Becky Wasden – P.O.W.E.R.ful Women
Owner | Queen Shucketter, Two Girls One Shuck L.L.C.
Q: What can you tell us about your company?
Two Girls One Shuck is a full amenities traveling oyster bar! We bring raw and chargrilled oysters to the location of your choice. We are a lady shuckin’ jive talkin’ mighty army of playful professionals who love and support regional seafood in the Gulf South.
Q: When did you launch?
I started the company in September 2014.
Q: How were you inspired to start your business?
Late one night at a crawfish boil, the boys got drunk and left a sack of oysters abandoned and forgotten! My lady friend shucked the entire sack, and I saw the beginning of a great party trick!
Q: What were the biggest obstacles and how were they overcome?
Biggest obstacles: We went through great lengths to secure our mobile oyster catering license (we hold the only license to provide this service in the city of New Orleans). We got this done by working closely and diligently with several city and state departments and proving our procedures and methods were extremely safe for consumers. Our other obstacles are typical for any business growth : affording liability insurance and workers comp, sales taxes, market share awareness, payroll taxes, pace of growth (not too fast, not too slow), taxes taxes and more taxes. I am very patient and I am very persistent. I believe in this company because I believe in our work. I work endlessly to make miracles happen so we can share our bodacious bivalves with our enthusiastic oyster lovers!
Q: What local resources have you used?
I started seeking help locally shortly after starting my LLC. I first went to LSBDC (Louisiana Small Business Development Center) who helped me immensely with the beginning stages of my business development. Through LSBDC, I was able to connect with groups such as The Idea Village and Propeller and pitch my business at events such as NOEW (New Orleans Entrepreneur Week). I was accepted into the Jazz and Heritage Foundation Culinary Catapult Fund in the summer of 2016. This incredible experience gave me the foundations for responsible long-term business ownership and fueled our business growth. I was awarded an amazing grant with our local Junior League of New Orleans as their Women Entrepreneur Fellowship recipient for 2017-2018. I was a participant in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program this summer and learned how to develop new growth opportunities for my company. I’ve had the honor of working with so many great local culinary and hospitality organizations such as NOCCA, Edible Schoolyard, and NOCHI. Perhaps most importantly, we recycle all of our oyster shells locally with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) who put the shells back in the water to help with coastal erosion, storm surge protection and replenishing of our natural oyster reefs.
Q: What is your big focus right now?
Our big focus right now is integrating our new cold seafood product line as a delectable compliment to your oyster bar. We call it Chicks with Dips: A Cold Seafood Smorgasbord! Think all locally sourced dippable cold seafood snacks such as chilled gulf shrimp, ceviche, crab claws, caviar and a variety of fish, shrimp and crab dips. A delightfully tasty addition to your fresh-shucked raw bar and chargrilled oysters! (I’m also designing a new shucking class opportunity right now called Geaux Shuck Yourself! A interactive oyster experience for oyster lovers and friends to learn the art of shucking with our lovely lady shuckers!)
Q: What is the best advice you ever received?
A dear friend (who is a lawyer) told me, “Just register your business name as an LLC with the Secretary of State, you’ll have ownership of the name on record. You may never do anything with it, but for $75 bucks what have you got to lose?” Looking back now, five years later, I have to laugh because that might have been the best or worst advice I’ve ever taken! Being a first time business owner has not been easy, but it has been worth it.
Q: What success have you had in the last year?
2018 was an incredible year for Two Girls One Shuck. We started the year off by bringing our traveling oyster bar to an amazing New Year’s Eve party for Amy Schumer and Jennifer Coolidge (two amazing women in the film and television industry who deeply support women owned businesses). We shucked 4,000 oysters in a single weekend in March with 30+ events that month alone. We got our first bank supported line of credit with Fidelity Bank’s POWER program, we moved into The Old Ironworks in Bywater as our new stand-alone catering kitchen, we continually do upward of 6+ events a week on average and find the excitement and joy of providing our services to the people of New Orleans gets better and better with each passing year.
Q: What has been the biggest benefit of being a POWER member?
The biggest benefit of being a POWER member is knowing that there are women (and men) in the banking industry who support and believe in women owned businesses! Being a member of POWER has also given me the opportunity to meet so many outstanding and inspiring women in other business ventures that share similar stories and successes as mine.
Q: What does POWER mean to you?
POWER means Patience and Persistence!