We live in a world where we are constantly on the go, especially as entrepreneurs and millennials. Because of this, let’s be honest, we are most likely not eating right or getting the proper nutrition. Fast food consumes us and especially for breakfast.
However, there are people of color who are aiming at providing healthy alternatives for those on the go. Val Miller is the founder and owner of Oats O’ Good. I recently interviewed Ms. Miller where she chatted more on living a healthy lifestyle, as well as her company.
Can you tell me and the readers a little about yourself?
Sure I’m Val Miller I’m from the French part of Canada. That’s Montreal,Quebec. I grew up in a small town where everyone knew each other. My parents were working class. We always had plenty. I moved away from my city in my late 20’s to pursue my passion but soon after It didn’t pan out as expected.
So instead I decided to go with my next best option which was health and fitness. Did I say healthy lifestyle? Yes I did! Did that for many years. Cooking for and training clients. Thank
Growing up and still to this day who are your inspirations/mentors? How did they impact your life?
The person that inspired me in my early years is Iyanla Vanzant. She kept me sane I must say. I had lots of trials and tribulations that if I didn’t read her books I don’t know if I would have been this strong as I am today. Oprah Winfrey is another and Jesus. I pray every day and night for his mercy. I think him for all the blessings he has given me. I’m very grateful for all those inspirations as they’ve made me who I am today.
When did you discover your passion for entrepreneurship?
That’s a great question as I smile. When I was 15 I worked for a store caller “ Impression” in French it is Empression, also known as Au Couton. That store gave me an insight and within 6 months I was an assistant manager. Most times I thought I was the manager because I was the only one there selling and getting my ranks every meetings. I know I didn’t want a I I just knew I was destined to be an entrepreneur and an amazing sales woman.
What gave you the motivation you needed to start your company Oats' O Good?
I’m self motivated. I was always cooking and making those bars and I would talk about it and say, “Imagine my bars in stores one day”, that’s when I decided to do something about it. I woke up one day and entered a few shops that I would shop at and have conversations about who to talk to, etc.
In a sector full of big brand names products and breakfast bars, what separates yours from the rest?
The one thing that separates me is that my bars are low glycemic, no preservatives, and NO Corn syrup. Most bars are pack with lots of sugars and preservatives.
Is it hard being a woman of color and running a business? What are some of the positives and negatives of being your own boss?
The positive is I run my own business and don’t have to answer to a boss, lol. But I also have to figure out a lot of strategies for marketing and better business options to ensure more revenue. Negative is you don’t stop until you deliver the goods. But in the end I love what I do. Also, most people think being an entrepreneur is easy; it’s not and if you don’t have back up funds you can end up in the hole.
One of your main selling points is free from all common allergens, what does this include and also prevent?
It is free from nuts, soy, gluten, dairy and shellfish. It prevents insulin resistance, as we are low in glycemic. It is also high in antioxidants from our dark chocolate and great on the digestive system.
Did you initially create the breakfast bar as a better alternative for children and adults?
It was actually created for adults but realized kids loved them so wanted to market both demographics.
How many different flavors of breakfast bars do you have so far? Are there any new flavors and ideas brewing we should be anticipating?
We have 5 flavors which include: original, cranberry Orange, chocolate Ginger, dark chocolate chip and protein (cranberry chocolate with pumpkin seed protein powder).
Yes so much more! As the holidays are approaching we will become more creative and launch a few more, such as, Halloween goodies that will consist of pumpkin spiced bars.
What great words of wisdom and advice can you offer young entrepreneurs especially females?
I’d say never give up and don’t take no for an answer. Push until you succeed. You have to believe in your product before anyone can. Be Confident! Be Humble and you must have perseverance; check your ego at the door. Work hard and don’t worry about the money. If you do you’re in trouble. Focus on your brand and give it everything you have in you to be 100%!
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Evan Wheeler hails from Camden, NJ. Most know him as Huey X, which is his selected born again name. It was selected by his love of Huey P Newton and Malcolm X who he follows for their beliefs and looks up to as his mentors. Huey is a well educated brother by the standards of college, as well as being a self taught activist and revolutionary through his experiences in life. He also thinks of himself as an entrepreneur being involved in so many different fields that include: poetry, writing, youth advocacy, business development, investing, and production. He is, “Always looking to advance the culture & legacy ".