Meet Shamaya "Bella" Oberlton
Name and Title: Shamaya “Bella” Oberlton
Name of Business: Chow Bella’s Rock N’ Rolls
Your location? 3535 Market St Philadelphia Pa 19104.
Website & Social Media Links:
- Ig: @chowbellasrocknrolls
- Fb & Twitter: @chowbellasrolls https://twitter.com/Chowbellasrolls @chowbellasrocknrolls https://www.facebook.com/chowbella215/
What year was your business started?
2016 How did you start in your field? What started me in my field was literally my love for egg rolls. As “fat” as this may sound as most food business owners my passion for opening a food business did not stem from my love to cook, I am a proud egg roll lover. I noticed growing up that when my aunt use to make me egg rolls at home I would be so happy, egg rolls were literally my favorite dish. As I got older I begun to experiment and test out different egg roll recipes in which I created myself. Apparently I confirmed that everything is delicious inside of an egg roll and woala….. Chow Bella’s Rock N’ Rolls.
What do you attribute to your success?
I 100 % attribute to my success my faith & dedication to God. I am a strong believer that when your heart is pure and you remain faithful to God he will bless you abundantly.
What were the hardships you faced/barriers to entry before getting started?
Opening my business has been the most challenging obstacle for me thus far, this year. During the time my business was scheduled to debut my mother was at her final stages of pancreatic cancer and transitioning to afterlife. Between caring for my mother, being emotionally broken and dealing with the day to day tasks involved with opening a business, to this day I still do not know how I survived, well I do-God. Another hardship I would say would be familiarizing myself with all the food and vending licensing needed to operate a food business in Philadelphia. Unfortunately there is no check list of things needed to operate a food business available to you which kind of leaves you to figure out a lot as you go.
What is your motivation to continue?
My motivation to continue is my mother’s voice telling me to not give up, my siblings depending on me, my desire to be successful and my commitment to myself to not quit. Success is always something that I strive for. I have to be successful in all that I work towards, no excuses.
What’s next for you?
Chow Bella’s Rock N’ Rolls will be available in more locations starting March 2017. We have partnered with another company and will be providing food services for many corporate establishments. We are also in the works of offering our pre-packaged egg rolls in local grocery stores.
What advice do you wish you had before you got started?
I wish I was more knowledgeable on branding and the importance of, when starting a business. I feel like now I’m learning more and more each day, and getting better. I keep in mind something I read from Bill Gates which read “If I had just one dollar to my name I How do you deal with competition? Where I’m stationed there’s a lot of competition. There are food carts and trucks on the whole strip. How I deal with competition is: 1. I make sure that my menu is offering customers something they can’t easily get anywhere else. 2. I stay consistent in everything I do from business hours to customer service approach. 3. I make sure that my product is good. $. I ALWAYS put my customer first.
How do you balance work and personal life?
I’m actually still working on that (lol). But I do plan to definitely give myself “work hours” in the near future. I think that it’s really important to know how to cut it on and off, and that can be so difficult to do as an entrepreneur.
What’s your favorite business or self-help book?
Definitely, “Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Letcher, Act like a Success think like a Success by Steve Harvey, Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin and The Femme and The Fearless by Yolonda Keels-Walker. What advice would you give to up and coming entrepreneurs? The advice I would give to up and coming entrepreneurs is that: branding is important, you must stay consistent and BE PATIENT, everyone started from the bottom you have to work your way up.
What 5 business tools can you not do without?
What quote do you live by?
I live every aspect of my life by being faithful. “Faith is being sure of the things you hope for and certain of the things you do not see”.
If you had to battle a giant, what weapon would you use?
In any battle my weapon of choice will always be, The Holy Bible.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is that I did not give up on myself. I know that’s broad, and that’s okay- my point exactly. I NEVER give up on anything I believe in.
One fun fact about you not related to business?
I have a fobia of mice, rats or anything that looks similar. If I happen to see a mouse or rat even on television I’ll have nightmares, and at times can’t eat for days. I KNOW super weird. I also hold a passion for songwriting.