A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my experience of balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship.
This week in celebration of Mother's Day which takes place on the 31st March, I asked four talented bakers to give us a piece of advice they, as entrepreneurial mothers, would give to their children.
1. Kate Lieberman Dolce Lusso Cakes
Kate is a self-taught baker, who grew up in the Philippines – surrounded by a family of artists. From a young age, Kate would help out in her grandmother’s kitchen, while they prepared decadent desserts for their regular customers.
Kate's advice to her children:
"In the age of technology and instant gratification, it is important to truly know who you are. Know what you stand for and believe in. Know what matters to you, and why. Life needs to be lived – not experienced vicariously through social media and screens. More importantly: cherish your inner child. Always. Stay curious. Be yourself. This is the path to fulfilment, happiness and success."
Kate makes amazing cakes via her company Dolce Lusso Cakes. You can get more info on her Mother's Day inspired gifts like these gorgeous biscuits from her website.
2) Jane Stammers - Tipple Tails
Passionate baker Jane's beautiful fruit cakes evoke memories of favourite pastimes, friends and family occasions, delicious food, summer afternoons and cosy winter evenings.
Jane's advice to her children:
"My children are all adults now and I am very proud that they are all so independent, adventurous and hard-working. Marcus is a tree-surgeon, living in Australia with his family and is now a Dad himself; Sarah is a Clinical Specialist Paediatric Nurse and Chloë has not long returned from a year travelling and working in Asia and is trying very hard to have a career in conservation.
My advice when they were growing up was always to use the talents that you have
to do something that you love. To always think about other people, to treat them with respect and to consider the impact of your actions on them. And finally to stop and consider your decisions in a holistic way to consider the impact on everything those decisions touch."
Jane's famous fruit cake subscription would make the perfect Mother's Day gift. Get more info on the cake subscription here.
3) Kate Saunders - Blackberry Cottage
Former Sports Massage Practitioner turned baker Kate put her passion for cooking and baking to great use to help a client who's child refused to eat vegetables. Kate's came up with a chocolate brownie with spinach recipe which went down a treat. And so Blackberry Cottage was born.
Kate's advice to her children:
"My advice to my girls, do a job that makes you happy, you are at work for a long time I tell them to enjoy working and work to live and not live to work".
Kate has just published this amazing book based on her passion and amazing skills for baking with vegetables. The book is filled with wonderful recipes and beautiful colour photography. Wouldn't this make an amazing gift for a baking obsessed Mum on Mother's Day? Get more details on how to order here.
4) Griselda Soames Enchanting Bakes
With a background in sales, marketing and advertising, a desire to do something that would make people happy Griselda put her passion for baking and biscuits, to great use in 2016 with launch of her boutique bakery Enchanting Bakes.
Griselda's advice to her children:
"Find contentment and happiness - whatever that looks like for you. Don't worry who has the house, the job, the boyfriend or girlfriend, the fame, the instafriends, or whatever will be the 'aspirations' when you are growing up. Just have faith in you, in your choices and decisions, and be kind to others. The rest will fall into place".
Griselda's beautiful iced biscuits are perfect for Mother's Day and can be personalised with your wording of choice... mum, mummy, nanny, stepmom. Click here for more information.
Inspirational words from some really inspiring women!
These fabulous bakers are all part of the Be Extraordinary Mastermind Programme helping female food entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of their businesses.
If you're a female entrepreneur who is a few years into running a food business and looking to make this year you see real progress then, you can get more info here. and book a free 20 min call with me to discuss the mastermind or any other coaching needs here.
Til the next time
Other blog posts you might like to read:
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own baking business? Has Bake Off inspired you to put your baking talents to good use? To leave the rat race behind and spend your days whipping up baked treats, the gorgeous aroma of bread, cakes or biscuits filling the room? Before I was made redundant I spent many days dreaming of stepping away from the stifling corporate structure, yearning to do something creative with my time.
Ultimately, redundancy gave me the opportunity to follow my dream and passion. The reality of running a bakery business has not quite matched the idealistic reverie I entertained myself with for many hours while sitting in pointless meetings but in truth, becoming an entrepreneur and building a business around my baking talents has bought me so many opportunities to live a life less ordinary.
In celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, I asked 7 amazing, talented bakers who - each in their own way - have taken the food industry by storm to tell us about what running a baking business means to them as a female entrepreneur.
1. Eve Torbitt A Kind Mama Vegan Bakery
"I started this little business because I couldn't believe it was SO hard to find yummy vegan cakes, and I just didn't think it was fair that living a cruelty free life meant people were missing out.
Being a woman in business is so important to me, I love the community of women that I’ve found in different business groups and how we all build each other up, even when we probably “should” be competing!
It was women who inspired me to start my business & women who push me forward when I doubt myself...."
2. Jess Mills - Little Bee Bakery
"Running my own 'cakes by post' business gives me such a sense of independence and empowerment. It allows me to create a life that works for me, and out of a bad time in life I've built something I can sit back and say I'm so proud of.
3. Reshmi Bennett Anges de Sucre
“Being a woman in business took a whole new meaning when I had a child. Until then I was able to treat my business as my “baby”, but once my child arrived I suddenly had two “babies” to look after. Both needed my attention, and navigating between the two is very much still a work in progress as it certainly is a lot more challenging. There are times of frustration when I feel I’m juggling too many balls and dropping them constantly, and there are times I feel all the hard work in terms of setting up our business and growing it to a level where it looks after our staff, us and affords me the flexibility to work around my baby, is paying off.
4. Griselda Soames - Enchanting Bakes
I love being able to do something I am passionate about, where I am my own boss and can make my working hours fit around my life. The flexibility of my business is crucial to me ensuring I maintain a healthy work/life balance.
5. Ella Rauen-Prestes Butler - Fitbakes
“For me to be a woman in business means that we have more insight of the client. Women are the household decision makers, they are the ones that do the shopping for the whole family, so being a woman and knowing how women think is actually an advantage!”
6. Jane Stammers - Tipple Tails
Since being in business for myself, I have met some fantastically talented, creative, strong and tenacious women who are also in business and I’ve given myself ‘permission’ to acknowledge that I am in that camp too! And, they are also very supportive – I gain so much from being part of this resourceful, encouraging community.
7. Kate Lieberman - Dolce Lusso Cakes
"Running and growing a business isn’t easy, especially one where your product can make or break a wedding day. And there’s always the pressures of fitting everything in around home demands too. But I'm passionate about what I do, and have been fortunate enough to enjoy the support of my family in moving from a hobbyist to an entrepreneur. It’s all for the love of taste and beauty.”
8. Kate Saunders - Blackberry Cottage Fayre
"For me as a women in business I can define success in my own terms...."
And for me? Well, running a baking business has not only allowed me to earn a living from my passion, but has in recent years also given me platform from which I can do something even closer to my heart - to help female food entrepreneurs to launch the food businesses of their dreams.
I am so inspired by the amazing women that I coach and many more who I get to meet through my facebook group for food entrepreneurs and I am grateful to be able to play a small part in their success.
Do you have a food business that you are looking to grow this year? Are you eager to turn your food passion into a thriving business?
Visit my website to find out ways I can help you through 1-2-1 coaching, group programmes or my free facebook group.
Til the next time
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I am blessed and privileged to be able to call myself both a mother and an entrepreneur – not all women get to be a mother or to start a business – I’m aware of just how lucky I am to be able to be both.
Like most working mums and business women, life can be a daily struggle. I regularly find myself wondering if I’m doing the right thing for my children, spending enough time with them, if I’m selfish for wanting to be a successful entrepreneur and the best mother I can be? Are the two mutually exclusive? Is it really possible to be great at both?
So as we approach International Women’s Day 2019 - with #BalanceforBetter as the theme, I wanted to write a few words about this elusive idea of “balance” that us working women strive so hard to achieve.
I didn’t have a great start to motherhood. When my kids were very young – just 6 months & 18 months old respectively, my relationship with their father broke down and I, along with the kids moved out of the family home. Four long hard years of being a single parent followed, working in a fairly demanding job in the public sector by day, while trying to parent two kiddies just a year apart in age by night, the daily feelings of guilt, the juggling, the logistics, the money worries, the exhaustion….
