We had the good fortune of connecting with Kira Isbell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kira, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I have always been a bit of a risk taker. It is my belief that life is full of risks anyway, so I might as embrace them! Starting my bakery was definitely a risk that I jumped head first into. My degree is in education, not baking or business. I had to trust in myself while also being comfortable with the thought that, “Maybe this won’t work out, but at least I’m going to give it my all.” I believe that risk taking goes hand-in-hand with accepting that there will be failure. So many of the things I try with my bakery do not work out, so I go back to the drawing board and try something new. Without the risks, however, I would not have experienced any of the successes that I have. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I try to live by that motto.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Blue Sunflour Bakeshop is a humble, homestyle bakery with the goal of building community through food. Whether it’s bread, cookies, cinnamon rolls or scones, the idea is to have enough to share because my baked goods are meant to bring people together. The bakery is Colorado Cottage Foods Act Compliant meaning I am licensed to bake and sell out of my home. I also have my wholesale license and for those items I bake out of a commercial kitchen and then sell to businesses around town. You can find some of my products at Humble Coffee, Bread & Butter Market, and Rocky Mountain Soap Market. I am slowly but surely expanding and loving every moment of it!
My goal is to eventually have my own direct to consumer space, but until then I am happy to sell out of whatever spaces will have me. It has taken a lot of putting myself out there. I have gone to many businesses to ask if they want my baked goods in their stores. I have heard no more than yes and that is okay! All it takes is one yes, one person to believe in you, one person to give you a chance and then the door swings wide open with possibilities! I count myself blessed that I have found those people that have been willing to take a chance on me and that has opened up so many opportunities.
Before starting a bakery as a full time business I baked for friends and family members. I am mostly self taught and actually grew up learning the ins and outs of baking from my mom. As soon as I was big enough to stand and hold a whisk, I was in the kitchen helping her bake any chance I got. She spent countless hours in our tiny kitchen teaching me how to read recipes, how to properly measure ingredients, what flavors go together well and what don’t, and most importantly, how to use food to bless others.
It’s safe to say that from those early days in the kitchen, I developed a deep love and passion for baking as well as a deep love and passion for the people around me. While I love baking and that is my business, I love people even more and truly want to bless and love on those in my community. For me that love is exhibited through my baked goods. I believe that when we gather together and share food with one another there is something profoundly deep and meaningful that takes place. I share my food with you so that you can then share it with others and help cultivate community around you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many great places to visit here it’s hard to narrow it down!
We would definitely have to venture up to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I worked there once upon a time and still have great friends there, so taking in the gorgeous views and getting up close and personal with an animal or two would be a must. While up that way we would also have to hit up some of my favorite hiking trails (Seven Bridges, Captain Jacks, Columbine Trail…). A walk through Garden of the Gods would need to happen too. Really, anything where we could take in our beautiful scenery!
Once we’ve tired ourselves out from all the hiking, an evening of drinks at Cork & Cask or The Rabbit Hole would need to happen. If we wanted to go all out, then dinner at Four would be great as well! We would hit up some of the best local shops downtown as well like Eclectic Co and Rocky Mountain Soap Market. While in Colorado Springs, we would also need to be sure to grab a coffee from Wayfinder or Humble Coffee and do some exploring in Manitou Springs.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe a lot of my success to The Success Collective here in Colorado Springs. I was invited to their group back in May and gave them a quick pitch about my bakery, which was brand new at the time! They immediately had words of encouragement for me, great advice, feedback, and even partnership ideas. I left that meeting with so many more tools in my toolbelt than I had before. I have partnered with Ashley from Ashley’s Attic and done “Scone Saturday” events with her. I met Melody from Finicky Fox Design and she created my amazing logo. I got to know Jessica Daniels who has given me new connections, tons of business, and so many great ideas! I met Jessica Thompson who has also poured into my business more than I probably realize and even connected me with this Shoutout. I could go on and on. From that first meeting this incredible group of businesswomen has continued to help propel me forward. I would definitely not be where I am today without them!
Wandering Willow Photography