When I left off with the story last week, I had just quit my banking job and wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. I was wondering if I was crazy to do that without having a new job (other than my fledgling business) to support me. Fortunately, sometimes the universe is looking out for you, and it put an opportunity in my path that I couldn’t resist.
I mentioned last time that I’d started practicing yoga more often. One of the first things I did after giving notice at my job was tell my friends at the yoga studio about it. It turned out that one of the desk staff had just let them know that she was moving away. Zelinda, the studio owner, asked me if I was interested in the job. It was part-time, so it would allow me to have time to work on my own business while still bringing some income. How could I pass that up?
It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. When I started, I simply worked at the front desk several times a week. That quickly changed, and I took on additional responsibilities that allowed me to apply all of my experience with banking, customer service, and problem solving. Today I’m involved with a lot of the behind-the-scenes operation of the studio. I still work at the desk a couple times a week, which allows me to interact with many wonderful clients. Quite a few have become friends and also customers of my baking business.
That leads me back to the bakery. In some ways, it’s hard to believe that it’s been two years! For most of 2014, I did a few orders each month, often for birthdays and other special occasions. Business picked up more once we got to Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the early part of 2015, I continued to have holiday business, but wanted to find a way for people to enjoy my baked goods more often. I realized that many of my customers had small households and might not want to order larger quantities of baked goods. In September, I hit on the idea of doing a weekly menu with a few items that would be available in small quantities–say, a couple of muffins or a few cookies. Petite Pâtisserie was born. It was a great opportunity for me to experiment with new recipes, too. Not long after that, I also started to offer bread, and am slowly building a regular group of customers for that.
I get frustrated sometimes because I think that my business should be growing faster. As I’ve been writing this series, I’ve realized that it’s just hard to see the big picture when I’m in the middle of the day to day operations. I’ve grown a lot more than I give myself credit for. Much of that is thanks to you, my customers. Thank you to all of you who have helped to spread the word on social media and by just telling your friends. I hope you’ll continue to do so.
I’m not sure what’s next for To Di For Bakery. I have some ideas, and we’ll see what happens!