Olga Sagan is the sole owner of the nationally renowned Piroshky Piroshky. Founded in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, Piroshky Piroshky has offered hand-crafted pies to loyal fans since 1992. She was named U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2020 Washington Small Business Person of the Year, and founded Catch22Delivery in March 2020 to connect consumers with local businesses, Catch22Delivery is an online hosted directory exclusively for small restaurant businesses in one convenient, easy to find spot. Designed and operated by the University of Washington undergrad and graduates, the portal directs customers to existing websites of participating restaurants. This ensures the businesses consumers are supporting have complete control over their own product and revenue.
Where did the idea for Catch22Delivery come from?
Catch22 steamed from my frustration with no one using my website, where I had a custom delivery system set up already. Instead, customers were using third-party platforms to order food. I figured that I was most likely not the only one in the restaurant world with this problem, so I reached out to friends in the community to open a platform called catch22delivery.com, a free delivery service platform for small businesses to directly connect to new customers. Catch22 Delivery is gaining HUGE popularity in the Seattle area, as we are transparently connecting consumers back to restaurants while helping small businesses succeed during this crisis.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day for me consists of meetings with my Catch22Delivery team and our partners where we discuss marketing strategy, web development, check-in with one another, and brainstorm ways to keep growing to new states and countries! Everyone is going through a lot of stress right now so it is important for me to keep everyone’s spirits up and remain calm and positive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
With the help of my amazing and talented team! They are incredibly hard-working and dedicated to making Catch22 Delivery the best it can be. I have ideas through discussion with my team, and they are so quick to pick it up and make it come to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me now more than ever is buying and shopping locally. Supporting local businesses right now is so important and I find it very inspiring when my community is dedicated to supporting small businesses, especially during difficult times.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am a big believer in writing things down as soon as I have an idea or remember something important. I constantly am updating my daily to-do list and am always writing things down. Checking off different tasks helps me stay on track and feel productive.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to start to educate and learn at an earlier age. Knowledge is so important and there’s always something you can learn from different situations in life.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Something that’s true that nobody agrees with me on is that your best success is seeing other people’s success, especially observing when someone can do something better than you! It’s the best feeling and is very inspiring to learn from how they were able to achieve their goals.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing that is very important to me as a business owner is to create a supportive and inclusive culture, check in with your employees, treat your employees with the utmost respect, and always thank your customers. Doing this will create a work and business environment that your employees and customers will enjoy to be around and feel like their work is purposeful.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that helped me grow my business was to never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. It is important to feel and understand how demanding every job is in your company – and you need to make sure you are ready to do it yourself before asking anyone to do it for you.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I’ve had is to trust landlords that they will communicate and treat us like humans. I have overcome this by only picking landlords that have values that align with my own by having an open conversation with them before signing.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea is to make face masks to use when going to the store or running errands to stay safe! I wish someone would create something that is more breathable and easy to wear.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent was to see the Tina Turner Broadway Musical in New York in February – right before everything closed. My heart is aching for all those artists out of work and I hope we can recover soon!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I constantly use notes on my phone for to-do lists and am updating them constantly with new tasks and check them off once I’ve completed them. This helps me stay organized and ensure that I’m not forgetting anything important I need to do.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would highly recommend that you read the Harvard Business Review Must Reads! Harvard Business Review Must Read on Strategy is very inspiring and I have learned a lot from it.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is “never let a crisis go to waste.” I think this is super important right now to live by because although this crisis has a lot of challenges, there’s always something we can learn and ways to help our community.
- The importance and motivation for productivity.
- Thought leadership in supporting local businesses.
- Strategies to perseverance!
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.