We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Bearman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I reflect back on my thought process behind starting my own business, one phrase comes to mind, if not now when, if not me who, if they can do it why couldn’t I? I will also say I was flung into the opportunity of full entrepreneurship at the early stages of the pandemic when I was one of the many who was furloughed. I had myself a good cry, went to workout, called my best friend and decided, I didn’t know of a better time in my life to go all in on such a risky adventure. And yes, as confident as I am in my abilities to run my own business it is a risk, but the payout is greater than anything I’ve ever felt before. I used to walk around and share incredible, or at least incredible to me, ideas with anyone who would listen, I’d smile and then wishfully say, “if only I had 1 million dollars…then I could do the thing.” I realized after going through a manifestation course, business coach, and automation course that therein laid a limiting belief. I didn’t have to wait until I had 1 Million dollar in startup capitol to launch. I had on my side time – suddenly I the gift that furlough had bestowed upon me – time. I had always wanted to go after my dreams and step into a role that allowed me creativity and time to spend how I wanted while also making myself happy and making others happy, I wanted to do it. Top that off with ensuring that all my bills were paid along with savings and I decided that this was the time to go all in on my dreams, jump head first and trust the risk I was taking, because truthfully all along I believe what I’m doing, where I’m venturing out, is going to work.
What should our readers know about your business?
The best time to start was yesterday but today works too! Bear Cave Productions is an umbrella LLC that houses my greatest business achievements, including Bear Cave Comedy, Write It Down, and SB Baking Besties. These are my predominant business ventures that are as interconnected, intersectional, and complex as the mind behind them. Bear Cave Comedy encapsulates my productions where I proudly tout the tiniest stage in Santa Barbara, with the biggest talent. My productions always include a diverse lineup mixing age, gender, race, religion, and region onto one show! I tend to also spice up each production with a unique act, a pre-show musician, or drag queen. I also aim to create an experience for my audience that involves the environment, the lineup, and surprise elements during the event. I think one of the qualities of my shows that sets me apart is the blend of talent and points of view that I bring together. Bear Cave Comedy was also the jumping off point for Comedians in YOUR Kitchen a comedy cooking show that to my knowledge is unmatched in our offering of its kind. We are able to work both live and virtually with university students, corporations, and private functions weaving together a trained chef and comedian working through a recipe and beverage all within 45 minutes. Often we wrap with a 60 second showdown where the chef has to remake the entire dish and plate it in 60 seconds. I think the uniqueness of the show really is striking to people, because is it a cooking comedy show or a comedy cooking show, the viewer gets to decide. Plus our audience walks away with skills that they can apply outside of our event, creative problem solving, quick thinking, intuition, and confidence.
Write It Down is my creative writing program that I am able to provide as a passive income stream as it is an online course that connects consumers to a private cohort, 1:1 hour long sessions, video tutorials, a 100 page workbook, and a lifelong connection to a community and course that is always developing, growing, and improving. Within Bear Cave Comedy and Write It Down I’m able to offer comedy coaching and present on imposter syndrome. I love comedy coaching and working with kids, teens, and adults all at different stages of their comedy journey. We develop their unique point of view, their tone, delivery, writing, storytelling, and audience work. I endeavor to weave in a comedic approach to broaching and explaining Imposter Syndrome to university students, Greek life leadership conferences, and as a retreat speaker. I find that comedy aids in making a message more palatable and breaks through any discomfort by shedding light on it immediately and acknowledging any elephants in the room. Imposter Syndrome is a topic close to me on a personal level as I experienced it for the first time in graduate school but did not have the language to define what it was I was experiencing. Once I learned what it was, I felt a sense of relief and was able to work on skills to overcome that feeling. However it may have been a foreshadower as Imposter Syndrome has a way of sneaking in to the entrepreneur mindset from time to time.
SB Baking Besties was born out of seeing greatness in others and in seeing a void in my community, luxury brownies. I phoned up my friend and asked if she wanted to join me in a business venture where we would be providing luxury brownies and other sweet treats as a home bakery? She said, absolutely, I may not know how your mind works but I love how it works, let’s do this! We have had so much fun growing the business and launching new products, creating a community around love, and support, and are eager to expand into third party vendors as the summer progresses.
