Meet Carolyn Barbarite , the President and Creator of JAVAMELTS, INC. upscale flavored real sugar cubes, a product that is a Disruptor in the Food and Beverage Industry, she was voted Top 50 Most Influential Women on Long Island, she also won the BEST PRODUCT AWARD in NY, a philanthropist, devoted mom, and wife.
Who is Carolyn Barbarite?
I am the proud daughter of two loving parents, Jack and Carol King, a friend and sister to two older brothers, Steven and Brian, a wife and best friend to Tony, my husband of 30 years, a dedicated and proud mother to three beautiful, hard-working and self-sufficient daughters, Danielle age 26, Kelly age 24 and Jessica age 23 and a passionate and driven person in whatever I do.
Tell us more about your family, how were you as a kid?
I was a regular kid who grew up on Long Island and loved to play outdoors, listen to music, ride bikes, catch frogs, etc. When I got a little older I used to babysit and then I became a cheerleader because I loved sporting events and being active. I come from a middle-income family and my mom was a stay at home mom until I was in middle school and she went to work so that my parents could afford to help us all go to college. My dad worked nights because the pay was better. They worked very hard to provide the best life that they could for me and my two brothers. We didn't have much growing up but we had a nice home, clean clothes, food to enjoy and spent time with family and friends. We had one car and a black and white TV for the longest time and I have a vivid memory of choosing a color tv over a quick family trip because it would last longer and we couldn't afford both.
"I am a leader that pulls the team, I don’t push from behind. I give and receive respect by the way I treat people and handle problems, I focus on fixing the problem rather than trying to place blame"
You have an associate in Applied Science (AAS), Paralegal Studies Degree at Becker College, why did you study that?
I was able to obtain a Summer job at the law firm where my mom worked so it was a role that I kind of fell in to. After that exposure, I got a job during my senior year of HS at the Town Attorney's office which I enjoyed very much so I just continued on that path for college. Knowing I wanted to strive for a good-paying job and also realizing that I didn't love school, I felt that the Two-Year Paralegal program suited me well. I wanted to graduate from college, get married to my husband who was my high school sweetheart and then buy a house all of which I accomplished.
You worked as a Paralegal for high-end local government and private attorneys and you were a sales and marketing executive for a family-owned and operated a business that manufactures commercial flagpoles Worldwide, how did you jump from that point to found your own company JAVAMELTS, INC.?
It was by the circumstance that I thought of JAVAMELTS but those jobs gave me experience and the courage to go for it. My mind just worked differently than others and I feel that this gave me an advantage in life. The exposure with the dealings at the office made me very business savvy. I listened and took everything in. That coupled with me and my husband's work ethic enabled us to buy our first house at 22 which we quickly sold for a larger one to be able to raise the girls. My years working for the attorneys, being a young mom and running my home, in addition to my sales and marketing background for the flagpole company gave me a lot of the tools to be able to execute each step that leads up to the launch of JAVAMELTS. I never felt limited, I felt empowered and confident.
What does your brand unique compared to others in the market?
JAVAMELTS are unique compared to the current powders, syrups, and creamers available today. They are creative, innovative, portable, convenient, sanitary (no mess), individually wrapped, beautifully packaged and on top of all of that make a great gift too. They are Vegan, Non-GMO, Non-Dairy, Shelf Stable for 2 years, Only 20 Calories, Made with 5/6g of Real Sugar 1=1 tsp. for portion control and they contain no artificial sweeteners. JAVAMELTS elevate your coffee or tea experience and are formulated to delicately deliver flavor and sweetness without overpowering your beverage which does separate them from the other options on the market too. We even have a utility patent pending on them for the formulation.
You created a product that is a Disruptor in the Food and Beverage Industry, you were voted Top 50 Most Influential Women on Long Island in 2018 by the LIBN, but also won the BEST PRODUCT AWARD at the 2018 International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York. You just recently aired on QVC, launched on Amazon and have sold to WB Mason, US Coffee, LaRue Coffee Roasters, and much more, you are a Certified Women-Owned Business, what is the recipe of your success?
I am a person of conviction and am very focused and driven. I have an amazingly supportive family am supported by many who have come on board with me during this journey. I am hard-working, passionate, loyal, and have integrity so I attract and seek out people with great values and visions that also have knowledge and strengths that compliment me and the brand. My expectations are set high for myself and others but I would not ask something of another that I wouldn't do or have done already myself. I am a leader that pulls the team…. I don't push from behind. I give and receive respect in the way I treat people and handle problems. I focus on fixing the problem rather than trying to place blame. I trust my instincts and truly make decisions always focusing on what is best for not only me but first the customer and the company. I don't let my pride get in the way, I learn and grow from each mistake and consult with the right people to minimize my risk and optimize my ability to succeed quickly and efficiently.
