Season 2: Episode 7 Follow-up on Season 1 Guests

Small business is at the heart of the Texas Economy.

Over the year, we’ve gotten to know some fantastic small business owners in Texas, and I’ve been wondering how they fared during the summer that tracks with Q2 and Q3. In that time, we saw a massive rollout of the vaccine, increasing numbers in travel and tourism, and a general sense that people are ready to get back to life as usual. That’s all fantastic. But when it’s coupled with localized spikes and case numbers around the state supply chain disruptions and the uncertainty of this moment, we wanted to check back in with some of our guests from Season 1 and see how the year has treated them thus far. This week, we chat with Episode 7 guest, Scott Pepper of The Magician’s Agency Theater in San Antonio, Texas, and Episode 2 guest, Lori Schneider of The Cupcake Bar in Austin, Texas to ask firsthand, did the big summer season fix all the ails? Our first guest Scott Pepper of The Magicians Agency is optimistic for what 2022 will bring and is taking the lessons of the pandemic with him as he keeps his sights set on strategic goals for the future.

This episode of Emerging Texas Strong is sponsored by Texas Mutual Insurance Company, a leading worker’s comp provider in Texas, and is a production of Earnest Media.  If you are interested in sponsoring a heartful podcast focused on the journey of Texas business owners for a focused market audience email,

Episode 7 Guests:

Lori Schneider, The Cupcake Bar

Texas Mutual Insurance Company


TXMI Commercial: 00:00 Support for the Emerging Texas Strong podcast comes from Texas Mutual Insurance Company. A workers’ comp provider committed to helping companies build a stronger, safer Texas.

Host, Linsey Li…: 00:10 On this episode of Emerging Texas Strong,

Lori Schneider,…: 00:13 This time, last year, we got our first employee gift box in September. So that was like our first thing. We were like all focused, everything on that, you know, like it was great. But now this time, this year we have virtual events. We have these boxes, we have our live events. We have pickup and delivery, all of which are doing really fantastic. And I’m again, super grateful, but learning how to manage all of that is a beast.

Linsey Lindberg…: 00:36 What a difference a year makes, holy moly! One year ago, you got your first corporate gift box, and now here you are.

Lori Schneider,…: 00:42 Oh my God. I now

Host, Linsey Li…: 00:45 Welcome back to Emerging Texas Strong, a growing collection of stories, lessons, and advice from small business owners in Texas, working hard to survive this pandemic economy. We follow a collection of businesses and weave their stories together. As we navigate a full season of big picture topics like Emotional Intelligence at Work, Why Texas? And Disruptions in the Supply Chain. Over the year, we’ve gotten to know some fantastic small business owners in Texas, and I’ve been wondering how they fared during the summer that tracks with Q2 and Q3. In that time, we saw a massive rollout of the vaccine, increasing numbers in travel and tourism, and a general sense that people are ready to get back to life as usual. That’s all fantastic. But when it’s coupled with localized spikes and case numbers around the state supply chain disruptions and the uncertainty of this moment, we wanted to check back in with some of our guests from Season 1 and see how the year has treated them thus far. This week, we chat with Episode 7 guest, Scott Pepper of The Magician’s Agency Theater in San Antonio, Texas, and Episode 2 guest, Lori Schneider of The Cupcake Bar in Austin, Texas to ask firsthand, did the big summer season fix all the ails? Our first guest Scott Pepper of The Magicians Agency is optimistic for what 2022 will bring and is taking the lessons of the pandemic with him as he keeps his sights set on strategic goals for the future.

Scott Pepper, T…: 02:14 My name is Scott Pepper. I’m the owner of The Magician’s Agency Theater in San Antonio, Texas. And we specialize in magic comedy and illusion shows for the whole family.

Linsey Lindberg…: 02:23 We just wrapped up the summer season and I know that you were really looking forward to a great big return. So how was the summer for The Magician’s Agency?