How I got to where I am today was a mix of investing in myself, investing in who I wanted to learn from, identifying and healing trauma, identifying and learning more about what makes me me, showing compassion for myself, and believing that it is going to work. I heard a quote once that said something along the lines of, people look at entrepreneurs and think they make so many risky moves and take huge risks, but an entrepreneur may see the risk but they believe in their vision, they believe in what they are doing and thus the risk in question is far less of a deterrent because of their own belief in themselves. I try and integrate that same methodology into what I do.
Also sometimes business is easy, there are parts that flow so freely that I stand going why didn’t I start earlier, but then I’m reminded that I am HR, I am CEO, I am shipping and receiving, I am marketing and I am brought back to the reality that while I control my schedule I am in charge of every detail. The easy part, once you’re in tune with your higher self, and have elevated your vibration, is doing exactly what you want to do. It is as easy as breathing, whenever I finish a show, or get another sale I smile and thank the universe that I get to do what I want to do every day. The challenge however with pursuing what you love, that I have found, which is often outside of a traditional working role, an 8-5pm if you will, is that people will cheer you on but will also be looking for signs that you are failing. They will feel the need to defend their life choice of following the status quo by society, when I share, I’m so excited that 10 checks came in the mail this week and that I got to go hiking for three hours in the middle of the day, I’ve heard, well I love that I get paid every two weeks no matter what, and I love that I get paid when I take vacation time. I have no problem with working for someone else, my work history involves all but one position where I loved what I did, who I worked for, and my direct supervisor. Me being thrilled with a great month, or the amazingness it is that I created something that didn’t exist, I put it out into the world, and the world said, OMG where has this been, we’ve been waiting for this, here take my money and let us know when we can get more! Is a pretty remarkable feeling.
The hard thing is that working for myself I’m working harder than ever before, but I also get to work a schedule that fits me every day. If I drink coffee at 5pm because sometimes I’m having a Gilmore inspired evening, I can edit content and batch into the wee morning hours, get to the gym at 5:30am then take a recuperative snooze until 2pm. If I choose. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that, if someone else can complete the task expediently, and better than me, it is worth it for me to pay for it to be done. I set my pride aside in fool heartedly declaring I did this all on my own. My time is the most valuable thing to me, and therefore paying someone else to edit videos, create thumbnails, creative direct a photoshoot I’m going to do that, and my business and mental health are always better for it. Investing in myself and my business are the most important things that I choose to do with my financial gains. You do not have to do it all on your own, surround yourself with experts and you’ll be better served for it.
I want people to know that women are out here making moves and building brands and empires. We do not need to keep quiet, we have ideas, we have points of views, and we have creativity that is making a scene. If someone were to tell me that I’d be a full time entrepreneur who has developed and cultivated multiple sources of income I may have been hesitant to believe them, as I went to graduate school and had stable high prestige positions. Like many I lead with my profession as a point of pride when I introduced myself to others, and I still am quite happy, even happier telling people what I do for a living, however I am no longer seeking external validation from how my profession is received by others. I introduce myself with the happiness I have. I’m so proud that I’m able to employ multiple people, I’m so happy that I’m able to spread money around my community through fundraisers and donations, I’m happy that I get to connect with incredible female entrepreneurs, and I am overjoyed that I get to wake up and do exactly what I want to do every single day. My brand is about empowering people to use their voice, stand behind what they say, and tell their story – the good, the ugly, the heartbreaking, the successes, the trauma, the healing and do so passionately. I’m really excited to see where everything goes, because I could never have imagined the directions I’m taking now, so I don’t want to limit myself by even guessing. However I will say I’m excited to be taking on more 1:1 Coaching Clients for Comedy and growing the number of workshops that I attend and even releasing a book in 2022! As my mother always taught me, there are unlimited options, and the right pair of shoes can really change your life!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question because quite soon I have my first visitor, post pandemic! So I have gotten the privilege of drafting an itinerary for us to follow, she is the type B friend to my type A Virgo personality. Which means I have control of the schedule and a willing participant to my shenanigans.
Come spend a weekend with me in Santa Barbara, may I suggest arriving via Amtrak into our downtown station which positions you perfectly to explore State Street, The Pier, and The Funkzone as all are merely a stones throw away. Otherwise if you’re flying in to our regional airport you’ll land less than 0.5 miles from the beach, not bad. Now if you’re driving, well then you’re in charge of where you end up. Assuming you arrived in the evening and would like to tackle the town fresh faced in the morning let’s begin:
First we gotta get your body moving after traveling, by whatever means, so I’ll take you with me to enjoy a complimentary guest class at my favorite HIIT studio, Bond Fitness. They have the greatest coaches, station workouts, and always end with a deep breath and an inspirational story, plus the music always allows for a dance break if desired.
