Welcome to the Branch Blog! I wanted to provide a form of entertainment to go along with the typical coffee shop/bakery activities. I have always loved writing, and I absolutely love learning through random articles and fun stories. So this will be a weekly blog where I post some fun things you may want to read while you sip your morning coffee. Sometimes they will be original, other times I may comment on someone else’s article, but either way I hope you learn something interesting! The first post I though I would share my journey from growing up in Jim Ned, to coming back to start my business here.
I think I have always been an entrepreneur. My imagination took me on wild journeys all throughout my childhood on our ranch in Ovalo, Texas. From as early as I can remember, I created bedtime stories in my head as I went to sleep at night. Often, I would extend these stories weeks at a time, starting the story back up at the point I remembered falling asleep the night before. I loved stories, especially fictional or science fiction stories. Even today at 22 years old, my imagination gives me a continual supply of new ideas I want to act upon.
Fast-forwarding to elementary school, I did my first “Entrepreneurial” thing. I spent my entire life-savings (like $50) to purchase supplies at Hobby lobby that would allow me to create the new fashion trend at the time…Rubber band bracelets. I spent my evenings after completing my homework making as many bracelets as I could. The next day I would sell them to my fellow classmates for $1 apiece. I didn’t make that much money obviously, but after school I would take my small earnings and go buy a snack at the convenience store down the street from my mom’s classroom in the middle school. The act of earning my own “living” as a 10-year-old and being able to provide for my own after-school snack was the best feeling.
When I got to middle school and high school, I stopped my entrepreneurial ventures in the midst of competitive athletics and academics. Outside of the occasional bake sale, my life became too busy and I forgot my creative side for a time. In all actuality, I didn’t realize my aptitude for entrepreneurship until my sophomore year of college. At that point I had no clue what I wanted to do. I had lived my entire life thinking I would be a veterinarian. However, I decided that the lifestyle and the sheer amount of schooling was not for me. I knew I wanted two things: to stay in the agriculture world, and to end up back in the Jim Ned Valley. I had decided long ago that this was the place I wanted to raise my future family. My path to finding out what I wanted to study was a jumbled and confusing mess. However, my sophomore year was the year I went to Ireland. For the life of me…I cannot remember the moment the idea for a coffee shop/bakery came into my mind. All I know is that when I left Texas, I had no clue what I wanted to do, and when I flew away from Dublin two weeks later The Branch Coffeehouse was a budding idea in the back of my mind. It bloomed quickly, however, because that very semester I switched my major from Agribusiness to Agricultural Economics with a minor in Entrepreneurship. three years later through Dr. Rister’s program, I had developed a business plan that could pass any bank inspection. Armed with 600 pages of analysis and a 100-page proposal, I ended up getting 2nd place at the Entrepreneurial Dreams Symposium where hundreds of actual business professionals judged my project and questioned me until I quite literally lost my voice. It was this experience, however, that gave me the confidence to go into the real world and actually make it happen.
Today, I am plowing through the obstacles that come with trying to run a business in the real world, particularly during the craziness that 2020 has been so far. I can confidently say that I am using my degree every single day. Dealing with construction complications, trying to estimate and minimize costs without sacrificing quality, all things that must be considered in building a business. My brain goes in 100 different directions every day, but I am building something that is mine, and something that I can see myself happily working on for the rest of my life. I am so thankful for the faithfulness of God. He planted that seed of entrepreneurship in me at an early age, and though I forgot about it for a time, he returned it to me exactly at the moment that I needed it. It is always amazing to look at how God times things. It is as if every step of starting The Branch Coffeehouse is taken at exactly the right time. When I see an obstacle that seems unscalable, he either shows me a way around it, or provides me the tools to climb over it. On the days that I feel like I have made an enormous mistake, the Lord brings peace to my heart and helps me overcome my doubts. I know now that with him in my corner, and so long as I live according to his word, there is nothing that I cannot accomplish. Thank you to everyone who has supported me during this process, I am so excited to get started!