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From Cereal Trials to Market Triumph: The Journey of Ellis and Margaret Wishingrad

CEO/Co-Founder of Three Wishes

In this episode of Gooder, we hear from Margaret Wishingrad, the CEO and Co-Founder of Three Wishes Cereal, a company that created a truly healthy cereal alternative made with nutritious and protein-dense ingredients like chickpeas and pea protein. Margaret shares her journey of starting this emerging brand and overcoming technical barriers to create a product that resonates with retailers and consumers alike. We also learn about her unique relationship with her business partner, who is also her life partner and best friend, and how they maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Join us to learn from Margaret’s experiences about securing facings and slots in retailers, building brand loyalty, and surrounding yourself with great people who share your values.

Today’s episode is hosted by Diana Fryc of Retail Voodoo, connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianafryc/

Key Takeaways

  • The Success Story of an Emerging Brand
  • Crafting a Compelling Narrative to Secure Retail Space
  • Navigating the Competitive Landscape for Retail Facings
  • Overcoming Technical Challenges in Developing a Healthy Cereal Alternative
  • Collaboration with a Food Scientist: Breaking Barriers
  • Testing the Final Product: A Toddler’s Approval
  • Launch Strategy and Considerations for Success
  • Identifying the Gap: Lack of Healthy Cereal Options
  • Leveraging Data to Win Over Retailers
  • Balancing Marriage and Partnership Outside of Business
  • Surrounding Oneself with Positivity and Like-Minded Individuals
  • Synergies in Business Relationships

Quotes

“We often reflect on the countless pounds of cereal we experimented with before finding the product that made it to market. That’s the essence of the process — a journey of trial and error.” – Margaret Wishingrad

“When your message resonates consistently with customers, consumers, buyers, distributors, and beyond, you know you’ve truly mastered it.” — Diana Fryc

“The freedom to work from home grants me the joy of being there for my kids as they come home from school. Welcoming them into the dining room while I continue to work is a priceless experience.” — Margaret Wishingrad

Chapters

00:00 | Introduction
04:35 | Food as Medicine: A Journey to Mindful Parenting
09:04 | Journey to Creating Innovative Cereal
12:57 | Building a CPG brand through retail strategy
16:50 | Strategic Innovations: Balancing Growth and Consumer Satisfaction
18:10 | Entrepreneurship in Pajamas: A Flexible Journey to Success
21:16 | Thriving in the Mess: Embracing Chaos and Growth
23:17 | Married Entrepreneurs: Fighting Fast and Succeeding Together
27:22 | Love, Entrepreneurship, and Never-ending Celebration
32:16 | Building Trust and Excitement: Creating a Fun Household Brand
33:25 | Female Founders Revolutionizing Industries with Purpose
34:55 | Outro

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo. A brand consultancy focused on building,growing and revitalizing brands in the food, beverage, health and wellness industries. If youare ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy thatgives your brand an advantage, please visit

https://retail-voodoo.com/contact set up a discovery call today.

Produced by Heartcast Media.
https://www.heartcastmedia.com/

Transcript

​​Diana Fryc:

Here’s a quick disclaimer. The views, statements, and opinions expressed in this program are those of the speakers. The statements are not intended to be product claims or medical advice. Hi, Diana Fryc here, and I am the host of the Gooder podcast, where I get to talk with the powerhouse women in food, beverage, and wellness categories about the business of consumer-packaged goods, branding, and leadership. This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo. Retail Voodoo is a brand development firm providing strategic brand and design services for brands in the food, wellness, and beverage industries. Our clients include Starbucks, Kind, Rei, PepsiCo, High Key, and many other market leaders. So, if your goal is to crush your competition by driving growth and disrupting the marketplace with new and innovative ideas, give us a call and let’s talk. You can find out more@retailvoodoo.com. Okay, well, today I’m very excited. Very excited to introduce a cousin.

Inside Joke. We’ll tell you a little bit later. Margaret Wishingrad, who is the CEO and co-founder of Three Wishes cereal. Margaret has grown Three Wishes from conception to a national brand, with retailers including Whole Foods, Sprouts Airwan, Pretty Brad, and many more, in addition to a strong DTC arm. Before founding Three Wishes, Margaret was chief of staff at Big Eye Wish, an ad agency where she worked with Fortune  to seed Round startup businesses. Wow. Welcome, Margaret. Nice to meet you.

