Women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability in the coffee industry

with special guest Natalie Webb

Patti Dobrowolski's logo
Up Your Creative Genius
Women's empowerment and environmental sustainability in the coffee industry

Natalie Webb is the executive director of Cafecita, a fair trade coffee company focused on women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability. Prior to moving into the coffee world, Natalie had worked as a human rights lawyer, traveling to over 70 countries and living in 10, before returning to her hometown of Los Angeles to create a company that combined her love of coffee with her passion for social justice.


1:21 What makes who Natalie Webb is today

12:08 Dive deep into the background of Cafecita 

13:59 The process of finding the right coffee plantations

17:57 Natalie shares her shift from Human Rights Lawyer to Entrepreneur

21:08 Natalie shares tips in team managing as a leader

23:37 Meeting her coffee growers  

27:35 Walking through the day as Natalie

32:39 Accomplishing the Cafecita mission 

34:38 Natalie shares her tips about pivoting businesses and the importance of support squad

Social Media 

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalie-webb-8292074a/

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/patti-dobrowolski-532368/Up Your Creative Genius


coffee, people, farms, creative genius, lawyer, work, world, nonprofits, sita, support, cafe, women, chiapas, country, semester, physical location, absolutely, incredible, travel, started


Natalie Webb, Patti Dobrowolski

Patti Dobrowolski  00:03

Hello superstars, welcome to the Up Your Creative Genius podcast, where you will gain insight and tips to stomp on the accelerator and blast off to transform your business and your life. I’m your host, Patti Dobrowolski. And if this is your first time tuning in, then strap in because this is serious rocket fuel. Each week, I interview fellow creative geniuses to help you learn how easy it is to up your creative genius in any part of your life. Hey, everybody, oh my gosh, I have Natalie Webb here from Cafecita, you are gonna love her. She’s so incredible. So talk about a big, big pivot. This is somebody who really literally was the first I want to say what your coffee company is that you’re about focusing on women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability in the coffee industry. And that you were a human rights activist lawyer in 70 countries and you lived in 10 of them. And then you went into coffee. I am. This is just so incredible. So I just can’t wait to hear from you. Welcome to the show.

Natalie Webb  01:18

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Patti Dobrowolski  01:21

All right, you got to tell us the story of you. Because this is amazing that what you did in the world, I kind of want to know, like, how did you get the idea that you were going to a be a human rights lawyer? And then what was that like for you? And then why did you shift you know, all these things. So take your time and tell us really from this start a birth happens. And then Natalie Webb came? And tell me, you know, like tell us about your past a little bit. So we get to know you? Are you from LA? You live in LA now?

Natalie Webb  01:54

Yeah, so I am originally from LA born and raised and left though when I was 18. I actually really don’t like LA growing up, which is funny that I’m back here. So I’ll get to that. But I’m left when I was 18. I’m a dual citizen with the UK. So when I worked over there, which was very cool, because I worked as a bartender, so as an 18 year old American.

Patti Dobrowolski  02:19

Yes, exactly what a cool job to have when you’re at 18, you know, yes.

Natalie Webb  02:25

Completely. And that actually started just my love of travel. I mean, I grew up, you know, travelling with family, especially going into go back to London to visit my mom’s side of the family. But yeah, I just became completely enamoured with it. And from there, it kind of took off. So I came back after that first gap year went to college did multiple study abroad.

Patti Dobrowolski  02:50

So everybody, I want you to hear that. She said that first gap year, right? So you know, any of you that are listening, we’re into the gap year thing, because that’s how you figure out who you are and what you want to do. And I took a gap year to I travelled in my gap year because I had to I didn’t have very much money. So it was a very impoverished travelling, but it was okay.

Natalie Webb  03:10

But I mean, I think when you’re 18 in your 20s, or whenever, it’s a great way to travel also to do that backpacking, because you really experience a country from a different perspective. And I feel like I connected more with people. I was doing couchsurfing, which I don’t know if you know that website, but it’s legit and on people’s couches. So I came back to college did some study abroad, actually, one of them was in Singapore. And during that semester, I started scuba diving and completely fell in love with it. And then decided when I was done with my undergrad that I wanted to be a dive master. So spent a year second gap year working as a dive master.

Patti Dobrowolski  03:52

Under the water, you were underwater breathing.

Natalie Webb  03:56

Like a instructors assistant basically.

