By Tyler Hudson–
While students are cramming for finals, Annie Harlow and Leslie Wilson are preparing to open a new doughnut shop in Butchertown. Hi-Five Doughnuts has been a three-year adventure for these entrepreneurs, leaving behind their well-paying jobs to follow their hearts and stomachs.
What started out as a food truck named Shelby, two people and a dream, has now become the subject of management professor Lyle Sussman’s new book “Breaking the Glaze Ceiling: Sweet Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Wannabes.”
Sussman says that these “Donut Divas” have created a product that has broken through barriers.
“Starting your own business is a huge barrier. The success rate for start-ups is incredibly low,” Sussman said. Sussman believes the duo has broken through the barrier of being successful in Louisville with so many other doughnut shops around. “There is so much competition in Louisville, and that’s not even mentioning Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’.”
The book chronicles the journey of Hi-Five from humble beginnings to being a thriving business with a huge fanbase. The “Ladies of the Morning” already have 13,000 Instagram followers without paying for a single ad.
Sussman makes it clear in his book that it’s important to do what you’re passionate about, and the success will follow.
“One lesson I emphasize from Hi-Five’s success is ‘sing your song’” said Sussman. “Start a business that you’re passionate about.
“Just because someone says your idea is stupid or weird, doesn’t mean it’s not good. Do something out of the ordinary. It’s important to recognize risk, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to fail.”
Sussman, who has been teaching for upwards of 20 years, says his daughter and her partner have broken many of the rules that he teaches in class. “They never created a business plan. They realized that having a fancy degree isn’t what makes you successful, it’s finding your passion and breaking away from the template.”
There is already high praise for the book, which releases in tandem with the doughnut shop. The former CEO of Pizza Hut International Franchise Association, Wayne . Jones, said that the book is “an entertaining read that distills vast amounts of knowledge and experience into a gem of a small book. These breakthrough lessons will have an impact for small start-ups and the Fortune 500.”
Sussman is not just a father and an author, he is a fan of the quality doughnuts at Hi-Five. “My favorite doughnut of their’s is the bourbon glazed, with crushed peanuts.”
You can pick up a copy of “Breaking the Glaze Ceiling” when Hi-Five opens its first physical store on 1011 East Main Street in the Butcher Block the week of Dec. 5.