 

Margaret Wishingrad: 

Likewise. Thanks for having me. Cuz. Yeah.

 

Diana Fryc:

Cuz. Where are you located today?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

So I am in Scarsdale, New York, which is half hour north of New York City.

 

Diana Fryc:

Okay. All right. And which season are you having today?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

Literally, the question of this is.

 

Diana Fryc:

The New York question.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

Like, what season are we having today? Today is like a very London day. It is green, gray and not it it was summer last week. Next week might be winter, we don’t know. But I’m hoping for summer.

 

Diana Fryc:

All right. It’s coming. And then you’ll be in the summer heat and be like, okay, we’ll go back to the bumper season.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

Yes.

 

Diana Fryc:

Okay, so a little bit of background before we get into our conversation. The reason why Margaret and I are referring to ourselves as cousins is we did a little historical moment before our call and found out that we have some common ancestry by way of nationality, per se. I guess we could call it nationality. What do we want to call that?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

We both are Jewish by way of journey.

 

Diana Fryc:

Yeah, right. Journey, for sure. And that was pretty fun to discover. So we might be weaving a little bit of that into the conversation, but wanted to let you guys in on what that Inside Joke was there in a moment. So let’s start at the very beginning. Hey. I always like it when my guests tell us about their brands. Why don’t you tell us, in your words, what Three Wishes is and what it stands for.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

So Three Wishes is a better for you cereal brand, and there’s a couple of things with the name Three Wishes that I could dive into and then that’ll help explain the process.

 

Diana Fryc:

Yes, please.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

So my original last name was at the very beginning of the alphabet, my maiden name. And then I married my husband, my now husband Ian, and changed my last name to Wishing Grad, which has a wish in it, which you see consistently through our brands. And we created this product for our own family and my son. And so it was really natural for us to weave the story of the three Wishing Grads into the brand story. So the three wishes are two things? It’s the three Wishing Grads that created the product, and then it’s the three wishes we had for cereal as a whole, which is we wanted to create something that had protein, a lot less sugar and was gluten and grain free and just really nutritious. And that’s kind of what Three Wishes is. It’s your classic take on cereal with a modern twist and brings the cereal you know and love, but just in a way that you’re excited to consume it again.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Yeah. Where did the idea come from?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

So, having our little bit of a branding background, I think we’re really close to always keeping an eye on just what’s innovative, what’s happening in the space. I’m also a really health conscious consumer, and that’s something that came later in life. My parents, when we came to the States, fed me McDonald’s and all the things that Americans think are exciting. Right. And as an adult, I started to realize that wasn’t the best for me, and I started to really incorporate some really great healthy practices. And then you have a kid and you’re spending all this time carrying this baby, bringing this baby to earth, and then you realize that it’s really what you feed them that is so important. And I think we’re also in this point of time where it’s like, food is thy medicine. And I really was focused on what I feed my kid. And one of those recommendations for little pincer skills, a little crab skill, when you start to develop it, you see most little kids in their stroller with a cup of Cheerios.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Right.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

That was a moment for me where I haven’t had cereal in way too long and where I realized there wasn’t necessarily a ton of options or alternatives in the market for my own family. And for me, that was, especially as a brand person, astonishing. I’m just like, wow, you have ft of shelf space in most stores, colors. This category is billions of dollars. And no one came out with a healthy cereal or I’ll add, truly healthy cereal. I think a lot of people did healthy marketing. A couple of grams fewer here now, fortified or whatever it is. And nobody really revolutionized what cereal was and so Ellis was born in , and by late , I kind of was like, okay, this is really am I the only one feeling this way? Are there other people that left the category? Then you look into it, you’re like, the category is in decline. You start to ask around, and that was what kind of planted that seed for me, of like, okay, wait, this is a real problem. No one’s really consuming cereal like they used to. And % of American households have a box of cereal in there. Maybe this is the time for us to create one. And that was kind of what started it and inspired it.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