Patti Dobrowolski  03:58


Natalie Webb  03:59

And then another semester abroad that I did in undergrad was in Ghana. And when I was in Ghana, for the whole semester, we had to do a research assignment. And we could choose any topic that we wanted. And when I was there, it was just very eye opening for me to kind of see how the world worked as far as international economics. So seeing that Ghana had all these raw materials, but nothing was being like manufactured in the country. So everything was being imported. And I started looking more and more I decided to do the research on gold mining, which used to be the Gold Coast. Right? So right still has this whole history from colonisation. And it still has the same infrastructure, which is all about getting the gold as quickly out of the country for as cheaply as possible to other countries that them are actually making all the money off of it. So.

Patti Dobrowolski  04:48

Typical story in Africa about the resources and other countries right, where people come in, especially if it’s not developed economy, then they just come in and take advantage of that. Yeah. We’ll give you some money, and maybe we’ll build some roads for you, maybe we’ll put in some water. But then what happens? We know is the story.

Natalie Webb  05:07

Absolutely. And so I realise all of the companies that were doing gold money, were all foreign corporations. And they were just completely raking in all of the laws, the labour laws, environmental laws. I mean, it was terrible. And it was kind of left to the nonprofits to hold these corporations accountable, which was very difficult. So the way that it was most effective is if those nonprofits teamed up with nonprofits in the US or Canada, or where the corporations were actually based to try to hold them accountable in their home country. So all of us to say, this is why I went to law school. This is like an amazing semester for me. And I just decided I want to do human rights law and corporate accountability.

Patti Dobrowolski  05:49

I love that I love that corporate accountability. We’re always going for that, right? We always want to hold this corporation.

Natalie Webb  05:56

Yeah, because when I got into it, it was called corporate accountability. Now they call it corporate social responsibility. And it’s been a little bit softer than it had been. Unfortunately, when I was in law school, actually, the laws that were being used to hold corporations accountable. The Supreme Court, then completely shut it down. But like, really.

Patti Dobrowolski  06:14

Pretty much, they pretty much did. Yeah, yeah.

Natalie Webb  06:17

So yeah, so all like the kind of piecemeal stories, but basically, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I still took another gap year to work as a dive master. And then I moved to New York. I went to law school there. Then did you go to NYU there? Where did you go?  CUNY, CUNY Univer. Yeah. Which is, like I went to Santa Cruz for my undergrad. And.

Patti Dobrowolski  06:40

That’s a good, that’s a good segue. Yes, it is. Whoa, I so know it because I went to Evergreen. So you can imagine, almost like going to Santa Cruz.

Natalie Webb  06:54

Absolutely. So I felt very lucky to be around law students who all wanted to become public defenders, and like, all about kind of using the law for the good and for the people. So I came out of law school, right during the foreclosure crisis. And so my first job was actually then doing foreclosure prevention, that then turned into eviction prevention, and then I was doing gender based violence work. And then I was doing immigration policy. And then I was doing post conviction relief work. So it was a lot of amazing work that I was doing, and I really liked it. But I always knew I wanted to do my own thing. So I really spent years kind of thinking about what that would be, because my background was always working on nonprofits, my go to thought was going to be okay, I’m going to start a nonprofit, like, this is what I want to do. But I also had seen that so much of the nonprofit world is really focused on grant writing grant reporting, you know, they know funding, and so whatever the funders want the kind of that’s the work that they’re going to do. They’re very reliant on it.

Patti Dobrowolski  08:02

Yeah. It doesn’t really give you the place to land, your heart and a spot, it means that you’re always focused on what are they going to fund. And that that really, I think, for any entrepreneur, this is the tricky part. Because when you do pitch for funding, and whether you have a product or a service, you want to make sure that you are holding true to your vision of what it is. And it’s hard to do. They relate.

Natalie Webb  08:29

Completely, especially also basically trying to figure out the business model that was the most efficient that I was comfortable with coming in from this one. I can’t tech capitalists ideology also seem the downfall of nonprofits. And so when I was in my last lawyer position, doing the post conviction relief work, it was actually remote work, even though it was before the pandemic. So before it was.

Patti Dobrowolski  08:55

Right, you were ahead of the curve on Well, 70 countries and lived in 10. You know, I’m thinking you know, you skipped over that I went from this country, this country this Yeah, you and the plane and then, you know, like that. Okay, you couldn’t do that now.

