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Mirror, Mirror

27 Oct

Now that I am officially no longer self employed, I feel like I have no purpose. My worldmirror has been flipped upside down and personally, I have no idea how to deal. I didn’t think it would be this way. I thought that I would be fine, enjoy staying at home and being a mom and a wife and keeping up my house, since its been hard to do that for the last 10 years.

Now that I have no job, I am feeling down in the mouth. I was crying yesterday because of it. It is like a weight has been lifted, but then I look around and don’t recognize anything. I’m in a whole new world now. For 10 years, I was not only fulfilling a dream, but also being fulfilled by bringing people joy and for employing people from the community. Now that it is gone, I am reaching for anything to give me that fulfillment and purpose. I look in the mirror and I have no idea who I am or what I would like to do in life. I have been in an apron for so long, I have no clue how to deal without it. In the last 10 years, I have been raising my children, and running a business. I worked so hard and so much some weeks that it felt like I never saw my children. I remember putting in a 15 hour day and crying by the time I left to go home because I knew I had missed bed time and they never saw me that entire day. Those days were hard. Very hard emotionally and physically.

complaintI think what drained me the most was my strive for perfection. I know, not everything can go perfectly all the time, but I wanted it to. And when I disappointed someone, it killed me. I know for a fact that anyone who runs and owns a small business feels like their business is going under even when they get a small complaint. You go through a small panic attack and it puts your whole day out of whack. I will not miss this feeling.

So, what do I do now? What do I want? Who will hire me? I know, I just want a part time job and focus the rest of my time on my home and children and husband and writing, but what do I want to do for those 20 hours a week? Does it matter?employer Will it define me? Is it going to be embarrassing for me to see people who used to come to me for cakes, now seeing me doing something like serving them a coffee? Don’t get me wrong, I think that all jobs are important and I don’t look down on anyone, but it is quite a change of pace. Like I have to integrate myself back into society as a former business owner, as an employee not an employer. I was proud of my third baby, it’s hard to see her go, it’s hard not to go there everyday, and its hard not seeing Shanna everyday. I didn’t count on all these feelings.

I didn’t count on this depressed feeling. No job. No purpose. No money. Sadness. Rest. Rest? I have never in my life, been without a job for longer than 2 weeks. I have worked work-hard-1from the time I was 12 years old. I created my own job with a friend of walking dogs, and I babysat from 12 as well. When I was 14 I got a job as a dishwasher, then while still babysitting and going to school, I worked at a local pizza place. When I was 16 I took on a babysitting job that started at 6 am, and then I had to pick the kids up at the daycare after school and watch them until 11 pm. I was their mother for a whole year. When I was 19 I was running a bar. I was a bartender, made the schedule, ordered the food from the suppliers, cooked, served and worked the DJ booth when nobody else could. That was a lot of responsibility for a little money. I am not lazy, and now that I have no job, I feel lazy. I know, it has only been a few days, but I am hyper sensitive. I am also on a path of being super healthy and fit, and I had to peel myself out of bed at 5:07 this morning to get to the gym. I have started talking myself up….I have to. This morning I was telling myself to get up, beat the depression monster, don’t let it take over, don’t quit. I deserve better. Work for it. Get results.

Man, a lot of things run through my head everyday now, not just what has to be done at the shop, what supplies we need and who is working, what to make for supper, and what activities the kids have to do on what night.

I know this feeling should pass…..I am not sure when or how, but I know it will. It has to. I guess its one day at a time, baby steps. I had a friend talk me out of eating my feelings last night. She just texted me at the right time, and I confessed how I felt to her. I thought about it and just decided to go to bed instead of having another drink and something to eat. I went right to sleep. It was a good choice, and I hope I keep making them.

Hopefully every day gets easier. Evolution is inevitable, things will move and change, and I have to guide myself where to go and how to take myself there, it is learning how to do it that is key. Anyone know how to pick a lock? ha ha!

