We were so fortunate to connect with Yasaman Vojdani. We love her drive, her spirit, her enthusiasm about her brand and her amazing relationship with her co-founder mom, and we can’t wait to meet her at Connect To Confidence later this month. We’re ordering ourselves some “Bad Monkey” immediately!
- What inspired you to start OMG? When I was growing up, my dad always told me to find a way to be my own boss, and this inspired me to be an entrepreneur. I knew I wanted to start a business. My mom had started making granola, and it got such a great response from everyone who tried it. So many people told us that it was the best granola they had ever had. That is when it hit me that we were on to something, and I thought, “Let’s make this a company!” It took some convincing of my mom after that, but that’s how we got started.
- When you went to college, is this what you thought you would be doing upon graduation? I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial, so I studied business which I thought would give me a great foundation (and it did). At the same time, I wanted to explore fashion, although GW did not have a fashion major. So right after graduation, I moved to NY and worked in PR and Sales for Marc Jacobs, and as great as that was, it wasn’t my dream. I was working on Oat My Goodness on the side, and two years ago, I made Oat My Goodness my full time career.
- What is it like working with your mom and your brother? Having a family business is so great. I love working with my mom, I am working with my best friend. We know each other so well, and we know and appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses. My brother has also been a huge help, the brain behind our flavors and names. It is important keep a balance and make sure we have a life outside of the business because we do spend a lot of time together.
- What is unique about OMG? What is your favorite flavor? Our granola is hand crafted and made in small batches. It is low in sugar with only 5-7 grams of sugar per serving. We use olive oil and do not add any salt to our granola. But we don’t sacrifice taste! We believe that you can eat healthy food that still tastes great. Our flavor profiles are really unique and unexpected like “Sunrise” (orange, coffee and macadamia nuts) and “Starshine” (orange blossom, cardamom, pistachios, and dried sour cherries). We also get complimented a lot on our crunchy texture. Starshine is my favorite, but I love them all. I look forward to my breakfast every morning: OMG, Siggi’s yogurt and a lot of berries. People always ask me if I am tired of eating OMG, but I don’t think that will ever happen!
- How has OMG grown, and where do you see it going on the future?
We’ve grown a lot especially in the Maryland/DC region. We are in a lot of stores including Whole Foods locally. Our ultimate goal is to grow our online business and to be a nationwide, household brand!
- How do you get people excited about OMG?
People love the mother/daughter aspect. That gets everyone really excited. Our name (Oat My Goodness or OMG) and our flavor names (like Bad Monkey) are attention getting, and that is by design. It was really important to me to create branding that would be a hook and get customers and retailers to want to learn more. We are also a good fit to a nutritious, healthy lifestyle. You can have a fun, delicious breakfast, and it doesn’t have to be boring.
- What is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur for you?
The hardest part (although also the most exciting) is all the unknowns. You don’t know what is next, and some of it is always out of your control. It does require a lot of resilience. Every day I get up having to believe in myself and be ready to fight for our product!
- Do you ever feel that you are taken less seriously as a young woman founder?
This is unfortunately a big yes! Being young and female, I get it all the time, and honestly some days it brings me down when I get asked, “Oh, You own this?” or “This is yours?” This can come from buyers, distributors or even customers. On the flip side, there are many people who love and embrace dealing with a young, female owner. In the end though, great results speak for themselves.
- What is your advice to our aspiring entrepreneurs? Are there must take classes in college or must have experiences?
My biggest piece of advice is don’t take things personally. You need to develop a thick skin. Learn to fight for what you want, take chances, and don’t stop believing in yourself or your brand.
- Favorite inspirational quote or saying?
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no less enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
“There’s nothing sexier than confidence.” – Madison Cohen, Soulcycle Instructor
- What does “She’s Fit To Lead” mean to you? How does someone show they are “Fit To Lead”?
If you are fit to lead, you are ready to pursue your dreams, take risks, be confident and start your own revolution.