Tina Paine, Wicked Healthy Vending, Peabody, MA
Tina has always had a desire to open her own business. She enjoyed success and fulfillment in a career in the Financial Services Regulatory industry but it wasn’t her dream. She was raising her family and working full-time so put her desires on hold.
When the moment was right, Tina made the move to make her vision a reality. In choosing her business she needed to she kept three things in mind:
- she needed to believe in its mission;
- be able to learn the business;
- and be continuously challenged.
In the Fall of 2013, “Wicked Healthy Vending,” was born. The vending company provides healthy snack and beverage options to organizations and companies in Massachusetts. Their mission is two-fold; wellness and community. The company started with 5 machines in two locations and in less than 5 years it has grown to 32 machines in numerous locations.
How CWE helped
Tina expresses appreciation to the Center for Women & Enterprise in Eastern Massachusetts for providing the tools to help her navigate each stage of her business. Not only through the substantive and practical workshops and conferences, but also by participating in CWE’s corporate matchmaking. Wicked Healthy Vending was selected by Eastern Bank as their corporate mentee through the CWE/WBENC program
She has had several opportunities to discuss the service offerings of Wicked Healthy Vending with corporations and was chosen as the healthy vendor for Massachusetts Housing.
Tina is grateful that the Center for Women's Enterprise in Eastern MA has provided tools to help her navigate each stage of her business. Wicked Healthy Vending is certified as a women-owned business through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) of which CWE is the New England affiliate serving as its certification arm. This certification is recognized in helping established women business owners access new corporate contracts with organizations that are actively seeking supplier diversity.
Additionally, through CWE/WBENC, Wicked Healthy Vending was selected by Eastern Bank as their corporate mentee. To learn more about WBENC and corporate matchmaking opportunities, visit https://cweonline.org/In-Business/WBENC-WBE-Certification and take the free monthly webinar, "How & Why to Certify Your Business as Women Owned"
Tina has shared her experiences with others by sitting on two panels at CWE and discussing her journey as a woman business owner in an industry that is typically run by men.
Advice for Other Entrepreneurs?
Tina has shared her experiences with others by sitting on two panels at CWE and discussing her journey as a woman business owner in an industry that is typically run by men. She has valuable advice to offer to fellow entrepreneurs:
- Use a diverse approach when growing your business. For example, don't just focus on social media or cold calls alone. Network, join industry related groups, treat your current customer's well, and participate in industry events and shows. Also, create your own destiny. Reach out to the media or other outlets if you think there is something about your company they should know.
- Keep an open mind and listen but don't neglect your instinct. There is a saying "Take what you like and leave the rest". This holds true with business education and advice.
- Respond to issues immediately. Customers understand that things happen, especially with a vending machine, however, responding to fix the problem promptly says more about your business then the issue.
- Continue to appreciate and listen to your existing customers. Word of mouth and organic growth is an essential.