Scott Pepper, T…: 02:33 So we actually had a very good summer in 2021. It was nothing like 2019 of course, but you know, a hundred percent better than 2020. Uh, yeah, it was great. We booked, um, five different acts to come in from different places around the U S most of them actually from LA. Uh, we had each act in for about two weeks. These are acts that I’ve worked with in the past, or I’ve come highly recommended through people at the castle or from cruise ships. And we definitely didn’t get the audiences that we did in 2019, but we had enough to keep us going through the summer and really try and kind of kickstart the business. Again.

Linsey Lindberg…: 03:10 Tourism was one of your main draws from, from who you were getting your customer base from. What did the tourism crowds look like this year?

Scott Pepper, T…: 03:18 So I actually, like you said, yeah, tourism is pretty much most of our business here and it felt similar to previous years, just about 25% – 30% less. So that’s how it looked around the city. So we expected to get that kind of numbers through the theater, and that’s kind of what we did as well. We had about 25% to 30%, maybe a little bit less than we did in 2019. So people still came and the percentage of people that were in town, uh, the right amount of percentage came to see the shows, but we were just missing that big slice of people who weren’t just ready to come out yet.

Linsey Lindberg…: 03:51 Were you able to keep up with demand as far as like with your staffing and how much you were able to give?

Scott Pepper, T…: 03:58 When it came to staffing? I was very lucky. I’ve got an awesome group of people that have been with me for two to three years. Some of them were new and it was actually for us, no problem, finding people. We only needed two or three people to help us out through the summer. Our team is very small. It’s only five people plus myself. So yeah, we, we stayed as a team the whole summer and we made it through together. So it worked out really well.

Linsey Lindberg…: 04:21 Were you able to get any of the SVOG or any of the grants that came through just recently?

Scott Pepper, T…: 04:27 So the SVOG grant has been something that I’ve was dealing with. Uh, I mean, it must’ve been nearly a year now and at some points I’d just kind of written it off, that it wasn’t going to happen. Uh, cause I didn’t hear anything. And then suddenly in the last two months, everything came together and we received our grant about six weeks ago.

Linsey Lindberg…: 04:45 Congratulations. That’s so wonderful.

Scott Pepper, T…: 04:47 Well, thank you.

Linsey Lindberg…: 04:49 Is it making a difference financially?

Scott Pepper, T…: 04:52 A huge difference because it was a big chunk of what we lost in 2020 and it really lets us now get back to our regular marketing, um, schedule and you know, not have to worry about bringing the acts in and things like that and not, not worry about losing even more money. So yeah, it’s made a huge difference. It’s really taken the, uh, the edge off

Linsey Lindberg…: 05:14 And it’s helping you set yourself up for more success next year.

Scott Pepper, T…: 05:18 Yeah. We’re actually already booking acts for 2022 now up in, I mean we’re booked yeah. Booking acts through June and July now. And we can do that. Thanks to this, uh, the kind of knowledge now that we’re going to be okay through the next year.

Linsey Lindberg…: 05:31 That’s wonderful. Did you see any changes with the Delta surge as it happened

Scott Pepper, T…: 05:37 With the Delta surge we’ve definitely noticed recently that in September and now October numbers have been lower than they normally have. So I think it really has made a difference. We were good up until about the end of July. Uh, actually ended July was one of our busiest weeks then August kind of dropped off a little bit like it would at the end of the summer, but I feel like September was really hit more by the Delta surge.

Linsey Lindberg…: 06:03 Are you experiencing any kinds of supply chain disruption or is that something you have to think about?

Scott Pepper, T…: 06:08 So in regards to supply chain disruptions actually, yes. Funny enough, this is the weirdest thing. Uh, we can’t get sponge a sponge. I well, so we used to sell this awesome trick, sponge rabbits, that where the rabbits multiply and disappear and the supplier can’t get them anymore. Apparently there’s a sponge shortage, uh, around the world. Um, also a lot of the other magic tricks that we sell in our magic shop. We’ve had to switch to different ones because they’re not available. Most of them come from India and those supply chains have been down. But other than that, um, really everything else has been okay. It’s just been the, uh, the magic tricks that we sell in our magic store.

