A woman who likes dessert as much as I do is always a surefire friend. (Yes, I totally judge anyone who declares they’re “just not a dessert person.” Seriously, what’s up with that?)
I was extra delighted to meet Amy Wang, who created a whole career out of being a “dessert person.” Amy is the CEO of OrangeGlad, an artisan dessert subscription service and marketplace. I’m excited she’s here today to talk about her career! This post is part of my Dream Jobs series, which is so full of inspiration. I hope you enjoy Amy’s interview and that you get a little insight into running a successful subscription service. // susannah
1. Amy, how would you describe OrangeGlad?
OrangeGlad is a gourmet dessert subscription and marketplace. OrangeGlad disrupts the way customers discover and purchase food through our innovative, crowd-sourced e-commerce platform. The dessert industry generates billions of dollars annual revenue, most of which is through local retail transactions. Why? Because there is no centralized online marketplace for artisan food shopping. Typically, a consumer would only be exposed to the top 10 largest brands in the country, but the fact is, there are thousands of better choices out there. This generation’s online shoppers are informed and have refined taste, they want better, and they deserve better. That’s where we come in.
2. What were you doing before OrangeGlad? What inspired you to change paths?
I was an art director at an international skin care company where I met my business partner for OrangeGlad, Jacquie Chang, who was the marketing director at the time. I also started my own design studio which offered innovative branding and marketing solutions to small to medium businesses. I’ve always known there is an entrepreneur side of myself, and so did Jacquie, so we spent time together chatting about what could be improved in today’s world.
One day we were craving for some desserts, but we were also stuck at our office job, so we searched online for things that we could buy over the internet, and discovered a whole new world of artisan dessert on the internet. After a little bit of research, we found out that these artisan vendors are suffering, due to the low demand of online purchases for desserts.
Consumers today are still only exposed to selections locally, and not acknowledging the options across the country, or even globe, with our transit technologies today, purchasing a delicious cheese cake from across the country is actually not that bad at all. So we decided to step in, and help connect the artisan desserts and the dessert lovers, since they obviously need a “blind date” — that’s sort-of what OrangeGlad is.
Click through to read more of my Q&A with Amy Wang of OrangeGlad!
3. When ideas are scarce, where do you turn for creative inspiration?
Honestly, I rarely have time for books or entertainment. Being a mother of a 4-year-old, I constantly juggle between my start-up and my family. Nine months ago, we were so happy to find out that we will soon welcome a new member to our family, another baby girl, and that adds another layer of responsibility to my life. I find that balancing work and family is very rewarding, I’m glad I don’t have to give up one for the other. It’s not easy to do, but when there’s a will, there’s a way. So I guess they are my best inspiration, and motivation.
4. Describe your workspace.
Three months into OrangeGlad’s launch, we pitched to an accelerator called K5, and we were accepted and invested by them. As part of the program, K5 welcomed us to their start-up offices located in Newport Beach, Calif. It’s a very upscale yet start-up friendly environment, we work closely with our investors and mentors.
5. What have been your biggest successes and challenges for OrangeGlad?
I think the biggest challenge for OrangeGlad is how to carve a way in this “free sampling subscription” market. Subscription customers are generally used to getting a “deal” with their monthly subscription. But what happens with the free sampling boxes is that companies often compromise the quality and selection they send out in their boxes, so you end up with a bunch of free samples that you could’ve gotten by yourself anyway.
Unlike many competitors on the market, we don’t get our items for free from the vendors, we carefully curate and purchase all the items that we feature in the box. Everything we select meets our curator’s standards, and is only selected because they’re artisan and to-die-for. One thing we’re most proud of, and people recognize us by, is our curation. That is our number one priority.
6. What are your dreams for OrangeGlad?
OrangeGlad will be the place people think of when they crave artisan foods.
7. Who do you look up to?
Part of the perks of being a K5 startup is we’re constantly surrounded by inspiring founders from other startups, and we often exchange ideas and insights about today’s world. It’s an very interesting experience.
8. Where and how do you love to spend your time off?
I love time on the beach with my family; I love cuddling with my Pomeranian on the couch, and just let time pass. I love watching silly cartoons with my baby girl, or, I would even play some online MMO games with my husband.
9. What resources do you recommend to someone whose dream job is your job?
For anyone who has a heart in start-ups, or starting their own business, the best advice I can give, is to just get it started. Instead of telling yourself that “timing is not right” or “I don’t have time,” find a solution, it’s out there. I know it sounds silly, but that’s where most people stop, so if you get that out of the way, you’re already a step ahead.
10. If you weren’t running OrangeGlad, what would be your dream job?
OrangeGlad is my dream job, I wouldn’t give it up for the world.