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Welcome to the highly anticipated Season 3 premiere of Founder Hustle, hosted by Melissa Bradley. Today they’re diving into the journey of Lorin Dixon, the ingenious mind behind ZaveryCakes.

Join them as they explore how Lorin transitioned from a professional basketball career in the WNBA to a pioneering role in the baking industry. Lorin’s brand, ZaveryCakes, has taken the baking world by storm, revolutionizing it with pop culture-inspired bakeware. Discover how her tenacity, combined with her ingenious approach, has enabled her to merge food and fun, with molds featuring characters from Nickelodeon, the WNBA, the NFL, and more.

Learn how she transformed a simple idea into a thriving business and learn invaluable insights from her experience. Tune in to uncover Lorin’s remarkable journey from the courts to the kitchen.

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0:00:04.8 Melissa Bradley: From New Majority Ventures and Kinetic Energy Entertainment, this is Founder Hustle.

0:00:10.7 Lorin Dixon: As a small business, you have to get crafty. So I’m like, alright, I’m gonna send out these connects and I would send out 500, 600 of them. And most of the time nobody responds.

0:00:21.0 MB: Sure.

0:00:21.0 LD: But all you need is one person.

0:00:22.1 MB: That’s right.

0:00:22.9 LD: And with Paramount, I sent it out to 600 people. I got two people to respond.

0:00:27.9 MB: 600 people at Paramount.

0:00:29.6 LD: 600 people.

0:00:31.0 MB: Jesus.

0:00:31.1 LD: Two people responded back.

0:00:31.4 MB: Okay, alright.

0:00:33.3 MB: Welcome to Founder Hustle, a podcast series by, for and about the New Majority Entrepreneur. I’m your host, Melissa Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures and co-founder of New Majority Ventures. The road from founder to CEO can be both hard and rewarding. So in each episode of Founder Hustle, I interview a New Majority entrepreneur to find out what their journey really looks like. As a CEO, founder, professor, and general partner of a venture fund, I know how valuable good information and resources are for the new majority, through share tools, strategies, and life lessons we’re here to enlighten, uplift, and educate anyone interested in this entrepreneurial ecosystem so that you too can go from founder to CEO.

0:01:23.7 MB: Meet Lorin from Queens, New York. She was a professional basketball player in the WNBA who turned her tenacity and ability to focus into a business that is transforming the baking industry. ZaveryCakes is a pop culture kitchen and bakeware brand. Lorin merges fun in food and offers food molds for characters from Nickelodeon, the WNBA, the NFL, Warner Brothers, Avatar. Rugrats, and so much more. Enjoy her story.


0:01:54.5 MB: Lorin Dixon, ZaveryCakes. So glad to have you here. I met you in New York City. But I knew of you before then because of your… I won’t say lavish ’cause we know how women get treated, but because of your prior lifestyle. But before we dive into how you got where you are, tell us about yourself.

0:02:13.7 LD: Yeah. How far to go back. Again, thank you guys so much for having me, Melissa.

0:02:19.4 MB: Of course.

0:02:19.9 LD: It’s a pleasure. And I’m really excited to be here. I’m from Queens, New York. Born and raised, New Yorker. And I actually started playing basketball, was my first stint. I always call it my first stint in my career life, my book that I’m looking to write, which is just the book of my life. When that book closes, I wanna whoever reads it to be able to see all the things you can do as someone growing up in the inner city, and not in the best neighborhood and what you can make it out to become. But I’m from Jamaica, New York, and I started playing basketball at 11, which is late ’cause a lot of people say that’s a little bit late.

0:03:00.0 MB: Oh we were just talking about your two year old, having a little hoop in the house, [laughter] So yeah.

0:03:03.5 LD: Exactly. He’s starting early. My son is starting early, but I started when I was 11 and I was really bad at it, actually. [laughter], I was really, really bad at the game of basketball. I didn’t get any type of burn or playing time. But it’s funny because when I started playing, I tried out for the, my boys team at my school, and to try out you had to get your permission slip sign to actually try out to be on a team. And I brought it home to my parents, and I’m like, Hey, I wanna try out game called basketball. And I’ll never forget, my parents looked at me and they were like, No.

0:03:38.1 MB: Wow.

0:03:38.7 LD: Basketball’s for boys. You’re a girl.

0:03:43.3 MB: Wow. Oh wait, but you’re not that old. What are we talking about here?

0:03:48.1 LD: I was born in ’89, so we’re talking some years ago. I’m okay.

0:03:52.4 MB: Let’s be careful now. [laughter] some of us are over 50, so just calm down homie, calm down.

0:03:58.6 LD: So we’re talking, This was very much in our early stages of WNBA, it was just really new. Nobody really knew much about it unless you played it. So I went and I came home. They were like, absolutely not, so I went back to school and I was like, alright, what do I do? I came back and asked again I have to get it in by today. And they were like, Go play with the doll. You’re not playing this boy sport. And what was left for me to do, but forged my parent’s signature and go play.


0:04:26.4 LD: So I did that. I handed it in and I went and I tried out for the team and I made it. And then I came home and I was like, Hey, I made the basketball team and my parents said, Get in the car, we’re going up to that school. And they drove me up to school and they were like, how can you let this little girl play? And look, I’ll never forget my coach, first coach, he was just like, watch her. And I couldn’t do anything but run and jump, but I can run and jump faster and higher than any boy that was on that team.

0:04:54.9 MB: But those are key aspects of the game. Hello.

0:04:55.9 LD: Those are key aspects. He said, look at her. She can’t do it. But she could run. I out jumped and I ran every boy on that team.

0:05:01.9 MB: Wow.

0:05:01.9 LD: And from then it really, then my parents sat me down and they said, Well, if this is something you’re going to do, you’re going to see it all the way through. Are you sure? And I said, yeah, because I remember, such a young age where you grew up. I turned to my parents and we had a talk about college, and I’m only about 11, 12. And my parents basically said, Look, the only way you’re gonna be able to get a college is on a scholarship. And at that young age, I said, the one way I can do that for myself is through sports.

0:05:32.8 LD: I’m athletic. So I started playing. And again, I didn’t know any better. So my parents put me on an all boys team and for the first about two years, I only played with boys until, I got a little older and the coach was like, there’s a girl she can play with. And I got on a girls team and I didn’t play much. I was very tall. I was almost at five foot in a fifth grade. So everybody was you’re gonna be a center. Did not grow much after that.

0:06:00.2 MB: I was about to say if people can see you.

0:06:00.3 LD: I’m only 5’3″. [laughter] It was, I was that, I was tall from birth. So you know that, I was huge. Everybody’s like, she’s gonna be six something. And they had me play center of my whole career. I never learned to dribble or anything, ’cause everybody says you’re gonna be like six foot something. And I had one coach when I got older, I’ll never forget her. She came up to me, she said, Let me tell you something. And at this time I’m towering over every kid.

0:06:21.8 MB: Right back in elementary school.

0:06:23.8 LD: Elementary school.

0:06:24.3 MB: You were in that picture. They were, Oh, there’s the one right there. She’s the tallest in the group.

0:06:27.1 LD: I was huge. At that time Tina Charles, who’s a good friend and grew up right there in Queens with me, we’re about same height.

0:06:35.1 MB: And now she’s over 6’5″.

0:06:36.5 LD: She’s about 6’5″ now. But we’re, I’m huge. And we’re playing. She says, I had to, Coach Church, said, let me tell you something. She said, your mother’s 5’1″, 5’2″, said your dad’s about 5’9″. You’re not going to be tall. I’m looking at you, your family’s not tall. I’m like, what are you talking about? I’m anomaly. I’m sure somewhere in my lineage that… That no, she was right.

0:06:57.6 MB: Totally.

0:06:58.6 LD: So she was like, you need to learn how to dribble. And I took her advice. And again, I didn’t grow much, but I got better. Every year I got a little, a little better, a little better, a little better till you started getting recognised and then from there I went to Christ the King for high school.

0:07:13.5 MB: Oh yeah. Everybody knows that’s the B ball school.

0:07:14.8 LD: That’s the B ball. You got two, you got, you know, Tina went there, I went there, Chamique Holdsclaw went there. You know, there’s a slew of names that come out of… Lamar Odom that came out of CK. But, so I went to Christ the King with Tina, actually, she’s a year older than me. And we won a couple championships there and then from Christ the King went to UConn.


0:07:37.1 MB: Okay.

0:07:37.7 LD: Went to UConn.

0:07:37.8 MB: Played with Gene.

0:07:41.4 LD: Played for Coach Auriemma. And that was it, that was a great experience. We won four final fours there, two national championships. Got the opportunity to be on that first 90 in 0 team that beat the Michigan Boys record. And just it, we really killed it there while my years, while I was there and from there had an opportunity to play WNBA overseas in a European league because, that’s where all the girls have to play… The women have to play to actually make money.

0:08:09.4 MB: So what team did you play from the WNBA?

0:08:10.9 LD: Tulsa Shock, which is actually, they’re the less… They’re in Vegas now. They’re the Aces now…

0:08:15.4 MB: Right. I was gonna say, people listening be like, Tulsa Shock, what the hell…

0:08:17.5 LD: Tulsa Shock. Yeah, I know that. Again, I’m dating myself but…

0:08:20.6 MB: First of all, Where’s Tulsa?


0:08:22.4 MB: Why is there a team there?

0:08:23.8 LD: Why is there a team there, yeah. They’ve now relocated to the Aces now in Vegas. And then I got a call… And it’s funny because I play for the USA team in high school.

0:08:36.2 MB: Okay.

0:08:36.7 LD: And I don’t know how much you know about playing for Olympic teams, but once you play for one, you have to wait a certain amount of years before you can play for a different country. So in high school I played team USA. I got hurt, but I played team USA. But after I graduated and was in the league, Jamaica wanted me to play for them for the Olympic team. And my mom was like, My mom is from Jamaica. She came over when she was 18.

0:09:02.3 MB: Oh, wow.

0:09:02.9 LD: Yeah. And she’s been here ever since. But my mom was like, if you could play for our home, I need you to play, play for Jamaica.

0:09:09.2 MB: And that’d be a nice full circle moment.

0:09:10.6 LD: Of course.

0:09:10.6 MB: She gave you a pass to play, so bring it home, okay, okay.

