Change is the only constant in life~Heraclitus
Here, for what they're worth, are a few of the lessons I have learned...
Show Up and Do your Best
Running a food truck is hard. There's rain, cold, heat, far drives, near disasters, disasters, grouchy people...you name it. But, I have found, that if I just keep on going, it will work out. If I say I will be there, I am there, no matter what. If I give my word that I will pop up at 12 midnight at your wedding reception, when all of your guests (and you) are drunk and they think the party's over, I WILL (even though I got lost 5 times, the muffler fell off, and the light to the dashboard blew out). I will be prepared. I will be on time. I will smile and stay til the end. It may be a successful event, it may not, but I will have honored my word and done my best, and this will be enough.
Don't Be Afraid to Fail
2 Words- Hudson Project. I dogged them to get in. I was relentless. Then, at the final hour, I got the okay. I spent all the money I had, and then some. I shopped, and cooked, and planned. I had a great crew and enough food to feed thousands. Our set-up was beautiful and top notch....and no one came. Huge expectation, HUGE disappointment. But, you know what, we did it. As far as I'm concerned, we were the finest act at that damn festival. I left the Hudson Project beaten, but not broken. I was smarter, seasoned, and determined to make the most of the remainder of my season. And I did.
|Lovely Lady Helpers|
|Sunset on the first day...the calm before the storm|
If you fall, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and learn from it. Every failure is a lesson, and nothing is a waste of time. Nothing. Even if I end up losing money at an event or during a day at my spot, I have made a connection that will prove useful, talked to somebody who may talk to somebody else. Somebody may have taken a business card that they will put in their wallet or leave in a restaurant, only to be found later and used. Everything is an opportunity, even if it is disguised as a disappointment. And at the end of the day I am doing what I love on my own terms. Over the past 4 years, I have dabbled in everything from children's birthday parties, to street festivals, to music festivals, to wedding receptions...and much more. Stretching keeps my business fun and exciting!
|Kicking it at the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival|
|Wedding Rehearsal Dinner|
|Neighbors at the Rosendale Street Festival|
Know Your Worth
This has been a hard thing to learn. In the beginning, I was so honored that people wanted to have me, that I would do practically anything that came my way, for little or no compensation. Don't get me wrong, it was necessary and fulfilling, but it is, indeed, WORK, and how I pay my bills at the end of the day. It has taken many tough lessons for me to know what I am worth (and much encouragement from the people who support me), to establish what I need to get me to leave my beloved spot in Palenville and travel to other places. Turning down work or having something fall through is scary, but I have found that something else will always come my way. Missed chances or cancelled jobs simply make space for new opportunities, and I no longer sell myself short. I think of it as finding my voice, and it grows stronger and clearer with every passing year.
Pippy's is, for the most part, a one woman show. Every aspect of the business is exactly how I want it (perfect for the control freak in me), but sometimes, I need help. I can't do it all myself, there's no way, and I am lucky to have found a core group of people to share the experience with me. They are young, enthusiastic, fun, and eager. And I'm always looking for new help so please, feel free to contact me. You never know!
Make it Personal
Pippy's is a labor of love, an homage to my childhood and to my grandmother who ran a hot dog truck during the late 70's-early 80's. The truck is from 1972 and I use her meat sauce recipe for the Lonnie Dog (named after her) and her onion sauce recipe for the Doug Dog, named after my grandfather who passed away. Every item on my menu (except for the dogs and the buns) is either homemade or sourced from a local artisan. I collaborate with my friends and family about new ideas and listen to feedback from customers to change and improve. I put all that I am into my truck. It is a true passion, and I am passionate about every aspect of the business. This is the only way to succeed, in my opinion. Do what you love and do it all the way.
|The Banh Mi and The Hendrix|
|Dave and Murphy (her Mom makes a mean cookie!)|
|The Elvis Dog|
|Rivertide Aikido in the house|
|Gus knows how to strike a pose|
Take Time for Yourself
I struggle with this. During my busy season, the truck can be consuming. It takes everything: my time, my money, my thoughts....everything. I feel as if I am working 24-7. If I'm not actually working on the truck I am shopping, cooking, answering emails. When I go out I am talking to people about it and networking. I am researching new ideas and scouting for new events. I can get so caught up in it that I can forget what is truly important-myself and the people in my life. Luckily, I have a partner who helps me with this. He takes me on adventures and reminds me about the importance of balance. He listens to me go on and on and offers me invaluable advice and help. I also have dear friends, a loving family, and a fitness family to go out with, vent to, and workout with. It's okay, every once in awhile, to forget about all of my responsibilities and have a play day or do absolutely nothing at all. In fact, this time is essential.
|Mr. Django Houston and I in Maine|
|Oh no she didn't!!!|
|Union Falls in the Adirondacks|
Be Grateful and Enjoy the Ride
I am so blessed and lucky to be doing what I do!!! I am so grateful for the people I have met, the opportunities I have been given, and the connections I have made. Pippy's has enriched my life so much, and sometimes, in the midst of all the madness, I want to pinch myself. How did this happen??How did this absurd, exciting, wonderful thing happen to me? Then, I realize, I CREATED it. And I smile.
|The lovely Jenny Hyde surprised me with a visit!!|
|The Triangle, my spot in Palenville at the Junction of 23A and 32A|
|Driving through the glorious Hudson Valley|
Here's to an even better Season 5! Love to you all and Thank You from the bottom of my heart <3