At SuitableYou, our team believes in empowering women through work attire and with the tools to succeed and build powerful careers. That’s why we love to rally behind female entrepreneurs, we call them Professional Gals. We enjoy meeting these successful go-getters and Sara Elise is one of those empowering and inspiring women. Meet Sara, the creator, and owner of Harvest & Revel – a full-service catering company in Brooklyn, NY centered around wellness food.
For Sara, a lover of food, people, and the environment, it’s all about organic, locally grown and ethically sourced ingredients. Nutrition and well-being go hand-in-hand, and that’s the concept behind Harvest & Revel. This isn’t your ordinary cookie-cutter catering service, which is why we find Sara Elise and her approach to life and work so inspiring. It can’t be easy being an entrepreneur. So, we want to know how she does it. Meet Sara Elise our Professional Gal of the month.
What tips would you give to yourself at the beginning of your professional career, given what you know now?
At the beginning your career, it’s super important to be open to all opportunities that come your way. Whether it’s going to networking events, you might not want to go to or taking jobs that might not pay as well but provide good exposure. Once your career is more established, I think it’s more important to prioritize shaping your career in how you want it to fit into your life. For me, that means often prioritizing an important social event over a networking event and only taking jobs I feel would be a strong addition to our event/client list.
However, in all stages of your career, know there’s always room to learn and grow! You will only continue to offer innovative service to your clients if you’re constantly learning about how the industry is evolving and updating your offerings for the changing market.
What would you say is the most important aspect that goes into building a successful business or brand?
Believing in it! I see so many people trying to create brands and businesses, but it’s clear something is holding them back, like being fearful of all it can become. Or maybe fearful of all they can become. If you’re going to spend time on your vision, then live in it! Believe in it fully so you’re creating the positive momentum it needs to thrive. Be your own biggest fan.
How do you deal with setbacks that occur in running your business Harvest & Revel?
My business partner and I study the setback in depth, making sure we’ve learned all we can from it. Then, we change our current practices so we can hopefully never deal with that particular setback again. Then we move on! We release it and don’t ever talk about it again. Once you’ve learned the lessons you need to, then it’s important not to dwell on the negativity.
What do you do when you are unsure about a future business move?
Every step of creating and running a business is unsure. Nothing is set in stone, so I’m just going with my gut for each decision I make along the way! When I’m particularly unsure about a future business move, I try to talk to as many people as possible. My business partner and I give each other our thoughts on the situation at hand and then we ask our mentors, friends, industry connections, etc.
Is there a saying or motto you live by?
Not particularly, but I realize that the more my heart expands – the more I’m open and accepting of others working out their particular stage of being a human. I am not the expert on anyone’s life except for my own. It’s an important perspective to keep because it reminds me I have agency in my life and that nothing anyone else does has anything to do with me! It’s very freeing to release control of others in that way and permits me to prioritize my self-expansion.
How do you achieve a work-life balance?
The reason I work is to prioritize play, experience, and creation as much as possible. So, achieving a positive work-life balance is natural for me. Meeting new people, planning events for clients with Harvest & Revel, and creating/hosting events through Blind Seed allows me to feel much of this even while I’m working, which is a huge blessing.
I also prioritize getting work done in small spurts throughout the day around my play schedule. So, lying in the park, working out, traveling, doing activities with friends, cooking, spending time with my partner or going out to eat. Those are my priorities. I fit my work in around those activities. Some days it doesn’t work out like this and I have to spend the entire day doing work but that’s definitely not the goal.
What is your go-to piece of professional workwear?
I mostly work in cafes and at home, so I’m usually dressed as I would for any day. But, when I’m working events – my black kitchen clogs are my go-to piece of professional workwear. Especially when I’m on my feet at a wedding all day – those are the only shoes that offer me support and are super comfy. Plus, I’m probably a weirdo, but I think they look cool, too.
What song do you listen to when you need a confidence boost?
I like Janelle Monae’s “Lettin Go.” This song reminds me that at the end of the day, none of this really matters. As much effort as we put into the careers we’ve built for ourselves, everything can end at any moment. And if it does we’re still going to let go, dance and play. It’s an important reminder.
What would you tell a woman interested in making the leap to entrepreneurship?
I would suggest getting familiar with the market you’re looking to expand into. Who are the major players thriving in the current market? What’s being offered? What are you going to offer that’s different than what other people are experiencing already?
Once you have your background research done and you’re sure of how to move forward, go! Jump in fully! Immerse yourself in your vision and tell everyone about it! Build as much positive energy and momentum around manifesting your goals and then watch them unfold around you.
Learn more about Sara Elise and Harvest & Revel.
By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy