Mac Miller, 2022 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship


In order to lead inspirationally, one must serve;
and in order to truly serve, one must love sincerely.

Mac Miller


Success is one of those arbitrary words that can mean so many things but still remain incredibly vague at the same time. Think about it. When one hears someone say I want success, what does that actually look like? Is success tangible or is it more in line with a feeling? For some, success is based on financial gain. For others it’s title or fame. And still others find success with houses and cars. None of these are inherently bad viewpoints by any means. However, recent Baylor graduate Mac Miller views success through yet another lens. To Mac, success is based on a faith-driven foundation to go out into the world and live out a destiny to love God and to love others. 

Mac grew up in a family filled to the brim with entrepreneurial spirit. His mom started one of the first CrossFit gyms in Texas and his dad started a leadership development firm with fellow West Point classmates. Mac was also immersed in the real-world, hands-on work of an entrepreneur by helping his grandpa run a cattle business.

Mac was always encouraged to think outside of the box and to find ways to solve problems. During his senior year of highschool, the U.S. Army awarded Mac with a full-ride tuition scholarship to any U.S. university with an Army ROTC program. Because of its Christian heritage and academic excellence, Baylor was the obvious collegiate choice. Pursuing entrepreneurship just simply made sense, and the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department’s reputation as a leader in its field made the decision that much easier. 

While at Baylor, Mac excelled in the ROTC program, competing with the Ranger Challenge Team. He was also an academic standout as well. So much so that Mac was recognized as the 2022 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship. Mac credits the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department for bringing out his competitiveness and curiosity. Mac says, “The faculty and staff in the Entrepreneurship Department work hard to equip and enable students so that business dreams come true.”

Following his May 2022 graduation, Mac was commissioned into the U.S. Army as an active duty Infantry Officer. A couple days following the commissioning, he married Sarah Miller. He then started a new adventure as husband and Army officer at Fort Benning, Georgia. In Georgia, Mac will participate in the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course, Basic Airborne School and Ranger School. And after that, Mac and Sarah are off to North Carolina where Sarah will attend med school and Mac will serve as an Infantry Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division.

All along the way, Mac is guided by his personal motto, “In order to lead inspirationally, one must serve; and in order to truly serve, one must love sincerely.”

A servant leader, through and through. Looks like Mac is certainly on the road to success. His success.

Sic ‘em, Mac!


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Leigh Anne Green, Green Eye Associates

You should consider it a great honor
to share your God-given talent with the world
.

Leigh Anne Green


What motivates you? You know, that from-the-gut driving force behind all that you do. Personal motivation is different for each person. For some, money and title are a priority. For others, it’s recognition and approval that lead the charge. And others are guided by a fiery passion.

For Baylor grad, Leigh Anne Green, personal motivation comes from scripture. Specifically, Leigh Anne is led by 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

Leigh Anne has had a heart for optometry since she was a high school student. She feels that optometry/eyecare is a skill and a talent. She considers it a gift from God and she wants to give back to the best of her abilities.

As a University Scholar at Baylor, her classes focused on science, but she was still able to study English Literature, Religion and Music with her elective options. Each class playing an important role in building Leigh Anne’s overall foundation as a business owner.

A licensed optometrist since 2000, Leigh Anne served as an overseas missionary from 2004-2012. In 2013 she met retiring optometrist, Dr. Spencer Moore. Dr. Moore ultimately sold his practice to Leigh Anne and she was now able to run her own eye care clinic with the personality, service, care and excellence that her beliefs were grounded in. From that moment, Leigh Anne’s dream became a reality with Green Eye Associates.

Green Eye Associates is a comprehensive eye care company that is focused on honesty, excellence and a servant’s-heart spirit. With two optometrists specializing in family eye care, patients from two years old to ninety-nine have their eye care needs taken care of. 