0:09:13.7 LD: Bring it home. And I… It was such an honor and privilege to put on that jersey and really be able to represent on that level my country of Jamaica.

0:09:25.1 MB: Sure. How far did y’all get?

0:09:26.9 LD: Not far. Not far.


0:09:28.2 LD: We ran into the USA, not… It was still a lot of fun.

0:09:32.8 MB: Okay.

0:09:33.2 LD: Got to travel, got to go to a lot of amazing places to play in the Olympic stage to just say I was there and…

0:09:40.1 MB: So let me just be clear, you had… Let’s put the air flights aside. You had a pretty cool, and I think what little kids would say a glamorous life, right? You get to do what you love. Again, putting the planes aside, I mean, it’s hard work.

0:09:55.2 LD: Yeah, yeah.

0:09:55.2 MB: But like, you know, people stop you like, Hey, what’s up? And then of all things you like. But I’m gonna be an entrepreneur. I’m gonna do some of the hardest things in the world. I’m gonna not get paid. I’m gonna fly all around. What the heck happened?

0:10:10.6 LD: Yeah. [laughter] It’s funny when you put it like that, because I get asked that question a lot.

0:10:16.1 MB: I’m sure.

0:10:16.9 LD: Lorin, why aren’t you doing something in the basketball realm? But why didn’t you continue to play? Or, you know, what made the jump? And for me very much, I’m the type of person that just likes to add to my resume.

0:10:30.4 MB: Okay.

0:10:30.7 LD: I like to…

0:10:31.9 MB: I love that I’m gonna start a business and work my ass off, just so I can put it there.

0:10:36.0 LD: I really am like.

0:10:36.9 MB: Okay, okay.

0:10:37.6 LD: It’s once I got to that point I got injured when I was playing in Poland. Not career ending, but enough that when I went back and I saw a doctor, he basically was just like, Hey, you know, you don’t have any knees. And I’m like, what do you mean I don’t have knees? He was like, there’s, you’re basically bone on bone in your knees and if you keep playing…

0:10:57.0 MB: That’s rough.

0:11:00.1 LD: You’re gonna have real issues around 40 years old with just being able to walk in. And so when I started thinking about that and my son wasn’t here yet, it was like, well, I want kids. I wanna be, I have a brother who’s, 14 years my junior, so I wanna be able to keep up with him. And I have nieces and nephews. I don’t want to not be able to… So that played a large role, a large role in it. The other side of it really was just, I really have this idea. And it’s funny when I speak to my family about it, it’s just, What is my book going to say? There’s so much I wanna do in this life. There’s so much I wanna… And not for anything for like money, but I, there’s so much I wanna say I accomplish.

0:11:43.5 MB: Yep.

0:11:43.8 LD: And I always ask myself, why not?

0:11:46.3 MB: Yep.

0:11:47.5 LD: Why can’t I accomplish those things? So when it came to being an entrepreneur, everybody thinks it’s a glamorous life, you jump in, you make $100 million, you buy a house somewhere on a beach, and that’s life. And for me, it’s the process.

0:12:00.0 MB: Yep.

0:12:00.9 LD: Even in basketball. That’s why I started off saying how bad I actually was at playing this game that ended up bringing me, I mean, we won the championships in college and we went to the White House twice. The first time, I met President Obama. The second time, you know, first Lady, and that was first Lady Michelle Obama came down to see us and she said if we won a third time, we would meet the kids. But we didn’t win that third time. We lost my senior year. I don’t wanna talk about it. But then she said third time she said, y’all come back three times in a row.

0:12:31.2 MB: Now you get the whole fam.

0:12:32.0 LD: We’ll take the kids, we’ll come make you meet the kids and we did.

0:12:34.2 MB: I love it.

0:12:34.6 LD: But to be able to go play basketball at the White House ’cause he had a court there.

0:12:38.0 MB: Of course.

0:12:38.2 LD: And the things I’ve seen, I said, well, that’s great I’ve accomplished that. I’ve played, I lived out my dream by 25, and then I sat myself, I said, so what’s next? What do you want your next 25 years to look like? And from there it was just, I wanna create. And it’s not something you go into saying, Hey, I’m just gonna be an entrepreneur, actually start off is a problem.

0:13:03.2 MB: Right.

0:13:03.6 LD: That’s what everything like, I was just living life and ZaveryCakes came about really naturally because, my knees and it was a problem. And whenever I see a problem, well, let’s go find a solution. And when I saw there was a gap in the whole… There was a gap for the solution and nobody was focusing on something that I thought was really fun and could be a game changer for the industry. That’s when I said, why not me?

0:13:28.9 MB: What was the problem? ‘Cause I don’t cook, so I don’t know what was the problem.


0:13:32.5 LD: The problem is I needed to be, this was before my son. I needed to be the best Aunt I could be. I like to be first. It’s a competitive thing with me. My niece at the time was young, and she came over, she was staying with us one weekend, and she came to me, she’s like, “Hey, TT, I want Mickey Mouse pancakes.” I was like, “You want what?” “I want Mickey Mouse pancakes.” I was like, “All right, what is he? Three circles?” She’s like, “No, I want it to look like Mickey Mouse.”

0:13:55.7 MB: Because I was with you. Three circles.

0:13:56.8 LD: Three Circles. I got you. Listen, I, Melissa, she said, I want it to look like Mickey Mouse. I said, girl, I draw with stick figures. I don’t know who you think this is, but I hope it is not, so, but you know you gotta be the best aunt. I was like, all right, I gotta show out. So I tried and she was like, I’m not eating that. That’s not Mickey Mouse. I’m not eating that. You ever want the truth, ask a child.

0:14:17.4 MB: I know that’s right. Wow.

0:14:18.5 LD: She said, I’m not eating that, TT, I want Mickey Mouse. So I’m like, all right. Let’s find Mickey Mouse. I went online and I’m like, she wants, she wants it to look like Mickey Mouse. She wants Mickey Mouse. And I couldn’t find anything that would give her what she was looking for. So, what I ended up doing, that was my aha moment. It was like, well, if she wants Mickey Mouse.

0:14:39.9 MB: She can’t be the only kid.

0:14:40.8 LD: She can’t be the only kid that wants Mickey Mouse. And it sort of was, just for like, I’m thinking kids, but then I’m like, Mickey Mouse, shoot, LeBron James is my favorite player. I want, I want LBJ. Like, so that’s really where it started. And, I went out and I started buying ready-made products, like, the silicone tops they put on like pots?

0:14:58.6 MB: Yeah.

0:15:00.4 LD: I started buying those and I started cutting them out.

0:15:01.8 MB: Wow.

0:15:02.5 LD: Because I understood it needed to be made of silicone something that could be on heat that would last a long time that could be used in a pot. So I was like, I started and I started gluing them together, and that’s where ZaveryCakes was born. And then from there I learned that you can buy food silicone and then actual mix it. And then that’s when I started making it 3D Molds. And then you put this, so, and that’s where ZaveryCakes was really born. It was my niece telling me I can’t draw or cook.

0:15:28.8 MB: You gotta love the honesty.

0:15:32.6 LD: The honesty of, so it’s good. But that’s where, that’s really where it started from just my niece having an issue. And I just want it to be fun. I never do anything that I don’t have fun with. And I think that’s where ZaveryCakes really differs from a lot of companies. And when you come and people work with us, it’s just about how much fun can we have and how can we just merge those two worlds and how can we make it the best possible experience ’cause life is hard enough.

0:15:57.9 MB: Yeah.

0:15:58.5 LD: So let’s enjoy. We gotta eat. I always tell people you eat at least three times a day if you’re a 19 year old boy like my brother, six or seven times a day. You wanna enjoy those times.

0:16:08.2 MB: Yeah.

0:16:08.4 LD: And we, we make every meal a celebration at ZaveryCakes.

0:16:11.6 MB: So before we talk about how you got there in that process, what is ZaveryCakes as you are rocking the fabulous sweatshirt with the logo?

0:16:20.0 LD: Yeah. So ZaveryCakes is a pop culture kitchenware brand.

0:16:24.4 MB: Okay.

0:16:25.3 LD: And it’s funny, people go say, what’s a what, what do you mean a pop culture kitchenware brand? So ZaveryCakes is a…

0:16:29.3 MB: That was gonna be my next question. How do you define pop culture?

0:16:33.2 LD: Pop we… Yeah. So pop culture is everything that we love. Everything that you either grew up on, nostalgia wise, we’re talking about those ’90s cartoons. We’re talking about what was a niche, but now is mainstream in anime, pop culture being your favorite athlete.

0:16:50.0 MB: Gotcha.

0:16:50.6 LD: Basketball player, football player, icon, singer. Anything that you love. That’s in that. Just things that we watch, things that we like to engulf ourselves in. Things that we love to be a part of. Things that you just love to represent, your favorite TV characters, your favorite movies stars and movies and TV shows. That’s pop culture. So we, what we wanna do is tie in pop culture and what we are doing and is tying pop culture to something you have to do every day, which is to eat. So at the end of the day, our goal…

0:17:24.4 MB: I’m glad you said eat and not cook ’cause I don’t cook, but I do eat every day.

0:17:27.3 LD: You gotta eat every day. And I’m… Why I say eat is because you’re right, some people don’t cook.

0:17:32.6 MB: Right.

0:17:32.8 LD: But what we do is we make it easy so you don’t even know that that’s what you’re doing.

0:17:35.1 MB: Okay.

0:17:35.1 LD: And I, and so we always say we like to feed your fandom. You know what I mean? What we’ve noticed is people collect dolls for pop culture. People collect backpacks and you wear the shirts. And everyone loves to feel committed and tied to the things that they love outside of the everyday. ‘Cause let’s be honest, every day is hard.

0:17:54.5 MB: Yeah.

0:17:55.0 LD: Getting up every day, going to work and dealing with the things we see in the news and just waking up to be any person.

0:18:03.4 MB: Yep.

0:18:03.8 LD: Every day is hard.

0:18:04.7 MB: Sure.

0:18:04.8 LD: So what we wanna do is bring that joy into your life of those pocket of moments that you either had, or the pocket of moments that you love to have where you’re watching your Netflix or anything. And we’re gonna, we’re gonna allow you to have that in a office ’cause with our products, you could bring them to your work, your jobs.

