Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erin Martin, Owner of ECBG Cake Studio, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
ECBG Cake Studio is a custom luxury cake studio in West Town in Chicago, serving cakes for all occasions to those in the Chicago-land area. While specializing in wedding cakes, we also make cakes for anything from birthdays to graduations to hitting your next big milestone on social media!
Tell us about yourself
I started making cakes out of my parents' house about 11 years ago. Over the years, I consistently and adamantly worked on bettering my craft, my skills, and my business knowledge to get to where I am today, a beautiful permanent space that I own in Chicago where we serve the best customers in the city! Our customers are so diverse and joyous. They inspire us daily to put out the best work we possibly can. I feel we owe it to them and to ourselves to constantly push ourselves to be better bakers and artists. I also feel we have to give ourselves the utmost grace and love while we do it. This healthy pressure is what has made us the best cake studio in Chicago!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I feel so proud of the space I have designed and the team I have built. I try so hard to make sure everyone is seen, heard, and taken care of at work. I try so hard to make sure everyone has enough time and space to get the job well done as well as all the resources they need to do it.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
All of it. All of it is hard as a collective because you have to balance so many things at once. If it was just one element or one task, it would be fine, but it is 100 all at once. I have learned you need so much support and assistance, or else you won't make it. The top 3, I would say, are hitting revenue goals, managing a team, and work-life balance. Keeping up with all branded platforms is hard, too- from all website/email interactions to social media updating. Another thing that does NOT come easily to me is managing all operations from the property, from waste management to pest control to insurance, and making sure all those payments are in on time and in an organized manner. It is a lot of pressure all the time, and you're always on call. You have to love it or else again; you won't make it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ask for help- and outsource/hire as much as possible.
- Put in place any system you need to stay as organized as possible.
- Take care of your physical and mental health as much as possible.
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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