Since she was little, Ayesha Ansari, 21, has dreamt of opening up a bakery. And while she never lost her passion for baking, to her, the goal always seemed a bit far-fetched. She recently found her way back to her childhood dream, however, in November of last year while making cheesecake, a dessert she’s made since she was 12 years old, for her family.
When she snapped a few photos of the finished product and shared them with her friends, one suggested she consider selling her cheesecakes. The idea, never having occurred to Ayesha, piqued her curiosity.
Shortly after, she took to her Instagram page and jokingly shared a couple of photos of her cheesecake with the caption “Hey, who wants a slice?” After numerous positive replies, she quickly realized the potential such a business could have, and began experimenting with new recipes, even had a mini “tasting party” with her friends, and decided on a menu. After sharing the menu through social media with the help of her friends, orders began to pour in in numbers much higher than Ayesha had anticipated.
When asked what the most challenging part of starting the business was, Ayesha describes how she quickly realized she was not prepared to deliver the number of cakes people were requesting, remembering, “I had to place an order for 100 boxes, a 100 cake pads...They’re so many random, small things that go into making something happen...I was not expecting it to blow up”.
She’s found, though, that the rewarding aspects of her cheesecake business have far outweighed the challenges.
“I genuinely really enjoy making cheesecake because every time I make it, I learn something new and I improve a little bit with each one,” she shares.
Ayesha also describes the enjoyment she finds in decorating her cheesecakes, as she’s allowed the creative freedom to try a new design each time. What she finds the most joy in, though, is the warm feedback she receives from her customers. “I love when my customers get their cakes and then they reach out to me afterward and tell me how much they love it...that always warms my heart.”
When asked what piece of advice she’d offer someone interested in pursuing a similar path, Ayesha emphasizes the importance of planning ahead. “I made a menu and then like five minutes later, I released it,” she laughs. “Definitely be extra prepared in advance.” Above all else, something she reminds herself of and urges others to remember is the phrase, “chase happiness and money will follow.” She explains that people will be naturally drawn towards your product if they see your passion and willingness to work for it, and “if it brings you more happiness, then it’ll be more fulfilling in the long run.”
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