But against the odds we came through it. I went on to meet and marry the most wonderful man, become a step mum and start a business baking biscuits and more recently coaching & mentoring for food entrepreneurs. And my kiddies have grown into the two loveliest people – independent, well balanced and caring. I know every parent says this but I really am so proud of them, and any achievements I’ve had in my business life are engulfed by my pride in my children.
Alongside a growing business which at times can be all encompassing we also have a fairly complex set up as a blended family with half the family in Luton, half the family in Bath, step kids, exes, weekends when the kids are here, weekends when they are away.
It’s not at all where I dreamed I’d end up and we have our moments, but somehow we make it work.
How? Well, I don’t by any means have the perfect recipe but I’ve shared some musings below on what balance looks like for us:
My kids do need me and my undivided attention on a daily basis and I try to make sure they get it but it’s okay that I don’t spend every waking moment with them or thinking about them. It’s taken me a long time to be okay with this. I’ve learnt to focus on work when I’m ‘at work‘ and on them when I’m at home. It doesn’t always work out like but I do try really hard.
Get them involved
It has been so exciting to share my business journey with my kids and involve them. They love being the official biscuit tasters, they often help out at events, & with admin tasks. Sometimes just by helping out at home, putting on dinner, running the hoover round. They very much see this as a family business that they are part of and we are learning as we go.
It takes a village.......
You’ve heard the saying that it takes a whole village to raise a child? My kids have a fantastic relationship with both me and with their dad. Ditto for their grandparents, uncles & aunts, cousins & extended family. We all have a part to play in raising happy children, I’m blessed to be surrounded by a great support network. Because of our set up with the kids splitting their weekends between our home and their dad's throughout their childhood I've felt like I've shared them. So it's become second nature to allow others in, to accept help. After a while I learnt to see it for the benefits it gives my kiddies, and less on feeling inadequate because I wasn't doing it all myself.
With homework, the school run, playdates, afterschool activities and for my two – weekends with their dad every other weekend – life can be pretty hectic and a constant battle against the clock. So I try not to overload our already busy schedules with lots of extra activities. Don’t get me wrong, learning is very important in our family, and I do push them and encourage them to do their very best at their studies, and they have opportunities to join clubs, take part in sports etc.
But both they and I need our down time. Unstructured time spent chilling, pottering about, doing the simple things – reading a book together, taking a walk, popping out for a hot chocolate or just doing ‘nothing’. As long as they do the very best at the things they do – its enough.
Aspirations for the future
Aside from doing the very best they can in their academic life, if I have one main very simple but very important aspiration for them as they grow up its this: the ability to form lasting relationships. Far more than a string of qualifications or any other achievement, it is this one thing that will get them through. Making & sustaining friendships, valuing family, of being able to love and be loved, this, in my humble opinion is the cornerstone to a long & happy life. If I can help them to learn one thing in their childhood, it is this.
So this is #BalanceforBetter motherhood my way. It’s about not stressing over some artificial idea of perfection. I’m not normally one for giving advice but if I did it would be this (apologies for the baking analogy) – you don’t need to have the whole packet of biscuits to be happy. It’s really tempting – but usually leads to feelings of excess, bloating & ultimately dissatisfaction. Just one or two biscuits at a time is usually plenty – and more than enough as part of a healthy, balanced life. It's a bit clumsy as an analogy but you get the idea?
If you’ve got any thoughts or musings you’d like to share on being a Mum, Dad or parent entrepreneur then do leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you
Til the next time
Before you go - are you a member of my facebook groups for food entrepreneurs where I offer support and amazing helpful communities?
For a general group of food entrepreneurs join my Kitchen Table Entrepreneur Group
For a group specific to female food entrepreneurs join my Secrets to Scale Group
Do come and get involved - I'd love to get to know you and your food business some more.
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Hey I'm Nila. I make beautiful iced biscuits and I'd like to help you launch or scale your baking business. Welcome to my blog.