In the very early days as a business owner, Leigh Anne was extremely cautious with her purchases. She was willing to roll up her sleeves and do what needed to be done in order to be budget friendly. She took care of the daily bookkeeping, cleaned, planted flowers, painted walls and even incorporated Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby decor to create a homey aesthetic for patients. She created an equipment wish list, and each year she was able to add one or two eye exam machines to the office.

And as the business grew, Leigh Anne developed growth goals for the company. One goal was to serve as many patients as possible. She wanted the Waco community to feel welcome in her office space. Eventually moving to a larger location and adding on an additional partner doctor, Green Eye Associates is now able to serve even more of the Waco community.

Leigh Anne’s hard work and tenacity has paid off. The business is thriving with a happy clientele. In addition, Green Eye Associates was recently recognized by the Baylor Impact Awards with the Waco’s Finest Award. This award recognizes local, Waco businesses that exhibit the University’s mission and values. Leigh Anne says, “If your dream is inspired by God, and He has given you the talent to live out your dream, you should consider it a great honor to share your God-given talents with the world.”

A great honor, indeed. #SicEm


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Antonio Cano Estrada, Heebe

Stay humble and always keep innovation at the forefront.

Antonio Cano Estrada


Who knew that simply folding paper into a bunch of fun shapes could be the catalyst for an entrepreneurial adventure? So maybe there’s a bit more to origami than just folding paper, but you get the idea. Baylor student Antonio Cano Estrada caught the entrepreneurial bug when he was just nine years old and had the genius idea to sell hand-folded origami animals to his classmates. 

Born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Antonio’s family moved around a bit with stops in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and finally settling down in Austin, Texas.  All of that moving didn’t stifle the bug though. In highschool Antonio created a website that helped students buy and sell their personal art, but it was during his senior year when Heebe was born.

During a conversation with a friend, Antonio learned that his friend’s “dream college” was out of reach because of finances. This sat heavy on Antonio’s heart and his wheels were spinning. What needed to happen for his friend’s dream to become a reality? And could Antonio have a hand in making that happen? This was all reminiscent of the folding and refolding of the origami to make the perfect shape. Ideas were all a flutter until Antonio noticed a neighborhood student asking neighbors for work.

That was it! That simple act of asking for work was not only a game changer. It was thee game changer. Antonio was no longer folding and refolding, he was now connecting the dots. Students need money. Students are willing to work for money. Neighbors need things done. Neighbors are willing to pay for services.  There needs to be  a reputable bridge that connects the desire to work with those who need the services.

Antonio worked with friend Luis E. Jaramillo Mosqueda and mentor Mauricio Malpica to create the genius that is now Heebe. In short, Heebe is an app-driven marketplace that connects students who are looking to earn money with members of their community who are looking for someone to provide services such as tutoring, coaching, dog walking/sitting and babysitting. Heebe essentially helps students by providing them with opportunities that get them one step closer to reaching their dreams, while helping the community at the same time.

Antonio brought Heebe with him to Baylor and continues to work on providing the much needed bridge between problem and solution. At Baylor, Antonio is a double major in Entrepreneurship and ProSales. He is a participant in the Entrepreneurship Department’s Oso Launch Program and continues to find ways to make Heebe the best possible bridge possible.

His advice to a student wanting to dabble in the world of entrepreneurship is to stay humble and to always keep innovation at the forefront. He says, “When creating a company or product, you have to be open to new ideas and constructive criticism,”  he continues, “that is the ultimate difference between success and failure.”

Keep on connecting the dots with Heebe, Antonio. #SicEm


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Follow Baylor Entrepreneurship on Instagram at @baylorentrepreneurship.

Kate Barton, Magnolia

Don’t try to fit into a mold. Your path will likely not be what you expected or planned.

Kate Barton


When life unexpectedly comes full circle, there’s usually a pot-luck of thoughts that can be overwhelming when trying to make sense of it all. But what if the decision was made early on to trust your gut and go with the flow? 