"You have to listen to your gut and go with your instincts. You have the power to change anything that isn’t going to help you become what you want to be. I surround myself with people who can help me get to where I need to be and I am not afraid to admit that I need help"
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up early and the first thing I do is have a cup of coffee with JAVAMELTS, of course. I then jump onto my computer and work for a bit. I will go to the gym, Monday – Friday, for an hour class. I post on social media platforms , handle day to day tasks, make decisions, schedule phone calls, check on accounts, travel to meetings, attend trade shows, charity events, I am asked to speak at women's groups or create and donate gift baskets for fundraisers, I check on inventory, schedules for production, stay on top of deadlines, check-in with customers to make sure that they are happy, etc.. I will break to make dinner and eat with my husband when my kids are home. When I feel overwhelmed and feel exhausted, I do take some time to rejuvenate of course and break from this routine.
What do you love most about your job? & what is the most difficult part?
I love and am very grateful that the idea of JAVAMELTS even came to mind and that I can execute at each level to build the brand. From concept to fruition I have had to dig down very deep, stay very focused and not allow the hurdles to overwhelm and overcome me. For that, I am proud and thankful and that is what I love. The most difficult part for sure is all of the pitfalls, trials, and tribulations that you have to go through. Sleepless nights and long hours are part of the equation. The road is not straight to success, it is very crooked and you have to stay focused, grounded and tap into your network to help get you through the most difficult times. I am on a mission to show my three girls and others that no matter what life throws at you, there is nothing that you cannot overcome and accomplish.
Do you have any particular philosophy that guides your career decisions?
Yes, I believe that you have to treat your company as if it is one of your children. Having the benefit of raising three girls has helped me apply what I did while raising them. If it doesn't feel right, it's not and doesn't accept it. You have to listen to your gut and go with your instincts. You have the power to change anything that isn't going to help you become what you want to be. I surround myself with people who can help me get to where I need to be and I am not afraid to admit that I need help. It takes a village to raise children and the same goes for creating and building a brand.
If you could, would you change any steps you took in your career, and if so, what would you change?
I believe that I always knew I had a lot to give and accomplish but I think that timing is everything. I would not change the course or timing of my life and career because first and foremost I wanted to be a great wife and mother to my children. My family was always and remain my top priority. I would not have had the time years ago to dedicate to JAVAMELTS that I do now. I would have felt too guilty not being able to be the Wife and Mother and dedicate most of my time that I needed to if JAVAMELTS had come at an earlier time in my life than now. I do believe in the phrase "trust the process and timing". In my case, my past experiences have prepared me for this journey.
"I take care of myself and my loved ones. I go to the gym, eat right, get the sleep that I need and spend time with the people that I enjoy and love the most. If you don’t take care of yourself and those who you love, how are you ever going to take care of all of the things that your company and others need? "
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I take care of myself and my loved ones. I go to the gym, eat right, get the sleep that I need and spend time with the people that I enjoy and love the most.
If you don't take care of yourself and those who you love, how are you ever going to take care of all of the things that your company and others need?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think the one that is most important to me is that I treat others the way I want to be treated. I build relationships with people that I truly connect with and respect. I am resourceful, I network like crazy and am not afraid to put myself out there and ask tons of questions. I associate myself with people with the same values and morals as me and that have the knowledge and guidance necessary for me to grow. If you align yourself with the right people the sky is the limit. I learn from what others have learned and apply that to my business.
You are a very busy woman still you have time for doing good, you are a Contributor at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, what is your motivation, what does it drive you?
I donate money to many charities, but St. Jude Children's Hospital is one that I give to regularly for 25 years now. I make time for charity events and am asked to attend and contribute to several each year. The Taste of Hope for the American Cancer Society, Queens Center for Progress & Life's WORC supporting people with disabilities, Island Harvest Long Island Food Bank, are some of the events and charities that I support as well. What motivates me is that there are many people in this world far less fortunate than I am and if my family and I can help we will. I try, every day, to do something good for someone else.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to spend time with my family and friends. I am an outdoors person and love to go to the beach, swim, go for walks, attend a sporting event or local festival, grab a bite to eat, listen to music and enjoy their company.'