Linsey Lindberg…: 06:51 It’s so interesting how the supply chain works because it touches everything that you would never think about in, in different industries. The fact that magic tricks.

Scott Pepper, T…: 07:02 Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I, I never would have thought there’d be a worldwide sponge shortage, but there you go.

Linsey Lindberg…: 07:10 I love it. So I know that when we talked to you before you were saying that you were using this opportunity to get out and travel, and do you feel like you’re taking those cues from the pandemic and kind of re merging them back into your life as you pick back up? Or are you finding ways to, uh, retain the calm while it gets crazy?

Scott Pepper, T…: 07:34 I actually, my goal was to make sure during the summer, because we had here off, obviously during the summer, I was just going to work my butt off and not take any time off and just work from the end of may through to the beginning of August. And that’s exactly what I did. And then, but at the same time, keeping in my mind very strongly that I was going to make sure I balance time off with, um, with work. And yeah, I, I definitely think that I’ve taken that attitude from the pandemic into our new model because, uh, as I said beforehand, it was me doing all the shows and now I’ve really let go and just hiring magicians on a weekly basis, which has given me so much more time to work on other things. So that’s been a great, and also travel wise in the last two months, I’ve taken two trips. Uh, I went to see my family in Florida and then me and my girlfriend just took a trip up to new England. And, you know, again, it’s just important time off that. I think I need to be able to give myself every year as a reward for working my butt off during the hard times. So I, at the minute I feel like it’s a good balance and I don’t feel like I’m going back into the rut or how I used to be of just work, work, work. I felt like I’ve really kind of, I’ve seen the light now when it comes to having that time off and enjoying the time outside of work. Um, so yeah, I really do think I’ve implemented what I learned over 2020.

Linsey Lindberg…: 08:55 Oh, that’s wonderful. What do you see on the horizon? What are your thoughts and predictions for 2022?

Scott Pepper, T…: 09:02 So for 2022, everything seems to be going the right way for us. I am actually thanks to being able to bring in the other racks. It’s freed me up to do other work, which has been great. So I’m doing a little bit of work for Six Flags Fiesta Texas now, which is going back to my roots as an illusionist, which has been really, really good fun. And if that’s something that carries on, I will be very, very happy. I’m actually starting to do some more upgrades around the theater. And, uh, actually finally, I’ve been living in this building for three years under the theater, which has been extremely convenient, but obviously you’re kind of surrounded by work the whole time. So I’ve made a goal that in the next six months I will be moving out of this building and moving into a place away from work to further separate that kind of work, uh, personal life, um, separation. So yeah, um, the place where I live is actually going to be turning into a small museum for magic and hopefully then we’re going to be able to accommodate the acts that come in from LA or Vegas, and there’ll be able to have a place to sleep as well. So, um, yeah, I think 2022 is going to be very similar to 2021 in the sense of a format of our business, but hopefully, uh, a lot more fun and even busier.

Linsey Lindberg…: 10:12 It really sounds incredible. It sounds like you’ve really used use this moment to catapult yourself to exactly where you want it to go. You never lost sight of your vision.

Scott Pepper, T…: 10:22 Yes. I, I think I tell everyone I am so… I I’d hate, like I said to you last time, Linsey, it’s easy to sit here and go, oh, this is awful. And 2020 was terrible for us, but really, like I say, that gave me that time to step away from things reevaluate and come back in fresh. And I think it’s really helped and it’s actually helped strengthen our business as well because I can do more things productively, uh, in a shorter amount of time than being stretched so thin. Like I was so like tonight we have magician, Arthur, Tracy, I’m from LA I’ll be doing the warmup for him, but after that, I’m, you know, he’s on it’s him and I get to enjoy the night and I get to, um, you know, take care of everything else that goes around without too much stress. So it’s yeah, really quite enjoyable. So, yeah, other than that, it’s, um, we’re just going to keep moving forward and hopefully keep improving and keep bringing in great magicians. And that’s really the, at the simplicity of it for us.