Natalie Webb  09:11

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So while I was in that job, I was living in Oaxaca, Mexico, which is one of my favourite places in the world. I just loved it so much. And while I was there as volunteering a few organisations, but one of them was this one called In Via. And they do responsible tourism, so they’ll take people out to the villages surrounding Oaxaca to visit these women artisans, who are making an amazing like their weavers and potter’s and just an incredibly cool art and the money that they make from the tours they then use as no interest loans to those artisans to get their businesses up and running. Oh, nice, self sustaining and being empowered and it’s been incredibly successful. And it just was so inspiring to me because I was self sustaining nonprofit, they weren’t relying on grants. They don’t have to do any of that. They don’t have to.

Patti Dobrowolski  10:03

Yeah, it was all coming from the work that was being done in May. Yeah.

Natalie Webb  10:07

Yeah, really, part of it was great. And so that’s why I decided, okay, I want to do a social enterprise that’s like this. And then I had to decide, okay, what was the business side going to be to sustain the nonprofit side, and I’ve just always loved coffee. It’s something I mean, especially as a lawyer, as a student, like, it’s just been such a big part of my life. And then when I was living abroad, and working remote, I was always working from cafes. And so seeing just that cafe culture, the similarities around the world, the differences, like the community aspect of all of them, I just love it so much. And so the original plan was I was going in, I was like, Okay, going open a cafe, and the cafe will be able to do all these programmes. And so this was actually like.

Patti Dobrowolski  10:52

2019, wasn’t it that you were planning all this? Right?

Natalie Webb  10:55

So I started thinking about it around them. But I actually decided, Okay, I’m going to do this, like really kind of about it. In 2020.

Patti Dobrowolski  11:06

I was Oh, yay. Great, great time to launch a venture. Definitely.

Natalie Webb  11:12

 Exactly. So I was in Morocco at the time, working from there. And I was like taking photos of cafes, and I was like, This is so awesome. I’m so excited. I’m so inspired. And then was incredibly lucky with timing that actually left Morocco, the week that like, they shut their borders down until I left right before that happened without knowing just kind of looking in retrospect how lucky I was. And then I was flying back when the ban on the European travel was announced, like landed and was like, Oh, this happened while I was in the air, and then la completely shut down. So not the best time to open a cafe and so to a coffee company. And so now, we do have ecommerce and half wholesale to other cafes. And hopefully the goal is to one day still have a cafe. But for now, it’s been really great actually doing e commerce and working with other Cafe owners, because there’s still that community aspect in that.

Patti Dobrowolski  12:08

Yeah, that’s fantastic. Wow. So that’s crazy. But now talk about what your whole business model is based on because this, I mean, that’s an incredible journey to get to there. But the thing that I love about it is you’re doing something really different around the coffee, you aren’t just going and grabbing coffee from countries and getting it at the price, right? You’re doing something else with it. So say more about that.

Natalie Webb  12:33

Absolutely. So the Coffee Company and the business model that Cafecita  is is that all of our beans are single origin, organic, and Fairtrade certified. And they all come from sustainable women on coffee farms and Co Ops. And then a percentage of every sale goes to supporting women’s nonprofits around the world. Starting with India, the organisation I volunteered with in Osaka that I was so inspired by so you get a percentage of every sale. So it’s been amazing. And I should also backtrack to say that when I started researching cafes and the coffee industry, I just saw how male dominated it is and how the farms they’ll have up to 70% of the manual labour is women. But they’re far less represented as the farm owners or any type of management position. And then even when they do own the farms, the price that they’re getting for their coffee is way lower. And they’re not having like the same support or the resources. And so how, yeah, it’s been interesting, because it’s all this new research, I mean, new like in the past 1015 years, I would say yes, but because so many of the coffee companies in the US are also owned by men. It’s this corner of the coffee industry that people are interested in, but like, hasn’t really been tapped into. And so I was like, that’s what cafecito is going to be like That’s exactly it. And so we really want like from the beans all the way to the cup and beyond to really be supporting like women’s empowerment.

Patti Dobrowolski  13:59

Oh, that is so incredible. Well, no surprise that the coffee plantations right and who’s running them and who’s profiting from them? Are men. I mean, these are predominantly countries where it is still many places a male dominated industry and our culture, right. So how did you go about finding those plantations, that coffee farms because that is like crazy.

Natalie Webb  14:28

Yeah, so luckily, I was introduced to our importer, which is sustainable harvest, and they’re based in Portland, but their whole model is relationships. They have relationships with these farms for decades. And, like their mission is very aligned with Kapha. Sita because also it was launched in 20. I was really reliant on sustainable harvest and to have those relationships already established. And so to them, I’m able to connect with the farms and so excited because from the time I launched it, I have been, like, I cannot wait to actually go to the farms and like meet with the women. And yes, that very personal connection. But it hasn’t been safe. And I haven’t wanted to go until I feel.

Patti Dobrowolski  15:14

No, that’s right. That’s right. Or because you might get trapped there not so much that you wouldn’t be worried about getting COVID there, which is one concern, but I think it’s more that you couldn’t get back into the US. Oh, no, they shut down.

Natalie Webb  15:26

Yeah, or bringing COVID. That was my biggest concern is like going into these villages and like bringing it on. So yeah, yeah, it was just something I wanted to be make sure everybody was vaccinated and boosted and we’re good. So now we have a trip, hopefully coming up soon, which I’m very, very excited about. And that will be to our producers in Chiapas.

Patti Dobrowolski  15:48

Well, and where are they? You know, what part of the world is it Central America, South America, tell us where some of those sustainable farms are. So we get a sense of where those beans are coming from, because we know that they’re dried in different ways in different countries, you know, but that part of the world I think where you’re getting is the best way to treat the coffee. Right?

Natalie Webb  16:10

Right. So right now we’re working with producers in Peru, Colombia and Mexico in the past have worked with producers in Rwanda, Guatemala, and Honduras as well. So it’s as the harvest come in that we just which coffees we take on which has been really cool because it also means we get to try out different coffees from everywhere and kind of figure out what the ones that we like. So the majority are Latin America Central and South but I really love the East African coffees. So I’m always trying to pull those essentially are going get some from Indonesia soon as well.

Patti Dobrowolski  16:44

Oh, fantastic. Now then, are you doing just green bean? Are you doing roasting? What are you selling and doing with it? Once you get to beans? No, no, I can I get some green put it in my own roaster. Can I get some already roasted? Yeah.  So we buy the green and then we roast to order. So it’s very, very, like the quality is something I’ve been very non uncompromising about and so that’s why it’s, you know, single origin organic fairtrade. I mean, like the coffee’s Yeah, it’s amazing. This, you know, if you’re into coffee, like I can’t, it has to be the best. So we roast the order. So everything’s very fresh when we ship it out. And we roast here in LA, and then the E commerce people buy through our website, and that we can ship that all over the US. And then the cafe that we’re working with right now are also in Los Angeles right now. But then we’re also on quite a few digital marketplace platforms, which has been really great. So that’s also like throughout the US. And then we’re also do a lot of corporate gift DM. So if companies want to buy a lot of bags as gifts for their employees, or for marketing, and all of that we tapped into that, which is been great as well. That’s fantastic. So this is a big shift from being a human rights lawyer to being, you know, a business owner and entrepreneur with a product. So how did you make that shift? I mean, what did you do? I mean, like, that must have been like a big Peruvian mountain you are going to have, right?

Natalie Webb  18:17

Absolutely. And I am still climbing on that. So yeah, it is such a journey. It’s been great, though, because I was so excited going into it about having that something in myself that I can create and the amount of work that I put into it, you see that work, you know. So it’s definitely challenging. There’s skill sets that I had going into it of being detail oriented, or organising things that are more like lawyer skills that have been incredibly useful. But then there’s also a lot of new skills that I have to learn. And I’m working on it.

Patti Dobrowolski  18:51

Like Winning Others Over. What’s the new skill that you have to learn, like saying no, or knowing the quality or what’s that?

Natalie Webb  19:01

Yes, definitely coffee, because, you know, going into that it’s like, Oh, I love coffee. I know what I like. But let me tell you how nuanced it is. So it’s really working with the roasters because they have 30 years experience. And they’re, like, amazing. And so I really, that’s something that I definitely have a team that’s like coffee experts to make sure everything is great. But it’s also just for me, my biggest thing is management. I am sometimes a little bit too nice. I feel and I really like the team aspect of things, which is great when you have a good team, but if somebody I’ve like we’ve had interns before where it’s a little bit challenging because they’re not coming through with the work that they said and then are underperforming.

Patti Dobrowolski  19:36

Yeah. And then how to give them feedback. Right.

Natalie Webb  19:40

Exactly. Exactly. So for example, that’s things like that, that I’m still working on. But it’s good. I mean, yeah, I’m definitely enjoying the process.

Patti Dobrowolski  19:48

I love that and, you know, I think these are the things you don’t realise when you go into business for yourself. Eventually, you’re gonna have to have help, and it happens usually sooner than later and then you need to manage the help. And that is like it’s not as precise a skill as being a lawyer, you know, reading a document and making sure that it’s clear and etc. It is the same principles, of course, but it’s just happens in a completely different way. So that is so amazing. Okay, take a pause just for one second, will you. So one of the reasons that I thought we should stop is because I wanted to make sure I could ask you some deeper questions about the employee thing, because I was saying, you know, this is the and I didn’t say this on the podcast, but when we stopped, I said, this is my Achilles heel to is giving people feedback, you know, you have to give people feedback, often, you can’t just assume that they know how, and I don’t know about you, but my first admin, that worked for me, that was like, she was a star player. So everybody, I compare that bar to her every time and I’m like, Whoa, that person’s not Emer I mean, you know, like that, because she was so incredible. And her work ethic, and she understood my voice and you know, all these things. And so how are you doing with do like an all hands meeting? What do you do to get your team aligned?

Natalie Webb  21:14

You know, that’s exactly it, it’s very hard, it was hard for me, because I’ve realised, my default is to be so nice, right? And to assume, like your first admin, they’re just going to get it, we’re gonna be on the same page, and there’s gonna be no issues. But of course, that doesn’t always happen. So one of the things from living in New York that I really appreciate is when people are direct, like, I do not get offended, I do not take it. I’m not defensive. Like, just tell it to me straight. Yeah, but it’s funny, because it’s like, that’s how I like people to interact with me.

Patti Dobrowolski  21:43

But being that way. It’s a skill, right?

Natalie Webb  21:48

It is, it is and so it’s something I’m still learning, and also just trying to put more structure, you know, with the people that I work with, so that there’s boundaries is expectations, because I think once people know that people are fine with it, but it’s almost putting those boundaries and those expectations on someone, it’s a skill.

Patti Dobrowolski  22:07

Yeah, did you have to practice? Like, I always tell people, you know, practice at home and your relationships, about how to set boundaries there. Because it’s easy to set boundaries for me with my partner, I’m like, do not leave the covers. This is what she said to me. Do not leave the cupboards open. You’re driving me crazy, right? And I’m like, Yeah, I couldn’t say that to one of my employees. But I could say something like, you know, that sandwich, where I say, You’re doing such a great, I love having you on my team. You’re magnificent. And I want to walk you through how this process might work better for me. And then you give me feedback. And actually, my friend Hannah, not too long ago taught me how to do that better, because she was like, you knew what the feedback thing. You got to figure that out? Because you’re not so good at it. And I’m like, Oh, thank you.

Natalie Webb  22:55

That’s great feedback.

Patti Dobrowolski  22:57

She gave me like a little tip. I know, she gave me a little tip sheet. So it’s on my whiteboard. It’s not in this house where I am, but it’s on my whiteboard. So when I’m about to get feedback, I look at it. Mm hm. Be kind, you know, be nice, be honest. And be direct, you know, mess around, right?

Natalie Webb  23:15

That’s exactly it. And I mean, I think most people, at least the people that I’ve worked with, like, they want to do better people want to be good workers, you know, so Exactly. Just be positive, like focus on the good and then work together to set.

Patti Dobrowolski  23:28

Yeah, yeah. Now you’re good to go on a trip to meet some of the growers, right. Yeah. So tell me, where are you going? Where are you going to go first.

Natalie Webb  23:36

So we’re going to Chiapas. Right now I’m going with our photographer who is amazing. By the way, he also just started and incredibly happy to be working with him. So he’s already been in Oaxaca.

Patti Dobrowolski  23:49

Do you already went through the boundary process with him? Yes. This is what I want you to shoot. I do not want you to shoot this do not shoot my left side shoot my right. You know, like that, right?

Natalie Webb  23:59

Well, it just you’re talking about your first admin, sometimes people just quick. I mean, that is like the ideal. Yeah, it doesn’t always happen. And with him, I feel very grateful that it does appear to be happening like that, which is nice. And so he wasn’t Oaxaca he actually I think just yesterday is now in Chiapas. So he’s already there. And I’m hoping to go down in a couple of weeks as well.

Patti Dobrowolski  24:18

So all right, she gonna fly there. You’re gonna Is it close? Yeah, you drive you’re flying? You still Yeah. Or is it? Where is it? Where is it in Mexico?

