Name: Lori Tishfield
Business/Location: Natural Talent / Jersey City (operating in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago)
Specialty: Natural product promotions completely staffed with actors
What problem does your business solve: We provide flexible and fun "survival jobs" for actors that enable them to use their performance skills to promote the hottest new products in the natural foods industry. For our clients, we provide reliable, outgoing, and charismatic staff who know how to "play" to a wide range of demographics and provide a positive experience with their brand. We perform your product!
What makes your business unique: We are completely comprised of actors. In the last 3 years, no one on our team has ever missed an audition or callback. Due to our commitment to support one another in our artistic endeavors, many of our members can be seen performing on Broadway, in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and we even have one member who has a recurring role in the new NBC pilot, Rise.
What’s your story: Well, I graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory, and I was on the hunt for a “survival job” that would give me the flexibility to audition. This was pretty hard to come by, so I hustled and ended up doing a ton of in-store demonstrations at Whole Foods. This was oddly perfect because it allowed me to combine my passion for food and acting training to sell a lot of product. In the process, I was approached by many natural food start-ups with proposals to do demos for them. At the time, I had too much on my plate, but I did have friends who needed the work....and then LIGHT BULB! Why not be the middle woman between all of these emerging brands and all of my actor-friends who need to find survival jobs? So in 2015, Natural Talent was born, and we are now one of the top recommended Whole Foods demo companies in the North East Region.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Know your "why" because it will constantly be challenged.
What do you wish you had known before you started your business: I wish I knew the time commitment involved...when I first started, I was working constantly... literally ALL.THE.TIME... always answering emails. Now, I've finally learned to shut off my brain during non-business hours... I think.
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it: Our greatest challenge is staying "woke" with what is trending. Looking at 2016 industry reports, natural food brands want to appeal to millennials and customers who shop online. As a response, we have launched a YouTube Channel called NOMtrepreneurs in which I showcase the hottest "NOMS" in the natural food industry and the entrepreneurs behind them. Follow us on Instagram @NOMtrepreneurs.
What are you most proud of about your business: I am most proud of the growth and reputation associated with my business. In the last 3 years, we have represented more than 60 brands (from startups to national brands like Organic Valley and Voss) and provided jobs to more than 50 actors. We now offer services beyond in-store demos — from major corporate events to boutique fitness studio customer activations....and now we have the YouTube Channel!
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur? I mean... the free food isn't shabby....but other than that, it's a really supportive community and there's always opportunity for collaboration.
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