Episode 68: Connecting the Dots with Adele Weaver

Personal Growth with Michael and Carolyn

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Adele Weaver: Entrepreneur

Adele Weaver is a lifetime entrepreneur with a 20 year track record of starting and scaling businesses. She started her first business at age 8, a bakery which she grew over the course of 10 years into a nationally recognized social enterprise called “Heavenly Bread Company”. She then went on to work with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation in Tulsa, OK to help launch the Kitchen 66 food incubator and the Mother Road Market food hall. Her work has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal, TEDx, as well as honored as the Tulsa Civic Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015. She also served as the President of the Oklahoma Incubator Association and on the board of the Oklahoma State School of Culinary Arts. Adele graduated with a B.A. in business and entrepreneurial studies from New York University. She currently lives in Tulsa with her husband, Dustin, her daughter, Amelia, and her dog, Nelly.

Putting dreams to work

Adele is hands down a dreamer, coming up with a new dream each day.  She worked hard to come up with ways to make those dreams become reality. She started her first business with her best friend and cousin, Jack, when they were just 8 years old, Heavenly Bread Co.  After summers selling lemonade they knew they needed to step it up and create something with purpose.  They wanted to build a conversation and create a story they could share with their community.  They used the resources they had, the support they received from their families and identified a problem they could solve.  They knew they could make a difference in their community by providing tasty baked bread that was healthier than what was found in the stores.  

From their experience in middle school they learned three things:

  1. Know your customer, it can’t be for everyone, make it for those who want it regularly.  Interview your customers.  
  2. Build around the customer, what else do they like?  Test your idea and get feedback. 
  3. Then go and make it!
Connecting the Dots

In college, through a hands-on learning class, Adele and Jack, relaunched Heavenly Bread Co. Adele was able to use the experiences she had in middle school to apply towards building something even bigger.  It was during this time she met many people with great business ideas but didn’t have the resources to launch them.  This led to the launch of Kitchen 66, a non-profit based out of Tulsa that provides local food entrepreneurs with affordable commercial kitchen space, business training programs, and sales and distribution channels.  With the success of these endeavors, Adele, plans to bring these resources online to distribute to food entrepreneurs everywhere!

Adelle’s Advice – Head Heart Hustle

Focus on specifically makes you excited, what makes you hustle, that is unique to you.  Hustle is something that you are so excited about, gives you energy, and that you can work on endlessly.  This is when you have the greatest opportunity to be your best and to make the biggest impact on the world.  Use your head and your heart – what you know, your skills, experience and resources.  Your heart is where your passion resides, what makes you extremely happy, or angry

You’re going to face a number of challenges.  When you reach these decision points, look for the opportunities that make you absolutely hustle.  Where you connect your heart with your head to get moving to make an impact – that’s your hustle.  It will be a process over time of connecting the dots using your passions and your strengths.  These may change and evolve but run with confidence in the unique path you can create.

You can find Adele on LinkedIn or at Kitchen 66.  If you’re in Tulsa, check out Mother Road Market 

Key Takeaways

  • Wake up in the morning with an action to complete that day.
  • The hardest part is taking the first step.
  • Success is a series of small steps taken every day.

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