0:18:20.5 MB: Okay.

0:18:20.7 LD: So you have that with you at the office or at home and the way, and…

0:18:24.0 MB: What are the products?

0:18:25.2 LD: So the way we do that is we create food molds. And our food molds allow you to make pancakes. They allow you to make eggs. You can make brownies, you can make cookies, you can make pies. You can make everything in this food mold. And it comes out looking like your favorite pop culture icon. We also have our waffle makers. We also have our popcorn makers. We also have our…

0:18:48.7 MB: Tell me about the popcorn maker.

0:18:51.3 LD: Oh, I have popcorn makers. So our waffle maker. We have our mini waffle makers. And again, detailed like your favorite sports team, NBA player.

0:19:00.3 MB: So give me an example of, give me an example of your top selling product in this area.

0:19:03.5 LD: Top selling product. Well, two of our top selling products are gonna be our Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

0:19:07.9 MB: Of course. Okay.

0:19:08.6 LD: Let’s be very honest. They… So for, at least for our food mold, our Stephen Curry jersey food mold, our Golden State Warriors food mold. So you can do the logo of the team.

0:19:18.9 MB: Oh, wow.

0:19:19.3 LD: Or you can specifically get Stephen Curry or you could get both. And same thing with LeBron James. We have our Lakers, because…

0:19:25.3 MB: Okay, you gotta promise to send me a picture of these two brothers in this mold.

0:19:28.7 LD: I’m gonna show you. It’s really, it’s their jerseys. It says Curry on the back.

0:19:33.2 MB: Wow.

0:19:33.4 LD: LeBron James has his number, his says, James on the back. And if you’re eccentric and you love the team, you could get the whole team. It’s the exact, Warriors logo. We got the Lakers logo, and we have that for a few of our NBA teams.

0:19:46.0 MB: Okay.

0:19:46.5 LD: We got Kevin Durant, we have Giannis, we have Luka Doncic, we got, our, one of my favorite ones is Chicago Bull Molds. That sells really well, the logo of the Bulls.

0:19:57.3 MB: Okay. WNBA players?

0:20:00.0 LD: We have that’s launching this year. We got some WNBA players?

0:20:03.6 MB: Yes.

0:20:03.9 LD: And I’m not gonna be biased. I’m not just gonna do UConn WNBA players.

0:20:07.5 MB: No, I gotcha. Thank you, I appreciate. Although y’all kind of dominate…

0:20:08.3 LD: We kind of dominate, we might have to get some like a Tina Charles.

0:20:11.5 MB: But you did say Shamika was your friend. She’s Tennessee.

0:20:15.1 LD: Shamika she is CK and she’s Tennessee, that is CK and Sue just retired. We’re gonna get sent Diana Taurasi’s. But we’re gonna be launching our WNBA line this year, but we also are launching our anime line this year. And we also are launching at… And we have our Paramount line launching this year.

0:20:33.5 MB: So forgive me ’cause my kids are teenagers, so who’s in Paramount?

0:20:37.1 LD: Yeah. So Paramount actually owns all the Nickelodeon shows. So we’re talking Rugrats.

0:20:43.1 MB: Like SpongeBob.

0:20:45.2 LD: SpongeBob.

0:20:45.3 MB: Okay.

0:20:46.2 LD: Rugrats, TMNT, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Paramount.

0:20:48.6 MB: Thank you very much, [laughter], because when I was coming up, they were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

0:20:52.3 LD: Ninja Turtles now…

0:20:53.3 MB: Not this little acronym, yes, okay.

0:20:54.0 LD: Yeah. Now they’re just TMNT. I had, that fooled me too, I was like, who’s TMNT, I’m dating myself again. Oh yeah. So Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but we have, Avatar: Last Airbender, all those nostalgic shows that we grew up on. Hey Arnold. So all of those are launching, that’s Paramount. But we also have, like I said anime, we’re doing a deal right now with Crunchyroll and we’re really excited about that for anime. NBA, we continue to extend that NBA line. We’re working right now with the NFL, so that we’re very excited about that line. And we’re also doing some sororities this year.

0:21:31.3 MB: Oh, nice.

0:21:32.2 LD: Yeah. We started to go, we absolutely…

0:21:34.1 MB: That’s a huge market right there. Those sisters be buying everything. Even if they don’t use it, it’d be hanging.

0:21:39.0 LD: Everywhere.

0:21:39.5 MB: On their wall. They’d be like, Oh, look at my molds. I don’t cook, but look at my molds.

0:21:43.6 LD: And this is it. So, and with the sororities, they do a lot of brunches and stuff like that.

0:21:47.9 MB: Yeah, absolutely.

0:21:49.1 LD: So we got the waffle maker. They got the food mold. We have our popcorn maker. So the great thing about the popcorn maker is, again, in the first one we’re doing with the popcorn maker is Stephen Curry. And basically it’s just Steph in his shooting for… In his jersey and everything, and when you have a game, it’s a very individualized popcorn maker, so you don’t have to make six bags.

0:22:09.9 MB: So I could have my…

0:22:11.0 LD: You could have yours.

0:22:11.5 MB: Player. My kids could have their own player.

0:22:13.5 LD: Their own player.

0:22:15.1 MB: Oh, I like that.

0:22:15.8 LD: And then our popcorn maker, you make it in the maker and then you just flip it over and the maker’s actually its own holder. So now you don’t have to worry about a plate or anything. I mean, it’s just everything right there.

0:22:24.1 MB: That’s perfect game day.

0:22:24.9 LD: Perfect game day with your player. Right. Darn it. And you sit there and you watch the game. And then we have our shop mold and candy maker. And basically, I’m super excited about that one because that one you basically make a cup, an edible cup out of anything you want. So if you’re watching the game and you have kids, make them a cookie cup, you fill that with some milk and then you put your Warriors logo right on the side and everything’s edible. The kids… They… You refill it and when they’re done, they eat the cup. And if you’re an adult, you could make…

0:22:52.8 MB: You can eat the cup too. Shoot. I’m down with that.

0:22:53.0 LD: You can make it like a Jolly Rancher cup and put whatever adult beverage you want in there and enjoy it during game time as well.

0:23:02.6 MB: And then mix in some edibles. No, I’m sorry. That’s a different conversation. That’s a different conversation. So tell me about the name Zavery. ’cause your name is Lorin Dixon.


0:23:11.3 LD: My name is Lorin Dixon. And ZaveryCakes is actually a name that I’m really proud of. So I wanted to create something that’s not out there. So when you heard it, you knew it was us. And it’s a play on words of something savory and Delicious. And cakes because at first our first product was a pancake mold. So it is like, Oh, that’s before we made it into a full functioning food mold, it was a pancake mold is what we thought we were going to stay in. And so I was like, alright. Savory pancakes. And at that point, my son, he wasn’t here yet. I didn’t know if he was gonna be a boy or girl, but I knew, I had a kid on the way and I was like, I love the name Avery, either way.

0:23:52.7 LD: And I was like, I know I’m gonna have a healthy kid, God willing, he gets here healthily or she gets here healthy, but they were gonna be named Avery. And I was like, Avery, Savory, and it just came together as Zavery Cake.

0:24:07.6 MB: I like that.

0:24:08.5 LD: So named after my son, Avery Dixon. But it’s a play on words. It’s just something savory, something delicious. And just his name, because at the end of the day, everything I do is for him.

0:24:20.4 MB: Sure.

0:24:21.4 LD: And I want him to understand… I’m building everything. I had a great life, but everything I do from here on out is so that my son can have opportunities that I didn’t have till later in life.

0:24:31.5 MB: Sure.

0:24:31.7 LD: And opportunities that maybe I had to fight a little harder. So I’m trying to build a what we say, I’m just trying to build a legacy. That he can then either decide to come in and take over or what needs fit. But it’s something that’s, this name is so near and dear to me. So it is trademarked.


0:24:50.1 MB: I know, that’s right.

0:24:51.0 MB: I know that’s right.

0:24:51.6 LD: And I got that done early. It is trademarked. We own all the trademarks. And we have a, few other things are patented and that’s a whole different, we did all of that. But yeah. ZaveryCakes is named after my son Avery.

0:25:04.8 MB: Is he a product tester?

0:25:06.3 LD: Oh, he is a product tester. Alright. He’s amazing.

0:25:07.9 MB: So he’s like, Nah, that doesn’t look good. That’s not realistic.

0:25:11.0 LD: Him and my brother. I have very strict product testers who a lot doesn’t get by them. So.

0:25:18.8 MB: I like that, okay.

0:25:19.4 LD: We have a 19 year old and a two year old and my niece and nephew get in.

0:25:20.2 MB: You ready for pop culture then.

0:25:21.4 LD: I’m ready for… They keep me young. They keep me very young.

0:25:24.9 MB: My kids are not doing that, that’s for sure. They make me old every single day. You talked a lot about the journey and I think there’s a lot of entrepreneurs out there who can relate to that. In terms of from sports to probably even this business of people saying, no, you can’t do that. And still figuring it out. Talk about some of the challenges that you’ve had when you were starting ZaveryCake, ’cause I’m sure people are like, what you doing? What you know about cake molds? And how did you overcome those?

0:25:53.4 LD: Yeah. This and I’ll go back and I’ll bring it here. I’m used to hearing no. I’m 5’3″.


0:26:04.4 LD: So even though I was good when I was younger, after I got good, it was you’re too small. Nobody’s ever, to this day, I’m the smallest person to ever go through UConn on a full scholarship. To play for Geno Auriemma.

0:26:17.7 MB: That’s awesome.

0:26:18.8 LD: So, but everybody, you’re too small. You gotta find something else to do. You’re never going to be able to play at that level. And again, sometimes ignorance is bliss. Sometimes when you’re so young you don’t… You are like, what do you mean I can’t do something? And for me, I think just building up the confidence to have won in that arena already. When I came to starting my business, people are like.

0:26:40.8 LD: You’re… What are you doing?


0:26:43.3 LD: The manufacturing business.

0:26:44.8 MB: Right.

0:26:45.2 LD: Starting a company.

0:26:46.2 MB: Right.

0:26:47.1 LD: Importing, exporting, you know how hard that is? This is a male dominated industry. This is now a white male dominated industry.

0:26:54.5 MB: Right.

0:26:54.7 LD: What are you doing? Not only are you not… Not only are you black, but you’re also a female.

0:27:00.9 MB: Right.

0:27:01.3 LD: This is not what you’re supposed to do. How about you do the cooking?

0:27:04.8 MB: Right. Exactly.

0:27:06.6 LD: We don’t. You’re not, you don’t create products. So, again…

0:27:08.7 MB: And that’s true. Right. Usually we’re cooking. Usually we…

0:27:10.7 LD: We’re cooking.

0:27:11.2 MB: We are overindex.

0:27:12.2 LD: Exactly.

0:27:12.7 MB: In food products. So this is a big switch.

0:27:14.8 LD: It’s a switch. People are like, what do you mean you… And, ZaveryCakes also, this year we’re coming out with our, CPG, where we’re adding, pancake and waffle mixes.

0:27:26.6 MB: Oh, nice.

0:27:26.9 LD: So now we’re getting into not just the product.

0:27:29.9 MB: Yeah.

0:27:30.2 LD: Now we’re gonna, now we’re giving you a full line of you can get your mixes here and you can get your product here.

0:27:36.6 MB: Gotcha. Okay.

0:27:36.8 LD: Now people are, What do you mean you… You don’t know anything about that business.

0:27:41.3 MB: Stay in your lane, stay in your lane.

0:27:41.5 LD: Stay in your lane. You’re an athlete. Go play… Stay in that lane. And, it was a shock when you go from being at the top of something.

0:27:50.4 MB: Sure.

0:27:50.7 LD: To starting at the bottom of something.

0:27:52.3 MB: Yeah.

0:27:52.9 LD: And, for me just being, again, ignorance is bliss. And I’m very much the type of person where I don’t see a wall, because I’ve, every wall that someone has put in front of me, I’ve defeated it.

0:28:08.7 MB: Right.

0:28:08.8 LD: I’ve overcome it. I ran right through it. I’m either gonna go around or I’m gonna go right through it.

0:28:13.1 MB: Right.

0:28:13.4 LD: So when I started ZaveryCakes, I was kind of in this bubble like, alright, I’m starting this business and what you don’t know, you don’t know. So we’re gonna go out there. We started on Kickstarter.

0:28:24.0 MB: Okay.

0:28:24.1 LD: Surpassed our goal in 48 hours.

0:28:25.6 MB: Wow.

0:28:26.9 LD: And I was like, Oh, Yeah. This is fun. [laughter] Let’s just go. And then, from Kickstarter, it was like alright, what do we do now? So then we just threw it on Amazon.

0:28:36.1 MB: Yeah.

0:28:36.3 LD: Let’s see what happens. And we started selling on Amazon and I was like, oh, this is not a hobby. This is, I could do something with this.

0:28:42.6 MB: Right.

0:28:43.0 LD: And then from there it was, no, let’s take it one step further. We wanna go into licensing because pop culture is where we wanna be.

0:28:48.5 MB: Right.

0:28:51.0 LD: I have shows I love, and it’s funny ’cause when I started, I was like, no, I want, this show Supernatural. The two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester. It’s my favorite show. It’s my favorite show. That and Charmed. I’m very much into the supernatural magic thing.

0:29:06.9 MB: That’s interesting.

0:29:07.9 LD: Supernatural, Charmed. My two favorite shows. And I was like, I wanna go into licensing because I wanna get with WB so I can launch Supernatural. It’s just the things you do of reasons you start things.

0:29:18.3 MB: That’s cool. But look, you’re almost there.

0:29:19.9 LD: I’m almost… We’re talking with WB now.

0:29:21.9 MB: See? There you go.

0:29:24.2 LD: So, they were like, Yeah. You can have Supernatural. I’m like, that’s the only thing I worked for is just, and actually Paramount owns Charmed. They were like, if you wanna do Charmed, you can, I’m like…

0:29:30.7 MB: See.

0:29:30.9 LD: OG Charmed now. I’m talking about Charmed from with…

0:29:33.3 MB: Right, the old. Yeah. The old school.

0:29:35.1 LD: The old one from 1998.

0:29:36.9 MB: Yes.

0:29:37.2 LD: I, little but, with, Holly Marie Combs. But, so when I started, I was like, we’re just gonna go on licensing. And I didn’t know that I shouldn’t just go to these…

0:29:49.8 MB: Company.

0:29:50.2 LD: Companies and say, Hey, I wanna do this. Like, people come up to me now and they’re like, what do you mean you have the NBA.

0:29:55.7 MB: Right.

0:29:56.0 LD: And you’re working with the NFL and I… You got…

0:29:57.7 MB: So talk about that process. Right?

0:30:00.1 LD: Yeah.

0:30:00.1 MB: Because I think a lot of people, one, have those dreams. But don’t even know who to pick up the phone to call. So like, how did you identify the list? How did you… Did you just pick up the phone? You’re like, Yo, I’m 5’3 but I really wanna rep y’all. Like how did that happen?


0:30:17.7 LD: I… With the NBA actually that was a little bit more organic. And I would, say that really helped in the background I was in.

0:30:24.5 MB: Sure.

0:30:24.8 LD: Because I didn’t start with the NBA, I started with the WNBA.

0:30:27.5 MB: Okay.

0:30:27.6 LD: And I reached out to, someone in their office, I think it was actually Jane. I reached out to somebody in their office and I was like, Hey, this is what I’m doing. I would like to do it with the WNBA. And they were like, oh, that’s great. And from that conversation, I signed a WNBA, I turned around and, they said, you know I do know somebody if you are looking to work with the NBA. So I was like, alright. First I went to… And the NBA was like, hey, yeah, but you gotta have a minimum guarantee of how much hundreds, thousands of dollars.

0:30:58.9 MB: Wow.

0:31:00.3 LD: I said, we’re a small company.

0:31:01.5 MB: Right. [laughter]

0:31:03.3 LD: But we do… This is the lane. So, do you guys have… And what I found out is what people don’t understand is sometimes you just gotta look a little bit beneath that surface. ‘Cause a lot of these companies, what they’re doing now is trying to work with smaller companies.

0:31:17.0 MB: Sure.

0:31:17.0 LD: So they have what’s called, basically they’re like incubators. Where you work with… It’s the NBA, but there’s like a company that works with smaller companies. That means you either have a smaller guarantee to no guarantee, a little bit more of a higher royalty rate, but there’s no… If it doesn’t work.

0:31:37.9 MB: Right.

0:31:37.9 LD: It’s okay.

0:31:38.6 MB: Doesn’t work. Yeah.

0:31:39.3 LD: So it actually works out for both parties.

0:31:41.0 MB: Sure.

0:31:41.0 LD: Because you grow through that. And then if you want to, you then move on and you can work directly with the NBA.

0:31:46.7 MB: Gotcha.

0:31:47.0 LD: Or you stay with them because you like, so the team I work with at NBA Lab, fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Hailey and Eric. And that’s how I got my NBA license.

0:31:56.7 MB: Gotcha.

0:31:57.4 LD: And then from there, the other ones were a little harder that…

0:32:01.2 MB: Sure. ‘Cause nobody knew you.

0:32:02.3 LD: Nobody knew me.

0:32:02.7 MB: They were like, Who is this chick coming up in here trying to get my characters?

0:32:06.3 LD: Exactly…

0:32:06.7 MB: So what was that process like?

0:32:07.7 LD: So for Paramount, that process is really emailing.

0:32:10.9 MB: Really… Wait, you just emailed somebody.

0:32:12.9 LD: Cold emailing.

0:32:14.8 MB: Okay. Keep talking.

0:32:16.6 LD: Six. Like, I went on LinkedIn. I found every buyer.

0:32:21.1 MB: Wow.

0:32:21.8 LD: I found vice presidents. I found anybody I could find, to the point that LinkedIn was like, Look, are you spamming people?

0:32:29.4 MB: Right. [laughter]

0:32:29.6 LD: And I’m like, I’m not spamming. It looks like I’m spamming. ‘Cause you’re sending email after email.

0:32:33.8 MB: Sure.

0:32:33.8 LD: And each person, you’re trying to figure out who they are.

0:32:36.2 MB: Right.

0:32:36.2 LD: Who they know. You’re curating it to them.

0:32:38.1 MB: Sure.

0:32:38.2 LD: ‘Cause you can’t send the same mass message.

0:32:40.9 MB: That’s right. That’s right.

0:32:41.0 LD: That’s where I think people make their mistake, number one. And you gotta…

0:32:43.9 MB: So what was the message? What did the message to the buyer say?

0:32:46.5 LD: The message to, for… So, and I did the same thing with retail and I curated two different ways. With licensing, it was the quick message basically. Hi, I’m Lorin Dixon. I’m the CEO and founder of ZaveryCakes.

0:33:00.6 LD: And ZaveryCakes is, and I’ll give our one liner. That you always, every company should have, get to the point, one line. And we’re really looking to work with Paramount. And I would love to know who I should get in touch with if you could let me know. Never like, Hey, can just, if you know who I can get in touch with.

0:33:16.4 MB: Did you give a link to your website? Any… No, that was it.

0:33:18.5 LD: Because what I did is, LinkedIn, you could pay a monthly fee. But again, as a small business, I’m not trying to pay that. So what you’re doing is trying to write it in that 150 note. Just connect.

0:33:28.8 MB: Got you.

0:33:29.1 LD: Like, hey, let’s connect.

0:33:30.2 MB: Got you.

0:33:30.6 LD: And that’s where LinkedIn was like, “Are you spamming or?”


0:33:31.8 LD: It’s about using… Because at that point, if nobody’s doing it, then LinkedIn is just like, “All right. We’ll let it go”.

0:33:38.6 MB: You’re sending out a hundred connects a day. They were like, “Don’t she got a day job? What’s she doing?”

0:33:41.7 LD: Exactly. What do you trying to connect? But again this is where as a small business, you have to get crafty. So I’m like, “All right, I’m gonna send out these connects and I would send out 500, 600 of them” And, that’s why you have to be succinct because they only give you 150 words. So I’m like, “This is who I am, this is what we do. Do you know who I can get in contact with and I’ll send it out to everybody”. And most of the time nobody responds.

0:34:06.6 MB: Sure.

0:34:06.6 LD: But all you need is one person.

0:34:07.7 MB: That’s right.

0:34:08.5 LD: And with Paramount, I sent it out to 600 people. I got two people to respond.

0:34:13.5 MB: 600 People at Paramount?

0:34:14.9 LD: 600 people.

0:34:15.6 MB: Jesus.

0:34:16.1 LD: Two people responded back.

0:34:17.0 MB: Okay. All right.

0:34:18.5 LD: And out of those two people, they got me to where I needed to be.

0:34:21.1 MB: Wow.

0:34:21.8 LD: And then from there, they were like, “You know what, it’s not me, but this person”. And then, they got me that person’s information. Then I went to that person specifically and I said, “Look, introduced by this person, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”. And she was like, “Hey, send me an email and let’s take this”.

0:34:37.3 MB: ‘Cause you had the signal effect that you knew somebody.

0:34:39.6 LD: You knew somebody.

0:34:40.4 MB: And they were willing to put you on.

0:34:41.8 LD: Exactly so.

0:34:42.4 MB: Did you Have you ever met those people who put you on?

0:34:44.4 LD: No.

0:34:44.7 MB: Wow.

0:34:45.2 LD: No, just cold emails like “This is”.

0:34:47.6 MB: Wow. Okay.

0:34:49.4 LD: You’d be surprised what a well-crafted.

0:34:52.1 MB: Sure. Yeah.

0:34:52.9 LD: Because people don’t wanna read that much. So it’s really much okay. And depending on who I’m talking to.

0:34:57.0 MB: And I have to tell you, I hate when it says “Hi, just wanna connect”.

0:35:00.5 LD: Yes.

0:35:01.1 MB: I get all like, I tell people, don’t LinkedIn me ’cause I’m reading it and I’m like, “I don’t have time”.

0:35:04.6 LD: Why? Even me, like who are you that I wanna connect, but if you say, “Hey, Nicole sent me over”. Oh yeah, of course. Letting, I’m gonna pay attention.

0:35:11.7 MB: And your ask was light. Your ask wasn’t get me in the store. It was “Hey, do you know anyone”?

0:35:14.9 LD: Do you know who?

0:35:15.7 MB: Okay. That’s key.

0:35:16.5 LD: But that’s why I crafted it. Do you know who, because most people are like, “Oh yeah, let me just send her to somebody”. I’ll never forget what…

0:35:22.8 MB: ‘Cause It’s easier to send it then than to keep thinking about you.

0:35:25.5 LD: Exactly.

0:35:26.2 MB: She gonna email me again.

0:35:27.1 LD: She gonna email me again. Let me send it. So I did that and then we took it offline and then it comes to having your stuff together for your company.

0:35:36.3 MB: Sure.

0:35:36.6 LD: Really being able to blow them away in that ’cause everybody wants that introductory phone call. And I take that now this is face to face, you can meet me. And then you could close that deal. When it came to Warner Brothers, that same thing, 300, 400 people.

0:35:52.1 MB: Wow.

0:35:52.1 LD: And you know who replied back to me? A Vice President.

0:35:54.1 MB: Wow.

0:35:54.9 LD: Was like, “Hey, it’s not me”.

0:35:56.9 MB: Appreciate your hustle.

0:35:58.6 LD: That’s exactly what she said.

0:36:00.7 MB: Wow.

0:36:00.8 LD: “It’s not me, but I love to see a woman trying to make her way. This is who you need to talk to”.

0:36:05.3 MB: I love that.

0:36:05.9 LD: “Email them”. That’s how I got that email to Warner Brothers. Once you get enough. Okay. Now it was like, “Yeah, let’s close the deal. I just need a way in”. Even NFL was the same thing. Just emailed everybody I knew from the NFL.

0:36:17.7 MB: [laughter] That’s Crazy.

0:36:18.9 LD: And because I’m like the NFL, they… Just like the NBA, they’re probably gonna need hundreds of thousands.

0:36:24.7 MB: That’s right.

0:36:24.8 LD: And you think everybody’s gonna need that.

0:36:25.2 MB: That’s right.

0:36:26.3 LD: And the NFL was like, “Hey, we have a program similar to the NBA”. Oh, this is gonna work for me now. And then, come to find out the person who did it, she’s amazing. But she also went to UConn. So now you start finding other things you have in common. “Oh, you went to UConn? I know who you are. Oh, great”. And the same thing with Crunchyroll. I hit them up and a girl, and it’s funny because the girl who replied to me at Crunchyroll, we just got a phone call was so great.

0:36:51.0 LD: She was like, “I can’t believe someone… ” She said, “After I saw your LinkedIn, I looked you up”. She said, “But then I looked you up. I was blown” And that’s why I always tell my brother, what you do when you’re young.

0:37:02.6 MB: Makes all the difference.

0:37:04.2 LD: Could come back to help all the difference when you’re older. So, ’cause she said, I looked, said, “I can’t believe someone like you was trying to get in touch with someone like me”. Someone like… You know what I mean? And then that’s when you kind of gotta, okay, I can leverage that part of me. Because I’ve been working since I was 12. But I didn’t know that, I was putting in, and I always tell people when you put things into a bank, you don’t have to remove it, but what you’re doing is you’re putting deposits in. I had a job since I was 12. It was fun. But what I was doing was building my resume. My credentials.

0:37:35.5 MB: Your reputation.

0:37:36.2 LD: My reputation. I was building that. Oh, she knows how to… She’s a hard worker.

0:37:41.7 MB: That’s right.

0:37:41.9 LD: She knows how to win. But I didn’t realise I was making those deposits. So now when people come, I’m cashing them out and they’re saying, “Oh, you’re credible”. And then when I speak to them one-on-one and we’re having that conversation, it’s not coming in like, “Who are you”? It’s a different conversation.

0:37:58.2 MB: Sure. We’ll be back with more of my conversation with Lorin Dixon right after the break. Welcome back. Here’s more of my conversation with Lauren Dixon. These partnerships are big. I mean, they’re a big deal. And so people are listening. So I’m sure your LinkedIn, my LinkedIn.


0:38:17.7 MB: Everybody LinkedIn about to blow up when they hear this. But that’s just the start. So what are three things that you realised as you were having these conversations? Like, oh shit, I gotta get these three things together to be able to pull this off.

0:38:32.2 LD: Yes. Three things, well, one of the things is…

0:38:36.0 MB: ‘Cause I’m sure there were a hundred, but let’s just narrow it down to three.

0:38:38.2 LD: Yeah, to three things. The biggest thing was actually something you taught us at the One Million Black Women in Business who I don’t know if those who are listening know. I was invited to be part of the first cohort of Goldman Sachs, One Million Black Women in Business where I met about 170 other amazing black female entrepreneurs in that… To this day, me and my growth group, we talk every day.

0:39:02.3 MB: That’s good.

0:39:02.5 LD: Those are my sisters. But Melissa was actually, she ran the program, this intensive program and it was the greatest. If you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re a black female entrepreneur just please go sign up. Cohort one and two have gone by, graduated, and to this day it is the greatest thing that has happened to me. And I’ll explain why. The biggest thing I learned is you need to get… You need to have your finances in order.

0:39:28.8 MB: Yeah.

0:39:29.9 LD: You need… And Melissa can preach that…

0:39:31.0 MB: Say that one more time. You need what?

0:39:31.9 LD: You need to have your finances…

0:39:34.2 MB: That’s right…

0:39:34.5 LD: In order.

0:39:35.4 MB: Yes.

0:39:36.0 LD: Melissa, after it, ’cause before that, I was dealing with the… I was… I had the NBA Lab going into that.

0:39:41.7 MB: Yep.

0:39:41.8 LD: And I had just started talking to Paramount and Warner Brothers and all these, and they came back and the first thing they want is projections.

0:39:47.7 MB: Oh, look at that.

0:39:49.6 LD: Then they want income statements.

0:39:51.6 MB: Yeah.

0:39:51.9 LD: We want that income sheet, what are you looking like?

0:39:53.1 MB: That’s right.

0:39:53.5 LD: And if I didn’t go through that I would’ve had nothing to show them.

0:39:57.5 MB: Because they would need to know, while you’re an amazing person, people can vouch for you…

0:40:01.8 LD: Is this going make you X…

0:40:03.6 MB: Do you have the money to deliver the product? ‘Cause you don’t get paid till the product is there.

0:40:05.9 LD: Till the product is there.

0:40:06.9 MB: Yeah.

0:40:07.1 LD: And then…

0:40:07.9 MB: I love it.

0:40:08.3 LD: And then what are you… That’s great. If you get this licensing that’s great. But remember we’ve spent billion… We spent billions of dollars to create these characters, their household names for a reason.

0:40:20.6 MB: That’s true.

0:40:20.8 LD: Paramount is a billion dollar brand.

0:40:22.8 MB: That’s right.

0:40:22.9 LD: Warner Brothers is a billion dollar brand. And we’ve also had, conversations with Disney. You’re talking.

0:40:28.4 MB: Nice.

0:40:29.6 LD: You’re talking big brands. NFL, NBA. They wanna make sure if you’re gonna put our name on your product, we don’t wanna sitting on your back shelf somewhere.

0:40:38.5 MB: Yeah.

0:40:38.5 LD: So what can you do to make it, a win-win for everyone? And when they asked for those financials, boy, I had ’em, I threw ’em right out. Here you go.

0:40:46.5 MB: See, look at them. ‘Cause you don’t wanna say like, well give me 5 days.

0:40:49.4 LD: They don’t want that. They will move on very quickly. So…

0:40:52.1 MB: ‘Cause that’s one, so one is finances.

0:40:53.7 LD: One is finance.

0:40:54.6 MB: Okay. Yes.

0:40:55.3 LD: Had to give… Had to have your finances in order. The other really is, like I said, it kind of ties into that now is you have to know where you’re going with your product.

0:41:09.2 MB: So having like a vision, mission.

0:41:10.1 LD: You gotta have a vision.

0:41:11.3 MB: Okay.

0:41:11.6 LD: How are you gonna…

0:41:11.9 MB: And not just for the company, but it sounds like you had to say, what was your vision for Paramount?

0:41:16.0 LD: For Paramount?

0:41:16.4 MB: What was your vision for the NBA?

0:41:17.8 LD: Exactly.

0:41:18.2 MB: Gotcha. ‘Cause that’s a brand, they don’t want you to take it sideways…

0:41:20.9 LD: It’s a brand exactly. What’s your vision?

