Female Feature Friday: Kari Seher of MELT Ice Creams
Name and Occupation:
Kari Seher Owner/Founder of MELT Ice Creams.
Briefly describe your business:
We are a local ice cream company that focuses on fun quality ice creams and creating more happiness in this world.
How did MELT Ice Creams come about and what were you doing before its creation?
MELT Ice Creams was born out of a desire for good quality ice cream, an escape in this incredibly hot place.
Why ice cream?
Because we didn’t have any in Fort Worth that wasn’t a franchise or a big corporation. I wanted something local. It’s also a blank canvas for my creativity.
How do you keep coming up with such creative flavors?
I have a culinary team and we all work together to be inspired and experimental; sometimes it is from what our farmers are growing and other times it’s inspiration from a meal we’ve had in our travels.
What is your favorite thing about running an ice cream shop?
Getting to celebrate the little moments of our customer’s lives (and eating all the ice cream).
Why is small business so important to you?
There are a few reasons. Small business drives our economy to create smart, lasting change. I also believe it is what makes a city come to life and feel unique. It really helps create the culture of a city. Small business demands can be incredibly challenging, so I think it is important to support and encourage those in our community that dive into owning and operating their own place.
What motivates you to keep going on the less than awesome days?
People. People can be the best and hardest parts of a business.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Be strategic. Research and plan like you’ve never done before. Test the marketplace with your product and get feedback early. Plan to spend twice what you budgeted.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what/how did you learn from it?
I make mistakes every day that I learn from, but I’d say the most damaging thing a small business can do is keep someone on your team that is damaging your culture. Hire slow, fire fast.
Who have you looked to for advice and mentorship?
I reach out to a lot of folks in my industry that are not in our state. I had the honor of being a James Beard Women in Entrepreneurship fellow and those women have become some of my greatest allies. I am also not afraid to cold call or message someone I know has walked through the challenges I’m facing.
What’s it like to run a business as husband and wife?
It is wonderful- we each bring a unique skill set to the team. We go to the office together and take time off together.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in small business?
For me, it means that it’s my job to think about how to empower those around me - especially future generations - with thoughtful action. I have the great honor of employing teenagers, and it's often their first step into the workforce. Teaching them how to use their voice, how to have a job, and how a business can be impactful in the community are cornerstone values of our little shops. And because our business is ice cream, we get to celebrate in really fun ways every single day and show how work can be fun!
I also think it’s important that even though our business is demanding, we make time for personal goals. For me, that's ultrarunning- learning to push my body to the limit physically and mentally over long distances, even up to 100 miles. I want my employees to know that they can do anything they dream if they set their minds to it.
What’s next for MELT Ice Creams?
Well, how can I share that secret with you?! Lets just say we don’t plan on slowing down!
Let’s get the skinny on Fort Worth!
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO FORT WORTH?
My husband and I moved here when we got married because it is where we spent the most time on dates!
BEST TACO IN FORT WORTH?
Taco Heads breakfast tacos!!!
BEST QUESO IN FORT WORTH?
FAVORITE MARG IN FORT WORTH?
Joe T.’s the Tino special.
FAVORITE STEAKHOUSE IN FORT WORTH?
Home?! I love the way my husband makes steak! But if I’m out or for steak I’d go to Clay Pigeon.
FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND A DAY IN FORT WORTH?
Oh I love packing a lot into my days off!!! A run on the trinity river in the morning to start with, then a cappuccino from Craftwork Foundry, an acai breakfast bowl at Righteous Foods, then I’d go museum hopping. I love the Modern Museum (their focus exhibits are always fascinating and no matter how many times you go, you will discover something new). Next I’d hit up Gifted and Docs records for some shopping and then I’d grab lunch at Taco Heads (that elote and quesadilla y’all) ask to sub mezcal in your margarita for a smoky touch. If I’m really treating myself I’d schedule a pedicure at Wood House Day Spa because it is worth every penny. After being completely blissed out, I might find another patio to relax on and then I would wander around my neighborhood on Magnolia Ave popping in Tribe Alive, Grow, Ephemera, and Kendall Davis before grabbing dinner at Shinjuku and of course topping it off with dessert at MELT!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A BUSINESS OWNER IN FORT WORTH?
I love how tight knit the small business community is here in Fort Worth.