More 2023 New Years Business Resolutions: Sara Lien, Owner/Founder, Paisley & Dash

Written by: Brady Drake

About Sara Lien

I grew up in Park River, ND and graduated from the University of North Dakota. I’ve lived in Fargo since 2007, and though my previous career as a financial advisor allowed me to travel and experience other parts of the country, Fargo is still one of my favorite places. The warmth of the people outweighs the cold of the winter! I’m a former Financial Advisor of 15 years turned entrepreneurial baker. I created Paisley & Dash Bake Shop in 2019 out of my home kitchen and basement, while working in the financial industry. We hand-make and hand-package our readyto-eat cupcakes in a jar and ship them across the entire country. Every day is truly a creative dream come true for me! And I do it alongside my sweet pups, Paisley and Dash, my Maltipoo and Maltese

Looking back on the year that was in 2022 and the year to come in 2023, what is your new years business resolution?

2022 was a pretty special year for us. Halfway through the year, we finished construction on our very own bake shop and transitioned Paisley & Dash from my home basement (where it started) to its new headquarters in West Fargo that houses our commercial kitchen, packaging and shipping facility and a boutique type retail area. In 2023, we are excited about really nestling into the space and utilizing it in a variety of ways, one of which we pre-launched in December by adding Paisley & Dash Home to our portfolio, consisting of our line of custom and locally made soy candles. The thought process behind this being cupcake jars are centered around gifting, even if it’s to yourself, and we’d like to slowly incorporate a few products that can be gifted. beautifully packaged and shipped together with our cupcake jars.

How do you plan to accomplish this resolution?

By determining the type of “theme-gifts” or “experience-gifts,” as I call them, that we’d like to offer. We’ll do this by hand selecting products that can be packaged with our cupcakes—and that fits the Paisley & Dash brand. And we’d love to do so by collaborating with local partners to source these products, spreading a little bit of North Dakota across the entire country!

What do you anticipate the challenges to be?

Since we are primarily an e-commerce company, our primary focus is shipping. And because we ship across the entire country in all four seasons, we have a long list of shipping perils that remain top of mind. Weather, storms, the weight of products, spoilage, shipping delays, fragile items, just to name a few… and we want to make sure all our products arrive safely and intact, and beautifully reflect the Paisley & Dash brand. Because when a recipient opens their special P&D box, it creates an unforgettable experience.

How do you anticipate overcoming them?

Basically, just maintaining a narrow list of hand-selected products that can withstand the shipping elements we’ve learned are out of our control.

Are there any tools or things you plan to use to keep yourself on track/accountable?

Yes, as a creative person, ideas come and go constantly at all hours of the day and night and it can be overwhelming. Because of that, sometimes things just don’t get done and ideas don’t come to fruition. So, I find that as long as I have a good old-fashioned paper notepad and planner to stick to, a super cute blush-pink one to be exact, I can hold myself accountable! I’ve tried the electronic versions, and I’m sure there is some app out there—but for now, I’m a paper girl!

What has kept you from making this change in the past?

Focusing more on cupcakes and the launch of Paisley & Dash overall has been my primary objective. It has been and continues to be so incredibly fun to create this, and such a beautiful journey full of ups, downs and all-arounds. I’ve always been a ‘stay in my lane’ type of person, as it can be scary to add more products as you never know how they will be received, but constantly living in a creative space as I do with P&D, my mind never stops, whether that is looking at adding additional cupcake flavors, additional treats or candles.

What is the biggest lesson you learned in 2022?

To let things go! Not everything has to be perfect. I think the fear of perfection holds us back from doing things and I’ve learned it’s better to just do it, and then you learn and keep moving.

Do you have any personal new year’s resolutions?

To create more of a daily routine for myself. Sort of stick to a ‘recipe’. Though I enjoy the fact that no two days are ever the same at P&D and the flexibility that comes with that, I’d like to have a little more structure to my day, rather than the sometimes wildly free-for-all days that I have felt lately that naturally come with the title of Chief Everything Officer. Paisley and Dash’s resolutions are to ignore the mail carriers, and to stop chasing squirrels!

Looking even further out, what is something on your professional bucket list?

I love writing! I would love to write a book someday, whether it’s the story of resigning from my corporate career to pursue my dream, how P&D was built or a simple blog. I just really enjoy writing and putting my thoughts out there.
Facebook: /paisleyanddash
Instagram: paisleyanddash

Are there any books you are looking to read this year?

“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.