When Kate Barton started her education at Baylor, the end game was to be a marine biologist. Obviously, such an aspiration would require a heavy load of science courses. And anyone who has taken science at Baylor knows that Baylor science classes are no joke. Kate put in the work and made good grades, but she just didn’t have that special passion for the science classes.

Meanwhile, Kate took on a leadership role on the Freshman Class Council and also sought out leadership opportunities within her sorority. She even had a part-time job arranging flowers at a locally-owned flower shop in town. By her junior year, Kate realized that the role of a business leader was a better fit for her rather than that of a marine biologist. She changed her major to business and graduated with a BA from Baylor and ultimately an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Kate has spent her career in marketing and brand management with such notable brands as General Mills, Johnson & Johnson and Estee Lauder. It was during the summer of 2020 when a post on the Harvard alumni Facebook page caught her eye. One of Kate’s Harvard professors posted information about an opportunity with Magnolia. Kate had always had an affinity for the Magnolia brand, but in that moment the long-time admiration for the brand turned into a need to be part of the brand.

The decision to move back to Waco wasn’t one made lightly. Kate’s husband had a thriving career in Minneapolis and moving to Texas was never on the couple’s radar. Not only that, but this was right in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. Such a drastic move would be preposterous, right? The couple devised a pro and con list and a move to Waco just wasn’t in the cards. But the tipping point was a nagging gut feeling. Kate says, “My gut was very clearly telling me that I was meant to be at Magnolia, and I decided to listen to my gut.”

Kate explains that one can make all of the pro and con lists, but sometimes that gut feeling knows best. The couple packed up their three kiddos and made the move to Waco, not once looking back.

At Magnolia, Kate leads the marketing and creative teams. She also works closely with the company’s Discovery partner on the Magnolia Network launch. As a marketer, Kate is very interested in being part of brands and companies that impact culture. And Magnolia is certainly a brand that has had an impact on culture. Kate leads with a philosophy that a leader will set the stage for those around them to be successful. She also believes you have to know your business to grow your business.

Kate explains that it is so important that we not try to fit into a prescribed mold. She says, “Your path will likely not be what you expected or planned, and that can sometimes be the very best thing that can happen to you.”

Oh and what about Kate’s full circle… the flower shop she worked in as a Baylor student is now the Magnolia Silos Bakery. She had no idea that the small, local flower shop location was destined to become part of something greater, something far greater.

Kate is certainly breaking molds on her wild adventure in Waco, Texas. #SicEm


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Daria Rakitskaya, Instapreneur

“Create something that genuinely inspires you
to become a better person.

Daria Rakitskaya


Have you ever noticed that some folks just seem to have entrepreneurship flowing in their blood? Whether they are born into a family business or they simply have an entrepreneurial flair, it’s in their blood. For others though, it’s as if entrepreneurship just kind of sneaks up, grabs the heart and then changes everything.

Baylor student, Daria Rakitskaya grew up playing tennis in Russia. She picked up her first tennis racket at four years old and was playing in tournaments by eight. Daria had plans to play in the Olympic games and to later be a professional athlete. She even documented all of her tennis traveling adventures on Instagram and quickly gained a devoted following as a social media influencer. Tennis was her life. Tennis was her dream. That is, until…

It was during a tournament in Russia when the then high school senior met Joey Scrivano, Baylor’s head coach for women’s tennis. College was never part of the plan, but Coach Joey convinced Daria to make a visit to Baylor. Daria immediately fell in love with Baylor. She was impressed with the Baylor athletic department and knew she wanted to be part of it. So much so, she submitted an application to Baylor.

Daria was ultimately accepted to Baylor and played collegiate tennis her freshman year. Then that sneaky little entrepreneurial spirit started creeping in. Daria started to realize that she had an unrelenting passion for social media. She was confident in the skills and knowledge she gained as an influencer. As a matter of fact, she was pretty good at the whole social media thing. So, now what?