Natalie Webb  24:25

Southern state of Mexico, right? Almost right next to it is next to Guatemala. But of course, where the farm is, is out in the countryside. So flying into the main airport. They’re staying in San Cristobal, which is this really cool city that I’ve been wanting to see. And then it’s like a four or maybe even longer drive to like closest little village and then from there, it’s another four hour drive to the farm. So from that point on the farm will pick us up and then when we’re out there, we’ll do homestays and really get to know the community, which is the whole thing.

Patti Dobrowolski  24:34

Oh, that’s so cool.

Natalie Webb  24:58

Oh, yeah, and go on the farm and just meet the woman see how everything works, and then eventually make our way back. So I cannot wait.

Patti Dobrowolski  25:09

Oh, that sounds so exciting. I’m crossing my fingers that everything stays open. Thank you, you know what I mean? It’s just so it’s so open and close, open and close. And I think, you know, learning how to be in a state of flux, like April Renee would say it state of flux. Be good about that. But that’s what’s true when you travel anyway, you know, you being a season traveller, you know.

Natalie Webb  25:31

Absolutely. And I was gonna say, most of Cafecita starting in 2020, it has been a huge skill for us to always pivot. So I like I really always try to think of, you know, being a palm tree.

Patti Dobrowolski  25:45

So when now, did you start to do a brick and mortar? Do you have any brick and mortar presence at all, did you?

Natalie Webb  25:52

Not yet because really, I mean, everything shut down before I could even get started luckily, right. So I haven’t had to have that overhead with the rent or with all the employees and all of that. So in that sense, it has been great to be able to pivot so easily with all the flux that’s going on. But this semester, Cafecita also has been very, very fortunate to work with the UC Irvine. So their law school did all our trademarks. And now their small business clinic is actually going to be helping us and they specialise in the brick and mortar. So we will be starting this semester, figuring out all the permits and the licencing and all that fun stuff. Like the lawyers do it despite being a lawyer.

Patti Dobrowolski  26:37

Yeah, yeah, that’s fantastic. Yeah, watch out. Watch out coffee in LA. We know. We’re talking to here. Watch out. We’re gonna surpass you in any second. Well, that’s fantastic. Now, how do you balance your work life with your personal life? How do you keep all that in balance?

Natalie Webb  26:58

Balance? What is that? Yeah, it’s been really difficult to be honest. It’s been so so busy, like the first year was really working on a foundation. And that seemed, you know, that was a little bit kind of slower moving and really reaching out. And now it’s the scaling and it’s yeah, very inconsistent at the moment where it’ll be like super busy one week, and then maybe like, slower orders next week. And so it’s been a lot. I mean, even this morning, and it’s been like completely running around LA. Yeah, cafe is going to the roaster. I haven’t go back to the roaster like making calls.

Patti Dobrowolski  27:35

Yeah, yeah. Well, this is good. All right, because I love to ask people like, tell me, you know, what’s your day? What’s the day in the life of your cafe Sita, like for you? What do you do in the morning to prep yourself? Get ready. So when you’re thinking about, you know, this is how I prepare, so that I can deliver and then how do I calm down at night? Walk us through like a day of yours, if you would?

Natalie Webb  27:56

Absolutely. Well, I feel like I should also say that is the ideal day that I know. I should know.

Patti Dobrowolski  28:02

I want real day. I want the real day. I want the real day. Hey, give us the real stuff here.

Natalie Webb  28:07

Yeah. So on a real day, it’s like normally, I’m also like a big time cyclist. I’m gonna be racing this year, so.  Oh, right.  Yeah. So waking up trying to get a ride in the morning, which has been really difficult during winter, because it’s like 40 degrees, even in Los Angeles

Patti Dobrowolski  28:28

But you could do Swift, you could get on your trainer and do Swift.

Natalie Webb  28:32

Get a trainer. That’s the whole thing.

Patti Dobrowolski  28:33

There’s cheap trainers, you just need your power metre and then you can go that’s what I do. I don’t have one of those fancy ones that ships for you and makes it harder. I just make it harder, right?

Natalie Webb  28:43

Yeah, yeah, it’s true.

Patti Dobrowolski  28:46

But yeah, so try to get a ride in. All right. All right.

