Student entrepreneur defies fear of failure to offer specialty doughnuts

 Once a week for an entire summer, Abigail Daniels explored the eclectic food trucks and aesthetic bakeries of Portland, Oregon. She had gone to Portland for a mission’s trip but came back with the dream of one day having her own food truck. 

After Daniels returned home, she decided to take the leap and not be controlled by fears of failure. Daniels launched her business plans with the help of her family and the entrepreneur’s program. 

“It felt like something I just had to do,” Daniels said. “I think dreams are something that God gives us, and that he is the one that helps us complete them by giving us the resources to help accomplish it.”

 Daniels took her idea to Liberty University’s Center for Entrepreneurs and immediately got plugged into the Incubator program. 

“Last year, at this time I was working around the clock on the food truck interviewing other small businesses, meeting with a mentor, etc.” Daniels said. “The Incubator program really accelerated the process with so many great resources and helped so much.” 

This program is designed to help students figure out all the steps in creating their small business and the best ways to go about them.

Deanna Drogan | Liberty Champion
Daniels opened her truck in winter of 2017 and sells treats.

“When I first started doing it, I was going to be super independent, but the Lord really humbled me,” Daniels said. “He taught me that he never created us to do things on our own and that’s why we are so interdependent. It’s so cool to see how so many people have helped me without expecting anything in return.”

Winter break of last year Daniels officially opened up her food truck Dawn and Dusk Donuts with the help of her parents and four siblings.

“I remember calling my dad everyday with all these fears and he was like ‘You’ll be ok’,” Daniels said. “This gave me a safe place to fail with the support of my family.”

Since then Dawn and Dusk Donuts has ventured all over Virginia and Pennsylvania from weddings to the Community Market in downtown Lynchburg. Dawn and Dusk serves specialty doughnuts, coffee and ice cream.  

Daniels stated that much of her inspiration for chasing her dreams was instilled by two books she had read that summer in Portland: Garden City by John Mark Comer and Culture Making by Andy Crouch. 

“In Garden City by John Mark Comer, he talked about how well-made things glorify God,” Daniels said. “Culture Making taught me that everywhere we go we create a culture, and something that was so special about the truck was that I had the opportunity to create a culture for whoever is working there. We have the opportunity to bring the kingdom of God here on Earth if we show love, joy and peace to people and the truck is an avenue to do that through.” 

These two influential ideologies drove Daniels aspirations and hopes as she spent endless nights painting, branding and strategizing her small business, preparing her for whatever the future may hold.

“I love branding and branding strategy,” Daniels said, “That’s what the most fun of building the truck for me was creating the brand, name, logo and target audience. That type of thing is what I’m hoping to do very, very soon.” 

Though, Dusk and Dawn Donuts may not be what Daniels future holds as she hopes to work in business missions or at a marketing firm after she graduates this year from Liberty University. 

Her advice remains to ring true for anyone with a dream and the courage to pursue it. 

“Do it and don’t wait for permission,” Daniels said. “You’ve already been given permission you need and don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t allow those fears to control you and submit them to the Lord.”

Visit Dawn and Dusk Donuts’ Facebook for updates on where location and new flavors Daniels is trying. 

Student entrepreneur defies fear of failure to offer specialty doughnuts 

dawn & dusk (photo by Deanna Drogan)

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