That’s so interesting. You said a couple of things that I wanted to point out. We worked with, and I also interviewed Carol Smith from Gogo Squeez, and she’s been on the innovation side for years. And one of the things that she pointed out when we did our interview was that women and their respective families are open to just about changing every habit and thing in their entire household when a child is born. And if you want to have an impact on helping people change the trajectory of their eating habits, you introduce those items early. And I think it’s brilliant, the cereal concept, because you’re right, that’s a really easy solution. Cheerios is not the greatest, but it’s also far from the worst that you could be giving your little in the store. But if you could make that actually have a nutritional benefit instead of just satiating a need to hold something and eat something, why wouldn’t you do that? Right?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Totally.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Yeah.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

And that’s the crazy thing, is you come across so many more problems when you become a parent that you don’t necessarily see as just exactly a solo single adult. And so aside from being a parent as an eye opening experience, it was also just you’re exposed to so many consumer behaviors that I think you want to modify in your life.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Yeah. And it’s interesting, right? Because you come from a similar background as our firm does, and when you are aware of those experiences or what’s happening with the consumers, you almost think to yourself, or at least I remember going through this, like, how did I not see that before? It was right there in front of me the whole time. But it’s all relevant, right? It’s all what is happening to me instead of what’s happening in the world. We’re just creatures of habit in that way. Well, so then tell us about the journey of creating three wishes. Were you doing? The R and D. Did you partner with somebody? How did you get into the market? Tell us about that a little bit.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Martin. So I wish it were as easy as being able to RN something like cereal myself. So it took us two years to develop, and I think that’s where a lot of people always discuss barriers to entry in any given market. And a big part of this one was actually cracking the code, because grains, especially processed grains, are very easy to turn into cereal. It is really hard to get really nutritious and protein dense ingredients like chickpeas or pea protein to behave and look like cereal as well. So it took a lot of R and D from our side and a lot of time. And the first step was because I know people constantly think like, okay, I have an idea. How do I bring this to life? So for us, we started to talk to a lot of food founders that we knew from our network, or like, people I admire and brands I admire. I’d reach out to them and their founders to just understand the process. And a big part of this was you really needed someone super technical that understood how to work with alt proteins and how they are in a cereal type setting. So we found a food scientist, and from that point on, it was two different things that led direction. One was me understanding the landscape and what was missing. And then the other part is what’s the ideal product for me? What did I want to include, but more importantly, what did I want to exclude? And so once I kind of set those guardrails for myself in a product sense, then we worked with the food scientists to bring them to life and to iterate. We always talk about how many thousands of pounds of cereal we tried before we landed on the product that actually went to market. And that’s exactly what the process is. It’s a lot of trial and error. And for me, the time that I knew I was ready to go to market was when Ellis tried the cereal at age two and changed, and he asked for more because all the others try it, but you could see that he was like, okay, thanks, Mommy. But this was the first time where he was like, Give me more. And I was like, okay, now it’s ready. Because if my two year old that doesn’t care about my go to market strategy or my pretty packaging or my price point or my ingredients or any of these things actually wants to consume the product and I knew I had a formula for success in my own eyes of, okay, there are going to be adults that don’t want this, because cereal is a category where I think of a very zero to . Everyone in between enjoys cereal. It’s really broad, it’s really easy and accessible. And so that guided a whole lot for us in the process to launch it. And then part of the process was developing the product, but part of that process was laying out the strategy. And like, where did we see this? At what price points, at what retailers? And how did we want to approach that? So that was kind of what we did within that two plus years.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

R and D. Wow. And then what was it like in those early days getting into retailers? Because right now, the last time I went to QFC, which is one of our local Kroger stores, I noticed you have a number of facings, which is a pretty big deal for a brand of your size. And I’m thinking, okay, well, what has retailers excited about you now? Is it the same thing as in the very beginning, or was there something different in the beginning than now?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Yeah, that’s a great question. So there’s a few things, right. This category just didn’t have innovation. It had some fun seasonal plays or some more sugary stuff, but now features Twinkies. But nobody necessarily went and changed it. So I think what excited them was creating a space that created more revenue for that piece of state. Because I think this is something that’s really interesting and unique when you learn about the retail landscape, it’s really expensive to be in stores.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Oh my goodness.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