When Daria officially retired from tennis during her sophomore year at Baylor, she was ready to pursue her entrepreneurial dream. She took on the role of social media brand manager for the new, student-run Entrepreneurship Club, and she also launched her own business, Instapreneur. Instapreneur is a social media marketing agency designed to help influencers and business owners enhance and grow their social media presence.

Ultimately, Daria says she wants to create a space where people can grow and work together. She hopes to inspire other students to follow their entrepreneurial dreams. Daria offers some advice to students, “Create something that genuinely inspires you to become a better person, something that makes you grow and makes you happy.” 

So, entrepreneurship definitely grabbed Daria by the heart and didn’t let go. We think she’s Insta-fabulous!


For more information about Instapreneur, follow on Instagram at @instapreneur_smm.

For more information about the Baylor Entrepreneurship Club, follow on Instagram at @baylor_bec.

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Madeline Yancey, 2021 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship

“Entrepreneurship is the perfect blend of
flexibility, autonomy and excitement.

Madeline Yancey


Let’s just say you grew up in a home with a great color divide. Mom supports the green and gold and dad supports burnt orange. What could possibly sway you one way or the other? For the 2021 Baylor Entrepreneurship Outstanding Student, Madeline Yancey, it was Baylor’s focus on God, the beautiful campus and the option to major in entrepreneurship that had her flinging green and gold.

Homeschooled just outside of the Dallas metroplex, Madeline grew up surrounded by an entrepreneurial spirit and she was encouraged to find ways to incorporate her creativity into business. Ultimately, she chose to major in Entrepreneurship at Baylor because she felt entrepreneurship gave her the flexibility to be both analytical and creative. 

Initially she was a little apprehensive jumping into entrepreneurship, after all no one wants to start a business and have it fail. But Madeline credits her Baylor Entrepreneurship professors with providing her with an edge that she feels will increase her chances of success. She says, “Even though there’s always the chance that a business idea won’t succeed, there are so many resources that can positively impact the potential for success and actually limit the damage if the idea isn’t successful.”

Madeline isn’t sure of the exact path she will take after Baylor. She hopes to work a while to gain business experience, while leaving the door wide open for starting her own business. She shared that while she does have a few business ideas percolating, she’s keeping those top secret for the time being.  Rest assured, any new business will absolutely have a creative flare.

As Madeline puts it, “Entrepreneurship offers flexibility, autonomy and excitement.”


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Shane Trevino and Andres Cruz Maldonaldo, College Truckers of Baylor

A great idea will never be anything more than an idea
if you don’t have the willingness to execute it.

Shane Trevino


LinkedIn has been around for a while now. Most professionals probably even have a profile of some sort. It’s a great networking tool that, when properly utilized, can aid in various roles of the job-search process. It can certainly be as useful as you make it. For those with a profile that hasn’t been updated in five years, it’s obviously not so useful. 

Two incoming Baylor freshmen knew exactly how to use LinkedIn and it paid off big. Shane Trevino and Andres Cruz Maldonaldo connected through LinkedIn. Shane was interested in launching College Truckers and wanted to bring someone else on board. He connected with Andres and explained the vision for bringing College Truckers to Baylor. It didn’t take long for Shane and Andres to realize that a great partnership had indeed developed. After a talk with College Truckers CEO and Founder Max Schoenfield, the vision became a reality with College Truckers of Baylor.

College Truckers of Baylor launched in the spring 2021. College Truckers is unique in that it is led by students who provide a service for students. By students…for students. The company provides moving, storage and shipping services for college students across the country. Students will pack up their belongings with supplies provided by College Truckers. College Truckers will then pick up the packages to store what should be stored and ship what needs to be shipped. It’s that easy. 