Next, gotta get you fed especially after the beast mode workout. Let’s walk several blocks to Green Table for a restorative smoothie, and juice.
Right now after we pop in for a shower (gotta freshen up) we’ll pick up coffee or tea at Old Town Coffee and then snag a pastry from D’Angelo Bread as we make our way to The Sacred Space to ground ourselves in their hidden oasis, yeah I bet you didn’t think I’d take you to Bali while you were visiting Santa Barbara, well huzzah, here we are!
Next up, we’re going to grab lunch at South Coast Deli, because lunch has to be mobile as we are going to take in one of the best views of the city and enjoy a glass, or two at Deep Sea Winery.
Since we’re on the pier, we have set ourselves up to take a little boat tour by way of Lil Toot over to the breakwater and affords us a nice walk along the beach as we make our way to the Funkzone for some shopping at Dylan Star, you can’t come all the way to town and not let her style experts doll you up in a new outfit and stand out accessories. Most of my headbands are courtesy of Dylan Star.
What better way to showoff our new duds but by taking ourselves wine tasting at the numerous local wineries and breweries located in the funkzone.
To fill our bellies and listen to live music we will take ourselves to Seven Bar and Kitchen.
As the night descends I suggest we take ourselves over to Unbearable where we can pose for photos with the giant bear statue, play skee ball, and enjoy delicious beverages served in bear shaped glasses.
For your second day in Santa Barbara we will be collecting views and staying active. We will head up to Circle Bar B ranch for a 90 minute horseback ride where we will be able to take in the views and having our faces kissed by the sun and our hair tussled by the ocean breeze, after we grab a breakfast bagel from the Bagel Cafe and a blended mocha from Caje both situated in Isla Vista’s iconic Loop.
While we eat our breakfast we will take in the sunken gardens and the view from the county courthouse, before we go to horseback riding, we’ll grab some cupcakes from Crushcakes to enjoy later this afternoon – waiting will be tough but worth it, plus we can nab two mini cupcakes to tide us over.
Following the horseback ride, we’ll enjoy a drive to Lizard’s Mouth in order to once again collect delicious views of Santa Barbara and enjoy the bouldering and lite hike. Following the stunning vista we will adjourn to the historic Cold Springs Tavern for their famous tri tip sandwich and refreshing beer.
Let’s take a scenic drive up the mountain and roam around Knapp’s Castle to culminate our views of the city while also looking over Lake Cachuma.
As we make our way back into town we will round out your final night in Santa Barbara with dinner at Harry’s, after a day of activity their hearty portions and healthy pours will be sure to replenish your energy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, the opportunity to show gratitude to those who have helped and continue to help and support me in my success is one I do not take lightly, and would never shy away from. First and foremost I must thank my mother and father for always asking how things are going, smiling when I tell them about the next idea, and about how the systems are going in my business staples. They’re always up front at every show, and the ones they cannot attend they’re always quick on the phone call the following morning wanting to hear all of the juicy details. Additionally I never thought I would meet someone who perhaps believed in me more than my parents, but my partner, Rudy, has unwavering support in not only my dreams but my abilities to execute them. He always finds ways to show that support, be it a review on new products or editing software or even surprising me with some of these products, to the heavy lifting at shows. I would be remise if I didn’t attribute some of my success in business to my automation coach, Alisa Wilcox, she is phenomenal at setting systems up so that I do not have to be running around behind the scenes, instead everything is connected and operates seamlessly. Additionally my manifestation coach, Kristen Jenna, her program has helped me to focus on childhood trauma, living in a place of abundance, and removing scarcity from my mindset and instead step into the life I was born to live. I’d also like to thank my sorority, Alpha Pi Sigma Sorority Inc, so much of what I do now professionally I had the opportunity to try out guised as a fun role during college. Furthermore my sorority sisters quickly adopted what would become my stage name years before I stepped into it myself, and for that I’m forever grateful. Additionally some of my closest friends have always championed me and what some may consider wild ideas, Shauna, Abby, Liz, Kate, Raychel and of course the Girls Who Like To Hangout! San Diego State University, CASE Board also deserves a shout out, I was regularly put out in front of several hundred of students to speak and present and coordinate special events and the opportunity to coordinate behind the scenes of so many large scale and intimate events allowed me the space to grow my skills.