It’s insane. And it’s not like I always talk about them like, no one’s adding new products. Let’s add more shelf space in our stores or extend the floor.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Exactly.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

You have what you have, and you either have to have a product that moves and works and creates revenue for your store, or you have to put something else in that space. It’s a game of real estate entirely. And so our and this is just, you know, for the first couple of stores that we launched with was, hey, we have this innovation. We’re going to work really hard on getting people to try it. You try it. How do you like it? How do you feel about it? Here’s our story, here’s the mission, and here’s what we think we could do. And here’s how much more you can make by a slightly premium price point product. And so that was all really exciting. So the first couple of retailers that took that chance on us saw that it did really well. And that allows for you to storytell and expand. Now, part of the strategy in the first three years of building our brand was to go really deep in the accounts that you know you’re going to do well in and where you have consumers really looking for your product. And for us, that was the Whole Foods, the Sprouts, the Wegmans, all these natural stores. And so we focused on really going deep there and adding additional flavors. So Sprouts, for example, a great account of ours, carries eight SKUs full time and then has limited seasonal offerings. And when you’re a cereal box, eight is Pete in a store. It’s not just huge. It’s not like, oh, a bar. Well, that’s much smaller. It’s humongous. Yes, but that took time, and that took proving out that our brand really needed that space. So that was one part of it. And then now as we start to mature as a brand, as we continue to think about strategy, and this is where stores like the Krogers and the Albertsons of the world exist, you want to be able to consolidate that shopping experience for the consumer. Because so many customers will go to Kroger to buy their bread and water or bread and milk, but then go to Sprouts to buy their or their local health store to buy specialty items. And so now that we were able to build some of that consumer excitement and brand loyalty, we felt like it was the right stage in brand building to now bring it to a place where, hey, I don’t need to do two trips and I could buy my favorite cereal that I used to now at Kroger. So I think it was just for a point of brand maturity and that’s kind of what happened there. But Data still does all the storytelling. Yes, there’s a large part of it, us as founders, telling our story of why we did this and how we built the brand and how we’re going to continue to build successfully at the retailer we’re presenting it to. But a really large part of it is also the data and the success that the brand has had to date and really working on a solid story there and continuing to use that to sell in. So it’s like a multi pronged approach.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Of course, you’re still considered an emerging brand in five years, right? Are you coming up? Five years, right? Yeah, three and a half. Okay. So the kind of success that you’re seeing is not common for an emerging brand. And so it tells us a lot about your tenacity and ability to take that story and resonate with the retailers. Super critical. We advise brands all the time of what you were talking about on Facings and slots. There’s no retailer that has some random spot open waiting for you to show up. You have to tell a story in such a way that you are going to displace something there and convince these retailers that you can make more money for them in that slot. And it’s also the same for those brands who are getting ready to get discontinued. We have to remember, if you’ve got seven Facings that there are  brands that are vying for that spot, you must absolutely have the velocity and support that brand out in the marketplace. So the retails, those facings in those slots, they’re super important to just remain hyper vigilant on the activity there and respond aggressively as needed. Right?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

That’s % it. Everyone is always asking, what can I do that’s incremental to the category and how do we not go and cannibalize either your own brand or other brands. So that’s % spot on. And a big part of this, we think about it in a few different ways. We have a couple of different constituencies that we’re catering towards. One is the consumer and making sure they have the product that they’re hoping for.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Absolutely.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Then also remember the buyers are customers, too.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Absolutely.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

And making sure that we’re setting them up for success in their job and curating the right products, the right flavors, the right assortment for whatever their set is. And so just making sure everyone’s happy at the same time is kind of like the recipe that we see for success.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

I know. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a balancing game, for sure. Simplicity. Right. If you can keep the same message across all of your customers, consumers, buyers, distributors, et cetera, then you know you got it down. The minute you start to have to balance, you got to go back to your positioning. Absolutely. Well, I understand that even though your brand has gone national and you guys are having all sorts of success, you continue to operate out of your home. Can you tell us a little bit more about that decision?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

