Hi. My name is Lisa Timko. I am a 55 year old small business owner. I also work 25 hours a week teaching computer classes and I hold a real estate license in the State of Ohio.
I'm that person who's burning the candle at both ends.
I work all the time and don't have time for much of anything else. Living this way is tiring, but it's the only way I've managed to be able to pay my bills. I want to see a change in my life - be able to actually stop and breathe, spend time with friends and family again, and take a vacation once in a while - which means something that I do has to become more profitable so I can let the rest go. I am hoping iFundWomen will help me be able to do that.
In 1994, I chose to resign from my position as a Systems Administrator in Atlanta, Georgia, to stay home with my kids and home school (crazy, I know!). That was the year my organization was transitioning into a Windows environment and had I stayed I was going to be fully Microsoft trained and certified at the organization's expense. Instead I chose to leave to be a full time mom. It was a tough decision to walk away from the job I loved, but I knew it was the right one.
I spent the next 23 years home-schooling my 3 children. During that time I also went through a divorce and spent a good part of my parenting years as a single mom, still home-schooling, and also trying to pick up some extra cash with work-from-home jobs. (You can read more about my recognition with Tupperware and my other work in my bio.)
In 2010, I launched Latte Living, a home party company that teaches people how to save money by making coffeehouse beverages at home. Good beverages! Part of my business objective was to make sure we were offering healthy drinks, including 100% fruit smoothies that moms could feel good about giving to their kids.
The coffeehouse home party took off. I did 12 parties in a row. Then people started asking me to make the beverages for their events. That's when I launched the catering division, Cleveland Espresso.
My son, my daughter, and I run the coffee business together. I handle the administrative tasks and dealing with clients. My son works the jobs and makes sure we have staffing for jobs that require more than 2 people. My daughter helps with inventory and prep. It's great teamwork!
In the last 2 years, it has picked up quite a bit. We are experiencing growing pains, needing vehicles and equipment to keep up with demand. But we don't have the funds to be able to do that. Unfortunately, I don't have a retirement fund or any sort of savings account to tap into. We will not be able to expand without funding.
Part of our business is our coffee truck, which we launched last summer. My boyfriend (at the time) provided the funding through a business loan. We have since ended our relationship and he is asking me for the cash to pay off the loan. I don't have the cash so the truck has been up for sale for a few weeks. I am heartbroken to have to let go of the truck. Not only do people absolutely LOVE the concept here in Cleveland, but it's a great experience for us to have together as a family. We have a blast working the truck.
We barely were able to get the truck off the ground, but in the short time we used it, we did some spectacular events including two movies sets - a Bruce Willis film and a Matthew McConaughey film - and several other local events here in Cleveland. Some of our higher profile catering events include the 2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction VIP Pre-Party. (Most events we are too busy to take pictures. The pictures we do have are just before the event started.)
We always offer a discount to non-profit organizations whether it's the truck or inside catering. We want to help organizations like the Alzheimer's Association, Lifebanc, The City Mission, Habitat for Humanity, and other organizations that are making a difference through their work.
Our menu has grown to include:
- cappuccinos & lattes made to order
- cafe mochas
- salted caramel lattes
- matcha greet tea lattes
- cafe americanos
- hot chocolate
- a variety of 100% fruit smoothies - strawberry, mango, pineapple, berry, and others
- a variety of all natural frappes - mocha, caramel, vanilla, and our matcha mint chip
- real crushed lemonade
- "lemon blues" our signature frozen drink - crushed lemonade infused with blueberries - big hit!
- real fruit juices
- fruit infused iced teas (with peaches from my backyard!)
- loose leaf hot teas
- Italian sodas (working on developing a signature soda)
My goal with this campaign is to raise the funds needed to purchase the truck, additional brewing & steaming equipment, and a (used) cargo van. This will get us to the next level of our business growth. With the proper equipment and vehicles, I feel confident business will continue to grow. My hope is that it will generate enough income for me to be able to devote all of my time to managing the business, planning for growth, and doing more client appreciation and marketing. I have a sister who has been in sales and development for 30+ years and she is ready to starting marketing for us - calling on big corporations here in Cleveland to get us more bookings.
My long term hope is that I can leave the business to my kids when I'm gone. Today my youngest daughter turns 20. I thought it would be a great launch date!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about my campaign. Please take a look at the incentives we are offering to supporters.