My friend, “the entrepreneur” asked me to write an article for her blog about entrepreneurship. And I, who usually has something to say, became speechless. For 3 hours I couldn’t give her an answer, not one word.
Why would she want me to write about entrepreneurship?
An entrepreneur is the CEO of a unicorn. Is the one who has raised millions of dollars in Silicon Valley and completed a Ph.D. in an Ivy League. I’m just a sleepless person with a small but very beautiful bakery.
Immediately I remembered some interviews I’ve heard in the past; I looked for articles, and even looked in the dictionary for the answer to my question.
I heard all sorts of things, and at first, I couldn’t fit with any description.
Some say when you are an entrepreneur you know it from an early age, not my case. An entrepreneur has working experience in other ventures (not me). An entrepreneur sits with the most brilliant minds and sells his ideas (not my case), and so after my head exploded I understood everything.
In entrepreneurship, just like in the rest of our lives, nothing is black and white. Everything is full of colors, shapes, smells, tastes, and tunes.
Now, thanks to the therapy in the preceding paragraphs, I’m ready to tell a little about the reason I’m writing this article and several lessons I’ve learned up until today.
Everything started a little more than 3 years ago when I realized that because of my work schedule, I had time to start a side business and do something of my own. My friend, the financial one and the best cook of all of my friends, was in a similar situation.
After many talks, ideas, doubts, and laughter, we decided to venture into the path of confectionary and sell Babkas; some delicious brioche braided bread that we tried together back in 2009, and up until now, we hadn’t found a good one in this city.
Long story short, I’ll summarize 6 months of testing in 3 parts:
- It took us 6 months to sell our first Babka because we weren’t convinced about the recipe (that is how perfectionist we are).
- For us, our branding was very important; name, logo, font, color palette, packaging (and we took the time to make it right).
- We ventured into delivering ourselves the first Babkas because our families bought some and we couldn’t look bad. Since that day, our clients have been the most important thing for us.
And then, with an Instagram account and recommendations by word-of-mouth, we started to get ourselves in the market. We started having more clients, new flavors, and more sleepless nights. Each one of us cooking at home and growing every day.
Years passed and suddenly the pandemic happened. It shook us, just like it shook the rest of the world, and we had to make a decision; we chose to continue with the business from home, with all hygiene measures necessary to take care of our clients, and keep on selling while hoping for the best.
Thanks to the local consumption culture, to our clients who kept supporting us, to destiny and all the hard work we put into this beloved business, it was impossible for us to continue working from home, and we had to make another decision: grow or close.
We rented a kitchen a few days a week for two months, and realized it wasn’t enough; we had to take a big step, the one we were so afraid of. We took all our savings, purchased bakery equipment, hired employees, looked for a venue, and opened Omma Bakery.
Today, here we are, happier and full of work.
What made us have a successful business? Several things I believe we have in common with other entrepreneurs:
- Luck. I’ve heard it in almost every interview with the most successful businessmen, and my story confirms it. Everything lined up for my side business to become my beloved main business.
- A good partner. I found a partner that complements me, where my weaknesses are her strengths, a person who makes me step out of my comfort zone, and that when she doesn’t agree with me, she lets me know.
- Passion. While I’m not a baker, this bakery is my dream place. I have a business that encourages me every day to be better and to improve.
- Stomach. This is the most difficult part. Taking in all negative reviews, advice, and confronting everyday problems fully stressed.
- Customer service. Our golden rule is simple: clients always go first because thanks to them we are where we are today. We have clients that have become our friends, that say hello to us in the street, and that get excited about our accomplishments. This really makes it all worth it.
This Company has a lot to come, a lot to learn, and a lot to grow. We will continue to give everything we have; we will continue creating and cooking to achieve even more, to reach more people, and to share with you all of this that we are so passionate about and fills us with life.