Take a look inside of Ellicia Smith’s journey, the founder of the treat & catering business, LeLe’s Food Laboratory and Catering. Not only is Ellicia my cousin, but she is also a woman I admire for her drive and determination to keep pushing through life and business. We had the pleasure to discuss the inspiration behind LeLe’s Food Laboratory, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, and crushing goals in 2020.
What inspired you to start LeLe’s Food Laboratory?
ES: “What inspired me to start a food and treat business was my passion for cooking at an early age. I always spoke that I would be a Sous Chef and have many restaurants nationwide from the age of 12 until now. I was also inspired from working dead end jobs, and I’m doing all the hard work and the owners were getting credit from my work and ideas because their name was on the building. I prayed and asked God to show me the way because I was tired of making others something when they didn’t even have the passion. They were just looking at the industry monetarily.”
What do you think it takes to run a business that makes customers come back?
ES: “What it takes to run a business is A LOT OF PRAYER, patience, and willpower to want to do something greater than what you are used to. Last but not least, what makes my customers want to come back is the excellent customer service and great attitude even when it is hard. Sometimes people are having a rough day and just don’t know how to go about it. They are snappy, so something simple as wishing them blessings for the day with a smile and excellent food is a win win situation to make the Grinch even come back.”
What is your favorite and least favorite things about being an entrepreneur?
ES: “My favorite things about being an entrepreneur is that I never feel like what I’m doing work. I enjoy every moment of cooking and doing this with a passion. It is so amazing to have the feedback that I receive and the support makes it worth it. I make my own hours and I don’t have to be told when to get off or what time to come lol. However , the least favorite thing I would say is dealing with difficult customers, but somehow I handle it to the best of my ability.
What do you do every morning to get started on the right food?
In moments of adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I have to constantly remind myself that God put me here for the long haul and he has brought me too far for me to give up now. I was not cut out to fit in, but to stand out and be myself. That will take me far.”
What advice do you have for someone who hasn’t figured out their purpose yet?
ES: ” Take a step back and reevaluate yourself and surroundings. If you feel as if they don’t serve you or feed your soul, you should remove them. Let toxic people go no matter who they are or what role they play in your life. Always keep God first, and believe in what you are praying for.
How would you define success?
ES: “My definition of success is being able to conquer my fears and being able to achieve the things I thought I couldn’t do. I also define success as being able to touch someone whether its through my words or my work. By knowing that someone looks up to me is success for me.
What traits are you most proud of?
ES: “I am most proud of my strength and my willpower to break generational curses. I went through a lot of different changes early and had to be mature before my time, so I don’t want my children to have to go through the same things I went through.”
What’s your personal affirmation or a scripture that reminds you not to give up?
What your major goal for 2020?
ES: “My major goal in 2020 is expanding myself. I am pushing to be in a restaurant setting and having a food truck. But there will be a few surprises I can’t speak on prematurely!”
About Ellicia Smith
My name is Ellicia aka Lele owner of LELE’S LABORATORY, I am a 25 yr old single mother that has always had a passion for cooking and experimenting with different flavors and mixing foods together to come up with some great recipes, I came about really embarking on my journey due to being in some dark places and toxic situations in my life and I knew when I hit rock bottom and almost lost it all, I had to do something, so I found God at my darkest moments and it was as if I was transitioning from my old ways and being reborn. I know if I never started on my dream noone would do it for me and if i can work for someone else and make their dreams come true, I may as well make my own come true! So I prayed hard everyday changed my routine and started changing my way of thinking and started to focus on what I can do and stop making EXCUSES for what I couldn’t do, because I didn’t try! I started listening to affirmations and repeating them and at first seeing the small results I was like maybe this is coincidence, but the more I prayed and practiced the more it became normal, and so I loved the way I could influence others through my food even the simplest food they loved so much so little by little I kept pushing and it was like the slow days that I wanted to give up I knew I had to show up and be prepared whether i had an opportunity or not because you just never know! I thank God that he changed my life for the positive, I’m by no means perfect but I’ve come very far from where I was! And I just want to leave you with this, life is a journey not a race and as long as the sun still rises and sets you need to still get up and keep going.