"Constant change is a way of life for a small business."
Dear fortune cookie,
This is only a little bit eerie.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Deb at Smitten Kitchen mentioned Baked NYC's cooking of delightful baked goods, and of course I had to check it out. Things I really like about Baked?
- Branding. The owners both worked in advertising and graphic design, so naturally, the website is slick yet inviting, the photographs are artful, and the storefront itself is quite clean-lined and distinct.
- Diversity of Products. This is one thing I certainly want to achieve in a future business--a flexibility in the goods I offer. I love that they offer elegant cakes alongside made-from-scratch marshmallows, whoopie pies, seasonal tarts, scones, monster cookies, lemon bars, and so on. It's exciting to me to be able to offer a variety of baked goods. The more, the merrier!
- Unpretentious Products. One of the owners, Matt, "wanted to open a bakery that celebrated American desserts beyond the cupcake." I agree with this sentiment. I want to baked goods I offer to be a reflection of what people really eat and enjoy, comfort foods. This does not imply that I don't want to branch out on any limbs or try anything particularly sophisticated, but overall, I want the feel to be relaxed and homely.
Does anyone have particularly good bakery suggestions for me?
Sunday, October 31, 2010
This weekend was astoundingly busy--after all, I drove to D.C. with 70 other members of my college to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity. But I sort of neglected to update you all on a kiiind of important even that happened this last Thursday:
I was let go from my job.
As you probably know, I work(ed) at a small cake shop here in central Kentucky, which only opened its doors this past January. The turnover for employees has been incredible, and I was a veteran, having worked nearly seven months (which, I realize, is not a very long period of time, but it is for a college student.)
The, erm, firing was actually fairly amiable. I did cry, but I felt sort of relieved. I can set myself in my boss' shoes and understand her thought process on this, even though I think she made a mistake--though I do not want to seem at all like I'm going to get all cocky about it.
Some her reasoning was quite faulty: for example, she held me responsible for tasks around the shop that I was not hired nor trained to do. I was the only jill-of-all-trades around the shop besides my boss, but I did not know the finer points of anything but my detailed fondant work. I guess I could be angry about this, but she didn't step on my toes too much.
Beyond that, she argued that I seemed spread too thin, and though I don't want to think she let me go out of the goodness of her heart, I appreciate this realization. She wants an employee who is more flexible. It's true--I've got classes and meetings to attend! But recall that I am otherwise nearly as flexible as I can be without totally snapping. I routinely stay until 3 am. In the summer, I regularly worked overtime. I can't get much more flexible, and if this is something to still call me out on, I laugh at its absurdity.
Since I am supposed to kind of keep track of my moods and thoughts with my depression, here are my thoughts regarding how the firing played out:
I'm a little proud of myself. I handled the situation with dignity, and was honest and assertive when I felt it appropriate. I cried, but nothing's wrong with crying. The work had been a huge part of my life, for better or worse, and I appreciate the paycheck. Mostly, though, I learned a lot. I learned I really, really, really like creating things, especially things that bring smiles, warm tummies, amaze the eyes, or all three. I learned distinct ways I would NOT want my business to progress, and ideas to inspire me. The firing was a slap in the face, certainly, but I managed to remain calm and reasonable. For that, I think I can be proud of myself.
P.S. I'm in the process of switching over from Celexa to Prozac, and so far I really, really like it. I am feeling glimpses of what I used to feel like fairly often, and it makes me very happy.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
It's interesting. Although I am vague about my actual plans to start a bakery--in that, well, I'm in college, and I can't exactly start this very instant on painting the walls and working in quickbooks--I do get excited/obsessive about the details of the business. I need to name the place, first of all--I guess that's a bit of a big deal, right?! And in the meantime, I like to think about things as packaging design, and custom stamps, and making business cards.
It's all very fun, yet kind of tiresome. It's like... when I was imagining my future wedding in middle school. It was and exciting creative mental exercise for me, but as with anything I get too preoccupied with at an inappropriate period of my life, I start feeling weighed down by all that is in my head compared to so little that is concrete and before me. I feel an intense frustration when my mind is filled with so much passion and color as a Holi festival, and yet I feel powerless to create something with my own two hands. How can I channel this energy into something productive and creative?
I've thought about selling royal icing flowers on Etsy. I don't think it would exactly be wildly profitable, but it's a start. You know, I could even sell homemade marshmallow fondant! But, my mind remembers, I live in a dorm, and I certainly do not own a stand mixer. Yet!
Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? What are good ways to channel my creative energy?
How do you effectively plan for events in the far-ish future? That's really the question I'm interested in. I have a hard time planning anything at all. Advice?
Monday, October 25, 2010
Though I am hot and cold about my current place of employment, I naturally always enjoy the pay off. This time I bought a passel of books, and I am so pumped about them. This is not about my future business or creative endeavors directly, but, uh, my own personal self-improvement can only help those things, right?! Right.
So, I bought:
As per Lauren's suggestion on her guest post on APracticalWedding, I'm hoping this book will inspire and empower me. In gender studies, I come across a lot of depressing literature, and this, I hope, will be refreshing.
I bought Bluets, by Maggie Nelson, The Ethics of Ambiguity and The Second Sex (in a beautiful hardcover of the most recent translation) by Simone de Beauvoir, and Giovanni's Room, by James Baldwin, for a class. I am very excited. If only I had time to read anything beyond assignments for class!