Aw, Shucks, Some Lovely Lady Shuckers!
Two Girls One Shuck is JLNO’s 2017 WE Fellowship Winner
Two Girls One Shuck is a full amenities traveling oyster bar. Their catering company provides raw and chargrilled oysters at the location of your choice. The team of lovely lady shuckers share their oyster love all over the city, while supporting regional seafood in New Orleans.
The business idea hatched at a backyard party in November 2013 when founders Becky Wasden and Stefani Sell were shucking oysters at a friend’s 50th birthday party. It was Becky’s very first time shucking oysters but the love for shucking was instant. A group of friends crowded around the table where Stefani and Becky were busy shucking and someone said, “Two girls shucking oysters? This is great! Where’s your tip jar?” Becky jokingly said, “Oh, yeah? Two Girls One Sack.... no wait... Two Girls One Shuck!” Of course, everyone erupted in laughter and what started as a silly joke at a birthday party became the start of an amazing business venture for the two.
In September 2014, Becky finally filed the LLC. She had just completed her Master of Education Technology and was destined to take on a very stressful job in education. She had never opened or run a business before, but she decided to take a chance. She thought, “Could this really be a viable business?” but that did not stop her, it only determined her. She quit her day job and put everything she had (financially, emotionally and socially) into oysters!!! Becky said, “It has been the scariest, craziest and most fulfilling three years of my work life.”
Two Girls One Shuck is unique for several reasons. First, the company is all women-owned and operated, which is rare in the oyster industry both locally and globally. The company always provides two lovely lady shuckers at every event to help reduce wait time at the oyster bar and create a fun, convivial atmosphere for guests. The ladies clean shuck (not speed shuck) to ensure the beauty of nature’s most bodacious bivalve is preserved providing absolutely everything needed for the clients in the company’s catering services, including oyster shell recycling. Two Girls One Shuck takes the shells after every event and recycles them with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana who use the shells to restore oyster reefs and create marshland protection.
Two Girls One Shuck proudly hires vibrant, talented and hard working women who love to get their hands dirty! Shucking oysters is a difficult job that Two Girls One Shuck makes look easy. The lady shuckers love representing skilled and empowered women of all fields and traits with radiant show(wo)manship, especially when doing a job that is traditionally taken on by men. The company enriches the lives of their employees through high-wage earnings and respectful consideration of their outside lives. The lady shuckers are software developers, teachers, mothers, bartenders, students, chefs and so, so much more.
“Another great tier to the company is the interaction and enjoyment of sharing oysters with other women,” Becky said. “It is an unexpected and wonderful part of promoting the wellbeing of women: particularly because oysters are such a natural superfood. So healthy and so good for you!”
Becky Wasden of Two Girls One Shuck serving up fresh oysters to Frank Brightsen and Andrew Rowland at Paradigm Gardens. Photo by: Jessica Bachmann
The Junior League of New Orleans focuses on advancing the wellbeing of women, and one way to do so is by increasing women’s business opportunities, which also improves the overall local economy. The Woman Entrepreneur Fellowship cultivates entrepreneurial success by giving access to mentors and advisors through JLNO’s membership of a diverse, professional cadre. The yearlong program supports a female business owner with mentoring and in-kind services, such as legal/human resources, accounting/financial analysis, investor development, marketing/communications, and management/organizational consulting. Last year’s winners were Nicole Eiden and Marielle Dupre from Windowsill Pies, and their story was a huge inspiration for Becky to get involved with the WE Fellowship.
“It wasn’t until my dear friends Nicole Eiden and Marielle Dupre from Windowsill Pies applied for the WE Fellowship last year that I started to pay attention and research what Junior League of New Orleans was all about,” Becky said. “I attended their pitch presentation last year, and sat in the audience in complete awe. I didn’t know things like New Orleans Entrepreneur Week existed, let alone a fellowship that supported women owned businesses! I was very emotional when they won last year and remember thinking, ‘I want my business to be grown up enough to stand up on that stage....!’” This was a goal that Becky set for herself and Two Girls One Shuck.
JLNO was proud to award the 2017 WE Fellowship to Two Girls One Shuck. “I can’t express my gratitude and pride for being selected as this year’s WE Fellowship representative. It’s truly a dream come true,” said Becky.
Two Girls One Shuck is currently growing at a rapid pace as word-of-mouth, visual exposure and opportunities ignite the excitement for the company’s services around the city. In fact, the company is preparing to hire two of their lady shuckers into full time positions (called Oyster Wranglers!) and is currently starting a new cohort of lady shucker training with 10 more amazing women who have reached out unsolicited with resumes and messages, hoping for a chance to become one of the lady shuckers.
“This fellowship will help me with very critical areas where I am not well-versed such as accounting, marketing and legal mentorships. By learning how to best apply these knowledge-based attributes to my business, I know the positive impact will be setting up my company for long-term success. The exposure through the Junior League has already brought us new clients we may not have reached before! I’m so thrilled to cultivate more relationships with the Junior League members throughout this year and beyond,” said Becky.