Linsey Lindberg…: 11:23 That’s wonderful. I’m so glad to hear that, that you’re in a good place and that things are looking bright for the future. So wishing you all the best. It’s great to catch up with you. Thanks for taking the time.

Scott Pepper, T…: 11:34 No worries. Thank you very much, Linsey.

Linsey Lindberg…: 11:37 All right. Okay. Wish you well, bye.

Scott Pepper, T…: 11:39 Bye. Bye.

Host, Linsey Li…: 11:41 Want to show your support for Texas small business owner Scott Pepper? If you’re in San Antonio and looking for a fun family experience to get up, to take an evening to visit Scott and the folks at The Magician’s Agency.

Scott Pepper, T…: 11:52 So now we’re nearly out of the pandemic. You want to come out and get some live entertainment, come down to The Magicians Agency Theater, just opposite The Alamo. We have award-winning magicians from around the world, appearing here every single weekend. Our shows are completely family friendly, and you’re going to see some amazing stuff. Just like you see on television. Most of our acts have been on AGT, Penn and Teller or Masters of Illusion. These are some of the best guys around. So come on down and bring the family and have a great night here at The Magicians Agency Theater.

Host, Linsey Li…: 12:21 When we come back from break, we’ll check in with Lori Schneider, owner of The Cupcake Bar in Austin, Texas, and find out how 2021 is treating her and what her team is doing to continue to create sweet smiles via both virtual and live events. But first a word from our sponsor.

TXMI Commercial: 12:41 Support for this program comes from Texas Mutual Insurance Company, a safety focus workers’ comp provider, supplying information and resources that can help Texas employers stop accidents before they happen more at

Host, Linsey Li…: 12:56 And now back to our show. Lori Schneider has owned and operated her Texas-based business, The Cupcake Bar for 14 years. She and her fabulous Cupcake team know how to bring smiles to people, celebrating special occasions. And although the pandemic has definitely made that harder, I was so proud to be in the room when Lori and her team won an Austin industry award for best pivot during the pandemic, riding the rollercoaster of COVID variants, the pivot to virtual and opening up a sister company for corporate gifting and gift box delivery. The Cupcake Bar consistently showed up for themselves and their clients. Like the King Midas of candy, they carried on their mission to spread sweetness and smiles through anything they touched.

Lori Schneider,…: 13:52 Hi, my name is Laurie Schneider. I’m the owner of The Cupcake Bar located here in Austin, Texas, and I’m excited to be here.

Linsey Lindberg…: 14:00 So we all know that this has been a super turbulent year and here we are, we’ve just finished summer season. We are really deep into the fall. What has, what has this year brought so far?

Lori Schneider,…: 14:16 Even more craziness and uncertainty that I thought was possible? You know, as I think for many of us the year started off still very challenging. We were all in the thick of COVID and shut downs and everything and vaccinations started coming out and there was kind of that glimmer of hope that maybe things would, would kind of go back to quote unquote whatever that new normal is. And, you know, we started to see events coming back and things coming back and people getting together again, as vaccinations were rolling out and, and then lo and behold, Mr. Delta came through and changed all of that again. And I think for me, as well as I think a lot of people, it definitely blindsided us because we were kind of on the trajectory of like, okay, events are opening up. We’re still going to be careful, but there’s ways we can have safer events. And then Delta came through and just kind of put another wrench in everything. And we kind of had to like once again, pull back and review and, you know, figure out what it is we were going to do. It was a little disheartening, obviously I know for a lot of people, because we just kind of thought that there was that light at the end of the tunnel and not just like business wise, but like personally too. And, and then Delta came and changed all of that.

