Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Arielle Sandy, founder of Bakes & Babes, LLC., located in Charlotte, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is Bakes & Babes, LLC, which is a bakery located in Charlotte, NC. My customers are those who seek a more exciting and personal cake experience. More than just stopping by your local grocery store to pick up a pre-made cake that looks identical to the cake next to it. Unlike the average chain store, I am fully involved in the process from beginning to end. My customers know they will be receiving a one-of-a-kind creation!

Tell us about yourself

I've always been a creative person and often spent time drawing, painting, sculpting, you name it. It wasn't until I had my daughter during my 4th year of college that I picked up cake decorating. Being in school full time and unable to work as much, I had more time to spend on the baking side of YouTube. Not long after that, I started messing around with some fondant and a few new recipes and have been in love with it ever since!

My goal has always been to open a bakery since the beginning, but that didn't come to fruition until 2021. I, like most people, was afraid to take the leap into full-time business ownership. It can be a scary thing. But after years of hoping and wishing my goal would fall in my lap, I decided to go out on a limb and make it happen for myself in true "Boss Babe" fashion. Here we are almost a year later, and though Bakes & Babes has a lot of room to grow, I love every second of what I do. My business is my baby. I will continue to nurture it to its full potential.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is believing in myself enough to get started. Deciding to leave the comfort of my corporate 9-5 and become a full-time entrepreneur, putting 100% of my effort into growing my business. It takes real courage.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I'd say the hardest thing about being a full-time business owner is the unpredictability. You'll have some really good days when you're getting consistent business. All of your materials are in stock, and things are running smoothly. And then you'll have some when your order queue is dry as a desert, your supplier is out of the only vanilla extract brand you use, and you burned the 1st batch of cookies. I've learned that "stuff" happens, but it's a necessary part of the journey.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Tip #1: Planning is key. It's almost impossible to predict how your business is going to run in the beginning, but setting goals and timelines is very helpful. Financial planning is important as well. Calculate all of your start-up expenses before diving in.

Tip #2: Have confidence in your abilities. You must be confident in your own work. People know when you're not, and your work will reflect it.

Tip #3: Work hard, but remember to take breaks. We all want to boss up in our business, as we should. But it is important to take a step back sometimes to avoid getting overwhelmed. No one can put their best foot forward when they are in that headspace. Make time for breathers. Mental health is important too.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Do what you love - love what you do!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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