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A New Chapter

23 Aug

Over the last year and a half, I have been contemplating my purpose. My true purpose. I know I am meant to help people, I am meant to be a mother and a wife. But, am I meant to run a business? To bake for the masses? Maybe. But I am finding everyday life a struggle with so many stressers. I do have an anxiety disorder and stress is not making it any better. Over the last 2 years it has gradually made it worse. rope-frayed-stress-pressure

Now, I have this disorder, which I have to take medication for, which in turn has caused me more anxiety and depression…..not cool. Especially when I have two young children at home who looks at their parents as guides on how to act and how to live their lives, and this is not fair to them at all. To add to it, my parents are not well. My dad has just suffered through his 6th heart attack and my mother has heart problems, anxiety and blood pressure problems herself.

I had to make a choice, and I choose family. I choose health and my own peace of mind that I will have no regrets.

nextI cannot wait to start this new chapter of my life. I plan on getting a part time job somewhere and just living a simple life. Being there for my parents and my children, having a lighter feeling altogether. Maybe even taking a family vacation!

Having a business is not all bad, I love doing what I do! Using my art skills and translating it into edible works of art! How awesome is that? It’s the being the boss bit that I don’t want anymore! I am too much like everyones friend to be a hardass. I can tell you, I have been through my fair share of people taking advantage of me! Some ex employees and some customers! I have done my best!

I feel that I have helped out in small ways as well! I have donated ALOT every year to dozens of charities and events, and I have met some fabulous people as well!

Now that I have made up my mind to sell….. I want it sold! Ha Ha! I am not sure how long it will take, but I have confidence that everything will end up where it should be!

This chapter hasn’t finished yet, you will be the first to know when it does

If you are interested in buying the bakery, I have it listed on kijiji.ca

sale

It’s All About Everyone Else

14 Aug

It has been a while since my last post. I have been very busy, with no time at all to do some serious relaxing! I am sure that every parent feels this way, and it might be even worse for business owners. I am tired. Plain and simple. Tired. I have a ton of things to do on any given day. I still have not caught up on my book work for the bakery. I am about 2 weeks behind, except for payroll, that is always done on time. I work everyday, and some days that I have off and get off work a little early, I am having to do things at home, or taking my kids places and playing or doing crafts. I have to do my rounds of visiting, getting supplies for the bakery, and keeping up with having friends and family. I know it does not sound hard, or even like work to do most of these things, but when you are stretched out in all directions, it feels like climbing a never ending mountain, Unattainable success in achieving anything. At any given moment, if I sit down and relax, I can guarantee that I would fall asleep. 

I know I have to take an hour or so to just relax and centre myself again, like hitting a reset button, but there is always something else or someone else that needs my immediate attention. Even if I did have some relaxation time, what would I do? I would just fall asleep. Maybe I should do just that. When I put the kids to bed at night, I should just lie in bed and relax. So simple, but so hard to do!

So, who needs my attention? My children, 7 & 5 years old. They are not quite independant yet and even the smallest things need my attention. My children are a little different than most as well. They are always by my side. I try to get them to go play upstairs with their toys, or to go read a book, but they never want to leave me. I know this is a blessing, because, realistically how long will this last? I love my kids, I love to cuddle them and kiss them, it has to be my favourite thing in the world. Sometimes they both want on my lap at the same time and they fight with each other on who’s arms should go around me. They push each other out of the way and most of the time I cannot handle this, but they get jealous of each other. I never want them to feel that I favour one more than the other, but I know it is inevitable. Whether you favour one over the other or not, they end up thinking or feeling that the other sibling gets more perks. I am an only child. I don’t really understand it. Anyhow, I love that they want to be near me at all times, but sometimes I need a minute. Sometimes I need an hour, or an uninterrupted bath, or pee for that matter! Ha Ha! My boys are having to learn that mommy needs privacy. Boys cannot come into the room when mommy is in the bathroom or changing, or showering etc. This is when they like to barge in or ask me questions or want to cuddle. I do what I can. I always feel guilty.

Who else needs me? My husband, but he is more self sufficient….I’m so lucky! My husband does dishes and laundry, he vacuums and cleans toilets! He makes dinner almost every night as well. He needs me emotionally. We are both pretty sensitive people and we miscommunicate. like most people. For the most part we are like one person, which is cool. I have to get out of my own mind and stop worrying about things or thinking about the business for a minute when we are talking, or he is telling me a story. The bakery is all consuming in my head. It takes over everything. It is sometimes hard to see his side of stories when I am thinking from the perspective of a boss or I am just emotionally drained. He is patient for the most part. He gets annoyed or even mad sometimes. But our relationship is successful because we both work at it and we talk and are honest with each other about absolutely everything. 

