April May Bellia is an intuitive life purpose coach and spiritual guide. She is a lover of life and a seeker of truth.
What made you realize you wanted to start your own business?
I was missing a part of myself outside of my family and I was craving to have conversations that didn’t involve children. I love my family and life is about so much more than that.
Did you always know you wanted to run your own business?
Entrepreneurship found me. Raising 3 small children is a tough job in itself. It would have been hard to work for someone else without having the flexibility to attend to my kids.
What was your driving force to become an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship found me. After having 3 kids in 4 years, I had to think of a creative job so I could have flexible time to raise my kids and be available to my family.
What motivates you each day?
I love life!
Where did your idea for your business originate?
A personal trainer who encouraged me to create a treat that involved superfoods like goji berries and hemp hearts.
How did you raise funding to begin your venture?
I self-funded and applied for a line of credit.
How did you get started in building your brand?
A friend Elsa gave me the name and a local printer created the original logo. My mission was to build a community and empower women, so I called my cereal company Granola Girl
How do you market yourself and your brand?
I hosted networking events called Serendipity Tea Party. It was my response to an invitation to BNI. I didn’t feel it was a fit for me so I created my own group of like-minded, heart-based entrepreneurs
What’s been most successful?
Getting into over 350 grocery stores in western Canada. And then selling the company during a pandemic after 10 years
Who was your mentor in the world of entrepreneurship, or did you discover your path alone?
I mainly did it alone until I started working with Life coaches and intuitives. Then they became my mentors. Now it is my goal to help mentor new startup entrepreneurs.
What is one piece of business advice you would give to your younger self?
Don’t do it unless you can’t not do it
How have you grown as a business leader since you had your start?
I have been recognized as a community leader and that means the world to me. Many entrepreneurs go at this alone and it doesn’t have to be that way at all. We just need to find each other to know we are not the only
crazy ones who feel like the misfits of society.
Did you ever experience any roadblocks and how did you persevere?
Many. And with great perseverance!
What was your number one challenge in starting your business?
Not receiving the emotional support that I needed
What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
Meeting and connecting with other amazing entrepreneurs and small business owners
What do you consider to be your greatest success since starting your business?
The events and collaborations
If you were to start over, would you do anything differently?
Be more consistent and diligent in analyzing the financials
What does it take to be an entrepreneur?
Tough skin and lots of heart
What does your typical workday look like?
There is no typical day
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Some weekends were taken up by events, markets, and trade shows. As the kids got older they were able to help out.
What are your long-term goals as a business owner?
To build a community of empowered And inspired women.
Did you have any fears when starting your business, and how did you overcome those?
Since it was a new industry to me I initially lacked confidence. Then I built it up by learning and having mentors and getting constant feedback about how I was doing as a business.
How did you formulate your business plan – name, products etc.?
I worked on my business plan with an intern and some templates. The name came from a friend from the wedding industry. As for the product development, I bought and tasted every granola out there and changed the recipe to how I would like it. Got rid of the raisins, reduced the sugar significantly, added superfoods, made it nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Those are all our key selling points that make us stand out.
How has your business evolved over the years?
We rebranded to showcase the ingredients and went with a bold pink colour. We added an additional flavour after 10 years. We listened to our customers and will create new flavours we know everyone will love
How do you envision it changing in the future?
I have transitioned from Granola Girl owner to Granola Girl founder. I am very proud of creating this company. I am confident that the new owners will reach for the stars and achieve great success with the brand.
As for me, I launched a full-time intuitive coaching business with a focus on start-ups, business development, and advising business owners about exit strategies. I also create a program to help creatives and aspiring entrepreneurs to launch a business in 12 weeks. It is called The Optimistic Entrepreneur.