Episode 5: Jessica Nolette - From Bartender to Business Owner and Back Again

In this episode of Making Moxie, Shauna talks with fellow Mainer Jessica Nolette, owner of Flask Lounge and founder of Mindbosa. From swimming with dolphins to enjoying challenges and the value of family support, Jessica shares how she made the mindshift from employee to entrepreneur.

Turning Service into Leadership

Life took Jessica from Maine to Miami for school and back again. Having studied graphic design, the opportunities in Maine were slim, so she stuck in out in the service industry. When things didn’t work out the way she expected, she made lemonade. As a result, she’s been in the service industry for 22 years, an amazing feat!

Part of that time has been with Flask, a live music lounge in Portland she started 10 years ago, making the switch from service provider to small business owner. Coined “Home of the Moxie Bomb” (fitting, no?), Flask is a bar serving amazing drinks with a dash of music.

It takes a lot of bravery and a lot of moxie to start a business
— Shauna

But how did she come to make that switch? The failure rate for these businesses is about 80%. When realizing she had the skills and the drive, she took a chance which paid off: Jessica is now part of that 20%. While she did it with some moxie of her own, she also notes the importance of having a supportive family. 

But when Lyme disease struck and caused some personal health issues, Jessica had to step aside from bartending. Enter Mindbosa. 

From Mile 1 to Tech Startup

Having not always been a runner (aka, like most of us, she hated it), it all changed with her sister's invitation to run a half marathon. Jessica thought she was crazy. 

Yet she started, secretly, and kept going, making it to six miles. At this point, Jessica finally thought "I can do this" and called her sister up to agree to join, only to find out her sister couldn't go. Jessica decided to do it anyways. 

At this time, she started saving $1 for each mile she ran. She ended up being able to pay for her entire trip through this process. As friends and colleagues started to tell her it was a great idea, she and her friend Ben decided to put it to the test. 

Standing for "Mind Body Save," Mindbosa is an app and part of the larger company My Mindful Motivation that Jessica started as a result of her experience saving while running. 

Ben and Jessica worked to come up with an app whose goal was to help people be mindful and to save, two things that many people struggle with. And they're putting in the "sweat equity" to make it work. 

It’s a big goal, a big dream...but if it takes a little bit longer, I’m OK with that, as long as I’m doing it right.

— Jessica

Listen below to hear more about Jessica and her path to being not one, but two business owners, and what her outlook is for the future of Mindbosa.