I do my best in pajamas. Maybe I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe that’s what it is. Maybe not wearing real pants on zoom is the thing. I don’t know. Look, I have two children. I work with my husband, and sometimes I’m like if I have an extra  minute in the day to not commute and just go downstairs and grind right into it, great. I also have my desktop set up, and sometimes I work best at night. And this is what I think is so interesting. People read all these stories about entrepreneurs and they’re like, you wake up , you hit the gym, then you have a smoothie. And I’m like, that’s not it for everyone. I like maybe waking up at . Maybe I like waking up at seven. That’s my prerogative. As a founder or an entrepreneur. I could do whatever the hell I wanted to do. Great. And sometimes I like coming downstairs when my kids are asleep and I could focus and not think about things like, hey, did I do this? And I’m not having a thousand emails coming in. Sometimes that’s when I’m firing away and just getting things off my to do list. And so I love having that flexibility. I love that when my kids are coming home from school and they could run into the dining room and I’m working, I get to kind of have them all. And I don’t necessarily feel like I’m missing out on watching my kids grow up because that is a struggle that working moms and entrepreneur moms feel is sometimes you have to pick one or the other. And I kind of mesh all my worlds together. So I’m sitting close to the kitchen, so it all works for me.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Okay. I can respect that. I think I started working from home part time, pre COVID, and then I still like to get to the office. The house calls me a little bit too much on some days, you know what I mean? Because I have taken over a bedroom. One of our older kids has moved out of the house, and so I’ve turned it into an office, and I can close the door, but the minute I open the door, I hear the laundry, I hear the dog.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

I don’t hear those things. I put them on mute, specifically, laundry that’s mute until as long as I can mute.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

No.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Yeah, that’s funny. It’s interesting. I am somehow able in my own mind of, like, when the day starts, it just starts, unless I’m distracted by like, oh, I need a snack. Right now. I’m pretty focused. So I think it also comes down to your type of brain and mind being able to just be like, all right, blinders on the rest of the world.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

That’s great.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

I’m doing it right now.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

That’s great. I am not that there was a time in my life when I called myself a multitasker, and the multitasking has exploded so sometimes I have to clean everything up and stop because  tab windows on my Google Chrome, right?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Yeah.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Those windows are very distracting for me. To you, it sounds like you’re very.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Organized with it, but not organized chaos, maybe. So it’s like one of those things of, like, it’s a mess, but I know where the things are in the mess. That’s how I feel. But, yeah, I think it’s just like, I’ve learned I think this takes time. I’ve learned to just thrive in the mess a little bit. I think in the beginning, where I felt like I was underwater all the time, just like, I have so much to do. I have more tasks than I have hours in the day, and blah, blah, blah. Here. I was like, all right, you know what? I’m going to figure it out. I’m going to get to it. Nothing’s on fire. Prioritize the fires, because maybe everything’s on fire. And then you learn how to kind of just get through it and do it and take time, though.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