Natalie Webb  28:48

And then like, I try to have like coffee be like a ritual every morning. And then like, do the pour over do the Americano and like, kind of have that, like, get the day started, sit down, and then read the news, and then start with the emails. And that normally takes a really long time. And that’s actually one of my challenges is it’s so easy to kind of get down the rabbit hole when you’re sitting in front of your computer because there’s so much to do.

Patti Dobrowolski  29:11


Natalie Webb  29:11

And then time just passes. So I also always have to go to the roasters and pick up coffee and drop it off. And then a lot of phone calls and meetings and shipping out the coffee. Like the post office and so UPS everyday.

Patti Dobrowolski  29:27

Yeah, there you go. Like that’s it. That’s the internet shell and then you’re exhausted at the end of day once a PO closed and UPS and FedEx and you can rely on at all or get back on your email.

Natalie Webb  29:40

Well, that’s yeah, um, I mean, there’s some days that you know, after I go to the post office, and I like sit back in my car, and I like to sit I’m like, so tired, but I’m like, Okay, I got everything in you know, like, job.

Patti Dobrowolski  29:53

Yeah, did it. That’s it. Well, you know, you gotta hit that success button. You have to hit that and celebrate your success by having a cup of coffee or doing whatever it is that you do to relax and reflect. And you know this from your life as a lawyer, you have to continually improve upon the way you’re doing things so that you don’t end up doing, you know, it’s a weird thing. But when we’re first starting something we don’t know the simplest way to get from A to Z. But there really is one. Like, you know, I grew up in LA, too. And so my father, he worked in downtown LA, and we lived in Altadena. Before Altadena was a cool place to live. And so my father would do that commute every day. And it was horrible then. But he would say, the thing is, you have to find, always learn the shortest route between point A and point C. And so he taught me all about the back roads. So if the freeways bogged down, then you’re going to go over here, and you’re going to get on this road, and then you go down, and then you go back behind the Hollywood Hills. And then you go, you know what I mean? Like that. And I think that part of what you learn as an entrepreneur, is that you get better and better and better. Do you feel like that’s what’s been happening?

Natalie Webb  31:03

Absolutely. Well, I felt like I’ve gone through this, like, crazy rush of kind of running around without my head on. And now it’s so much focused on being as efficient as possible, and like, learning how to be like, okay, like, I can cut this, and I could focus on this and hopefully hiring someone to do operation soon, which is also like a massive goal for me, because that will free up a lot of my time. So.

Patti Dobrowolski  31:26

Yes, but you got this support from UC Irvine. That is incredible. I mean, that is such a big deal. And that’s a huge lift, of course, then you have to train everybody and all that stuff. But that’s part of the internship process. That’s why they’re interns, and then you eventually hired them, if you can get them right. If they love you enough, and what you’re doing in the world, they’re so connected to it. And when you started, did you do the traditional things like coming up with what your mission statement was, and your purpose and all of those things and your goals? Your big, big, hairy, audacious goals?

Natalie Webb  32:01

Absolutely. I mean, I feel like because I’ve been working on it for urban thinking about it for years, it kind of kept being fine tuned, it wasn’t something I just like, wrote down right away, it was something that really, I had thought about so much. And I’m so lucky to have an amazing board of directors as well, who are just these incredible women who like, are all from you know, somewhere lawyers. And our graphic is, like interpreters really cool work that they do, and all very committed to social justice, which is great. And so they’re always there, if I need a sounding board, or if I need ideas, or if I need help with anything, like they’re very supportive. So that has made a huge difference as well.

Patti Dobrowolski  32:39

Yeah, all that support, I think that level of support really buoys you when you need it. And, you know, this is what I say to my partner, Julie, I’m like, Okay, I’m just gonna ask you this question once, and I’m only gonna ask it once today, but is it all gonna be okay? And then she knows, okay, we’re gonna turn on the switching, it’s gonna be great. This is going to be the best year ever, you know, Jill, she’s not quite as animated as that. But you know, I think you need your pep squad to get in there and kind of help you sort things through and figure out what the next step is. And I have some great resources for you that I haven’t connected you to, but I’m going to for sure now. So when you think of the vision for you, what’s your vision for Cafecita, you know, best case scenario, let’s do the future. You let’s do a future cast and tell me what do you really need?

Natalie Webb  33:28

Well, so for cafecita, I really would like whether it’s this year or later to have the physical location and have the cafe and be able to start doing our own programmes. Right. So like job training and community development, like, as well as fun community like musical creative events, which is really cool. I definitely want to continue doing growing the creative side of the business, which is another aspect of when you’re like, oh, but you know, when people are thinking like, what’s that thing that they want to start? And I was like, I also really wanted to be creative, because as a lawyer, besides me Be Creative arguments. I felt like I wasn’t.