The funny part about all of this is Shane and Andres actually grew up less than three hours from each other. These two Texas boys were both raised in a home environment that fostered and encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit. And both credit their parents for providing the underlying foundation that helped them pursue the dream of owning a business. Shane and Andres each decided to attend Baylor because of the high academic standards in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, which will undoubtedly provide invaluable tools and assets as they operate a business as student entrepreneurs. With such spunk and entrepreneurial drive, we can’t help but think that College Truckers of Baylor will be jam-packed with success. #SicEm

Getting to know Shane Trevino
Hometown: Spring, Texas
Major: Pre-law | Professional Selling and International Business
Entrepreneurial Spirit: I had a front-row seat watching my parents operate in the Houston-area Mexican restaurant industry. I have always wanted to learn about running my own business whether it was selling lemonade or washing neighborhood cars. My dad taught me the value of a dollar and how to take action while my mother taught me to have an optimistic outlook and to find the good in every situation.
Why Baylor? I chose Baylor for its rigorous academic program, the strong sense of community and its Christ-centered teachings.
Favorite thing about Baylor? I have the privilege to represent Baylor as the mascot, Bruiser. To be able to represent a prestigious university and uphold the University’s core values has been a real honor.
Advice for future student entrepreneurs? Set yourself apart by being action focused. A great idea will never be anything more than an idea if you don’t have the willingness to do something about it. 

Getting to know Andres Cruz Maldonaldo
Hometown: Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, but moved to Conroe, Texas at 8 years old
Major: Business Fellows | Professional Selling, Finance, Management Information Systems and Philosophy
Entrepreneurial Spirit: My dad has always helped me look for hobbies that would help me learn and grow. He helped me to always see the value in my used toys or hobby supplies so I could flip and reinvest in other toys or hobbies. Eventually, I started to see the value in my local community and I started a small, power-washing company.
Why Baylor? With two older brothers studying at Baylor, I was familiar with Baylor’s culture and academic excellence. Ultimately, the Business Fellows program drew me in. The program offered something no other university could provide.
Favorite thing about Baylor? The idea that Baylor students can tailor their entire degree in a way that helps them achieve future goals is by far one of my favorite things about Baylor. Combine that with the warm and welcoming environment found campus-wide, I can only expect to have an all-around amazing college experience.
Advice for future student entrepreneurs? Don’t be afraid to take action and be decisive in moments of uncertainty. You have to have confidence to achieve your dreams and be a creator of value who make the world a better place. 

Website sign up: https://bit.ly/3ue1nxp
Facebook: @CollegeTruckersStorage
Instagram: @collegetruckers


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Denitia Blount, Oh My Juice



You have to always try to find ways to set yourself apart.

-Denitia Blount


Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to go green. Rip the proverbial bandaid off and commit to have Green Mornings. You may be asking yourself how one can achieve Green Mornings. It’s rather simple actually. You stop by Oh My Juice (OMJ) and order the most deliciously beautiful Green Mornings smoothie. And, yes it really is that green.

If you haven’t heard of OMJ, it’s a fabulous juice bar nestled within the bustling River Square Center in the heart of downtown Waco. Truth be told, it’s Waco’s first juice bar. The Baugh Center blog originally talked with Denitia Blount of OMJ back in 2016. Long story short, OMJ started out at the Waco Farmers Market and quickly became a market favorite. Locals just couldn’t get enough of the fresh-made juices, but there was a problem. Locals also wanted juice every day. So much so, OMJ moved into the River Square Center with a brick and mortar location. 

During the first couple of years OMJ grew quickly, almost uncontrollably quickly. Denitia explains that at times it felt like they were simply holding on by their fingernails. After the initial rush, growth became more manageable. Denitia confessed in a recent Confessions of an Entrepreneur talk, “For every one thing I’ve done right, I’ve made a thousand mistakes.”

There have definitely been growing pains. Business continued to grow, but the OMJ space did not. Learning to make a consistently good product quicker and in larger quantities became a priority. Actually, it became a necessity. When other competing businesses popped up downtown, Denitia looked at it as an opportunity for OMJ to step up its game. Denitia has always had confidence in the OMJ products, but she also tries to combine that with a great customer experience. She stresses, “You have to always try to find ways to set yourself apart.”