Linsey Lindberg…: 15:25 Are you still feeling the effects of Delta or is it starting to return?

Lori Schneider,…: 15:31 Well, as of what this week, Austin turned from level five to level four, uh, stage four. So what we are seeing now is we are seeing more gatherings, so right when Delta took off the way that it did, it was, it was very quick and rapid. So we had started to see people booking events, people were going back to the office and, you know, we were just seeing a lot of that kind of like people trying to get back into a new norm or, you know, not only just mental sake, but, you know, just to kind of have like a kind of get back into a routine. And then when Delta hit it forced everybody to basically cancel everything. And I think a big part of it was like, we just didn’t know what was going to happen. So I had not only all of my events canceling once again, but I also had projects I was working on, whether it be employee gift boxes or whatever, like just everything stopped there for a hot minute for like, probably like a good month. Everybody was just trying to figure out what, what to do and where to go and what was next as best they could. So that was really scary for us. Cause I was like, oh my gosh. Now, now what stage five of Jumanji what’s next? That’s literally what it feels like, like cannot predict what’s going to fall out of the sky on us tomorrow.

Linsey Lindberg…: 16:44 Oh gosh, for sure! Well, so in the last time that we talked to you, you talked a lot about your pivot into making corporate gift boxes. How is that at this point? Are you still, are you still focusing on those?

Lori Schneider,…: 16:59 Yeah, so, um, I think since last time we talk when the, um, I don’t know if I, I mentioned before, but we are, um, actually full on into the process of, of rebranding and kind of updating our brand to showcase all of the new things we now offer. And we are heavy into planning, Halloween gifting, um, employee door drops, client gifting, Christmas and holidays. We’re seeing all of that come back with a vengeance. Um, I know, you know, a lot of people are still staying home, so that’s been a big deal. Um, but yeah, we’re seeing a lot of that and we’re definitely holding onto it. It’s been really great for us and we really do enjoy it. It does feel like an event also and we get to use creativity and we get to have fun with it. So yeah, we definitely will be continuing that our virtual classes have exploded. We are doing all kinds of virtual classes. That’s really helped us and everybody else because it’s just something that, you know, it brings joy to people in their homes, you know, while people are still at home working from home, um, we’re actually doing a virtual class, right. As we speak, we have Nadine the most amazing drag queen and there with our amazing Professor Alexa and they are doing a wonderful class for Google. And so it’s really encouraged us that, Hey, I think that that’s definitely going to stay around too. We do. And we’ve, since we’ve last spoken, we were only doing cupcake decorating. And since then we’ve added on so many other options. Like you can add a drag queen and they’re so wonderful because they can do performances and it’s just so much fun. And so, um, there’s that we are doing candy sushi making, we are doing candy charcuterie boards. So there’s all these different options that we’ve gotten creative and have been able to offer to our clients who are looking for that, something fun to do at home and bring the team together, whether it be team building or just creating an experience and getting people together the way that we now know how, which is virtually.

Linsey Lindberg…: 18:48 Well. So now that you are balancing both in-person and the success of your, your pivot of all of the virtual stuff, how are you doing with keeping up with demand?

Lori Schneider,…: 19:00 Um, not so goood. It’s been challenging because like I said, you know, we had a mid-year retreat and all signs pointed to things we’re going to open up and we kind of know how to plan at least, you know, kind of get our ducks in a row because this is what we know, we know events. Uh, and then, you know, we were thrown the Delta and it really has made it very difficult for us to plan in terms of staffing, which has been a huge issue and resourcing resources, I think have been the hardest thing to kind of try to navigate because just getting the products that we need has been a huge, huge, huge issue. And when we can get the products, you know, like sometimes they are even double the costs that we’re used to paying to. And so we’re trying really hard not to pass those along to our, our customers, but we are definitely seeing the impacts of all of that. And that has been very, very challenging. So in terms of demand, um, we have a ton of events coming at us now, which is fantastic. I just don’t have the bandwidth in terms of staffing to be able to take all the events and we’ve for really kind of the first time ever had to turn away some events because we just don’t have the staffing to do it. The other hard part is they’re coming very, very, very last minute and I’m sure you’re experiencing this as well. And I think it’s because people are like, okay, I think we’re safe to do it. Okay. Now we’re stage three or stage four or whatever. So now we can do this event, but let’s do this event before it goes back up or down again. So everybody’s kind of in this weird limbo and they pull the trigger a little bit later than usual and it’s just, it’s really challenging. So we are trying really hard to, to remain flexible and optimistic and you know, to work through all of that because everybody’s really in the same boat, but it’s, it’s hard.