0:41:22.5 MB: Yeah.

0:41:22.6 LD: Because not only do you have to make sure you represent that brand, but you also have to make sure, like I said, they wanna make sure they’re gonna get their money. Because even with Paramount, there’s a guarantee.

0:41:32.5 MB: Sure.

0:41:33.0 LD: So for people listening, whenever you do a licensing deal, there’s a royalty rate. Like, we’re gonna take 10, 12, how much percent of each thing you sell. But we also need a guarantee, which is an X amount of dollars to make sure that if you don’t sell anything, we make at least this much money.

0:41:48.6 MB: Interesting.

0:41:51.0 MB: Almost like back in the day at the parties, like you can have this venue, but you gotta guarantee the bar makes their, makes their money.

0:41:55.6 LD: Makes that money. And they want that money upfront.

0:41:58.1 MB: Ah.

0:41:58.5 LD: So if they’re gonna say, Hey, the guarantee, and that’s why I was talking about the guarantee with NBA, it’s like 250,000.

0:42:04.8 MB: Whoa.

0:42:05.0 LD: You need to pay that.

0:42:06.6 MB: Whoa.

0:42:07.4 LD: Over like a 2 year term.

0:42:08.1 MB: ‘Cause they can’t afford to lose.

0:42:09.3 LD: They can’t afford to lose that. So at minimum we’re gonna make that 250K.

0:42:13.1 MB: Gotcha.

0:42:13.6 LD: And then what happens is you don’t pay them any money. So what happens is once you start selling, they take a royalty of each thing, but you don’t pay them until you surpass that 250K mark.

0:42:22.0 MB: Gotcha.

0:42:22.7 LD: And then they start taking money from you.

0:42:24.7 MB: Okay.

0:42:24.7 LD: But you’re trying to pay off, it’s you’re just paying off that.

0:42:28.2 MB: Yeah.

0:42:28.3 LD: That debt at first, they don’t take anything. Then once you hit 251,000, they’ll start taking money again. But they want that guarantee. So they wanna make sure that you have a vision of how you’re gonna sell that product. So, they wanna make sure that, what’s your retail vision? Where are you in retail? Do you have retail? So it’s almost like I tell people it’s almost like coming out of college and wanting to get a job and them wanting you have 10 years experience and you’re like, “Hey, I’m 21.” But you do have to have a way. So I would say having a vision and having that before they get there.

0:42:58.1 MB: Gotcha.

0:42:58.6 LD: Because nobody wants to be the first one to jump on off of nothing.

0:43:01.4 MB: Sure. Yeah.

0:43:02.0 LD: So at least with us, we had again, and that’s just building… You wanna just, go off of like building that part of yourself where you’re just like, “Hey, I’m credible.” Is that when we reached out to Paramount, we were in the NBA Fifth Ave store.

0:43:17.9 MB: Gotcha.

0:43:18.4 LD: We’re in Fanatics. We’re in these stores. We’re on Macy’s online.

0:43:22.8 MB: Gotcha.

0:43:22.8 LD: And we’re doing, so when I came to them and I’m like, “Hey, we’re on Walmart, e-commerce, we’re on Macy’s e-commerce, we’re talking to the… ” Now, they’re saying, okay, you already understand the retail space, so it’s not gonna be hard for you to continue to get into retail.

0:43:35.4 MB: But that’s like a chicken and egg though. So ’cause now you’ve got the partnerships and how’d you get the retail? Like, did it automatically come because you now had all these brands?

0:43:42.7 LD: I emailed.

0:43:44.9 MB: Oh, another email. Oh lord.

0:43:45.3 LD: I emailed the buyers.

0:43:47.4 MB: Okay. Okay.

0:43:48.1 LD: But it’s…

0:43:49.0 MB: LinkedIn is your friend clearly.

0:43:51.8 LD: I think I need to get a sponsorship with LinkedIn somewhere, because LinkedIn helped me.

0:43:55.6 MB: Wow.

0:43:56.6 LD: People don’t, people…

0:43:57.9 MB: Well, that was the purpose. Helping people connect.

0:44:00.6 LD: It helped people. That’s what it was.

0:44:01.8 MB: So you… So now you send an email to people at Walmart and Fanatics and…

0:44:05.3 LD: And told them I had the NBA, so that now you gotta get.

0:44:09.0 MB: Gotcha.

0:44:09.5 LD: This is where you leverage what you have.

0:44:11.7 MB: Yeah.

0:44:11.7 LD: So, with the NBA and WNBA and also I have our collegiate line, we have UConn and we’re looking at doing some HBCUs, but I had UConn.

0:44:20.6 MB: Gotcha.

0:44:21.2 LD: Start with what you know.

0:44:22.6 MB: Gotcha.

0:44:23.0 LD: I went to UConn. So I went… And I had UConn…

0:44:24.7 MB: So you had some products.

0:44:25.8 LD: I had products.

0:44:26.6 MB: So the retail people were willing to look at you ’cause you had some products.

0:44:28.0 LD: I had… You had big names behind you.

0:44:29.7 MB: Gotcha.

0:44:29.9 LD: So, hey, I have WNBA, NBA and I have UConn.

0:44:33.0 MB: And those were signed contracts.

0:44:34.5 LD: These are signed contracts.

0:44:36.6 MB: Okay.

0:44:36.9 LD: Product was already out there in the market.

0:44:39.0 MB: Wow.

0:44:40.7 LD: This is what we have. So then I emailed everyone at Fanatics. Hey, this is what I’m just trying to look for the right buyer. But you all… You wanna… So what do you do is you need to find your right buyer.

0:44:48.2 MB: Yeah.

0:44:48.4 LD: Because if you… Honestly, every other buyer, you gotta get lucky that someone reaches back if.

0:44:53.4 MB: Sure.

0:44:53.7 LD: You wanna know who you’re talking to ’cause you wanna curate that message to that buyer. After I reached my buyers, now I’m just trying to reach other people that could possibly tell the buyer, “Hey, I’ve heard about this person she’s trying to connect.” And that’s what happened. And that’s how I got started with Fanatics. And then once you have one, you leverage that for the other. I told the NBA store I’m in Fanatics. We have the NBA and then they give you, and that’s how you continue to build that repertoire.

0:45:17.3 MB: How long did all that take?

0:45:18.8 LD: ZaveryCakes started in June of 2020. For a year and a half.

0:45:25.8 MB: Wow. That’s a lot.

0:45:27.7 LD: Yeah. [laughter] a year and a half.

0:45:29.2 MB: That’s a lot.

0:45:31.4 LD: Nonstop for a year and a half.

0:45:33.1 MB: That’s awesome.

0:45:33.2 LD: Thank you. That… Yeah.

0:45:35.9 MB: That’s awesome.

0:45:36.4 LD: A year and a half of just doing the dirty work and then get mentors.

0:45:36.5 MB: I love that. Yeah.

0:45:38.1 LD: Get mentors. There’s a reason why even as athletes, and this will be the last, and you said three, right? This is my third one, is get a mentor. There’s a reason why Usain Bolt has a coach. There’s a reason that even though we were great at UConn, we had not one coach, there was four of them.

0:45:54.5 MB: Wow.

0:45:55.1 LD: We have a guard coach. There was two post coaching, and then you had the main coach. Is a reason you have coaches because they can see and have coached long enough to know what the pitfalls are.

0:46:05.0 MB: That’s right.

0:46:06.3 LD: And to say, “Hey, you think you’re great.” I, come on. I was an all American. I was good. You know what I mean? Whatcha talking about? I think I’m great. I was New York Gatorade player of the year. I was Miss New York. I was an all American. I am great.

0:46:16.9 MB: Wait, there was coaches waiting for you. They were like, “Let’s just see if she gonna be great after this.”

0:46:21.2 LD: Let’s, because we’re all, but we’re all coming in as all American.

0:46:23.4 MB: That’s right. That’s right.

0:46:24.3 LD: Yeah. You guys are naturally great, but do you know how to win? I’m sure. Yeah. We just put us together. No, that first year we lost.

0:46:32.2 MB: That’s right.

0:46:32.8 LD: And we had like eight All Americans. No, you need a coach. And what I learned in business is you need a mentor. When I went to One Million Black Women in Business, yeah. I tell people, do not just go, when you go out and you meet people, meet people for a reason. When I went to One Million Black Women in Business, and I saw that Melissa Bradley, I said, she gonna know my name by the time I leave this place.

0:46:58.4 MB: You did make sure of that.

0:47:01.6 LD: Every single time I can say, Hey, Melissa, I’m this person. Every single… Melissa probably like, why is she following me? [laughter] Why this girl following me?

0:47:08.5 MB: Well, there was a whole pack of y’all so [laughter]

0:47:11.5 LD: And I needed to make sure I stood out because I wanna make sure that when we leave here, if I could get Melissa Bradley as a mentor, man, that you can’t reach her on your best day. You can’t reach her on your best day.

0:47:23.2 MB: That is true. That is true, we’re working on that.

0:47:24.7 LD: So if I can get her number.


0:47:27.1 MB: And you have my number.

0:47:28.1 LD: I have your… I’ve been texting you.

0:47:29.8 MB: You have my number.

0:47:31.5 LD: I text Melissa. That’s a… I have another mentor, Nancy, she owns, she has a different business. Nancy Yen from OmieLife. And I have to shout her out because she had no reason to help me. Nancy has a million dollar plus business. She’s doing great. And when I met Nancy, it was through another friend, from the, actually NBA. And she was like, Hey, I have this girl, you know? And Nancy was like, I’m looking for mentees. Like I’m looking.

0:47:55.7 MB: Wow.

0:47:57.0 LD: But everybody’s so afraid to ask.

0:48:00.0 MB: Ask, yep.

0:48:00.5 LD: And I was like, “I’m not afraid. Can you be my mentor?” And to this day, Nancy has helped me navigate so much. I mean, so I could sit here and my importer, my… Carmichael, they’ve been my customs broker. And I mean, Nancy has helped me in ways that I would not be with the deals I have with retail. Why I’m like, Nancy, look, this is… And she’s like, and there’s never… And people are like, well, how do you get mentors? I always, Nancy, what can I do for you? How can I help you? And to this day, she’s like, nothing now.