With an exceptional product line and a cool customer vibe, OMJ adjusted to growth and the growing pains actually subsided a bit. Locals became regulars. OMJ may not be the place where everyone knows your name, but the staff certainly knows if a regular wants to cut the bananas or add extra blueberries.

Business was growing and progressing relatively smoothly, but early on in 2020 talk of Covid-19 became more widespread. Needless to say, March 2020 was a game changer for a lot of folks. OMJ was no different. Denitia chose to take those sour lemons and make lemonade, or shall we say juice. OMJ had already been looking for a way to provide curbside service for customers. The mandated lockdown moved that to the top of the to-do list. OMJ even took the leap into the world of delivery service. Curbside worked out smashingly. Delivery, however, had a few hiccups. It took a few fails to get into a good delivery rhythm. 

As OMJ got into a groove with the new socially-distanced business standards, 2021 came in with the promise of a new tomorrow, a fresh start. Waco even had enough snow in early January to build a respectable snowman or two. It was a new beginning. In early February there was the potential for even more snow. Excitement for a possible snow day was quickly squashed with what has been termed as Snowmageddon. Waco was literally frozen for five days. Roads were impassable. Businesses were closed. Classes were cancelled. Electricity blackouts became the norm. And then frozen plumbing pipes started bursting around town.

When Denitia received the call that the OMJ alarm system was going off, her initial thought was that someone had snuck into the shop trying to find a place to stay warm. Not in her wildest imagination did Denitia expect to drive up to OMJ and see water pouring out of the shop windows and doors. Broken pipes. OMJ was completely destroyed. The walls and ceiling had 99% water saturation. Water seeped into the top sliding freezers, ruining all of the frozen food. The electronics and fresh produce all had to be replaced. OMJ was forced to close its doors.

While the repair and remodel work is expected to be complete before summer, Denitia is not one to just sit around. After all, the people of Waco still need OMJ goodies! OMJ went back to its roots by selling juices at the Waco Farmers Market. And for the month of April, OMJ will have a spot inside of the Baylor SUB serving up fan-favorite smoothies, acai bowls and juices. 

Summer 2021 looks to be a busy one for Denitia and the OMJ staff. Not only is the original River Square Center location expected to open back up, but a second permanent location is also expected to open as well. The second OMJ will be located in the shopping center at the corner of Highway 6 and Highway 84.

If anyone has mastered the art of turning lemons into…juice, it’s Denitia and OMJ.

Just in case you need even more convincing to make your mornings Green Mornings, here are the top-three reasons: 1) #ShopLocal, OMJ is a locally-owned business, 2) Denitia Blount is a Baylor grad and 3) Green Mornings is so stinkin’ good! Oh and just for kicks a fourth reason is you will be able to show your BU spirit by walking around campus with a super-cool Green Mornings smoothie — that is until you drink it all.

Indeed, OMJ certainly found a way to set itself apart. #SicEm


To watch Denitia’s Confessions of an Entrepreneur talk, please visit http://bit.ly/COE_OMJ.

To read the 2016 Baugh Center Blog on Oh My Juice, please visit http://bit.ly/2dKOIx4.

For more information about the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneur/.

 

Jackson Wren, Nightlight Donuts


Adventure with Purpose

-Jackson Wren


So what’s perfect for a Tuesday afternoon study snack, a Friday night movie nosh and a Saturday morning breakfast? Donuts, of course! And what’s better than a plain ol’ donut? A donut made with crescent dough! And where can you find such a mouth-watering, eat until you’ve popped a pant button delicacy? Nightlight Donuts in Waco, Texas.

You would think that in order to create such a unique and one-of-a kind morsel of delight that one would most certainly be a sort of donut or pastry aficionado. You would think. When Jackson Wren came up with the idea of Nightlight Donuts, his experience with donuts was… eating them. Eating a lot of them actually.