Linsey Lindberg…: 20:41 So you had brought up about having some supply chain issues. One thing I find as I speak to people is every industry has some items that you would never think would be disrupted by the supply chain. And I imagine you’ve got a ton because you’re doing so much sourcing and procurement. So what kind of supply chain surprises are on your doorstep?

Lori Schneider,…: 21:02 This year? Oh my gosh. Where do I start? Okay. I had a client who wanted branded armchairs as part of their employee gift. It was like a summer package and we’re like, oh my gosh. Yeah, that’s so cute. I reached out to my vendor and we start pulling together. She’s like, Lori, there’s no armchairs. I’m like, I’m sorry, what, like, what do you mean? There’s no armchair. She’s like, yeah, we’re sold out. And I’m like, Hmm, I don’t know. So then I start going online cause I don’t take no for an answer very well. And I started searching and sure enough, you know, the little like armchairs that you sit out in the beach, you can not get them. And I’m like, what the heck? And so I call, I call another vendor and I’m like, you know, what is going on there? Like there’s a shortage shortage of armchairs. And I’m like, okay, okay. And I had to tell the client and I was like, how ridiculous is that? It’s like to tell them that there is a shortage of armchairs. Like that’s ridiculous. And I don’t know if it’s like the metal or the, the textiles that were, you know, that make it up. I don’t know. But that was so crazy. And now what we’re seeing is so like we do like the candy charcuterie boards, which require a lot of candy to make like one of those beautiful spreads and candy. Like my vendor, like they’re, they’re pretty much, you know, as of today, it’s October 1st, they are out of everything for Christmas. And it’s really hard for us because we don’t purchase until we book a class generally, as we don’t know, like some classes, they may want a full-on Christmas theme, but another class may want a winter theme. And so we are seeing even just like being able to get something as simple as candy, something as simple as gum drops, it’s just challenging. And of course the glass shortage is another one paper goods just increased about 15%, which is pretty significant. So yeah, there’s, there’s definitely shortages and I’m, I’m definitely concerned about the holidays because all we keep hearing is that, you know, everything’s backed up and we don’t, if we’re going to get anything. And so I’m really encouraging my clients to like, let’s get our orders in because I’m, I’m just really concerned about what’s going to happen for the holidays this year,

Linsey Lindberg…: 23:00 Especially when yours is a consumable good.

Lori Schneider,…: 23:03 Right, right.

Linsey Lindberg…: 23:05 Tons to think about. And at the same time, it’s like, who can deal with strategy and planning when every morning you can’t wake up and answer these emails and put out these fires. Yeah.

Lori Schneider,…: 23:17 And unless you’re on the back end sometimes and like really dealing with it, you just don’t see it, but I’ll work with our vendor and we’ll be like, okay, I have a bed out for 350 blankets. And she’s like, if you don’t get that order in, you will not have a blanket to send to them. And I’m like, what do you mean? But didn’t try to explain that to someone is very challenging, you know? And, and then you don’t want to disappoint someone, you know, we want to offer what we propose to them a month ago, but from literally day to day, like you said, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Say like, okay, now they’re out of this. Or now they’re out of that. Like right now here’s another shortage that we’re experiencing is, um, we use plastic piping bags for our virtual classes and the plastic piping bags. I can’t get them at all. So we send them in virtual classes so they can make their cupcakes. And it’s been challenging. Like we’ve been shorted on those for the last like month or so. Wow.

