Most of us would agree that going into business is tough. But to go into business - as a woman - is even tougher. We have all heard the stories of women who were expected to meet (and exceed) high expectations from their workplace, but still be underpaid, undervalued and underestimated. That's why I was thrilled to know that there is a specific day that celebrates women who join the business world. Today, November 19, we celebrate Women's Entrepreneurship Day.
Today, we shift the focus to women who have achieved success in their businesses. In recognition of this day, we here at The Happy Station thought of interviewing Ms. Leah Que - the woman behind the successful Dessert First (@dessertfirst71 on IG). If her name sounds familiar to you, that's because she has gained quite a following in the various craft related Facebook groups - where she shares photos of pretty cake toppers she carefully designed and created.
Read on as Ms. Leah shares her thoughts.
Ms. Leah Que
How and when did you start?
I bought my first Cricut machine (Explore Air) for my daughter’s 7th bday, around 4 years ago, just because I hated fuzzy cutting because it takes so much time. Then I just used it eventually to cut cupcake toppers for my cake and cupcakes business, Dessert First. It was only October of last year when I went full blast on cake topper making.
Pocoyo Cake Topper from Dessert First
Is this your full time job? If not, how do you balance it with your other jobs?
I am a stay at home mom. I used to take orders for cakes, cupcakes and dessert tables. But somehow lost my passion for it as the market for cake making became very saturated and pricing became a real challenge.
What challenges did you encounter when you first started?
At first, it was sourcing the supplies. Where to get good quality papers, where to get the tools, stuff like that. Good thing that almost everything is available online now. Even stuff from abroad, can be easily purchased in Manila.
What steps did you take to promote your work/ business?
I just maintained my FB and IG account, Dessert First. Since I am also in the baking community and I have friends there, it wasn’t that hard to get clients. I never knew the demand of a cake topper until I started making them.
Lego Cake Topper from Dessert First
Along the course of your business, did you ever feel like giving up? If yes, what motivated / inspired you to continue?
As of now, I am enjoying myself and haven’t thought of giving up. I enjoy the creative freedom in cake topper making. I don’t need to worry about expensive ingredients going to waste and having a pile of dishes to wash.
Any advice for those who are just starting?
“Be the best version of yourself”. It is indeed true that your greatest competition and critic is yourself. Any one can also do the things that you do, but only you can do you. You may have the same tools and materials, the same ingredients and recipe, but it is in how you do your craft that makes you, you and makes you different.