Pamela Jablonski Pamela's Brownies
Pamela Jablonski, founder of Pamela’s Brownies. (Credit: Courtesy of Pamela’s Brownies)

Before the pandemic began, Milton, Pennsylvania, entrepreneur Pamela Jablonski was working as a nurse educator at a local private school. When the world shut down, Jablonski comforted herself by baking in her kitchen. The lockdown treats she made quickly evolved into a side hustle that she called Pamela’s Brownies. Through her venture, Jablonski bakes ooey-gooey chocolate treats and ships them to customers scattered across the U.S. Her business stayed intentionally small until the school she worked for re-opened – and she found herself at a crossroads. There was no mask mandate in place for students or teachers, which left Jablonski wondering if she should risk her health to return to work, or dive headfirst into running her brownie business full-time. Luckily for those with a sweet tooth, Jablonski chose the latter – and she hasn’t looked back. 

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

You know the feeling of falling in love? Well, scientifically – and as a nurse educator, I should know — my brownies cause Serotonin to be released, which is the same hormone that is released when we become enamored. A fun fact about chocolate.

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Turning a negative experience into a beautiful business! My definition of success is doing what I have a passion for and using my God-given gifts to help people feel loved and cared for. 

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Making enough profit. At this point, I need to sell more. I have devised a plan for reaching more local customers, as well as a strategy for reaching out to chocolate fans further away. 

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?

The pandemic in general, and not being able to go back to a job I loved. I used my feelings about this situation to motivate myself to work even harder at making Pamela’s Brownies successful.

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Do something that you find joy in. I find deep joy in baking the best brownies ever made and shipping them off in beautiful packages. I’m ridiculously happy with my work! How great is that?

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

I read through my hundreds of five-star reviews. They give me such satisfaction.

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days? 

“You Say” by Lauren Daigels, a song about battling the lies we believe about ourselves, and replacing them with the truth.

Who is your most important role model?

My dad was an amazing businessman who went from being a courier at Buick when he was 16, to the Vice President of Mid-Atlantic Toyota later in life. He also had his own car dealership in Norman, Oklahoma, for a while. I remember discussing marketing strategies with him when I was a child. As a nurse, I never thought I would use the business skills I learned from him, but now I definitely am. He would have been so proud to see me running my own business! ◼

Facebook: @pamelasbrownies

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