Maya Madsen is the founder and CEO of Maya’s Cookies, which opened in 2015 at farmer’s markets and now has two retail stores in San Diego (Grantville and North City). “As a vegan with a sweet tooth, I was motivated to craft recipes that fit the bill.” Learn about Maya Madsen…
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
First job: First official job was telemarketing at age 15. Fun fact! I was named the No. 1 salesperson in the short three months I was there.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I am a homebody, and I truly love staying home and practicing some self-care. As an entrepreneur, it’s so important to spend that time recharging before tackling the following day. But I live in San Diego! And going to the beach, going hiking, biking, walking, jogging; just enjoying the beautiful weather should be considered mandatory as a resident! I try to soak in as much of that as I can.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My boys. Every day they make me proud of the young men that they have become.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Professionally, June of 2020 was the greatest obstacle I faced with my business. With the tragic death of George Floyd, there was a push to find Black-owned businesses to support. As a result, we ended up on a few lists that went viral. Our business exploded! That explosion in my business truly changed the trajectory for us, but it also challenged us in a way that nearly broke us. I was so proud that we were able to rally and find an inner strength that has since allowed us to know exactly how far we can stretch and bend.
Someone who inspires you and why: My mentor, Mary. She is self-made, incredibly smart, strong and still one of the kindest people I have ever met. She is a giver and a constant inspiration, personally and professionally.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Pay attention to the details. Whether that be in your artistry, your finances, your team–attention to detail no matter how big or small is vital to your success.
Favorite quote: “If you say you can’t, you won’t. If you say you can, you will.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I spent 30 years as a fitness instructor. I taught just about every exercise class you can think of. I started with aerobics, transitioned into spin, boot camp, body pump, you name it–I taught it.
What makes someone fabulous: A fabulous person has a kind heart and fearless strength.