Not that starting a business was a new idea for Jackson. He’s a natural-born entrepreneur. Jackson and his twin brother founded Dapper Bear while still students at Baylor, and Dapper Bear just happens to be the home of the official Baylor plaid. But how does one journey from plaid to donuts?

Jackson shares all the details of his Nightlight Donuts adventure in an Ask the Entrepreneur interview.

Q&A

Tell us a little bit about your background and how one journeys from plaid to donuts.

I started my first business when I was thirteen because I wanted to buy a car one day. My brother and I started a car detailing service. That was my first taste of entrepreneurship. From that point on I loved it. 

I started Dapper Bear (Baylor’s official plaid) as a student at Baylor. To me, the switch from plaid to donuts is not so much about the industry but it’s more about making someone’s day better. I saw a way to do that with both the plaid and donuts.

 

Why did you decide to open a donut shop in Waco, Texas?

About four years ago I was driving to Austin and was stuck in horrible traffic. Cars were at a stand-still. I saw a donut shop nearby. If you’re like me when you see a donut shop, you immediately want a donut. But it was 6:00 pm and the donut shop was closed. Why are donut shops always closed at night? 

My brother and I moved to New York City and lived there for about a year. We just so happened to get an apartment that was above a donut shop that sold cronuts. I was immediately obsessed. I ate a cronut every day we lived there. When we moved back to Waco we had an idea… maybe we should bring a crescent donut to Waco.

 

What was your thought process in deciding to start a business in such a competitive industry?

I gave that a lot of thought. I put a lot of planning and research into it. Being such a competitive industry is intimidating, but helps you maintain focus.

 

What do you do to make sure that Nightlight Donuts is different from any other donut shop in Waco?

Our product and our people make us different. Product, all of our dough is crescent dough. People, we have four values for our business: 1) be kind 2) be individual 3) be exceptional 4) own it. Everything we do goes back to those values. We hit the jackpot with our staff!

 

Is there anything you would have done differently?

Yes. I completely over estimated the time I had available for starting the business.

 

What was it like starting a new business in the middle of a pandemic?

The week we broke ground on Nightlight Donuts was the same week everything started to shut down. It was an incredible amount of stress. We really didn’t know what to do. We kept going because I believed in our product and I believed in the Waco community.

 

Did being a student entrepreneur help prepare you for this venture?

There are so many things we did with Dapper Bear that we did differently with Nightlight Donuts.

 

How did studying entrepreneurship at Baylor prepare you to start your own business?

The real world experience that the Baylor entrepreneurship department provides is what prepared me the most.

 

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during this entrepreneurial journey?

You should resolve to not waste life.

 

What advice would you give to a Baylor student wanting to start a business while still in school?

Research like you’ve never researched before. If you feel like it can still work, then go do it.

 

Finish this sentence – entrepreneurship means to me…

Entrepreneurship means to me… adventure with purpose.


For the complete interview, please visit the Baylor Baugh Center YouTube page at https://bit.ly/3qIwboZ.

For more information about the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneur/.

 

Meet the New #BaylorENT Prof | Dr. Gabriella Cacciotti

 

“Always find love and appreciation for all that you receive in life.

-Dr. Gabriella Cacciotti


Who is the new #BaylorENT prof?
I come from a very small town near Rome and my husband is from Milan. Together with our three-year-old daughter, home is in two different places in Italy. I received my undergraduate degree from Bocconi University in Italy, my masters degree from Fudan University in China, my PhD from Warwick Business School in the UK and my post doc from Aalto University in Finland. I cannot get enough of discovering the world and understanding different cultures. I have learned a lot by living in different countries and meeting new people. The world is a wonderful place.

Why teach?
My job is beautiful. I have so many opportunities to learn and discover new things.

Why Baylor?
The environment at Baylor is wonderful. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with my students in a way that has a positive impact on them and helps them grow.

Thoughts on Waco?
The sense of community is incredible. I’ve never lived here, but it feels like I’ve come home.

#BaylorENT in three words or less…go.
Collegial, Professional, Inspirational

  
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.