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Meet Jessica Tepas of Semi-Sweet Tooth in LoHi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Tepas.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Semi-Sweet Tooth started ten years ago as a personal blog, back when not many blogs existed. (If anyone remembers Tumblr pages with tiny pictures, you know what I mean.) Beginning as a method to explore food and fitness, the subject area of that original blog has shifted rather dramatically, allowing the subject area to ebb and flow according to my stages of life. Now, covering many areas of female empowerment, I continue to post content weekly, covering a variety of areas that are relevant to today’s female – from how to be empowered by failure, to how to support our environment through authentic action.

Beyond my wildest dreams, this business that began as a tiny “side gig” continued to expand. After I went full time with my blog (around four years ago), I began to notice that several of my client businesses were struggling to tap into the true potential of their own social media presence. It seemed that they knew that they “should” have some form of social media presence, but they weren’t seeing the return on investment that I knew was possible.

Using strategies from my extensive marketing background, I now also assist several (primarily) female-owned, local businesses in making their social media presence a truly profitable element of their marketing strategy. It’s likely the piece of my business that I’m most passionate about at this point because I’m able to see that my work is helping others to grow and thrive in a truly tangible way.

Has it been a smooth road?
Did I have some struggles in growing my business? Both yes and no.

I was blessed that I was able to allow my business to authentically grow. Thanks to my background in business (before blogging full time), I was able to understand profitability and potential opportunity costs before jumping into my business full time.

However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have any setbacks. I believe that almost every small business owner is going to have to make some decisions early on that change the course of their business, and they’re likely going to have some struggles. But I will say that I’ve LEARNED through every struggle.

Who to hire, when to hire, when to rent new space, and when to take on new clients are all questions many small business owners have to deal with at some point. Some mistakes will likely be made, especially early on in the business, but if you take a moment to step back, reflect, and move forward with those new learnings, you’ll be much better off in the long run.

One example of a struggle I dealt early within the business with was in hiring – I was hiring people with strengths similar to my own. I learned pretty quickly that it’s much more advantageous, at least in our industry, to have others with different strengths on the team so that we can all be stronger together.

We’d love to hear more about your business.

What sets Semi-Sweet Tooth apart in our industry varies a little bit by the pillar of business.

Related to the blog, I would say that it’s our authenticity that really helps us stand apart. We’re REAL in our conversations, sharing our struggles and our worries, but we’re optimistic that we’re always growing and becoming better versions of ourselves, too.

Specific to social media marketing, it’s our targeted focus on local audiences that really shines. All of our clients have anywhere from one to three brick and mortar locations or are online only. With this niche in mind, we are very focused on authentically engaging with an audience that is truly meaningful to the businesses. We don’t need 300,000 followers on the account if the majority of those followers are being inspired in other nations. We care about the few thousand that REALLY matter, those that actually care about and can stop into the location. We want the RIGHT people to care, and we want those followers to feel cared for by the accounts we operate, too.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Denver is a wonderful city for businesses like Semi-Sweet Tooth to begin.

Our city has a thriving entrepreneurial spirit coursing through its veins. We welcome and support new businesses and, perhaps more importantly, we want to see them thrive.

In my experience, I would say that we also very much value community over competition, which is paramount to having a thriving entrepreneurial environment, as well. I’m friends with many business owners in the same industry and we’re able to “talk shop” regularly so that we all succeed. If we tear each other down, we all fail, but when we work together, we’re all able to achieve great things.

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Image Credit:
Jenna Sparks Photography

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