With things humming along, I'm taking the opportunity to share more about my journey to launch Lassi & Spice. Or rather, answer the question that I get a lot, directly or indirectly: 'What in God's name has gotten into you, girl??!!' So here's a rundown of what led me to jump into this entrepreneurship thing.
#1: Corporate America Expiration Date Reached. What started as an experimental summer internship became 12 years at fortune 500 companies. Don't get me wrong. I had many, many amazing experiences. I saw corporate social responsibility in action and acquired deep skills in sales, product, operations and marketing. I benefited from flexibility and security when my kids were small. I made wonderful, lifelong friends. But eventually the motivation decreased while the frustration increased, reaching a tipping point when I declared I'd rather quit than attend one more gigantic internal conference. Strangle me with a lanyard in front of the keynote speaker, I was DONE.
#2: I can be the ground level. After deciding to leave my job, the question became what next then? Instinctually, I was drawn toward much smaller companies. I was looking for that chance to get in at the ground level and be scrappy and help them grow. As I scanned the local business scene, trying to find a company in that perfect position, it started to become clear that I was going to need to create my own ground level if I was really going to be happy. After all, what I enjoy most is taking that initial spark of an idea, believing in it fiercely and then making it happen. Reading Jen Sincero's book, You are a Badass, helped me recognize I could in fact launch my own company and the time was now. Her message is all about quieting your headspace so you can hear what it is you're truly meant to do. It was hardly a surprise when I woke up one morning last October with the word Lassi in my head. Out of the sky dropped a concept and a name.
#3: Indian food (a love story). Indian food has been my jam from the time I first had it, which was in England while I studying abroad. Curry was on every menu - from the pub to the bap (sandwich) shop - and London was teaming with incredible, glamorous Indian restaurants. Back living in DC after graduation, there were dosas and thalis aplenty, cheap and tasty. A few years later, I married Aashish and cemented the Indian culture and cuisine into my life. Over the past 15 years we've been together, it's been a joy learning to cook through trial and error. Visits from my inlaws have given me the chance to find the right Indian grocery stores, buy fresh spices and watch my mother-in-law create incredible dishes you never see on a menu.
After London, DC and true home cooking, it's been even more clear that Seattle's Indian restaurant scene is....not amazing. The majority of native Seattlites I talk to have never had Indian food. I find that both insane and understandable. Aashish and I have struggled to find an Indian restaurant worth the drive, and believe me we've made the rounds.
Lassi & Spice won't singlehandedly fix Seattle's bland Indian food scene. But by sharing some of the flavors and formats, I hope to satisfy a few cravings for those missing home and family, and spark that familiarity and love that have been themes in my life.
And so that's how I got here. Taking what I know - café operations - and combining it with a passion for launching things and a sometimes unrequited love for Indian food. It's been 2 months since I tore off my lanyard and started putting a fulltime focus on launching Lassi. In 4 more, this crazy spark will be open for business.
So what are your dreams and your passions? What would you do if you had just a few years left to live? If you knew you could not fail? As the Talking Heads demand to know, where does that highway go to?