Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Priscilla Sweet, owner of Silver Rose Bakery, located in Peoria, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My husband, Michael, and I started our bakery five years ago. We decided to escape the chains of corporate America and embrace the entrepreneur within. We dabbled in many products, but we both knew we wanted something different - something that sets us apart. We were hired to do our first wedding, and we spent 23 hours preparing ten different Italian cookie recipes as well as making 100 Cake pops - all of them with little fondant decorations representing a different Disney movie. It took us 3 hours to assemble this Italian Cookie tower on site. We received amazing feedback and still have those customers with us to this day - having celebrated birthdays and baby showers with them. We knew after that delivery, running on very little sleep, that weddings was where it was at. Weddings were what we wanted to specialize in. Of course, we also do custom cakes, birthday cakes, and other items as well, but weddings are our focus.
Tell us about yourself
I spent 18 years in retail management for the same company. I had an amazing boss; I was happy, successful, financially comfortable, and then...I met my husband. He had a background in Medical Project Management, and one day the company I worked for fired my boss, brought in a new sheriff, and we did not get along - AT ALL. It was then I started formulating my escape plan. I wasn't happy; I left for work in tears more often than I care to remember. My husband said - you know what, let's just do it - let's start a bakery (This wasn't random - I was making cakes on the side just for fun). So one day, I put in for my vacation time, secretly packed my things, left my keys in the safe, and I never went back. I knew I wanted to leave on my own terms. Now I own my own business with my husband, my partner in crime. It's not always rainbows and cupcakes. Owning a business is hard. You work tirelessly 14-16 hour shifts, answering emails, phones, all while doing what you love - and THAT is what motivates me each day to get up and do it all over again. You HAVE to LOVE what you do. If you don't, you will fail. Try to run a business where there's no passion, no intrinsic interest - It will not survive! I love what I do; I love building cakes and the process behind it. I don't just take orders. I build relationships, I learn stories, I laugh, and I cry with my customers because it's more than just cake. It's what it represents. The human connection is what keeps me going.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is honestly starting. That is the hardest part. Trusting in the process, the learning. Building a business that has consistently grown over the last four years. Every year beating revenue of the year prior. Being able to bring on my mom as our first full-time employee. Getting ready to open a 1,400 sq foot production facility so that we can continue to grow our business and community. Acquiring 5-star reviews across all of our platforms. There isn't just one big accomplishment - success is a combination of many things!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Oof...lack of sleep, lol. It's understandable what is required in order to be successful. Understanding the hustle required to get where you want to be. People see celebrities and those who are financially fortunate and think, "I want to be like them." What they don't see is what those individuals had to go through in order to get where they are. It's sleepless nights, long days, lack of self-care, and continuing education. It's the balance of life and work. I don't like the saying If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. It is quite the contrary - If you love what you do, you'll work the hardest you've ever worked in your life. If owning a business was easy, everyone would do it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be open to education. Learn, do your research watch YouTube videos from those in your industry.
- Seriously, find out "Your Why." If you don't know who Simon Sinek is, get to know him ASAP. Do the work, read the books, listen to podcasts. Write stuff down.
- Write down your goals. I used to think manifestation was a joke. If you don't keep your goals in check and in front of your face, how will you know what you need to do to get there? Write them down, change them as needed. Be flexible.
Bonus Tip: Be willing to fail. If you go into owning a business thinking, you know it all and are perfect - think again! Fail, learn, fail and move forward.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Owning a business is one of the greatest joys anyone can experience. I LOVE being a business owner. I encourage anyone who is passionate about any given topic, industry, etc., to do it. You're always welcome to reach out to me if you need to chat.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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