These are The Important Lessons ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar Learned About Rejection
Being a famous celebrity offers a lot of advantages for those who eventually venture in off-screen pursuits. However, not everyone is lucky in this regard. One of those is former ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ star Sarah Michelle Gellar, who found this reality out the hard way.
Back in 2015, Gellar launched a lifestyle and cooking company called Foodstirs together with entrepreneur Greg Fleishman and her longtime friend Galit Laibow. The Santa Monica-based company focuses on making various organic baking mixes and kits which are kid-friendly to prepare. Fleishman, who’s also the CEO at Purely Righteous Brands, reportedly serves as president for Foodstirs while Laibow serves as its CEO.
The trio’s mission was to be the first-ever USDA organic, full-gluten product line to use ingredients like fair-trade cocoa, biodynamic sugar and identity-preserved flour in their mixes. While their goal was noble, disrupting the $4.7 billion baking-mix industry proved to be more difficult than expected. Soon, they will encounter various obstacles in the building of their business.
Speaking with Entrepreneur magazine, the 42-year-old mother of two opened up about how ’emotionally bruising’ working in her non-acting endeavor is. Saying how her younger self couldn’t probably handle her current job, Gellar mentioned the misogyny and prejudice she faced in building her business.
She mentioned noticing how some people complimented her about how she talks about business perhaps because they were initially expecting her to be a ‘ditz’. In fact, it’s even come to the point where she asked her business partners whether it’d be easier for them if they do it without her.
But they continued on strong as a group and began talks with investors Fleishman had prior connections with. This is where they faced a bigger problem. Aside from receiving no’s from some of them, there were also investors who questioned whether Leibow, a woman, was fit to run the company as CEO.
Worse, few of them went as far as to set Fleishman aside to get him to reconsider working on Foodstirs. Fortunately, he remained undeterred and, instead, began reevaluating the people in his network.
These instances led the team to change courses in terms of the kinds of investors they looked for. Eventually, Fleishman turned to investors in the conventional packaged goods sector, who turned out to be more understanding of the trio’s business. What more, these investors were also more likely to hear about the products first before being influenced by Gellar’s celebrity.
In the end, the rejections they faced and their response to it made them tighter as a group which also made them work better together. The company was even included in CNBC’s Upstart 25 list back in 2017.
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