November 12, 2021

The Reality of G.E.L. (Glamorous Entrepreneur Life)

By Kelsey Stokstad
The Reality of G.E.L. (Glamorous Entrepreneur Life)

G.E.L. aka Glamourous Entrepreneur Life, a term my work wife and Creative Director, Jenn, came up with during the early days of the Grasshopper Goods journey. A sarcastic acronym that got us through some insane moments and kept our spirits high even during the lows.

Not taking ourselves too seriously has always been an important part of GG. When I started the business, I envisioned an authentic brand. A brand and business where we were able to laugh at ourselves and show the vulnerable and not-so-glamorous side of running a small business. Because let me tell you, it gets hard!

In honor of this week being Women’s Entrepreneur Week, we wanted to share some insight on the not-so-glamorous side of entrepreneurial life (G.E.L.) because life ain’t perfect.

When we first started Grasshopper Goods, there were certainly some unexpected bumps in the road that affected my vision for the mobile boutique. We dealt with vending issues for many years but ultimately pushed forward with fervor; ask any entrepreneur, you have to work with what you got. And so, the many months of pop ups began during the winter months. We weren’t going to let permitting issues stop us from spreading the word about Grasshopper Goods!

Another big hurdle we dealt with in the early days (before our shop in Stoughton!) was that we had no location to keep our inventory. And so, our houses quickly became the GG inventory space where we learned the struggles of living amongst A LOT of stuff. We powered through this and it felt like a dream having our space in Stoughton.

Back when we were solely a mobile-boutique, the behind-the-scenes was a rollercoaster! Both the highest highs and the lowest lows. On more than one occasion, we had to push the truck and other vehicles  (with the help of other incredible vendors) out of mud; dealt with the worst Midwest weather; schlepping bin after bin to and from events; handling drunk festival goers on the truck; and so much more!

Going through the journey of being a mobile-boutique taught us so much; especially how incredible the vendy community is. Vendors are tough as nails! Through the worst of weather, early mornings, exhausting long weekends, packing/unloading/packing on repeat, the vendor community is tight-knit and we met some of the most incredibly passionate people.

Through every single low point, we always had a sense of humor! To be honest, I don’t remember the exact moment Jenn came up with G.E.L. but I can almost promise you it was during a moment of stress and exhaustion. Ever since G.E.L. came to, it was our favorite acronym to use when we needed a little laugh. 

Reflecting back on the Grasshopper Goods entrepreneurial journey, there is a specific moment I can remember that is truly the perfect metaphor for entrepreneurship.

I was driving back from yet another truck event through Wisconsin; a PEO fundraiser to be exact. As we were driving back, a tornado warning popped up and barely missed us! And mind you, our truck Vinny is not a fancy vehicle, he is a 1977 Chevy pizza truck with a lap belt for protection. Even with the wind out of control, we made it safely back to Vinny’s storage unit.

Entrepreneurship is exactly like driving through a tornado with only a lap belt; things will feel out of control and/or uncomfortable at points but you will get through it.

Isn’t that life, though? At the end of the day, life is hard... but if you can handle life, you can handle entrepreneurship. Just like in life, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll doubt yourself, and even have moments of regret. However, the flip side is getting to live out your dream, getting out of your comfort zone, meeting incredible people, and witnessing success.

Don’t give up on your dreams; it’s never too late. The first step towards entrepreneurship? Say it out loud! Talk about it, write about it, connect with mentors, and take action. You never know what beautiful journey may be in front of you.