May is Small Business Month!

Matthew Borchers

In honor of May being Small Business Month, we had a chat with our incredible CEO, Kristal! We asked our Instagram followers if they had any questions for her and we added a few as well.

For those who might not know the gal-behind-the-curtain… tell us a little about yourself and your role as founder/CEO of ML!

Gosh!.. Where to start?! My claim to fame was being voted, “Happiest Person,” in Junior High. I’m originally from Colorado but knew I wanted to live in NYC since I was very young. I think it was the accents and the bagels. Ha! Being the daughter of an entrepreneur, starting a business came second nature to me. The overall goal was to find work for my very talented friends so they wouldn’t have to work in the restaurant industry, and also have gig work coming from one place so that it’d be easier to get booked, get paid etc. Honestly, it’s just surreal to look around me and see how Mustard Lane has grown and evolved since launching in 2007. I am so extremely honored to be surrounded daily by my internal team who wear all the hats to keep ML running smoothly and honored to have a team of thousands of Laners across the US & Canada working on the field!

Why the name Mustard Lane?

My very first client was a busy Cafe Chain in NYC and their Director of Marketing loved the Beatles and so do I. I would call him Mean Mr. Mustard and he would call me Penny Lane. So when the cafe chain wanted to start doing promos daily we started to call us the Mustard Lane Team. I just ran with it and luckily the name has worked! People remember it and I like yellow.

Was there someone/a role model that inspired you to create Mustard Lane?

Naturally my dad has been my main Mentor when it comes to ML. He has ingrained business, crunching numbers and profit margins since as long as I can remember. TBH He provided all the right tools for Mustard Lane to survive the pandemic and that is the truth! “Keep all the money in the business”… and that’s what I did. 

Who inspired you or provided the best support along the way?

I have had dozens of influential people that have influenced and supported me and Mustard Lane through the years. My family, my husband (who single handedly built our custom database Dijon Express), close friends who have put up with me working when trying to spend quality time with me, clients who have become friends, my pups who provided purpose and puppy therapy during the dark days of covid and Laners who continue to show their “mustard hearts” daily. I am the luckiest.

How does it feel being the Boss of all bosses because we love you so much?!!!!!

Gahh… I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. I feel so lucky to not only love what I do for a living but that I am surrounded by the most creative, talented and beautiful humans.

How do you juggle all of it?! You must have a time-traveling device..

Honestly… I HAVE NO IDEA. Now that I have a team of people helping me and our beloved Dijon Express I don’t have to have everything in my head or on a piece of paper in my back pocket. Every day is a roller coaster of high highs and low lows and I wouldn’t change a thing. Makes me appreciate all the good.

Has Mustard done or thought about doing activations overseas?

We have been approached to do projects in Europe and Asia but I was way too intimidated to start the process to see what that would look like. For now… we’ll work on our new Canada venture and obviously focus on US markets large and small.

Do you have any advice for someone who might be thinking of starting a business?

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. You have to live, eat and breathe what you are doing. Jump in head first.. .The water temperature changes by the minute. 

What’s a little nugget that being a business owner has taught you?

BALANCE… taking a moment for some me-time once in a blue.

If you could start another business down the line, carte blanche, what would you do?

Ohhh Great question… I mean I already helped create a nonprofit, Off The Lane, with my internal ML team for artists, which has definitely filled my heart in so many ways. Is there life beyond Mustard for me??? Maybe not. But then again… I am a Gemini!