"As women, we unite, push through, support each other and our progress each year will only help the ones that are coming up behind us! "
Many authors say women can and must strive to have everything – a shining career, a blossoming family life and a perfectly balanced lifestyle all at once, others point out that– then women are placing unrealistic expectations on themselves, if they believe they can have it all, you are married and have three daughters: Danielle, Kelly, and Jessica so according to your experience, what do you think about these statements?
I was the CEO of my home and much more because I was a very involved parent so and put my heart and soul into all that I did. For me, I couldn't have it all at once without something suffering. I have to have a balance in my life and I try to set realistic expectations for myself but do feel guilty if I feel that I let someone down or didn't do it the best that I could. Children need so much and I wanted to be responsible for the way that they were raised and still have a great relationship with my husband, family, and friends. Everyone's balance is defined differently but for me, I would have had to spread myself too thin to have a career on top of that. My family was my career before JAVAMELTS and truly my biggest and proudest accomplishment.
How are you as a wife as a mom?
I always wanted to be married and have kids so it came naturally for me to be a wife and a mother. I love to cook and clean and take care of the family and our animals too. I married my best friend and I love my role as caregiver to all. When the girls were younger, I attended their softball, dance, cheerleading competitions, soccer, etc I would get small jobs throughout the years at night to help supplement income when my husband's business would get a little slow. I got to help the girls with homework and support the family during tough times. We are a tight family unit and we did it all together.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to continue to grow the JAVAMELTS brand. I would like to get to the point that would enable me to free up some time and travel to spend more time with my family and friends. I cannot do that at this time while I grow the company. I would also like to start a foundation with my husband and children to help others and leave a legacy behind.
"I think that girls should pay attention to what makes them happy at each stage in their lives and gravitate towards those things. When you chose a path that makes you happy, challenges you, allows you to grow, your talents and skills come naturally"
There is still a glass ceiling for women in the world: Fewer opportunities, jobs underpaid just for that fact of being a woman, etc. Have you experimented the glass ceiling? if yes, What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
I do believe that women are at a disadvantage which is why they have women-owned certifications for companies, etc. I do have a lot of men that are behind me and that back me for sure but women rally around me too knowing how hard it truly is. I create and curate relationships with those who help me break through barriers and I don't believe that it will stop me or others. For me to do business with the companies and people that I want to I have to be more creative than a man for sure. As women, we unite, push through, support each other and our progress each year will only help the ones that are coming up behind us!
What tips, can you give to young girls who want to become entrepreneurs like you?
Girls should be open for change and not feel that they have to choose one career path and there would be nothing after that. I think that girls should pay attention to what makes them happy at each stage in their lives and gravitate towards those things. When you chose a path that makes you happy, challenges you, allows you to grow, your talents and skills come naturally. If you feel that work is really hard work without any enjoyment, you would not flourish and reach your full potential. My brand and company bring me a great sense of pride and enjoyment but it came at a time in my life where I had the time to dedicate to it so I could truly enjoy the journey no matter how hard it is.
I think in your position, many people may have the wrong idea of who you are (personally), and what do you (professionally), with this idea in mind, what is being Carolyn Barbarite and what's not?
I am not superwoman, I am just an ordinary person trying to do extraordinary things. I think what people see in me sometimes are my strengths and they don't see the struggles. I strive each day to be the best person that I can be and I believe that people perceive my mission as something remarkable but in fact, it's just my passion and efforts that they see. I try every day to be someone who I am proud to be and I want others to benefit from me in some way. I want to help and inspire people in any way that I can so that they desire to be the best that they can be and reach for the stars too.
Who is the woman you admire the most and why?
I admire Sara Blakely because years ago I saw her struggle in the beginning and I have followed her journey with Spanx. I relate to her in so many ways and she has inspired me to stay laser-focused and to never give up. I draw from my strengths and fill in the weaknesses with the help of others to help elevate me. I do pay it forward and pass this along to those who are along with me and who is coming up behind me.
Something else do you want to add or share with us?
I thank God for my blessings but I did not have an easy life. I lost several childhood friends and have witnessed family members and friends struggle with illnesses and losses. These life experiences have made me realize how precious life is, to appreciate and be grateful for what you have and that anything is possible. I always want to be the best person that I can be every day. You walk through this life once so I want to leave a positive mark for sure.
Name: Carolyn Barbarite
Sector: Food & Beverage
Company: JAVAMELTS, INC.
Designation: President and Creator
Country: The USA