Kathy’s growing empire hopes to bring out the “Goddess in Every Woman.”
By Nissa Larsen
A home-made chef and fan favorite on Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, Kathy Wakile has been able to turn her passions into profit by focusing on her longtime love: culinary arts. Kathy has been fine-tuning her epicurean skills, as well as designing a deluxe jewelry line. She’s having a blast.
Kathy has several entrepreneurial endeavors that she’s pursuing. She first began in December of 2011, by introducing her “Goddess Eye Jewelry Collection”. A portion of their sales is donated to The National Brain Tumor Society, a cause close to heart since her daughter Victoria needed an operation to remove a benign tumor when she was a young girl.
HAVE YOUR CAKE AND DRINK IT, TOO!
Kathy Wakile has a passion for cooking, specifically creating delicious desserts inspired by her Italian background, as well as designing beautiful jewelry.
For more information on Kathy Wakile including recipe ideas and to purchase her cannoli kit and items from her Goddess Eye Jewelry line visit: www.KathyWakile.com. Her Red Velvet Cosmo can be purchased at sinspirits. Her cannoli kit can also be purchased at www.qvc.com.
In her own words Kathy “prefers to eliminate the word Evil and substitute it with ‘Goddess’”.
Q: What inspired you to launch your first business?
KW: I was inspired by the endless encouragement from family & friends and of course the tremendous feedback I received from the viewers recognizing that my culinary hobby could be much more.
Q: Have you taken any cooking classes, or are you self-taught?
KW: The only classes I’ve taken were from my mother and mother-in-law and the many wonderful women in my life that have inspired me.
Q: Has living in New Jersey influenced your culinary skills?
KW: Absolutely, New Jersey isn’t named the garden state by accident. The rich soil and optimal growing conditions is the perfect place to have the finest of seasonal produce that has always been my inspiration for planning meals and menus.
Q: When did you get the idea to start Dolci della Dea?
KW: The very first time I appeared on RHONJ, I was introduced in my kitchen and doing my daily grocery shopping. My giant cannoli stuffed with mini cannoli was such a huge hit I started to realize that I had a great concept.
Q: How do you generate business? Ads, word of mouth, Internet, etc.?
KW: Social Media is a fantastic tool, along with organizing events that include demonstrations. I have found when people can connect with you on a human level they see your passion for your product and they want to know more!
Q: What is your business philosophy?
KW: Know your product, love your product and treat your customers with respect. The most important thing is you need to remember to provide customers with something that you are passionate about and keeping the customer the priority!!
Q: Where do you see your business endeavors in 5 years?
KW: I see my “Dolci Della Dea” in gourmet specialty grocery shops nationwide, as well as online.
Q: What one piece of advice you would give to a small biz startup?
KW: Don’t make a big investment at first. Start small and grow with your business, learn more about every aspect as you are growing. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, they are your biggest lessons and enjoy the journey take pride in small accomplishments along the way for they are the fuel to keep your fire and passion burning to succeed.
Q: Did you have to deal with any naysayers and how did you handle that?
KW: Absolutely in life you are always going to encounter naysayers. As you climb your ladder to success look back at them and thank them for doubting you. They have helped motivate me as I prove them wrong. Don’t blame them for not sharing your vision. Instead take their criticism and make your ideas fool proof.
Q: What is something everyone should have in their kitchen?
KW: Fresh ingredients, sharp knives, and a powerful stand mixer.
Q: Besides cannoli’s, what is your favorite dessert?
KW: Anything with lemon: lemon curd, lemon granite, and lemon gelato.
Q: Tell us about your new book?
KW: “Indulge” will be a dessert book, but will also include my seasonal favorites. I will have recipe-provided instructions on how to make individual portion-sized desserts. “Indulge” is a collection of recipes that lets us enjoy desserts, guilt free without sacrificing flavor or craving.
Nissa Larsen is a Contributing Editor. Follow Nissa on twitter @nisnice .