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Her new boss gave her 6 months off on paid maternity leave. Then he did something even bigger.

Here's a small-business owner who knows that keeping employees happy is paramount. And sometimes, the best move is making them into more than employees.

Her new boss gave her 6 months off on paid maternity leave. Then he did something even bigger.
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CNBC's The Profit

Tami Forbes is a hard worker. She was making just $300 a week managing a small pie company that became the focus of CNBC's reality series "The Profit" last season, which works to help troubled small businesses thrive.

The last time we saw Tami, she was given a surprise at work — six months of paid maternity leave.



"It means everything, knowing that I have a salary when I come back," said Tami, when given the news of her leave.

It was a powerful moment — a hardworking mom rewarded for her commitment to her job from an executive who understands how important it is to take care of the people who build a business everyday.

That executive, Marcus Lemonis, host of the show, has kept tabs on the pie company since and has seen how Tami's contributions have helped make the Key West Key Lime Pie Company thrive.

Fast forward one year, and Marcus is back. He tells Tami how much she has meant to the company.

His next move? Bold. He's giving Tami much more than a just raise.

Marcus is giving Tami a 25% ownership stake in the company.


Erupting into a smile, Tami says, "It's crazy. It's crazy! I don't have a bachelor's on the wall." But now she is a part owner of the company she worked so hard to build.

Women own 30% of businesses nationwide, and that's up a great deal in the last few years. In fact, it's the fastest-growing demographic for new companies.

But you know what's really cool about this? A new boss comes in, and rather than just gutting everything and hiring inexperienced staff who would work for peanuts, he identified those people who absolutely loved what they did for this company, treated them with kindness and respect, and rewarded the best of the best.

That's a heck of a business model, and it works.

Something tells me this not-so-little-anymore pie company will do just fine.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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