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Angela Garbacz

Angela Garbacz, owner of Goldenrod Pastries.

• Owner, Goldenrod Pastries

• Excellence in Entrepreneurship award finalist at the 2017 Inspire – Celebrating Women’s Leadership ceremony

Who has inspired you?

I am always inspired by the energy of someone with a passion. It doesn’t matter what their passion is – but when I listen to their voice change when they talk about that one thing they really love, my heart beats faster. My brain starts moving a mile a minute. I get so excited for them. I try to surround myself with people who are passionate – whether they love photography, working with young people, coloring hair, working with refugees or simply just eating great food. The real power and energy that exudes from these people makes me feel unstoppable. Listening to people talk who have passions in life, and helping them talk through their ideas, helps me think about my own passions in a different way. It makes me want to work harder, innovate more, build something bigger, learn about new things. The more I surround myself and create time to spend with passionate people, the more inspired I feel in my own life and work.

Whom do you hope to inspire?

I hope to inspire young people to stay in Nebraska, and to come back here. This is an exciting place to be, and our communities are so supportive of new ideas – our possibilities really are endless. Especially if you are starting a business, Lincoln is an amazing place to be. I know that Goldenrod Pastries has benefited so much by the opportunities provided by Lincoln. Part of my mission with Goldenrod is to spread the word about where I live and to inspire young people to keep investing in this amazing city and state. We are just waiting for your ideas!

What does leadership mean to you?

Before Goldenrod, I always thought that leadership and management were synonymous in a business. I thought that you lead and manage a group of people, help them do their job, end of story. I was totally wrong.

Leadership is a really powerful opportunity to create community. In my personal experience at Goldenrod, I really believe it’s your chance to make an environment that is inviting, inclusive and inspiring. Leadership is cultivating the feeling that your team is supported by you, and by each other. Great leaders I have had the pleasure of knowing always lead very democratically. I believe you have to ask questions, learn from each other and make decisions together. We all have something to learn from each other, especially leaders. I recently heard the quote, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I have been thinking about that a lot, especially with regard to leadership. I always have something to learn from my amazing team – I want to be around them, and a part of my business because of who they are and what they bring to the table. You can never stop learning from each other.

What is your favorite quote or motto?

“Find a way to be productive every day.”

I have loved a lot of quotes through my life, but this is really all-encompassing to me. Productivity comes from motivation to do better, be better, and to create. Productivity comes in so many different forms, and is measured in a collection of ways across fields. If I can end my day knowing I’ve improved a relationship in my life, had a great conversation with a customer, baked some beautiful cinnamon rolls – then I have been productive.

How would you describe a great day at work?

I love Goldenrod so much that every day is a great day at work! I work with a really amazing group of women who always make me feel at home, confident and motivated. The absolute favorite days are when the store is super busy and we all get into a rhythm of working seamlessly together. I love seeing the nonverbal communication and support that everyone offers each other. It takes a long time for a team to get to that point, and it is such a beautiful thing to be a part of when it happens.

Another great part of my day includes working with our sweet roll dough. I love the feeling of the dough in my hands, smelling the yeast rise and seeing the finished product – perfectly golden, smelling amazing, glazed and perfect. It always reminds me of baking with my grandmother.

I started baking because I love to feed people. I love to hand people food and watch them enjoy it. Goldenrod really is my dream come true, and I feel lucky that most of my days are very special.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, and who gave it to you?

I was raised by very honest, hardworking people. Watching them work hard for my whole life is the best advice I could ever receive. My mom always says, “Get up, dress up, show up.” They told us that over and over growing up. Because just doing those three things is most of the battle. Honesty and a great work ethic will take you so far.

What’s the highlight of your career (so far)?

When I started Goldenrod, all I ever wanted to do was bake. It made me happier than anything else. Since then, it has grown to a place where we really are building a community. Seeing our community evolve and grow within the bakery is so special. I’ve also had the opportunity to share the message (and food!) of Goldenrod across the country. This puts a spotlight on our awesome community here in Lincoln, which has been amazing. I love telling people how special it is here.

How have you changed over the course of your career?

Building Goldenrod really helped me find my voice. It gave me confidence that I never knew I could have. I think that happens when you find a passion and really focus on it. I love what I do and where I live, and I love sharing that with people. It’s easy to feel lost in society as a young person, and as a young woman – and after feeling that way for a while, it is really special to have this confidence and drive to keep growing, building and creating.

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