Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa He, CEO of Borderlands Bakery LLC, located in Rancho Cordova, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Borderlands Bakery, we provide cookie decorating and general baking supplies/merch, digital classes, content, and small business consulting. Our core client bases are home bakers and cottage food operators who enjoy cookie decorating and/or baking.
Tell us about yourself
My love for baking came as a surprise in college - it was something I did to relieve stress from studying engineering. I hadn't turned on an oven till I was 19. As a Chinese immigrant, the oven in our home was used for storage, not baking. I started sharing my baking journey on Instagram in 2012 and steadily grew a following from the tips/tricks I posted almost every day. I got my cottage food license and eventually started to offer content creation services. I began to design my own products and eventually also began consulting for other small creative businesses, helping them grow. I'm incredibly self-motivated (for better or for worse), and the key driving factor is to make sure I'm able to fully support myself without taking handouts or being a burden to others. It's not the healthiest of mindsets, and I'm learning to allow for a balance between my upbringing and being able to healthily accept help when needed.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To quit my full-time job in biotech to pursue my passion as my livelihood - it's not easy, but it's the path I chose, and I'm proud of making it this far.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Nobody will love your business the way you do: not your husband, not your sister, not your bestie. And it's not fair to put that kind of expectation on anyone. With all the things that need to be done, it's tempting to work all the time to "get ahead," but it's really a never-ending cycle, and the trick is to figure out what you want and spread out your efforts to meet your wants.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be consistent and patient.
- Progress over perfection.
- Understand the consequences of your decisions and actions.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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