Crystal at Yeah Baby Boards' grand opening
Grant Recipient

April 17, 2024

March 2024 Food & Beverage Grant Awarded to Yeah Baby Boards

Yeah Baby Boards

Woman Entrepreneur:
Crystal Stewart

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Congratulations to Crystal Stewart, owner of Yeah Baby Boards for being the WomensNet $10,000 March Business Specific Grant recipient in the category of Food & Beverage.

Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Jama Hernandez sat down with Crystal for an exclusive interview. You can listen to their conversation and view the transcript below.

Video Transcript

WomensNet: Hi everyone, my name is Jama with the WomensNet Advisory Committee and we are so excited to introduce our March 2024 winners. We have with us Crystal Stewart with Yeah Baby Boards and she is our Food & Beverage category grant winner. Thank you so much for being here. So before we begin, please tell us a little bit about Yeah Baby Boards

Crystal: Yeah Baby Boards started through Covid. All the restaurants were shutting down and we had just moved to Washington and I was looking for a job- and couldn’t find it. Entrepreneurship runs deep in my family and I just said, I’m gonna try this. So I started with a few simple small charcuterie boards, selling them to friends and family. And then over the next year business just kept growing and growing. So we decided we’re gonna start a little storefront because I was scared. I didn’t want anything big after Covid. And we slowly started building out our storefront and we’ve had our storefront for two years. We cater weddings, we have foot traffic, I mean, we just kind of do whatever we can and get ourselves out there. 

WomensNet: Awesome. You make these beautiful creations. It’s artwork you can eat. And so what have you done strategy-wise to let others know about what you’re doing with your business?

Crystal: Of course I use social media. We all have learned throughout our business to become a social media guru. 

WomensNet: That is hard! 

Crystal: It’s hard. It’s a lot of work! I use Canva and different programs to help me get my information out. But the thing that has been really key to me in my community is becoming a part of the community. It was like what Brittany said, it’s like helping, donating, doing what you can. Because if you become a part of your community and you help your community, your community will always show up for you and your business. They’ll show up, they will come support. You know, for me, if their daughter gets married, they’re gonna remember me from a school function where I donated, you know, a gift card or a charcuterie board. I think it’s really, really, really important to show up for your community, be a part of your community. And if you grow and your community grows and everybody’s winning and growing and bringing more income into your area, I mean, that’s the goal for me.

WomensNet: That is really nice. And really without community, it’s hard. 

Crystal: I see people walk by and they wave to me, and it’s so cute. The little kids come in and they’re like, looking for a piece of salami. I’m just giving, and it’s really important just to be a contributing person in your community. You’re not just there to serve charcuterie, you’re there to help and really be part of it.

WomensNet: If we were a nearby we would be a frequent flyer! Because you’ve experienced an expansion in your food business, you’ve learned some lessons. So tell us a lesson learned story that you learned along the way that maybe you wish somebody would’ve told you instead of having to go through it?

Crystal: Well, know your numbers! Ladies know every little piece of your numbers! You can easily get into your business and become so passionate and love what you are doing. It’s your baby. It’s your child. And then before you know it, I have taxes due. I have inventory product to buy and money’s just flying all over the place. And at the end of the day, you may love what you do, but this is a business and you need to know your budget. I’m to the point where if I cut a piece of twine to wrap a box, I know how much each inch of that twine is. And that’s really where you gotta go.

We’re in business to support our families. You know, I have two daughters, I’m a single mom. If that inch of twine goes missing, that’s 50 cents that someone’s not getting somewhere. And it’s really, really important when you rely on your income from your business to survive. And you can’t do that without knowing what everything costs, employees, taxes, you know, every time I get a deposit for anything purchased, whether it be a $8 glass of wine or a $5,000 catering job, you know, I save 33% for taxes right away, just all the time. Really at the end of the day, if you want your business to last, you really wanna become a part of your community. You really want to do well for your family. You have to know the money. You have to know every little piece of it, and you have to budget.

So budget is just as important as knowing your true cost. And don’t forget that you are part of that cost. You deserve to be paid. You just work and work and work. And then you’re like doing all these things and putting money back into your company and then you turn around and you, you don’t have money in your own big account. Like, no, that is not why we are here. Your income matters and just know your numbers. And it took me, I’ve been in business four years two years with the storefront, two years without, I would say those two years before the storefront. I didn’t really know. And it wasn’t until I had the overhead and everything of having my store in my restaurant that I was like, if I wanna stay here, I need to know this. And then I figured it out.

WomensNet: This is so practical, especially when you said, you know, this is your passion, but then there’s the practical piece- what is this costing me, and what is even my time worth? That balancing act is so difficult. And so you’re right that that’s a huge lesson learned for many businesses, especially our startups that are just going, because sometimes those costs adds up and then the taxes…

Crystal: And the quarter ends and you’re like, oh yeah. Or you have employees before you’re really ready because employees are expensive. You don’t wanna take on that responsibility if you’re not even figuring out how you can survive off of that business. And you learn, I learned all these things the hard way. So I’d love for you guys to de be a little better. 

WomensNet: Okay, so our final question. Where can we go to find you? 

Crystal: So you can find us on Instagram and Facebook at yeahbabyboards. And then my website is yeahbabyboards.com. I’m gonna spell it because you could spell Yeah, a lot of different ways. So it’s Y-E-A-H baby boards with an S and dot com. Follow us online and we are in Ferndale, Washington. So we’re in the Pacific Northwest, close to the Canadian border.

WomensNet: This has definitely been an amazing discussion, thank you so much for joining us today.

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