Spotlight On: 2 Women Who Turned Their Passions Into a Business
If you’ve always dreamed of starting your own business, but need a little inspiration to get motivated, look no further than this post. We sat down with two talented women who started successful businesses to get a glimpse into what drove them to begin their business journey, how they made it happen, and what it feels like to do what you love.
Owner, Boring Cakes
Originally founded in 2015 as Jersey City Sweets, the newly renamed Boring Cakes is based out of Jersey City, NJ, and uses a tongue-in-cheek, playful tone to capture the attention of baked-good lovers everywhere.
Owner Jen Benyamine took the unpleasant experience of losing a job and turned it into an opportunity to focus on something she loved doing: baking. And now she has a successful business (and tons of yummy creations) to show for it! Here’s what Jen had to say about how she turned her passion for baking into a business she loves.
How did you get into baking?
Randomly! After losing my job a while back, it was hard to find something in the same field, since a lot of people had lost employment at that time. I decided to go back to working as a barista, a job I had through college which I enjoyed, and realized that I felt better in a social, customer service based environment, rather than sitting behind a desk. So I decided to try to turn my hobby of baking into something that could give me a livelihood. Going to French Culinary Institute really helped me feel comfortable walking into any kitchen, and I got to learn from some of the top chefs and bakers in NYC.
When did you decide to start your business?
To be honest, I decided to start my own business for the sole reason that I work better for myself. Setting my own hours, for instance, really helped curb some anxiety I would sometimes have about the stressful nature of the food industry. It’s such a high stress environment, I needed to have my own business, so I could control my immediate surroundings and expectations. I just work better that way and the product comes out better because of it. I also enjoy being able to steer the concept creatively.
Why do you do what you do?
Simply, I do this because I enjoy it. I love being able to make cakes and desserts that please people. It’s always a treat to see the happiness that a customer gets when I deliver something completely unique to them. It makes me feel happy, and honored, to be a part of people’s life events. I’ve seen babies grow (via cake!), from baby shower to 2nd birthdays now, and it feels good to be a part of that.
What inspires you to bake?
Inspiration comes from everywhere really. I’m still learning the ropes, compared to all the great bakers out there, and I still take queues from the best, but television and current events are my biggest inspirations. I love seeing that there’s an event or anticipated bit of media, and making a cake or cookie to commemorate that. It also shows that almost anything can be made out of cake or cookie and it’s just so fun!
How do you feel when you're working, doing what you love?
When I get into decorating or baking in general, it’s very meditative for me. And seeing that finished product gives me a sense of accomplishment that I don’t really get anywhere else. In having my own business, I see the cake start from flour and eggs to putting that finishing detail on it, and it makes me feel fulfilled. Before, i would do a part of the cake and never see it again. Getting to make the cake from scratch, all the way to seeing the kid freak out over their dinosaur cake, for instance, makes me really love what I do.
Check out Jen's latest creations @boringcakes on Instagram.
Owner, Leave it 2 Lori
Leave it 2 Lori is a professional organizing company that specializes in residential organizing, office organizing and move or relocation services. Owner Lori Gersh started the company in 2005 after experiencing a life transition that made her realize she wanted a greater sense of control and appreciation in all aspects of her life.
The first step? Clearing out all the stuff that she no longer needed, so she could appreciate the things that were truly important to her. After experiencing much greater peace of mind through this process, Lori wanted to share that sense of order with others. Thus, Leave it 2 Lori was born.
Here’s what Lori had to say about how she got into organizing, and how she’s used her passion as the inspiration for her successful business.
How did you get into organizing ?
I have always enjoyed organizing things. As a kid, on Halloween, my favorite thing to do once I got home from trick-or-treating was to organize all my candy.
What made you decide to turn your love for organizing into a business?
I decided to start my business while watching a show on HGTV called 'Mission Organization.’ I learned that people can actually get paid to organize. I went onto the HGTV website and learned about NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) . I joined the local chapter, got on a plane and went to the yearly conference where I met a whole bunch of like-minded people and learned how to start a business.
How do you feel to be working on something you’re so passionate about?
I feel so grateful to get to go to work, doing what I love. Every job is different so the work never gets boring. Each client is so unique that I am constantly being put to the test, which I also enjoy.
What inspires you to be a professional organizer?
I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of helping people make significant changes in their lives and their living situations. It's a lot like being a therapist. Transforming a person's space allows for change and endless possibilities. The sense of empowerment and satisfaction that my clients feel during and after the process inspires me to do this work.
Follow along with Lori's latest projects @leaveit2lori on Instagram.