Back in Germany with the Young Americans

This May I have the amazing opportunity to be back in Germany as an Associate Director with the Young Americans.  For the next few weeks I’ll be traveling throughout Germany and Poland working with the cast and kids, helping to put together shows with music and dance.

Looking back, it has been almost 5 years since the last time I was out in Germany for the summer and it is great to be back and living in the country!

WE DID IT!!!

After a busy few months, I am excited to say that WE DID IT, and successfully launched our brand new product for my company CricketFlours.com.  About six months ago, my company was contacted by the Oprah Magazine for a feature piece including cricket protein as an alternative flour to showcase in 2016!  We were beyond ecstatic to be included in the article, and thought it would be a great opportunity to schedule the release of our new Cricket Brownie Mix product that was currently in development.

We decided to launch our company’s first Kickstarter campaign to coincide with the February magazine publication, and successfully raised over $25,000+.  While it was a long journey, it was an amazing opportunity for the business and also for our team to focus on execution in a new area of business.  With the Kickstarter successfully behind us, we are now entering production of the new Cricket Brownie Mix from Cricket Flours that will launch nationwide in June 2016 with our new logo and packaging design.

Cricket Flour Kickstarter

 

Breaking Up, Not Broken

Whether it is a relationship, friendship, startup, or generational business there will sometimes come a time where it is time to break up.  Whether for personal or business reasons, it is often a scenario that many of us have experienced and some come to fear.  However it is important to always remember that while you may be breaking up, your not broken…your not broken.

I have personally worked with a variety of startups in the tech, law, and consumer product space and there are always going to be highs and lows.  Some startups will succeed amazingly and some won’t.  Perhaps the idea isn’t actually a good one.  Perhaps the market just isn’t ready for your product or business.  Either way the most important piece of advice is to be able to separate these successes and failures from your own personal evaluation of yourself.  I have worked with amazing individuals and founders that have technical skills or design insights that far surpass my own.  However, a setback within the business will sometimes cause them to feel that disappointment as a personal failure when it is often beyond their control.  When their amazing idea might not work that should never be regarded a personal downfall, but another opportunity.  Sure it sucks, but you move on and that same talent that inspired one idea will inspire another to come.

So the next time your relationship, friendship, startup, business or product fails in some form or another always remember that while it may be breaking up in some form, it is not broken.  And more importantly you are not broken. Use the experience to drive you to your next success and move on.

Japan Tour with the Young Americans

Charles WilsonThis past April I received a call from my old director and friend Bill Brawley from my time performing and touring with a group called the Young Americans. I was on a plane back to Oregon for a fundraising event for the University of Oregon, and when he asked if I wanted to direct a cast on tour in Japan for a few weeks I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to travel to a country I love and see the current cast and organization.  Overall it was an amazing experience to direct such a great cast and to see how far the organization and program have come over the past few years.

I first traveled to Japan on the second part of a 5-month performance tour.  However, it was the first time our group had performed the outreach tour in Japan and we spent a lot of time promoting the tour and were based in Tokyo for the tour.  Arriving back in the country brought forth so many great memories.  However, coming back as a director gave me such a different perspective of our group, the work that they do, and how talented the cast members are.  These 45 members of the tour were for the majority on their first tour.  However, after only a few months I could already see how far they had come and how great they are going to be as performers, and more importantly as teachers.

This upcoming March we will be meeting back up in Tokyo, Japan, for the 10-year reunion of our group coming to the country of Japan.  I don’t have any expectations but I am so excited to travel back to Japan to experience the culture and reconnect with all of the amazing staff, students, and families that we met while on tour.

Live on the Fox 10 o’clock news

This past Monday I had the opportunity to interview with the Fox 10 o’clock news about my new startup I have been working for www.CricketFlours.com.  We have busy launching the company and building out our website and increasing sales, but have also had some amazing opportunities to compete in a few business plan competitions for our Cricket Flours and cricket protein products.  In case you missed my other post, Cricket Flours uses premium milled crickets raised here in North America to create new consumer food products that use clean protein and nutrition that is sourced naturally from the cricket.

With the business competitions we have had the opportunity to travel to Canada, Thailand, and have a few upcoming trips as well.  Whatever the outcome it has been an amazing experience and thank you for all the support and for tuning in to our recent segment with Fox!

 

April Fools Day – But for Real!

Cricket FloursOver the past few weeks I have been busy working on a new product release and partnership, and I am so excited to say that the new Cricket Milkshake will actually be available for the first time with Wayback Burgers out in NY!  A little over a week ago, Wayback Burgers wanted to put together a press release for April Fools Day to talk about a fictitious milkshake they were launching that was going to use crickets.  However, when they released it before the April 1st date, some news stations and customers didn’t take note of the release date and started asking them about when and where they could try the new shake.

One evening I received an email through the company website asking if we were able to source and ship Cricket Flours.  There was no mention of a store or a press release, so I decided to follow up with an email and gave out my phone number in case they wanted to connect.  Fast forward a few days and we had rush shipped out some initial product for development, and shipped out even more for the limited release of the Cricket Milkshake.  So if you are out in the NY area and want to check out the world’s first Cricket Milkshake, make sure to stop by the Wayback Burgers!