Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
Geraldine is originally from Dublin, Ireland but moved here with her husband and son (Lindsay’s older brother), 35 years ago. She now lives in Scotch Plains. Lindsay, a graduate from Fordham University, lived in Mendham for the last 5 years but just recently moved to Califon.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
We’re a mother daughter team, but I (Geraldine) also have two sons 36 and 29. Lindsay has two daughters, Lily (age 4) and Paige, (age 2).
Favorite things to do with your kids?
We’re massive Disney fans, so if we’re not visiting Disney World we’re usually planning our next trip and watching every Princess movie possible. Its fabulous living so close with my son’s and Lindsay’s kids so that we can get together on the weekends for movie nights!
Are you involved in a business venture or corporate world? Please Share!
Lindsay and I have been obsessed with beautiful desserts and packaging since I can remember. I’ve dragged her all over Ireland and England trying different tea shops. We both have a massive sweet tooth so creating beautiful cakes, dessert tables and custom gift platters just become a part of our everyday lives.It was a natural fit for us to go into business together creating beautiful displays that also tasted delicious, The Dessert Ladies. We started creating dessert tables, corporate gifts, & cakes for larger corporations like the NFL, Mercedes, Marriott, and Goldman Sachs. We are obsessed with all things pretty, so it was a joy creating a fabulous showroom in Stirling, NJ for our clients to get lost in a dessert wonderland! But we kept running into the same issue: scalability. Our most popular product, a signature cake truffle that we call a Bien, started to take on a huge local following. But we weren’t able to ship our Biens Centerpieces. As a result, we enrolled in the Goldman Sachs 10K small business program and they helped guide us to creating a nationally shippable gift- and we ended up launching our second company together- Biens Chocolate Centerpieces.
We’re thrilled we just had all of our patents granted on our shippable centerpieces! The timing was stressful because just as we were ready to launch the pandemic hit. However having to take a step back from the Dessert Tables as events were put on hold, really gave us the chance to help Biens CC bloom. We took a leap over the summer and opened a second facility in Denville to focus on our new product launch! To say it’s been a whirlwind would be a massive understatement but we’re thrilled to be joining the 1800 Flowers Family this year as well as launching our first Amazon Gourmet Gift store!
If you could give one tip to fellow Mom Entrepreneurs what would it be?
Don’t be afraid of stepping outside of the box. When we moved here from Ireland I needed to find a way to balance kids and helping our family in a new country. I started a day care and was able to re-write what a working Mom meant to me. I got to have a flourishing business and be with my kids. Then when Lindsay graduated from Fordham during the ‘09 recession it was a tough time to get a job. I pushed her to start this company with me because the straight path forward isn’t always the best fit. She’s now able to manage our corporate clients, new product development and social media whilst working from home with her two kids. The corporate lane didn’t work for either of us, so we took a risk and made a new lane for ourselves.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I’m (Geraldine) a travel adrenaline junkie.. If I can try something new in a new country, such as zip lining, camel racing or sand dune surfing- i’m in! For Lindsay, she’s completely addicted to terrible (she doesn’t get it from me!) animal movies- sharknado, sharktopus, lake placid- if it has a mutant animal story theme- she’s a Sci-fi movie nut! Thankfully our quirky love of adventure and weird works to our creative benefit for work!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
We wouldn’t have been able to expand during the hardest year in our small business history without the support of the amazing families in this community. When our events side of the business, the biggest part of our business at the time, came to a screeching halt we were understandably stressed. However, in an effort to reconnect with friends and family afar, our clients didn’t go to the big box stores. They came to us. They trusted us to send a sweet message to those they missed most. We can’t stress enough how overwhelmingly touched we’ve been this past year with unwavering support from our community. Furthermore, our entire team, locals of the area, have been with us from 3 years to a decade and have been paramount in keeping our spirits bright and our customers happy! From when we first started just over 10 years ago at a holiday school fundraiser to joining some of the biggest retailers in the country- the heart of it all has been our community inspiration and encouragement.
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