After getting over the initial shock of winning $2500 in the GetSetUp Startup Accelerator program, Twyla, plant-based diet enthusiast and owner of Plant Based Twy, knew it was time to get down to business.
Her number one goal after promoting plant-based eating? Fighting ageism by living an active life, eagerly accepting new challenges, and assuring people that it’s never too late to change their diet for the better.
"My platform allows me to talk about plant-based foods, but more importantly, the bigger picture here is to debunk the age stereotypes that so many people carry."
Through her advocacy and enthusiasm, she's been getting the message out over the past five months since the Startup program ended. She's danced back up for a Rolling Stones tribute band, appeared in AARP Magazine, been hired to teach at Sierra Community College, baked instant pot vegan brownies on Good Day Sacramento, and been a guest on Career Pivot and What's Next podcasts.
And she's been offered a new partnership with California Balsamic and received an increased stipend on her existing partnership with Chili Smith Family Foods.
"Chili Smith has hired a whole marketing crew to video my TikToks and wants to start a YouTube channel with me. They want to do a newsletter and always have Twyla's tips on it, and I will get paid for that."
She'll produce monthly themed presentations that will be used on social media.
With all of this exposure, she's increased her monthly profits by 200%!
Investing in business resources
She's putting her prize money to good use. She's taking marketing seminars, bought reference books to recommend to her followers, and hired a web developer to spruce up her website. At Guide Kevin's suggestion, she bought a ring light to improve the production value of her social media videos. And she's taking a TikTok class through Udemy.
While she hasn't had a viral moment…yet, she is building a steady following on TikTok and has gone from zero followers to 140.
"The TikTok instructor told me not to go for the numbers, go for the engagement. Go for consistency and build your community. Her assignment for us this month is to post every day for 30 days on TikTok and include a call to action. I'm getting good responses. I'm getting followers. I'm getting engagement. I'm connecting."
Among other content on TikTok, she includes adapted recipes from her favorite show, The Great British Baking Show. She makes a vegan version of whatever recipe is made on a particular week.
Gathering with friends
For the holidays, she's planned a vegan Friendsgiving with 45 guests. She contacted two vegan companies in her local Sacramento area to donate coupons to her guests. Instead, she got more than coupons and got donations instead! Conscious Creamery, which makes vegan ice cream, is donating enough gelato bars for all the guests, and Sugar Plum Vegan is donating 100 cookies. She loves making those kinds of contacts.
She's also keeping in touch with fellow winners Linda and Leslie. They meet every other Friday to catch up and give each other support. Leslie, who hosts Cooking for One or Two on the GetSetUp Club, has asked her to participate in her cooking sessions.
“I do “Twyla's tweaks” - Leslie makes something, and I offer plant-based alternatives."
She also hosts a Plant-Based People discussion group every other Thursday for GetSetUp.
Her goals for 2023 are to increase her TikTok following even further, cultivate the partnership with Chili Smith and its marketing team, and work with more companies to promote brands, products, and services that help older people enjoy an active, healthy, vibrant lifestyle.
Her advice for other active agers
Twyla encourages other budding entrepreneurs to take the plunge and not give up, especially if it is a passion.
"I think sometimes some of us lack confidence as we get older. But, as the 12 weeks of the GetSetUp program went by, and I did the assignments, I thought, 'Okay, maybe I have something.' It was wonderful to take those baby steps and realize that things can happen when you just keep going forward, and it's not too late, and you're not too old.
To be genuine and authentic and then seeing how it does help other people, seeing that you are providing a service, that's huge.
GetSetUp has done so much. I would never have done this without them."
Read more about the Startup Accelerator program and explore GetSetUp business classes. Maybe you'll be inspired to apply for the next Startup Accelerator program coming in 2023!