Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cheryl Stager, Co-Founder of Sugarbird Cakery & Floral Co. and Sugarbird Candle Co., located in Bowmanville, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We run three successful businesses that all work in harmony with each other. Sugarbird Cakery and Floral Co. specialize in custom cakes and cookies, baked goods, dessert tables, and full event florals for weddings and parties. The newest extension of our business is Sugarbird Candle Co., offering clean-burning soy wax candles. We love working with our clients to truly create the vision they have in mind for their weddings and parties, and seeing their faces light up when they see our work is the absolute best part.
Tell us about yourself
We are Cheryl and Jennifer Stager, a mother/daughter team working and living in Southern Ontario. We first started our business over our shared love of baking for our friends and family. We've always baked together and were thrilled to turn this into a business where we could create custom creations for people's special life events. Seeing children's faces light up when they see their birthday cake or a wedding couple's happiness when they see their wedding vision come to life and truly what it's all about.
After running our baking business for a few years, we started to incorporate our love of flowers and began offering full event florals, including bouquets, centerpieces, garlands, and more. Many of our clients hire us to do their cakes, desserts, and flowers for their events. We love coordinating the designs of everything to work cohesively together.
Sugarbird Candle Co. started out of a desire to offer a physical product that we could sell at markets, offer as favours and gifts to our wedding clients, and incorporate scents that truly represent our brand. We love creating floral scented candles, candles with hints of baking spices and desserts, and others that show our personality.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment as business owners is receiving feedback from our clients about how much our products truly added to their life events. To see our cakes, bouquets, etc., displayed in wedding photos brings us much joy, and hearing from clients who let us know how much they loved everything is why we keep doing what we do. Seeing a child with their face lit up as they stare at their birthday cake is truly the icing on the cake :).
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Owning three businesses, as well as having a full-time job in healthcare, can be extremely stressful and exhausting. Our business is definitely a much-needed creative escape, but there are times when you can get extremely run down. But our clients count on us to always provide the best product possible, and we pride ourselves on never letting anything impact what we produce for our clients. But we do look forward to a bit of downtime once the wedding season is over so we can recharge and get ready for the busy Christmas season :).
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Never give up. Starting a business can be an exhausting, emotionally draining, and difficult thing to do. There are so many things you won't think of when you first begin, and you'll feel like one thing after another comes at you. But each difficulty will make you so much stronger, will make your business foundation more concrete, and teach you more than you ever thought possible.
- Don't be afraid to say no. When we first started our business, we felt like we had to take on every order, and it completely drained us emotionally and physically. But now, we are not afraid to turn down orders so that we can take much-needed breaks. Only take on what you can, and make sure to make time for yourself always.
- Have fun. If you don't enjoy your business, it will be very difficult to make it successful. Make sure you love what you do. There will always be times where you're frustrated and want to quit, but loving what you do, and having fun as much as possible, will make it all worthwhile.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Another branch of our business that we're extremely proud of is our baking tutorials that we offer online. We love seeing feedback from people who try these and who love watching with their children. Our TikTok account (@sugarbirdcakeryfloral) has become quite popular, and we're so proud of being able to share our love of baking with others.
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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