My staff and my business needs me. This is what drains me the most. Oh, people. People are different, people need to be guided at all times, there is a lot of hand holding. There is always a need to solve problems and keep everyone happy. There is sick calls, early outs, low production, excuses, reasons, etc. It isn’t always this bad, but it feels like it! I am a mediator, a mentor, a teacher, a boss, an employee, a counsellor, a therapist, a friend, a coach etc. I wear a lot of hats at work. I do my own book work, I am at the bakery very early every morning to do the baking of the cupcakes (180-240 cupcakes), I decorate them and then I decorate cakes and make the supply orders and organize the donations and meetings and such. Its very tiring.

All of this takes a lot out of me, and then I have friends and family that I visit. I just want to turn off my brain sometimes. I love my friends. I love my family. My best friends are my neighbours, they are a married couple with small kids as well. They are great and I could count on them for anything, as they could with my husband and I. I feel more secure knowing that they are right there. I now love my neighbourhood. I have made myself familiar with all of my neighbours now. I don’t worry about my children so much now. 

I still have to move and be conscious, but not only that, I care about everyone and everything that everyone is saying to me. My head is full, my body is tired. I need to relax.

Where do I relax without the need to get up and do laundry or clean? Where do I relax without feeling guilt because I am not doing anyting? Why do I always have to be doing something? 

I need to make time for me in order to take care of everything and everyone else! I just find it hard to do. It’s all about everyone else. DId I say I was tired? Ha ha! 

I am not complaining about my life at all….I am just enlightening you to how my life works. Most of the time I do not know what I am going to blog about at the time until I start typing, and even then I just realize how I actually feel when it comes out on the screen. 

I love my life, I love everyone in it, and I would not change anything, except my need to care for everyone else but myself. To find the balance would be great. That will be my next project!!

Sugar Lately

18 Jul

I think it’s about time that I share some more of our edible creations that we have sculpted in the last while! Shanna ( the manager, my niece, my besty) is my “right hand man” so to speak. She takes care of the shop when I am not there and she can decorate all kinds of cakes like I can. We are kind of a dream team of the Sarnia cake world….if there was a cake world of Sarnia! We kick out about 30-50 cakes every weekend, which is quite a feat, especially when I have been ill for the last 3 weeks! Our system works though, and it’s getting better the more we tweak it every now and then!

These are some of our team effort creations, which they all are now!

Hand sculpted, hand painted cake. Everything is made from cake and fondant

Hand sculpted, hand painted cake. Everything is made from cake and fondant

I love to sculpt cakes and paint them. To mold the fondant in my hands is so satisfying! I love creating! This is when I really shine! I become completely unaware of everything that goes on around me when I am doing this. This is where my great satisfaction lies. The turtle, I had so much fun sculpting and painting….just the transition from one stage to another gives me a rush! It used to be a round cake…now.. ta da! It’s a realistic looking turtle! Ha ha!

Wedding cakes are a little more stressful! It HAS to be right. If you think about making and decorating a wedding cake, you start getting the sweats! Ha ha! It’s better than that for me now that I am used to it, but it still is a high stress situation. There are over 100 people that will see this cake, and then eat it. They judge it twice! Harshly I might add! This is why there is a higher price to wedding cakes. High stress.

All buttercream covered cake with hand made fondant monkeys on the top!

All buttercream covered cake with hand made fondant monkeys on the top!

Top tier cake covered in buttercream with fondant bow/ribbon, cupcakes with buttercream roses.

Top tier cake covered in buttercream with fondant bow/ribbon, cupcakes with buttercream roses.

A mallard, it is all cake with inside structure for the head.

A mallard, it is all cake with inside structure for the head.

I also do not ask questions about why the customer wants what they want. If they want body-less legs doing the splits, then that is what they get (it has happened). If they want two guys on the top of a cake fishing for a girl, then that is what they get. Within reason I might add. I will not do vulgar cakes. I have a cute little store front which is child friendly, I will not have anything going out the door that people would be offended of.  Bake Me A Cake is the name! 