Linsey Lindberg…: 24:08 Wow. I want to ask about grants or any kind of support or things through your SBA in Austin. I mean, did you get PPP2? Was there any kind of assistance so far this year?

Lori Schneider,…: 24:23 This year we did get PPP too, but outside of that, we have not gotten any other assistance.

Linsey Lindberg…: 24:29 Well, so just to wrap it up, what are your thoughts about the future? Like how are you feeling about 2022? What do you see on the horizon? Are you brave enough to speculate?

Lori Schneider,…: 24:41 No. Uh, no. Uh, I was so optimistic for 2021. The vaccines were here or coming or getting closer and you know, it just it’s like the saga of 2020 quite honestly. So, you know, we’re grateful, we’re so grateful to still be here and we’re so grateful to be in this space of being able to go virtual if we need to, or, you know, live events if we’re able to. So I feel very, very grateful for that. And you know, that’s not lost on me that we’re still here and I’m, I’m so happy for that. So as far as 2022, I mean, I think for us as a business, I think our goal really is just going to be like, just keep our head down, keep trucking along. And I think the hard part is not to let, even though it’s really difficult, but not to let all of these changes affect you and to the point of an ability to act. And I think that I try hard not to speculate only because if I know what’s in my gut where it’s like, Ugh, maybe it’s not a good outcome. Then I just kind of want to shut down a little bit. And I just, I’m not in a place where I can do that. Um, as a leader here. And so I’m not going to speculate for 2022, we’re just going to keep our head down and keep pushing along. We’re I’m going to look forward to our rebrand, which will probably launch in early 20, 22. And I want to say things could only get better, but I’ve said that before, so it’s hard. And it’s hard, cause I don’t want to sound like pessimistic either. You know? Like I don’t want to sound like, oh, it’s so negative, but man, it’s just, it’s just been a doozy of a year and a half. Right.

Linsey Lindberg…: 26:16 There’s not any other way to say it. Yes. I just wanted to ask, since it’s a question, I honestly asked myself all the time, but do you feel like you’ve got enough steam in the engine to keep going?

Lori Schneider,…: 26:29 You’re going to make me cry? Um, I’ll tell you what, when Delta hit, like, I was like, I can’t go through this again. Like I, I cannot just, and it’s not even like, like we we’re set up, we’re set up for now virtual or not, but it’s just beyond that. It’s like, you know, my, my kiddo is 10 and having him have to come back home and having my, my particular child really thrives around other people. And that was hard for him mentally and everything too. And just, you know, the whole, all of it, just like everybody else, all of it. And I don’t know, I, I had a hard time when Delta hit and we had to kind of shut down again because I was like, I can’t, I can’t, I cannot, luckily I’m surrounded by an amazing group of women here, um, that helped run this place with me, but it was hard. It was hard. And it was, I think the harder thing was, is when Delta had here and we went to stage five and everything shut down again, everything started canceling and I didn’t know what I mean, everything I’m more than just live events. My live events, my virtual events, my corporate gifting, like it’s like the revenue stream just kind of like dried up. And I was just like, oh my gosh, here we go again. You know, like with the panic and the PTSD and like just all of it, like, oh, you know, it’s like, I don’t think I could put myself through that again. Or anyone else here. Like, it was just so hard. It’s been hard. I mean, we’re better now on our virtual side of things have picked up again, live events are picking up and that’s great, but God, I don’t think anyone, anyone I know wants to go through March, 2020 again, and kind of all of that, you know, it’s like one thing that I think all we’ve all learned from it in some weird way about like, I don’t think he wants to want, they don’t got to go through that again. Like absolutely not the sheer panic alone, you know? Like now I’m good again. It’s like, it, it really does feel like Jumanji if, if you have to relate it to something. But, um, but I mean like overall, like I know like we’re talking about things in PTSD, but I feel hopeful. I mean, and I know it’s never going to end, but like how do we learn to live with this in a manageable way?