It does take time. Well, now your husband is your CEO. This is something else that we have. My husband is not your CEO.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Your co-founder.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Not your CEO. That was weird. Your co-founder. And I read co CEO, by the.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Way, we did in the beginning, toy with that of like, hey, how do we and I’m just like, this gets really confusing and super weird, and I’m going to lead. And that’s the thing. I think that helping in marriage is just like identifying the things you’re good at, and it’s okay to give each other the responsibility. Sorry, Ian. Love you. But the co-founder.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Well, my husband is my well, he’s the founder of the company, but we are now partners in the organization and moving into more of the leaders so that he can focus on certain parts of the business that he’s better at, but there’s a lot of overlapping boundaries. And I’m curious, what sort of tricks/tips do you have to manage those boundaries? How do you guys manage work life balance when work is at home all the time?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Yeah, that’s great. A terrific question. I’m sure both my husband and myself would have completely different answers on this, but he learns to apologize maybe fast. No, but the thing we’ve really done is if there is something going on on the personal side, which every marriage has, right? We’ve learned to fight fast. You just like, you go, you say it, you get it out there. Because if you’re going to just sweep it under the rug, it’s going to build, it’s going to seep into the business. And when all parts of your life intercept that same way, you have to solve it and deal with it and go on to the next thing. And so we get into it. We’re both passionate, fiery people, so we just fight fast, we get through it and we move on. And I think the thing that we’ve learned by having two businesses together is the first one, I think. So agency side, I think we clashed a little bit more there where we didn’t necessarily know how to channel the frustrations or thoughts or whatever it was, but I think that was a little bit of our work in progress in terms of how do we work together? And then this one feels like, okay, we’ve got a down path. I do this really well. You do that really well. Don’t step into my territory here and I won’t step into your territory there. And I think that’s really helped us. But it’s funny because I remember early on we were talking to an investor and they were like, well, why would I invest in a married couple? What if something goes wrong? I’m like, Worry not. We’ve got the kinks worked out in the first business. We’re good. We’ve got it here. And so that’s kind of the way we’ve taken that approach. But yeah, it’s interesting because you also can’t shut it off. We can’t just be like, hey, it’s Friday : p.m.. But I think we’ve just learned whatever balance means to us, and we’ve learned to just juggle all of them. But more importantly, I think we love what we do and we have such heart for all of it that when we’re on date night, it’s : at night and we’re having an amazing dinner, we don’t mind talking about it. It’s not like I’m annoyed. And I think the beauty of doing the journey together is that when I talk about something that’s bothering me or frustrating me on the business side, non related to him, he understands where I’m coming from. And it’s not just like an outside POV, like, hey, honey, I came home. How was your day? My day was this: my boss is me and has no idea what you’re talking about. This is so relatable and interesting because you’re like, oh, yeah, so how is that going? Or what are you doing? It feels really nice because I think entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey for some, and to have someone that would ride a roller coaster together and you can bounce these things off each other, it’s really nice.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Yeah, I agree. And I would say to that investor, if they were to ever ask you again, this is what I would say. Because any organization could explode, like a startup, but a husband and wife team has far more at stake in the success of an organization because you’re % invested, and if something blows up, it’s catastrophic. Right. It’s % in the basket. There’s nobody that’s kind of stepping off or sloughing off or anything like that. I like to remind people that it’s very hard on a marriage when things go sideways. I will agree with that, because then sometimes it comes home. Well, it always comes home. And then you have to figure out ways to kind of work around that. Okay, we’re not going to talk about that. We’ll wait until work tomorrow. Work tomorrow to talk through those things. But interesting. I’m curious. One of the things that my husband and I are trying to resolve is what sort of ceremony, how do we celebrate wins? We haven’t aligned on anything. We’re like a good bottle of wine, but we have a good bottle of wine all the time. Do you guys have anything that you do that you’re like, okay, when something spectacular happens, small or big, you, I don’t know, put a gold sticker on a poster? Like, what do you do?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Or do you yeah, I don’t think that’s interesting. So I think it goes back to just our relationship as a whole. And when people ask about just, like, working together, I’m like, we picked each other as life partners, which is more important than business partners. And I’m happy with who I pick, so I enjoy working with my best friend. But the worst thing is so many people do the whole thing, like, especially when we were dating, we dated, married, did the whole kids thing really fast, and they’re always like, oh, you’re just in the honeymoon phase. And I’m just like, that’s a life POV. And you could be in a lifetime honeymoon if you choose to celebrate constantly and you choose to date each other and you do all of those things. And so I think for us, we never stop celebrating whatever is going on in life, and we always do those things, so we always have a good I love that we’re always going out on fun dates. We’re always continuing to keep that fire alive. So it’s interesting when someone’s like, well, what do you do to celebrate? I’m like, I think we always just celebrate the whole time and remember that’s awesome. Remembering it’s the journey. And not the destination is also super important, because I think sometimes you get caught up and you let it get you a little angry. And getting that edge off and just, like, hanging out and enjoying each other is a big part of the relaxation of being an entrepreneur. So we go for the good bottle of wine. We do that.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