0:48:37.3 MB: Just do you.

0:48:38.7 LD: Just do you. Yeah. You succeeding. It means I’m doing my job. But if she ever asked for it, I’m there in a…

0:48:44.2 MB: A heartbeat.

0:48:45.5 LD: If Melissa ever said, Lorin need… Say less. Just tell me where and when, because it’s a two-way street. And the information that you guys have provided me with has taken my business in what? I said 2020 what? Two, two and a half years now. So far in two and a half years that it would’ve probably taken me 10 years without a mentor. That’s why you need a coach. Get somebody who’s been there, who can be like, you’re gonna fall into this hole, let me help you walk around it because they fell into the hole already.

0:49:14.3 MB: We left part of ourselves in that hole.

0:49:15.9 LD: Exactly, so I’m gonna make sure you don’t leave part of yours. Go find a different. Go, go… And it helps you get further faster.

0:49:22.7 MB: I love that.

0:49:23.9 LD: Get a mentor, I preach that more than anything. Get a mentor, get a mentor, get a mentor.

0:49:29.0 MB: I Love that. So as you think back, ’cause you were obviously at the high point of sports, what’s the best advice that Coach Auriemma ever gave you that you still use today in your business?

0:49:42.3 LD: The best advice that coach. The best advice. Sorry. I’m thinking of something. Something funny coming to mind.

0:49:51.0 MB: I’m sure. I’m sure he’s like, “Pick up your daggone feet, jump higher.”

0:49:54.8 LD: I’m just, yeah. I’m just, I’m literally just watching him yell at me in my head. I’m literally just watching coach just yell at me. I’m sure I gave him a couple of gray hairs as well.


0:50:05.6 MB: I’m sure you weren’t the only one.

0:50:07.9 LD: New Yorkers, man, we [laughter] He’s like, I’m never gonna recruit another New Yorker. He had like me, Tina, and like Briah on there at the same time. I was like…

0:50:15.3 MB: That’s a lot.

0:50:15.7 LD: What did you think was gonna happen?

0:50:16.6 MB: Yeah, that’s a lot.

0:50:17.4 LD: Everybody’s from Queens. No, the best advice. You know I really would just say, I’m gonna take the advice… I’ll give you two.

0:50:34.8 MB: Okay, great.

0:50:38.0 LD: I’ll give you two. From Coach, I learned that you can’t do anything without a team. I learned. And it’s more of just what you learn. We didn’t win two national championships and we didn’t go 90 and 0, because we had one great player. We had… He used to actually say you’re as good as your weakest link, whatever that is, you’re only as good as your weakest link. So during my year we had Maya Moore, who recently has retired. But to this day, I would say is the greatest basketball player I’ve ever seen play the game of basketball. But with Maya alone we would not have won.

0:51:14.8 MB: Sure.

0:51:15.3 LD: We had to be solid at every position. And he would actually just say, what’s our weakest position? Well, that’s the one we need to work on. And in business, you’re not, I can’t do everything. ‘Cause when you do everything, you’re doing nothing ’cause I can’t give my attention to everything. So for me, the biggest thing I learned is I always look and I say, I need a team. And when you’re starting a business and you don’t have money, that’s very hard to build a team around that. So like, for instance, I don’t know anything about CAD files or developing anything, I’m starting in… I didn’t know anything about that. So when I had to start, I had to find a CAD developer to make my product. Because that’s engineering, I didn’t go to school for that. I found somebody in Brooklyn, 3D Brooklyn I found 3D Brooklyn. I’m gonna shout them out ’cause they helped… They gave me a start when I didn’t know where to start. They were a great jumping off point for me to start with. They were really… They took really good care of me over there. I went and I was like, “Okay, I need this to be produced.” And they were like, they could produce it, but it was costing me about 1200 per design.

0:52:25.6 MB: Wow.

0:52:26.3 LD: And it was taking me about four months to get one design made.

0:52:29.9 MB: Oh wow, that’s a lot.

0:52:30.4 LD: That’s not… You can’t go far. Again, what I learned from that, I said, “Okay.” Then what I did is I went out there and I found a CAD designer through Upwork. Did my homework, found somebody, and he was somebody, he was still in college.

0:52:46.3 MB: Oh, wow.

0:52:46.4 LD: And I’m like, “Look, I need this produced.” And I took what used to cost me 1200 and got that down to about $120 per design.

0:52:53.6 MB: Wow. That’s cool.

0:52:55.3 LD: And then I said, well, now I need to figure out how to 3D mold this, ’cause you have to test the product before you get it manufactured.

0:53:01.1 MB: Of course.

0:53:01.5 LD: I have to figure out how to get this 3D molded. And that was part of the 1200 and the four months. Because remember this company in Brooklyn, they’re working with other companies. So you need your stuff right there. That’s not how it’s gonna be. So what was taking four months, I went out, I was like, “Okay, how much is a 3D printer?” Well, a ready built one is $3000-4000. I don’t have that. So I went out and I bought myself a 3D printer that I had to build myself. I had to go on YouTube and figure out how to build it. And I learned to build it. I built a 3D printer, and then I had my CAD designer send me the, it’s like a file, and then I put that into my printer and I was able to print my product in about 12 hours.

0:53:46.5 MB: Wow.

0:53:46.7 LD: What was costing me $1200 and four months, I turned that to $120 and about a 12-hour turnaround.

0:53:52.8 MB: Wow.

0:53:53.0 LD: And if something needed to be changed where I would have to tell them and it’d take another couple of weeks, I went back that same day, “Hey, this isn’t right.” He changed it in a couple of hours and then we just reprinted it. And that is what I’m talking about, is where is your… That was my weakest point. Because at that point, it was taking me too long to go through the process and too much money. And then I was able to hire someone to work with me on a When I needed him basis, because I didn’t have enough time to full hire him at that time. And then I was able to cut down my cost and time tenfold.

0:54:26.8 MB: Wow.

0:54:27.5 LD: From there, then I got a designer, got that from Upwork as well. And then I started finding people to round out my team. All right. Now I need somebody to kind of handle operations. Who in my family can, at this point, can handle operations, or just a friend. And I’m trying to look at people who have careers that have handled operations and been in this position that could help me until I could bring somebody. And so I started rounding out that team. And for me, I always look at where’s my weakest point? Where can I… I had to get somebody. Remember when you deal with licensing, you gotta have your books in order. You have to have somebody because they need to see at any time. They gotta be able to pull that information.

0:55:07.9 MB: That’s right.

0:55:08.3 LD: I had to go get someone who knew finance and I need an accountant. All right. I had to round that. Then I started rounding out my team. And I think I learned that from coaches that you don’t win without people. And then I had another coach, Shea Ralph, she’s now the head coach, I think at Vanderbilt. She was so great to me when I was at UConn. She really helped me through my three years. She came after my three years there, she was like a second mom when I wasn’t home. Really. I owe Shea a lot. And Shea used to just tell me, “You can’t be afraid to fail.” I used… When I was at school, there was this thing, she was like, I used to always say, “Well, you can’t fail if you don’t try.” And she’s like, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” [laughter]

0:56:00.4 LD: “It’s the stupidest thing ever heard, Lorin? What do you mean you can’t?” “Well, Shea, I didn’t fail at this. I didn’t really try.” “What the hell does that mean? Why wouldn’t you try?” “Because I don’t wanna look stupid failing.” “You look stupid now.” That’s how she used to… “Like Lorin, I’m gonna put my foot so far up.” And she used to really just… And she used to be like, “You cannot be afraid of failing, because who are you worried about? The people who’s gonna talk about you, because at least you did something, they’re the ones talking. No one… I had the…

0:56:33.8 MB: And you’re making progress.

0:56:35.0 LD: You’re making progress.

0:56:36.4 MB: Yeah.

0:56:37.4 LD: No one who’s doing more than you has time to talk about you. And I’ve really learned that. When you’re working, I don’t have time to talk about what someone is or isn’t doing. I follow certain people because you. And then you get into a thing where the people around you, when you start making those friends or those people who are go-getters too. We’re too busy trying to look ahead to worry about what this person is and isn’t doing. Nobody has time for gossip.

0:57:00.9 MB: So if somebody, if a founder comes to you and says, “I’m really afraid to fail.” What would you say to them now? Or I can’t afford to fail ’cause you heard that in your cohort a lot.

0:57:10.8 LD: Yes. If a founder came up to me and said, “I can’t afford to fail.” I would really look at them and I said, “So you can’t, what you’re telling me is you can’t afford to succeed.” Because you can’t succeed if you…

0:57:26.0 MB: If you don’t try.

0:57:26.7 LD: If you don’t try. And with every try. And what I would tell them is that what you’re telling me is you can’t afford to succeed. And there is no such thing as failure. That’s the other thing I learned.

0:57:37.9 MB: Say more.

0:57:39.0 LD: There is no such thing as failure. There’s such thing as lessons. Before I started…

0:57:45.1 MB: So when y’all didn’t win the championship.


0:57:47.5 MB: That wasn’t failure. There was a lesson there.

0:57:49.8 LD: There was a lesson. And you know what? The lesson we learnt…

0:57:51.3 MB: What was the lesson?

0:57:52.6 LD: The lesson we learned is that you can’t just walk up in someplace and think you are gonna win because of what’s on the name on your chest.

0:58:00.9 MB: Right. And what you did.

0:58:02.7 LD: And what you did last year.

0:58:03.0 MB: The last couple years doesn’t stand this year.

0:58:04.9 LD: But the year we lost, we showed up. We weren’t engaged like we were the year before. Come on, we’re back to back repeating champions. Y’all should be afraid of us, who we worried about. We beat Notre Dame twice during a regular season. We’re not worried about… No, but you gotta beat them a third time to win the championship.

0:58:22.2 MB: That’s right.

0:58:23.1 LD: And we didn’t come prepared the third time.

0:58:24.0 MB: And they came prepared to say, “I cannot afford to fail, so let me do things differently.”

0:58:28.7 LD: No. What they came and said is, “I could afford to fail ’cause we did it twice already.”

0:58:33.3 MB: Gotcha. Gotcha.

0:58:35.2 LD: So they came with nothing to lose. What’s the worst, alright we lose to UConn a third time? What we came in is like half of us came in like, “Oh my God, we can’t afford to fail” And we lost. The other half came in we were like, “Well, we beat y’all twice. We ain’t worried about y’all.”

