We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Chamberlain Douglas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I always chat and think about the whole “work life balance” that everyone dreams of achieving in life. It’s one of those things that I always hope I’ll be able to actually live out when I’m younger, and not have to wait until later in life to have more down time or to retire. In many ways I think it’s one of those things that traditionally speaking people would have weekends off to spend time with loved ones and work a classic 9-5 during the weekdays and have those nights after, clocking out of the job and leaving it at the office. But as a self-starting entrepreneur, that’s just never the case. I know I’m not alone when I say that I’m always sort of working on my business at some level at literally all times. Whether it’s posting on social media on vacation, or daydreaming of new latte flavors or baked goods to make at my next event. I find myself constantly thinking I just need to work a little bit harder to eventually be able to find that balance.
I feel like as of late, especially during the pandemic, I view it as a large priority to rest and recharge when needed. For the sake of my mental and physical health I’ve realized sometimes you have to know when to call it. And yes, sometimes that means I’ll be missing out on an opportunity, which I think is sometimes the hardest part–to feel like I’m missing out on anything. I feel a large amount of internal and societal pressure to succeed, and to constantly be moving and serving others, which does make it difficult sometimes to justify in my mind whenever I’m taking time off.
I think balancing the mental stress of starting my own business and making sure I take care of myself has only and will continue to get better over time. When I was younger in the hospitality industry I worked constantly for others, and after doing it for so many years and left feeling wrung out to dry each time, I realized wasn’t taking time to serve myself and that was a big lesson. When you get into the sort of hustle mentality, I found you can end up losing sight of your individuality and your larger goals in life, career or otherwise. So hopefully soon I’ll fully feel that balance!
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is called Totally Coffee, it’s a 90’s inspired mobile coffee shop concept, that pops up currently around Orlando, FL area. I’m now an all plant-based shop, creating specialty oat milk lattes, and vegan poptarts as of lately but rotating sweets that I bake myself. I love creating unique and nostalgic flavors that remind you of being in the 1990s, and I do it using high quality ingredients to create syrups and toppings for the lattes. My signature latte is the Flower Power latte, which is espresso (I use locally roasted beans from Ligature Coffee!), oat milk, lavender rose syrup that I make, topped with rose sugar and an edible flower.
What sets me apart is my constant flow of creativity. I think I’m most excited about being able to express myself fully in this business, like truly be myself throughout the brand. I’ve just never really fully put myself out there, and I just feel like this internal push to keep going with it for the first time, which is cool.
I’ve learned that there’s not really ever an ideal time exactly to launch a business. I used to think there would just be this like obvious timeframe on when to go for it in life, and there just isn’t. I trust my gut feelings mainly on how to navigate when or what to do in business. I’ve also learned it’s okay to make mistakes or change your mind, and to not worry about other’s opinions so much when it comes to looking out for yourself.
I think my story is unique because I’ve truly had some intense moments that scarred me throughout my life, and this brand is a representation of my breaking out of a pretty big depressive mental state I had going for awhile. I just feel this new lighter and happier chapter happening and I want to share that joy with delicious coffee and treats! 🙂
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my bestie was visiting right now I would take them to see the manatees at Blue Springs, they’re such magical creatures!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s so many incredible people who have helped shape me and get me to where I am today. My dad Joe Chamberlain is definitely one of the largest influences for my general existence and also in business as well. He taught me to be brave, and to not take anyone’s shit, and I think mainly being raised mainly by a single dad really shaped my personality and how I view the world. My family is actually full of entrepreneurs, including my grandfather Jack Chamberlain aka Granjack, who really paved the way in the family to begin with by starting his own business back in the day. I also think a large part of who I am and how I got here came from my mom Beverly Chamberlain, who gave me the charisma and sass I needed to stand out. It’s sometimes hard to thank her and also my Granjack because they’ve passed away, and of course I want them to see my successes now. At some level though, it almost feels like I’m carrying their energy and spirit on with creating things throughout this lifetime, which is important to me to recognize.
My husband Ben Douglas also motivates me on a daily basis, and I’m so grateful to have a partner who supports and loves me unconditionally throughout the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship and just general life ups and downs. I probably wouldn’t have been able to continue this business journey without their help at some points, actually! Also, I want to thank my BFF Laure Morgan, who has helped and inspired me in so many ways throughout our friendship, I think they showed me that challenges are what you make of them, and to never give up on your dreams.