I could always go with a better bottle of wine. Lord. Oh, my dad joked about it. I’m fired. That’s it. Okay. All right. I really have this question. I asked this of Asha Buella. I don’t know if you know her. She makes biscuits. And now the name of her brand is not in my head. She also comes from an immigrant family. Both of her parents come from different countries. And we talked about how kind of growing up in that type of family ended up being a sort of a superpower. And I wonder if you told me a little bit about your journey and a celebration when you kind of graduated from a program that you just had an internal celebration. Is there something that you feel that you bring differently into business or your approach in business might be different than some of the other people that could be starting up a brand?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Yeah, I think I really work on making sure and this is not something just that I do in business. I do this in my personal life, and am really surrounding myself with great, interesting, positive people. But I go beyond that, because along the way of building the brand, there were, whether it be investors or manufacturing potential partners that I spoke to, and they just weren’t right, they weren’t on the same wavelength. They didn’t either believe in me the same way or whatever it was. And so I don’t need to continue bringing and creating negative energy in my life. So really carving that out and making sure whoever you build this business with, whether it’s a spouse or a manufacturing partner or a retailer or a buyer, all those synergies together are really important and what that means going forward. And I genuinely love everybody I either work with or engage with. And I think that really changes it because I don’t treat it just like a step in my life. Like, this becomes my life, but it brings me so much joy that it’s okay. And so I think for me, my little skill and superpower is like the soft skills I have. But it’s not that that’s forced, it’s because I love all of the people, and I really genuinely care. I care about how their nieces and nephews are and how they are and what vacation they’re going on. And I just love that. And so I think for me, having those soft skills and getting to use them in my life are really a big thing.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Awesome. Well, what advice do you find yourself giving others, following in your footsteps?

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

It’s interesting that you follow in your footsteps. Because I think, for me, one of my realizations as an entrepreneur is, like, there is no playbook. Don’t even follow footsteps. Don’t worry about someone else’s, how they did something or why they did it. I think it’s okay to take inspiration from other founders, but I think what makes everyone a unique founder is their own little gut and their intuition and how they choose to build and what they do. So I would say a lot of it’s, I’m a very f the noise person, and just like, do your thing. Go on your own path and build it the way you want to build it. You’re not doing this for other people’s approval, opinions, whatever it is, just like, really go for it.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

I love that. And looking forward, what should we be looking to see from Three Wishes? Anything interesting coming out in the next.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Bit of winks that you can share? The thing that we’re always working on, similar to how it took two years to do our regular core product, is innovation is a big part of what we do. So whether it’s new flavors, which we always launch, but we’re always working on new innovation behind the scenes, and we know how long that takes. But my goal for Three Wishes is to really create that trusted brand where you know their ingredients matter, when you know there’s human founders behind it, when you know that they stand for something more than just, like, a capitalist outlook on something. And so really creating that brand trust and excitement and loyalty, similar to how I feel about certain brands in my life, is something that I really hope to do. Just create this fun household brand that you see time and time again.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

How exciting. Margaret, I’m really enjoying this conversation. Thank you. Our time is almost up. I have a question that I ask everybody. It’s kind of a non sequitur, and that’s this. Are there any other women leaders or rising stars out there? It could be in our industry or not that you’d like to elevate for the work that they’re doing right now.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Yeah, I mean, there are so many that I’ve come across that I love. If I started naming them now, I wouldn’t end until tomorrow. But the couple that have really inspired me and I think many people reference Sarah Blakely as an incredible founder revolutionized an industry that was dominated by men. That makes no sense because it should be for women, products for women. Right. And she’s really done an incredible job of leading with grace and purpose and a lot of these other things that I think matter and how you grow your company. So a big kudos to her. But I really also love and I’m inspired by Chelsea Hirschhorn, who is the founder of Frida, which is Frida baby, Frida mom. She is an incredible force. I’m lucky enough to know her and have spent some time talking to her, and such an inspiration, such a brilliant mind, and has really paved the way for some amazing innovation in the mom and baby space. And a big hat tip to her.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

Oh, thank you. I love both of them. Well, we have been talking with Margaret Wishengrad, co founder and CEO of Three Wishes Cereal. Where can people learn more about you and your company can learn more about.

 

Margaret Wishingrad:

 

Our brand at Three Wishesserial.com. We have a store, Locator, so you could find your local store that sells it, and you could follow us on Instagram at Three Wishes, or you could follow me personally at Mbwish.

 

Diana Fryc:

 

I love it. Thank you so much for your time today. I’m so happy that we got to meet each other, and I look forward to what you do in the future. Yes. And then thank you all listeners, for your time today. If you like this episode, please share it with a friend. Otherwise, have a great rest of your day, and we’ll catch you next time on The Gooder podcast

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Partner Chief Sales & Marketing Officer
For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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