It seems slightly hard to believe that January is already over in this fresh, brand new year. Where does time fly, really. Until mid January, I couldn’t really believe a new year had begun already. At least, it didn’t feel “new”. It just felt like an extension of the old one! A calendar after all is just a number and time seems to flow continuously, endlessly. It is not until now when I could make the space (in my mind) and time to sit down and reflect on what ‘was’. In fact, this is that time of the year when I choose to usually reflect on what was, what could have been and what will be. It is sort of a call to begin anew with a clean slate.
Yes, 2017 has been a mixed bag, with sudden losses, marriages and reunions in the family, travels and friendships. But where work goes, it has been nothing but satisfying. Baking has been that one constant and I couldn’t be more grateful to my God, for it in my life. HeartBakes has been my anchor through it all. I didn’t think it was possible but my love for baking has grown stronger. It challenges me to step out of my comfort zone each day. I oscillate between doing what I know better and realizing how little I know, each day!
But when one embarks on an entrepreneurial journey, you don’t just need to love what you do. You need to be aware and have a plan of action. You need to be realistic about your goals. It is not just passion but a careful weighing of what works and what doesn’t. Some of these you know from before and others you find out on the way. It is OK to evolve as one grows.
Back in early Jan last year, as a business exercise, I wrote a letter addressing my future self. I wrote about all that I wanted to achieve by 2018, pretending as if this had already happened. Surprisingly, I wrote about it and didn’t read it again until today. And what a revelation it was. Well, I haven’t really achieved all on that list, but 80% of it, definitely yes! It’s a miracle what a little visualization can do and yes, a certain direction.
HeartBakes turned 3 in October 2017. From leaving a full time, well paid job in April 2014 to completing training in Jan 2015, from dishing out my first commercial order of cupcakes on 24th October 2014 to baking 5 days in a week, from buying my first OTG to expanding my physical set up at home, from battling the fear of fondant to exploring my ever-growing love for modelling and sugar crafting - this journey has been exhilarating.
For the first time in 2017, HeartBakes hired part time help. Now you must think how’s that a big deal. But for an anal, OCD-ed baker who likes to take charge of ALL her tasks, letting go is not easy. And for any small, home based entrepreneur, the key to growth is not just letting go but to carry others along with you.
For the first time in 2017, HeartBakes began to take baking workshops. Now that indeed is a big deal for me. Baking is sacred and teaching the same has become its extension. Sharing my passion with others has been one of the most enriching experiences. There is no greater joy than to see novices begin to understand and enjoy baking! It is a proud moment for me when they send back pictures of their baked goodies. And the feedback that we have received post five workshops has been so phenomenal. One of the participants texted me after a workshop. “You are a very good teacher. You should consider taking this up more often.” That just reinforced our beliefs and is setting the tone for us (among other things) in 2018.
I had resolved to take out time to learn more on structural cakes this year. And boy, was that an achievement. It changes the way you think about cake and you begin to wonder why you didn’t think of it before. There is so much to learn and practice still where structural cakes is concerned but am glad I at least took that first step.
But what stands out for me is the love and support HeartBakes has received from its clients, new and returning. We love it when clients keep coming back to us, and your high expectations keep us on our toes. And we shall continue to do the same in 2018 and make your special occasions more memorable each time.
Until next time!
Loads of love,