How did I start? I hope my story encourages others to not give up on their dreams.
My name is Nancy McKenna and my passion is baking. While I've been baking well over 20 years, I've had some time in 2020 to turn my passion into a small Home Bakery Business. I learned new things, acquired great new tools, practiced new skills, tweaked old ones and ended up making it all work somehow during the Pandemic.
It all started with my husband's passing away in 2017. We were living in Florida. After he passed, I wanted to be near family again so I packed up and moved "home" to Mississippi. Shortly after moving, my brother became ill and passed 3 months later. Then my 20 year old cat had to be put down. Why am I telling you all this sad news? Because these things made me take a hard look at my direction in life.
Where was I going, what did I want to do now? I'm receiving Social Security to give you a hint on my age.
When I moved to Mississippi I moved into a "fixer upper". It has a Guest House in the back yard. This Guest House is small, all one room with a private bathroom in between the living area and kitchen area. While at first I concentrated on redoing the inside of the main house by myself (tons of labor intensive work), I started turning my attention to this little house in the back yard. I spoke with my Dad about his staying there when he and my step-mom separated. He did for a while and then he started having issues with his health. HE made the decision to move into a beautiful assisted living home in Starkville. I helped him pick out his new furnishings and settle in. He loves it there.
So, now back to my little Guest House. Did I want to rent it out? Tried that, immediately regretted that decision and was happy when the tenant moved out. Back to the drawing board. Light Bulb!
There would be more of a "Business" personality to the Guest House, so NOW (January 2020) would be the best time to go back to my passion of baking. I drug out all of my baking supplies and unpacked them and tried to find room in the Guest House (I guess I really did collect a lot of things over 20 years of my "hobby"). Oh well, I'll fix the storage issues later, on to the "Start Up".
I purchased the usual consumable supplies; flour, sugar, butter, flavorings, food colorings and was "ready". Now.... marketing....
How do I let people know I'm "open for business"? Did the usual, Facebook Page, Website (generic), Wedding Shows. I was so excited with the positive results, booked a few weddings and then...Covid.
Now what? I really did lose hope, I let myself get into the funk of negativity (more on that later). I quit trying to get new business as my booked weddings cancelled that were scheduled for 2020. I cried a lot because I couldn't even visit my Dad. My marketing became non-existent and I became more depressed (my own fault).
As we all became more knowledgeable about the Virus, people began sticking their heads out, being Safe, wearing masks, and going about as normal a life as possible. While we all started understanding the need to downsize our get togethers, we didn't want to stop them completely. I started getting more orders for Birthday Cakes, and Mini Wedding Cakes. Hooray! Mood change time.
When I did my profit and loss statement for December, I was shocked, I did it! My New Year's Resolution: Get My Ass In Gear! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am now. I even launched an Ecommerce Page on my Website last week of December, (I did upgrade to a professional Website early in 2020) got back to marketing and since January 1st, I have already had orders online, people committing to post their reviews (I neglected to ask earlier, shame on me), booked a Wedding Cake Tasting, ordered more Baking Tools (Hot Cocoa Bombs are NOT going away, just changing flavors and shapes!), getting ready for Valentine's Day, creating new items and MARKETING.Stay Safe, Keep The Faith, Never Give Up, Be Kind To Everyone