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Happy Friday letter getters! 

I have a few announcements  today: 

1. Check out the relaunched Southern/alpha, become a member (members can add their startups to our directory and participate in our brand new mentor program!) Feel free to respond to this email if you have feedback. 

2. Our local Slack, StartupNash, is at 150 members! Please join in if you are in the Nashville area and want to pitch a startup idea, or share a weekly win with our supportive community. 

3. On StartupNash + Southern/alpha, I'm launching a brand new mentor matching service. I've gotten a lot of interest in people seeing professional mentorship, and lots of people who want to give back. You can participate here. It doesn't matter how long you've been reading these emails, if you are interested, I'd love to have you. 

Rhonda J. Cammon: Founder,
Perfectly Cordial, Barseat & Co-Founder, Gimme Some

 

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In an earlier LaunchLetter issue, I introduced Brittney Widden. Brittney had just inherited her father's seasoning company, Lawhorn's Signature Seasonings. After the interview, Brittney met Rhonda J. Cammon and together they partnered with a few local food and beverage entrepreneurs to launch Gimme Some, a company that specializes in small food business support and logistics. 

They discovered that distribution for small food businesses is difficult to navigate, and others in the community were facing the exact same problems. The website describes the purpose of Gimme Some best.

"Each company represented with Gimme Some was setting up to their own meetings with major grocery chains and distributors to get our products into stores. We each got similar notes including that we didn’t have 'enough' to offer mainstream grocery stores. Gimme Some now represents and participates collectively in supplier relations, warehousing, logistics, distribution and sales opportunities for each of company." 

Today's LaunchLetter is about Brittney Widden's cofounder, and founder of both Perfectly Cordial, and Barseat. Meet your five minute mentor, Rhonda J. Cammon. 
One Big problem that has been on my mind is the lack of business resources for small food based businesses. There are an adequate amount of business resources for those just starting a business or wanting initial information. For the food based business, there is an extreme lack. This problem is what led to the formation of Gimme Some. And at this point we have been forced to look outside the state for mentorship and assistance as Nashville does not have the high-level resources in place at this time. My dream is that someone else will join me in solving this problem as team work makes the dream work.
 
I learned to not be so hard on myself, cherish friends, relationships and all the moments/chance encounters that life affords you ( good and bad).

I lost my second son Joshua at 27 weeks due to pre term labor. I laid in a hospital bed for three weeks on my back with my head down trying my best to keep him inside so he could grow and have a chance at survival. I couldn't do anything during that time. Just lay in the bed. I will never forget the night of 4th of July and looking at the downtown fireworks from my hospital bed. Later that night I gave birth and I said goodbye to my little angel. That was one of the hardest times of my life. I went through every phase of depression you could think of. After some time, I realized that it was not my fault. That my body was not defective and I did all that I could do at that time (don't be so hard on yourself). My husband was supportive and strong when he knew I was weak (cherish relationships). My best friend of 26 years drove down from Minnesota to wash my hair and hold my hand (cherish your friends). I have met so many wonderful people who I met by happenstance. These random encounters have become the people who are now my biggest supporters, believers, and all-around tribe (all the moments and chance encounters that life affords you). Experience comes with age, so keep on living and hopefully, you will learn just as much as I have.
 
I always think things over. Or as my cardiology teacher would say ..."chew it over". I use to quickly come to conclusions and decisions and it was not always the best thing to do, especially in business.

A hastily made decision can cost a business owner thousands of dollars that she or he may not be able to afford. Walk away from a deal that could have led to increase production or sales. Or cause you to make a assumption of someone that is totally wrong who could have helped your business immensely.
 

Bootstrap as much as possible and don't be so quick to go into debt. We live in a social media world that has people believing that the way to success is to become viral; to scale fast and to do it by any means necessary.

I see an increase in predatory loans being offered to "small businesses" and debt is not always the best thing for a one-man business. Barseat, Perfectly Cordial and Gimme Some are all debt free. There is cash in all the accounts, bills are paid on time and I sleep well at night.
 

I am a Christian and every thought and decision I make is based on my Christian beliefs. I am a 40+, African American female with two children (20 and 13) who works a full-time job as a nurse and part-time job as a bartender who runs not one, but three successful companies. That is nothing but GOD. I should not be able to do any of this, much less be successful at it.

I call it a blessing, others may call it the law of attraction or just plain old luck. What I do know is that all this comes from something greater than myself.
 

I am originally from Miami and moved to Nashville because I met a man I couldn't say no to. Now 20 years later, I consider myself a Nashvillian. I own the companies Barseat and Perfectly Cordial.

Under the Barseat, I offer curated cocktail labs, cocktail consulting, and mobile bartending services. Perfectly Cordial is an all natural fresh fruit cordial made with warm spices, organic coconut water, and cane sugar.

Perfectly Cordial makes a delicious cocktail or mocktail with ease. Saving you time and money.

I am also co-owner of Gimme Some Inc with Brittney Whidden of Lawhorn's Seasoning. Gimme Some's goal is to make regional food more relevant by increasing the distribution of food products made by locally owned businesses.

Right now I am juggling multiple hats as a business owner, full-time nurse, mother, wife, and community leader. I am pleasantly tired and would not trade it for anything in the world.

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*Corelley Ventures is the company that powers Southern/alpha and LaunchLetter (as noted in the footer). 
LaunchLetter is a weekday newsletter from Southern/alpha, a website that features collections of stories and resources for underestimated startup communities. 

LaunchLetter is for founders getting started on an idea or business. Our goal is to share the perspective, habits and positive messages of more experienced founders and CEOs. We hope you find it relatable and delightful as you get focused for the day on your own goals. To the stars!


 
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Special thank you to Jayme Hoffman for the idea.
LaunchLetter is a newsletter from Southern/alpha, a brand under Corelley Ventures.

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