 

The Fall of the Apple

17 Jul

apples_on_apple_tree
“They” say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, in essence, I am sure it is a true statement. We are all a piece of our parents, the blood, the looks sometimes, maybe even the way we talk or hold ourselves, and as we grow older, we remind ourselves of our parents more often than not. We are all different, and in time I find either we adopt our parent’s ways of life, or we veer off track hard. Given that different generations have their ups and downs, their beliefs, and what is popular changes. But I ask myself how close to being my mother I really am. And, how did I get there?

Now, my mother is the tree and I am the apple. This apple did not have a direct path down to fall off the tree. I have fallen through a numerous amount of shrubs before I hit the ground to make roots of my own. Being a single mother, my mom had some help from friends, family and different babysitters. I was very easily influenced as a child and even as a young adult….sometimes even now. I tend to take on other traits that I find endearing or respectable in others, this changes my path of thinking and introduces me to way more than I had imagined. My mother was/is a very strict parent. She had to. She worked 12 hour shifts, she put herself through college at 40, and bought a house on her own. She worked a lot when I was little, so much so, that I spent a good part of my early life at the babysitters house, which was great for both of us. Janie was/is a caring child care provider, with 3 children of her own, she took on foster children as well as taking on babysitting. These days I remember being a busy and curious little girl. Picking fresh beans in the garden and eating them, playing in the sandbox, legos and helping her in the kitchen, I would get to make my own pie with the left over dough she had, we even made home made ice cream! My mother was caring, not over affectionate though.mom I was always trying to find ways to get her to be near me. I would pretend to fall asleep on the couch so that she would have to carry me to bed. I loved this.

I learned hard work early on. I saw how often my mother worked, and I was expected to do things around the house as well. I learned to do the laundry when I was 8 and I also did the dishes and could make myself breakfast and such. I mowed the lawn and helped clean the house. There was no room for whining….mother did not take to that at all.

chores1Now that I am an adult, I can see the traits that I have carried on. Hard work and the expectation of my children to work hard as well. I want them to be children while they can, but it does not hurt my 7 year old to do the dishes regularly and clean the cat litter box. My 5 year old needs a little more work to get his little bum in gear still! In time! I admit, that I would not have a business of my own if I hadn’t been raised by my mother, She is definitely the strongest influence that I have to kick my own butt. Sometimes I am too hard on myself, which is where I am not like her at all, she is very hard on herself as well….probably moreso than I, but she does not take the time to relax and pamper herself. I don’t think that she has ever had a massage or a pedicure. Running the business means being under an intense amount of stress and constant worry. Being a mother already kicks these feelings into gear, never mind owning a business! Anyhow, I have been finding ways to relax and to find the initial reasons on my feelings. Being proactive is how I see it. Knowing the roots of my stress and how to handle it in the future is a useful tool, however, medical doctors are not in my routine. I am slowly backing off the medical industry all together. Like I said before, if I am cut in half, please take me to the hospital to be repaired, other than the physical injuries, I try to stay more natural. I see someone that does medical intuition, I have seen a homeopath and a holistic nutritionist. These all make me feel better. These all have natural ways to cure what is wrong, and they talk with me on how to deal with things in a natural way. Let my body tell me, get in touch with who I am and how I deal with things. Which is to say that your body reacts to everything. Emotions, feelings and diet have almost everything to do with the physical health of your body.

My mother, does not go this route at all! It has taken a lot for her to go to the doctor regularly. Her point of view for years was that if she was sick, she didn’t want to know about it. Just let it go. She now goes to the doctor. High blood pressure and a ton of stress, she smokes still as well. I know that she is not as healthy as she could be, I do not tell her this. She would change the subject or brush it off like she does so well. I am concerned of course. She has not really warmed up to my husband and I’s eating habits either. She still wants to feed my children bologna and chicken nuggets. My 5 year old does not quite understand our choices, which makes him a prime target for my parents to feed him whatever they want him to ingest. This scares me.

However, I do know that they will not harm my children, they will just not respect our wishes for eating habits. My ideals for the way that I live my life are completely different than what I was raised with and how to proceed through life day to day. I do not believe in eating animal products on a day to day basis.holistic I will never ingest a pig, cow, chicken, deer etc. ever again. On a daily basis, I will not intake milk or eggs on my own accord. I understand that going out is a little harder, and if there is butter in something, I am not going to die. I decide that holistic treatment for my body and mind is more of the route I would like to follow, and I am in touch with my feelings. I love. I love to love, hug and cuddle, touch….all of it. It feels good.Hugs are great. I do not get many from my mother, and I am not sure why.