0:58:50.7 MB: Probably gonna do it.

0:58:51.6 LD: We gonna, we talking about what we’re doing after. And after we went home, that’s what we did after because we weren’t ready.

0:59:00.2 MB: On a chartered flight?

0:59:00.4 LD: We on our chartered, yeah, on our chartered flight. [laughter] But we weren’t ready. We weren’t… What I learned is you know what failure is? It just means you weren’t prepared for that moment.

0:59:09.8 MB: Gotcha.

0:59:10.9 LD: And that’s what makes it a lesson, because the next time there’s a moment, you’re gonna come better prepared.

0:59:15.4 MB: Yeah.

0:59:15.6 LD: So before I started ZaveryCakes, I had another company where someone literally took $20,000 from me. Because I didn’t know, I wasn’t prepared. I was just trusting every, this has been, this had nothing to do with like what I’m doing. It was something else I was doing, and again, people would tell you, not the first company you do is gonna be your winner.

0:59:36.7 MB: Right.

0:59:36.7 LD: ZaveryCakes wasn’t the first entrepreneurial thing I went out for.

0:59:38.7 MB: Gotcha.

0:59:39.3 LD: I had a different company. I was trying to bring a different product to market. And had somebody in Utah was like, “Ah, do this is” after 20,000. Couldn’t, didn’t hear from that person again. And most people say, I can’t afford to lose that. Or I was like, Alright, that’s a lesson learned. I didn’t go, that’s a lot of money.

1:00:00.6 MB: Yep.

1:00:00.9 LD: But again, I understood that I could make that money again.

1:00:02.6 MB: Yeah.

1:00:02.7 LD: But it’s a learning experience. Now. I controlled more. That’s why I, when it came to like, oh, it’s gonna take you four months and 1200.

1:00:10.1 MB: Right.

1:00:10.7 LD: Now, I’m gonna take control of that situation and figure out if there was a way from… Before I just listened to what people said.

1:00:15.9 MB: Yep.

1:00:16.1 LD: It’s not failure. It’s a lesson learned.

1:00:19.2 MB: I love it.

1:00:19.7 LD: And then with my next venture, I’ve now learned that lesson. And to this day, every day I am learning a new, it’s like putting out 10, being an entrepreneur is putting out 10 fires. And the next day, 15 more are popping up. But those are less, if the fires I put out today, I don’t have to put them out again. ’cause I understand those fires.

1:00:35.6 MB: And that’s the goal.

1:00:35.7 LD: That’s the goal.

1:00:35.9 MB: The goal is don’t let them scare you.

1:00:37.7 LD: Exactly.

1:00:38.0 MB: Learn so you don’t have to keep doing them again. I love that. So I’m gonna end on. You said you’re writing a book. Do you have a title yet?

1:00:46.4 LD: No, not a real book. It’s just what I call my book of life of just, it’s, when I say I’m writing a book is with everything that I do in life, I wanna make sure when I’m no longer here and people go, “What was her life story?” I call that my book.

1:01:02.0 MB: I gotcha.

1:01:02.5 LD: The different chapters of my life. I want them to all mean something. I want them to all be different. I want them to all say in her first chapter, she was a basketball player who played on every single level of the game…

1:01:17.0 MB: First chapter, I was a rebellious child.


1:01:19.7 MB: Second chapter, I played with boys.


1:01:24.4 MB: Third chapter. I… Yeah. No, I got you.

1:01:26.6 LD: And to say, in the first half of the book, she lived a full life.

1:01:29.0 MB: Yeah.

1:01:29.2 LD: Now, and the second half of the book, she didn’t just stop there. I wanna now rewrite this chapter to show young women behind me, young men, black women, black men.

1:01:41.5 MB: Yep.

1:01:42.5 LD: That we belong everywhere in this world.

1:01:46.0 MB: That’s right.

1:01:46.6 LD: There is no part that doesn’t belong to us. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there.

1:01:53.9 MB: Yep.

1:01:54.4 LD: Be willing to be misunderstood. Because when I started ZaveryCakes, people were like, what are you doing?

1:01:58.9 MB: Right.

1:02:00.4 LD: But now it’s like, yo, this is, wow. You know what I mean? My mom was, she’s like, why?

1:02:05.1 MB: Right.

1:02:05.4 LD: Now my mom’s my biggest fan.

1:02:06.6 MB: Of course she is.

1:02:07.3 LD: Know what I mean? And not that she didn’t love me.

1:02:09.6 MB: Of course.

1:02:09.7 LD: She loved me so much, she didn’t wanna see me.

1:02:12.3 MB: But she was limited by what she thought the potential was.

1:02:14.8 LD: What she thought.

1:02:15.4 MB: Sure. Every parent has that.

1:02:15.9 LD: Every parent is limited.

1:02:16.4 MB: It’s a blind spot.

1:02:18.1 LD: It’s a blind spot. And most people are limited.

1:02:20.7 MB: Yeah.

1:02:20.8 LD: Most people can’t, like, people go, “What do you see ZaveryCakes doing?” I said, “I see ZaveryCakes being a billion dollar business.”

1:02:27.4 MB: Right. And with these partnerships, you well on your way, so as we close, I’m gonna give you a potential title for a real book.

1:02:35.6 LD: Okay.

1:02:35.7 MB: It’s called Lessons Learned. ‘Cause that’s all you got. I mean, you are clearly the epitome of saying, if I made a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. How do I take that and turn it into a lesson learned? And I think at Goldman Sachs One Million Black Business, we talked about it.

1:02:50.6 LD: Yeah.

1:02:50.7 MB: I think many, so many people, particularly black women entrepreneurs who don’t have a lot.

1:02:55.2 LD: Yeah.

1:02:55.4 MB: Right? Are worried about losing everything. But I love what you said around, you can’t afford to not succeed. So I’m proud of you. I’m…

1:03:04.5 LD: Thank you, Melissa.

1:03:05.0 MB: Mentee. Yeah. I just say a friend ’cause you got my number. I don’t even know if my mentees have my phone number. But I’m grateful to you for coming looking sharp. She got the kicks to match everything looking good. And I’m looking forward to I’m gonna be the first person to buy the Charmed mold.

1:03:21.7 LD: Oh, the Charmed. I appreciate that.

1:03:23.8 MB: My kids used to watch that show. I never watched it. But you got a deal.

1:03:27.6 LD: Charmed, Supernatural.

1:03:28.4 MB: You got a deal.

1:03:28.9 LD: I’m actually gonna get, I’m gonna get y’all some products in here.

1:03:30.4 MB: Okay.

1:03:31.1 LD: Because you can use it in the office.

1:03:33.0 MB: That’s right. Okay.

1:03:33.5 LD: You know, we will. We’ll get y’all some good products in here.

1:03:35.7 MB: But I need to do one with the mix yo, and some really big directions.

1:03:37.2 LD: Some very big direction.

1:03:38.3 MB: ‘Cause I don’t know jack about making anything. I appreciate you, ma’am.

1:03:42.0 LD: I appreciate you guys allowing me to be here again. 1863. It’s been a pleasure, Melissa. It’s been a pleasure. And thank you so much again. And I only came here with my fit because every time I come near in your presence, I have to have my sneaker game. I have my LeBron, I have my Maccabees on today. My LBJ is on today.

1:04:00.6 MB: That’s right. You gotta come on.

1:04:01.8 LD: I gotta kind of come straight. But I thank you guys again and I hope that, there’s something that someone can take from this.

1:04:10.6 MB: Absolutely.

1:04:12.1 LD: And like I said, like my goal is to go home next year for my birthday. I actually wanna put on just like a three day event for my hometown of Queens.

1:04:20.4 MB: I love it.

1:04:20.8 LD: Where we could just give out free information because I think the lack of information.

1:04:24.2 MB: Oh yeah.

1:04:24.6 LD: Holds a lot of people back.

1:04:25.9 MB: Alright.

1:04:26.1 LD: And so I hope this helps.

1:04:27.2 MB: I’ll meet you in Jamaica Queens.

1:04:29.4 LD: You heard it here.

1:04:30.7 MB: My family’s from Jamaica Queens.

1:04:32.9 LD: Really?

1:04:33.1 MB: I’ll meet you in Jamaica Queens.

1:04:35.0 LD: My 35th. I’m looking to go back home and do that. So we’ll do that.

1:04:42.0 MB: You got a deal.

1:04:43.0 LD: Thank you so much, Melissa.

1:04:43.6 MB: We’ll bring our sneaker game. You got a deal.

1:04:44.4 LD: Oh, we got it.

1:04:44.7 MB: You got a deal. Lorin teaches you that you should never give up. Do not be afraid to reach out to people, even if they do not know you. Leveraging social capital and mutual connections can make all the difference of the world. Lorin talks about how sharing your story can help people feel connected to you. She notes the importance of mentors who are critical in navigating the personal and professional world. Be sure to find folks who support your vision. And remember, as Lorin said, “You can’t fail if you don’t try.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read the book of her life.

1:05:18.8 MB: Thank you for listening to Founder Hustle. If you enjoyed this conversation, please subscribe and tell a friend. For more information about our guests, check out our website, There you’ll find all kinds of information, tools, and resources for the New Majority entrepreneur. To stay connected, follow us on social media @wearenmv or Search #FounderHustle. Founder Hustle is a production of Kinetic Energy Entertainment and New Majority Ventures. Our producer is Ann Kane. Our social media producer is Misako Envela. The intro theme is Vuelta Al Sol by Tomas Novoa. The credit theme is Glide by Columbia Nights, and the Yays are from Ratata by Curtis Cole. I’m Melissa Bradley. See you next time.

1:06:09.6 MB: And we’re out.

1:06:10.4 LD: How was that?

1:06:12.2 Ann Kane: I have one note.

1:06:14.8 MB: That’s a miracle ’cause girl, when we first started doing this, Ann would be like, “I got like 30 notes here. How much time you got?” Okay. What’s the one note?


Melissa Bradley

Melissa Bradley

Melissa L. Bradley is the Founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures, a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth and Co-founder of New Majority Ventures, a purpose-driven media brand featuring content that is entertaining, inspirational and actionable so that these entrepreneurs and their businesses survive and thrive.