Female entrepreneurship is changing in the United States as minority women like Trishona Helm are starting up businesses faster than their white counterparts. According to census data and research by Womenable, minority women control 44 percent of women-owned businesses in the U.S. - 20 percent more since 1997.
The idea for the business, Mixins Rolled Ice Cream, happened on Snapchat and within 60 days opening the shop, Mixins generated $100,000 in sales and then $500,000 in just a year.
Helm was on a trip to California in 2017 when she chanced upon rolled ice-cream and sent a snap to her friend and co-founder Vandra Caldwell. This ice-cream is basically rolls of Thai ice cream that are vertically placed in a cup and served with different toppings.
The Nebraska natives joked about bringing rolled-ice creams to their hometown and they did.
"We just kind of joked about bringing it here, but then the next day we messaged each other saying 'I'm serious if you are' and our business minds teamed up together to bring the ice cream here to Omaha," Helm, who is now a serial entrepreneur, said.
It took them about a year and two weeks to develop and plan everything. They invested $10,000 of their savings and a $30,000 loan into starting the ice cream business in downtown Omaha.
The store officially launched in August 2018 and by the end of October, the business had generated $100,0000 in sales. The turnout just about a week of opening the shop exceeded their expectations, as the unique homemade flavors soon became a favorite of Omaha residents.
At the time, they anticipated reaching about 300 customers three times a week and according to Caldwell, a single mother of three, the numbers turned out to be at least 300 customers a day instead.
There are constantly six or seven servers behind the counter serving up to 15 unique flavors to people. The ice cream is then customized for every purchaser. The names of the customers are written on the ice cream during preparation and the owners say it makes it more "personable".
"Our brand is always coming up with new flavors. We customize the ice cream, and we really just want to create our own lane," Helm said.
Since the boutique ice cream shop rolled in Omaha, the response from locals has been "overwhelmingly crazy" especially on weekends.
Two years down the line, the rolled-up ice cream though rooted in Thai maintains its American base. New batches are made daily because the flavors run out fast.
Everything seems to have fallen in place for Helm and Caldwell, but the 26 -year-olds put in a lot of work to get here.
They attest to the fact that being an entrepreneur is a long and lonely journey, but together, they have overcome obstacles and setbacks to grow their business to what it is today.