I am not an apple that has fallen close to the tree. We may be joined by the same roots, but we are far from  being like each other. Maybe our humour and laugh, maybe how we talk and such, but beliefs are completely different. It makes me wonder how far my children will fall from me! As long as they are better for it, I am good with it and I will try to accept and encourage what they find important in their life.

How far did you fall?apple-love

Allergies Mix with Nothing!

16 Jul

So, over the last 3-4 weeks I have been very ill, with what I thought was seasonal allergies! Watery red eyes, runny nose, congestion and just overall feeling like a steaming pile of you know what. I went to a Holistic Nutritionist yesterday for allergy testing. This was very cool! I remember getting an allergy test when I was a kid. A whole bunch of little needles in my back injecting me with all kinds of things that could be potentially harmful to my body. At the end, my back looked like I had been attacked by mosquitoes. It was a terrible experience. I know, I know, some of you are thinking,”suck it up already”, but if you knew all the pokes and prods I had received already by that point, being a 9 year old child, this was just another experience that I had to choked down my tears.

Anyways, I went to Meagan Esser, she practices out of the Bluewater Nutrition & Health in Sarnia. She was so easy to talk to and I felt comfortable immediately. I also felt more at ease knowing that I would not be poked or be prescribed any medication. The testing for allergies is amazing. It’s pretty great how our bodies are so knowledgeable! If we would just listen! My body has been telling me something for the last little while, and I had not been listening… usually it takes an outside source to tell you something that you already knew to get your butt in gear!

Apparently, I am allergic to caffeine AND coffee! UGH!! It makes sense, but I felt like screaming “NOOOOO!!!”, busy wedding season, getting up at 5 am to bake 240 cupcakes every morning and spending at least 12 hours at work every day is NOT conducive to being allergic to caffeine! By the time I get home, I have a 5 and 7 year old who just want me to entertain them until they go to bed! Lets go mom, lets go, what can we do? I’m bored, can we go somewhere, can we do something? AH! I coffee would be great! MMMMmmmm, it smells so good! And it is fantastic with chocolate almond milk! Mmm. 

Enough! I will survive, I will drink decaf tea. I will not drink any soda (which I don’t anyhow). I will have to rest more, calm down and keep the stress level low (hahahaha) and eat properly. I haven’t been taking care of myself. Just like a mother and business owner, I come last. I can have that no more. I have to eat breakfast, or take the time at night to make a juice, I have to take my vitamins. I have been doing this for the last 3 days and I have been feeling better! My eyes are not yucky any more, my nose is not drippy and my cough is almost all gone. I did get light headed last night, but I think that is the toxins still having to come out.

I can concentrate better now, and I have more energy. Meagan did tell me that I have to make sure that I get enough vitamins that actually absorb into my body. Tablets don’t let the body absorb enough, but capsules do, that’s an easy switch! Done! But now, my husband is making an example of me in front of my kids. They better eat their dinner or they will end up getting sick like mommy…..great! That feels so great! Ugh! But, he did make me a lunch for work this morning. That was sweet!

So, from now on, I will take care of myself and eat all meals, eating lots of fruit and veggies, legumes, oats, etc. Whatever it takes! Except for swiss chard… hubby tried that at dinner last night, and it did not fly, that stuff is horrid! Neither I or the kids could eat it! And, it made me feel like a little kid because my husband is eagle eyes on me now with what I eat. Just eat it, he says…. I tried and couldn’t do it! Yep, there I was with a pile of it on my plate just like the kids! I was going to send myself to the corner! ha ha!

I highly recommend going to a holistic nutritionist, This was my first time and it will not be my last! I am trying to get away from seeing M.D.’s for everyday things that I get concerned with because I know better. I know that food can heal all. Food, and exercise and vitamins, can make mostly all well. If I get into an accident and need to be put back together, send me to a hospital! Alot more people are going this route now I noticed. It is everywhere now. Good. Now, just to get all the nay sayers either on board, or at least stop putting everyone else’s choices down!

In a perfect world

New Shop…. Here it is!

15 Jul

Finally, pictures of the new shop! It is so cute that it hurts! I love it! Let me know what you think!211 213 214 215 216