Local Gem: Pop Art Austin
Organic ingredients, women-owned badassery and cool and sweet treats for the Texas heat?
That's Pop Art Austin (and we're obviously fans). Run by Rebecca Rosen, this pop-up popsicle shop serves up magic in the form of unlikely, complementary flavor combos—think grape hibiscus. You can catch Rosen and her popsicles Friday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. at Picnic Austin (the food truck spot on Barton Springs Rd.).
Read up on Pop Art here:
Q: What inspired you to start your business? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: After spending 10 years on the creative side of digital advertising, I felt like it was time to do my own thing. At the time I didn't know what that thing would be, but I knew that I didn't want to sit in front of a computer anymore. I wanted to make people happy. There was only one logical next step: Move to Austin on a whim and start an organic popsicle business.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so the transition to starting my own business just seemed logical. Everyone in my circle of family and friends has been extremely helpful and supportive of my vision. Special shout-out to my parents for letting me make a mess experimenting in their nice, big kitchen for a few months, and to the creative genius Adrienne Pope for making my branding dreams come true.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: The old adage "The only failure in life is the failure to try" rings very true with me. Bossbabes, throw caution to the wind and go for it, right?
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity?
A: I get an instant surge of warmth and creativity when a customer or friend makes a flavor suggestion. It means they're really connecting with the product and my vision for what a delicious pop should be: organic, natural and made with love and creativity.
Early this summer Jesse, a friend and Chi'lantro employee (you know he knows good food), requested a hibiscus pop. I immediately got to work and was able to come up with one of Pop Art's most popular flavors, Grape Hibiscus. I'm really proud of it because it is completely free of added sugars, yet it is our sweetest pop!
Q: What have been the most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
A: It's always either a lack of funds or a lack of positivity. It can be hard to stay positive if you're broke from buying ingredients, or if I'm out at a festival or at Pop Art's regular spot, The Picnic on Barton Springs, and no one is buying. That can really hurt my morale. I've found the best way to handle anything is to just put on a smile and keep going. Hard work always makes things turn around.
Q: What's your day job (if this business isn't your day job)?
A: This is my day job.
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: When I feel like I can't take another long day and night of working, or I think I can't even afford to buy the fruit I need to make more pops, I talk to my friends and family and just let it all out. My father taught me, and Brian of Trucklandia reminded me, to "just ask." That might be the most useful thing I can tell to any bossbabe. Just ask. The worst someone can do is say "no."
The friendly and experienced folks at Turf N' Surf Po Boy, Kebabalicious, and Cow Tipping Creamery have been indispensable allies and mentors. And, of course, #bossbabesATX is also a great resource. It's truly inspiring to see all those other women living their unique creative lives and going after their dreams. Y'all make me want to do more and be more.
Your favorite band at the moment: I'll get back to you on that.
Your favorite book at the moment: The amazing Hillary Oneslager started the Babes Book Club and we just starting reading "The Argonauts" by Maggie Nelson—I highly recommend it.
Your local Austin gem (can be a product, place, etc.): My favorite little shop is ingredients and is on the east side. They have a great selection of food, drinks, groceries, fun little curiosities and a sweet outdoor garden. A lot of my pop's ingredients (no pun intended), like the fair trade organic cacao in our chocolate peanut butter pops, are purchased there. The staff is incredibly knowledgable and helpful, and you know, they may happen to stock Pop Art organic ice pops. ;)