With the up-and-rising home baking scene after the pandemic hit, many budding entrepreneurs have utilised their skills and passion for baking and channeled it towards starting their very own business.
For this article, we have interviewed three home bakery owners to find out more about the home baking scene and how they started their entrepreneurial journey:
- Brenda Billy, 22 years old (@circuit.baker),
- Shayna Bharwani, 21 years old (@theclumzybaker), and
- Nurshaliza Sahrin, 23 years old (@delilumptious).
1. What inspired you to start your entrepreneurial journey?
Like many entrepreneurs who started their own businesses, escaping the 9-5 life and doing what they love was what sparked them to take on this route.
“To get the benefit of being their own boss, more flexibility in their schedule,” as quoted by Brenda and “the desire for doing what I love to earn me a living,” as quoted by Nurshaliza, highlighted the reasons for their will to start their own bakery, both of whom had just started their home baking business during this pandemic.
Meanwhile, Shayna, who came from a baking and pastry background, graduated with a diploma in baking and culinary science and has been baking customised cakes for more than 2 years. She mentioned that, “it has always been my dream to share the passionate crafts I possess with others!”
2. How and when did you get into baking?
Do you remember when you were little and used to bake with your mother? Well, that’s how Nurshaliza and Shayna started!
However, Brenda who had just started her baking journey over circuit breaker mentioned that, “At first, I was only looking for some ways to kill time cause staying at home for too long can be boring. But in the end, I realised that baking is really fun and it makes me happy at the same time.”, and hence, she started selling her bakes too!
3. What are some challenges that you have faced when handling your business?
Starting a business is never easy, especially for a start-up, it is usually a one-woman show where all these young and capable ladies have struggled handling orders, sourcing for ingredients, dealing with customers and of course, baking itself. Nurshaliza had a rough start, she mentioned that, “The night when I first posted that I was taking in orders for my Ondeh-Ondeh Tarts, news came out the following day that home-based businesses were to be halted for the time being and I couldn’t take in any orders.”
4. Seeing how competitive the home baking scene is, what keeps you motivated when operating your business?
With new home baker accounts popping up in every corner of Instagram every day, the home baking market has become saturated. Shayna did not let this demoralise her, as quoted, “I always ask customers for a review as it is a major motivator, even if they were not as good as I wanted, I used that criticism as a motivation to improve and do better!”
This competitive market is constantly pushing them to come up with creative products and ideas for their bakes, as mentioned by Brenda and Shayna.
However, Nurshaliza has opted to stick within her comfort zone, as quoted by her, “I focus more on my friends and relatives instead of competing with known brands out there. Though it may be a slow progress but I love seeing my loved ones enjoying my bakes!”
5. What advice would you like to give to aspiring young entrepreneurs that would like to take on this challenging entrepreneurial journey?
Wise word from Brenda mentioned that Disney once said “The best way to get started with something is to quit talking and start doing”. Every entrepreneur starts somewhere and so do these fellow home bakers. If you have a goal in mind, speak with your actions, not words. Being confident with your crafts and knowing how much it is worth are important. Understanding how much you should be profiting off your bakes is crucial as well so that your hard work is not undervalued.
In a nutshell, this pandemic has hit the world hard, with many industries being affected.
When buying from an artist, you are paying more than just the product itself - you are paying for the hours of hard labour, failed trials and valuable skillsets attained over years of experience to create the product.
Let’s try our best to support local small businesses in the little ways that we can!
Tan Hui Yi
Year 1 student
SIM - University of London