Linsey Lindberg…: 28:43 Yeah. And for me, I’ve come to just believe that we just have to trust. We just have to trust in the unknown. And that’s the only thing we just have to keep doing good work and trusting that it’s going to find a way. Yeah. And that’s all I got.

Lori Schneider,…: 29:02 Yeah. I mean, we have to, right? What’s the alternative? We have to.

Linsey Lindberg…: 29:06 Yeah.

Host, Linsey Li…: 29:09 Interested in learning more about The Cupcake Bar and some of its delicious, fun, virtual distance or live event services. Here’s Lori to share what they’re working on.

Lori Schneider,…: 29:20 If you and your team would like to experience some of the stuff we’ve worked up over this whole crazy COVID situation, definitely reach out. We have a lot of really fun options to include our virtual classes, where we get online. We send you everything. You need to do a virtual class online with our cupcake connaseours. And with that, you get to experience learning how to decorate your own cupcake. We teach you all kinds of fun techniques and ways to do that. We also have a fun candy charcuterie class, and you have the options to add on, like, if you want to do cocktails and cupcakes, we can do a fun little cocktail class. Um, we have the option to add on a drag queen. There’s so many fun things we can do to really bring that entertainment into your home, super duper easy. So that’s one of the fun things we offer. And then the other thing that we have really been focused on offering is bringing joy into people’s home. Through gifting. We find out what the theme is. What’s important to them. Do they want to brand, do they not want to brand, do they want to send a cozy box home or is it all about fun? And we curate something special just for them. We manage the shipping, the delivery, whatever that looks like for them and try to make it super easy for them. So they can focus on the other things that they have on their plate, which as we all know, we all have a lot on our plates right now. So let us take that off of yours.

Host, Linsey Li…: 30:35 Thank you for joining us on this episode of Emerging, Texas Strong. We’re proud to be on this journey together here at the podcast. We truly believe that if we share our stories and lean on each other, we can all emerge from this Texas strong. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast or found it useful, please share an episode with a friend. We want to grow Emerging Texas Strong as a free resource for business owners. So send it to someone who could use these lessons to be happier and healthier business owners. Join us next time for Episode 8, What Your Accountant Wants You To Know, where we’ll sit down with a CPA to find out what you need to know about how this year will affect your taxes and why having an established relationship with your CPA is essential in moments like these podcast, production interviews, edits, sound design, and office snacks for the Emerging Texas Strong podcast are done by Linsey Lindberg, bios and business information for all guests featured in Season 2 can be found on Find out how you can work with them and support Texas small business. To share the hope, the journey, the struggles, and the advice. Be sure to follow like rate and subscribe to Emerging Texas Strong on the web so each episode shows up directly in your podcast feed. And if you’re enjoying the show and want to show us some love, leave a five-star review, it’ll help more people find us. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn @emergingtexasstrong or Twitter @texasstrongpod, where I’ll be posting ways to connect with our guests and gems from episode seven mentioned in today’s show. And if you’d like to be interviewed, you can reach out to me, Emerging Texas Strong is a production of Earnest Media. If you are interested in sponsoring a heartful podcast, focused on the journey of Texas business owners for a focused market audience, we’d love that email And remember, you’ve got a friend somewhere in Texas, who’s rooting for you. I’m your host, Linsey Lindberg. Join us next time. For more stories of Texas small business on Emerging Texas Strong.

TXMI Commercial: 32:55 Support for the Emerging Texas Strong podcast comes from Texas Mutual Insurance Company. A workers’ comp provider committed to helping companies build a stronger, safer Texas

Speaker 2: 33:07 That he included was that it? I can remember what else you said to do. Okay. I’m brain fried. Sorry.

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