relished in their bodies and the amazing cycle that happens (with all its ups and downs). There were women who were ready to shed the stigma and talk about periods as naturally as they occur in our bodies. There were women who were ready to believe that they could satisfy their cravings and nourish their bodies — that they didn’t have to give up one for the other.
As I moved forward, I knew I wanted to empower women through choice and knowledge. Wellness + self-care has been such a huge part of my life and has assisted in helping me through really hard times — a gift that I wanted to make easier for others to attain. I wanted women to fill their bodies with goodness as much as their souls. Because of this, I decided to team up with experts, bloggers + women alike to create Moon Cycle Bakery the way it deserved — with integrity, love and healthy alternatives that satisfied (and soothed) their cravings.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I try to make sure there’s a balance of work and play in each day — something I highly suggest for entrepreneurs. It is one of the top three tools to staying productive. Most days, I’ll wake up and allow myself some time to truly greet the day (which usually entails puppy cuddles) and then I’ll look at my emails, messages and social media. Next, I’ll make tea or lemon water, a green smoothie and sit down to respond to any emails, check my to-do list for that day, etc. Mid-day I will stop to eat and get a workout in, finish up any lingering work like baking or branding and then allow myself to completely relax into play-time which can fluctuate between yoga, reading, writing, Netflix, or sunset walks with my husband. Without an outlet for expression and creativity, my brain can’t focus and my body feels antsy. Allowing myself time for self-care and things outside of work that bring me joy helps me remain extremely productive during my day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The first thing I will always do when an idea chooses me is to designate time to sit with it. I want to get really cozy with this idea and ask it the biggest question of all — “why?” I believe that when you’re embarking on the adventure of birthing an idea into the world, it helps to be very clear on your intention for dedicating a lot of energy and time to your business. Once I’ve connected with the meaning behind this idea, I will start with very basic steps (setting up emails, writing a business plan, bouncing off my thoughts to a close friend, partner or mentor, etc) and remind myself to take each day a step at a time. I’ll be sure to create a bigger vision so I have an idea of where to navigate, but I also understand that new turns and unseen paths are welcomed. Bringing ideas to life can be scary, exhausting and confusing, but having patience and gumption and connecting to that deeper reason — that “why” — will help keep you grounded and focused.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I hate to call self-care a trend because I truly feel it’s something that we all need and something we should be taught at a young age, but it’s an extremely exciting time in the world right now as we are opening our eyes to what our bodies and spirits need more than ever. With this movement comes an opening of conversation that has been cast away or shamed for centuries, a growth in empowerment + knowledge, and a better understanding of self-love. That gives me all the feels!!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
When I was in design school, one of our assignments was to create a calendar and write everything we plan to do in that calendar. This included doing the dishes, taking a shower, etc. It ended up becoming the best tool for an entrepreneur or anybody, really. What it taught me was that if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not real. It’s so important to make time for the things you have to do and the things you want to do, especially as an entrepreneur, because you wear so many hats! It helps to cut down on overwhelm, stay organized and actually creates a whole lot more freedom.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stay true to yourself, listen to your gut, and don’t stay fixated on the outcome. You haven’t failed because you arrived at a place that you didn’t envision — there are so many paths that bring us to places we could never dream of; trust them and walk through with courage and gratitude.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Energy and the power of thought is a very real thing! We can all pick up on feelings from other people and as an entrepreneur, this is huge. It always helps to stay connected to what you truly believe and your intention behind your actions because your clients/customers/patients will pick up on that and if there is a dissonance between how you feel and what you say, they will feel that, too. When it comes to thoughts, it helps to have a few beliefs or mantras on hand that help you remain in a positive mindset and can give you a source of confidence. There will be many times of doubt, fear, frustration in entrepreneurism and paying attention to how you talk to yourself and what thoughts become words out in the world can be a game changer for what your reality looks and feels like.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Have self-compassion! Too often than not, being an entrepreneur can quickly become a rat race. We may feel like we aren’t doing enough or aren’t prepared to handle shifts and that feeling can become overwhelming. Having self-compassion and celebrating big and small wins alike is a crucial reminder that doing your best is more than enough.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Hands down the number one “strategy” that has helped me grow my business is my support system. I found surrounding myself with loving, kind, helpful and encouraging friends + family has made all the difference. They’re there to remind me of my strength, make me laugh after a long day, cook a mouth-watering + nutritious meal, pledge + share the Kickstarter, etc. I really would not be where I am today if it weren’t for my support family.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Before I started Moon Cycle Bakery, I had my own clothing line but completely overlooked marketing. Because of this, it was hard to sell out of product and therefore re-fill. Our margins were taking a hit and we had exhausted our funds. At this point, I found myself overwhelmed and gave into my fear that a 9-5 job would fit me better. I learned so much at that job and wouldn’t do any of it differently, but I found myself unhappy and frustrated that I gave into the first bit of fear and doubt that crept in. I overcame it by doing the thing that scared me the most — I followed my gut and quit my job without any real idea of what would happen next. Moon Cycle Bakery found me 3 months later. I don’t believe in failure — I think that every opportunity is a lesson and moves you towards something bigger + more aligned with who you are + continue to be. I am so grateful for that.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Recently, I traveled to Portland with my good friend and husband for a few days to re-fuel. We sat down for brunch at an adorable little spot and had our phones out taking pictures. My friend was taking a picture of her drink, but the backdrop was a window with people and cars outside. She’s a photographer and I told her that she should come out with a line of suction-cup or stick-on backdrops for bloggers so when they take pictures of their product, etc, on the move, they are ensured a well designed + branded background every time.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
While in Portland, my friend had a photoshoot and I took behind the scenes pictures. When I wasn’t doing that, I found myself deeply blissful at the fall colors, the sun and the nature that surrounded us. The whole world felt lighter and it reminded me how important it is to embrace the simple joys and the things that make us happy without needing to give it an explanation. We decided shortly after that to get a tattoo together to remind us of this time. For me, it was the first time in a long time that I allowed myself the permission to trust in joy — no matter how simple or complex it may present itself. The act of choosing happiness over security greatly shifted my life both professionally and personally and created more room in my world for possibility.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Planoly is my new favorite web service/app and helps me tremendously when planning out our Instagram feed. Every couple of weeks, I’ll sit down to map out the next two weeks of posts and upload the images. I love this because once it’s done, I don’t have to worry about what to post or when. Planoly allows me to not only schedule posts, but reminds me when it’s time to post them and also gives me a full view of what my feed will look like so I can make sure it’s on brand.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’m such a book nerd, so this is a hard one! I would say professionally, You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero is a must-read. She playfully opens your mind up to the world of money and helps you discover your not-so-serving beliefs around money and how to re-write them. Overall, it’s a feel good, empowering, exciting book and great for entrepreneurs. For a more personal book, I would say without a doubt that Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke is a book you will have forever. It’s timeless, it’s real, it’s poetic and it’s reassuring on a human level. Written in the 1800’s, reads like it was written yesterday.
What is your favorite quote?
“Be yourself — everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde.
Commit to a healthy balance of work and play throughout your day to stay fresh, focused and full of vitality.
By blocking out time in your calendar for everything you need + want to do, you’ll stay organized, cut down on any feelings of overwhelm and create more freedom overall.
Having self-compassion as an entrepreneur will help you steer clear of the rat-race mentality, keep your tasks and business in perspective and allow you to embrace the fact that your best is enough.
Building a support system will be one of the biggest steps needed to succeed and will help you persevere when things feel scary, unstable and unknown.
Read the book You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero to help re-write the limiting beliefs you have around money and encourage you to open up to receive the money you deserve.
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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.