Patti Dobrowolski  34:00

You never got to tap into that part of yourself. Alright, so that’s good. So that’s part of it. Yeah. Is there anything else that you see in that like 100,000 women farmers getting, you know, like.

Natalie Webb  34:12

Right, so definitely having at least like the one physical location and then continuing to grow the E-commerce and working with these platforms, which is great, because I definitely don’t want to lose that even despite having the physical locations. That’s the ideal for Cafecita. And then for me, I cannot wait to be the person that actually is going into all the farms and meeting with all the women and being able to take on that role, rather than like the day to day.

Patti Dobrowolski  34:38

Yeah. So when you have that operation, so we got that operations persons in place and you’re travelling around and you’re meeting people, which is what your favourite love is right? Travel. That was your number one. So we go back full circle to that. Well, that’s fantastic. Now tell me thank you so much for going through this, but what would you say to somebody who is in a career and they want to pivot to do their own thing, what tips would you give them about it?

Natalie Webb  35:04

I mean, I do think thinking it out, right, I think there’s like a fine balance of overthinking. And then people never take that first step, and they never actually do it. So you don’t definitely don’t want to get like stuck in that. But you also don’t want to jump into something because it is 24 hours a day work. You know, like, when you’re, at least, as far as like, when you’re just starting, you have to be passionate about the work, you have to really believe in what you’re doing. So you know, make sure that that is something that you really love, and then having that support, like I don’t have a co-founder, which I think would be very, very helpful. And I see these other companies that have that setup, and I completely understand where they’re coming from. So at least if you don’t have that, like me, just having a good support system as well, people that you really trust their opinions and can always kind of talked to them and get that advice. So.

Patti Dobrowolski  35:57

I love that I think those three tips are like the main tips about anything you’re doing, honestly, and especially that level of support you got to use, and not abuse, but use that level of support, use your support team, and thank them often. Because those are the people that really have your back. And they’ll help you, you know, the raise the water level on your boat, which sometimes you really need that. And I know from talking to you know, I interviewed earlier podcast, Dan’s bagels, right. And he started his bagel company, like only, I don’t know, four months ago, five months ago, they’re sold out every single day. They have a brick and mortar in Texas. And I mean, I went there because the bagels were fantastic. But what he said was this thing that you’re talking about, you know, know what you’re getting into, so that you’re not walking in blindly. And that know that it’s you this work in the material, it’s you that’s fulfilling the orders, which is what I hear you doing, you know, talking about driving to the coffee and dropping it off, and then you know, all that stuff. And that’s what you do at the beginning, until you have someone who can help you with the other pieces of it. You’re so incredible. And I love that you’re doing this because I think that no matter where you are in the world, as a woman, you deserve the right to be paid at an equal level as your male counterpart, or whoever is your counterpart, right. So I am so grateful to you for doing that boosting up the experience and the economy for women. So thank you for that.

Natalie Webb  37:30

Oh, thank you. That’s very nice.

Patti Dobrowolski  37:32

And thank you so much for being here with us. Oh my gosh. And so in the shownotes, I’ll put how you can order coffee from Cafecita, because you really want to, and you want to support this, and everything that you’re doing and how they can follow you on Instagram, because I’m sure you’re on Instagram and we can go with you in that trip. Yes. So you’re gonna be posting Yeah, so we want to see that engage with you. And so all of that will be in the show notes. I just thank you so much for being here. Natalie. It was so great to meet you.

Natalie Webb  38:03

Yes, It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.

Patti Dobrowolski  38:05

All right. So everybody, you know the drill. If you’d like this podcast, please forward it to your friends. We want everybody to know about Natalie Webb and Cafecita and order that coffee so we can raise the boat for women all around the world. Thank you, everybody. Until next time, Up Your Creative Genius. I mean it. Thanks so much for listening today. Be sure to DM me on Instagram your feedback or takeaways from today’s episode on Up Your Creative Genius. Then join me next week for more rocket fuel. Remember, you are the superstar of your universe and the world needs what you have to bring. So get busy. Get out and up your creative genius. And no matter where you are in the universe, here’s some big love from yours truly Patti Dobrowolski and the Up Your Creative Genius podcast. That’s a wrap.

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