How Starting a Home Bakery Has Changed My Life
Hey there Home Baker!
I usually share posts about Baking Tips, Home Bakery Business Tips or Refined Recipes. But today I want to break from my usual format and share a side of my story with you that I rarely ever talk about…
I want to give you a closer look inside my life as a full time home baker and more importantly I want to share with you how my Home Bakery has CHANGED my life.
Because my Home Bakery Business HAS changed my life – in ways I NEVER thought possible.
There’s so much to say, but I think the best way to go about it is to share the top 11 ways my Home Bakery has changed my life.
So get your cup of coffee, laughing abs and tissues ready!
1. My Home Bakery has Given me the Opportunity to Work at Home
Pencil skirts, heels and hair do’s have never been my thing at all. The whole corporate scene in fact just wasn’t a good fit for me… I used to feel “weak and pathetic” for not coping in that stressful environment, but thankfully I see it differently now!
The corporate system is what it is – but I have been made to be ME. It’s like a square peg in a round hole. They just don’t fit and that’s okay 🙂 It doesn’t make either of them “better” or “weaker” but just DIFFERENT.
Some people (like my husband *cough-cough!*) love going on road trips, all kinds of adventures and outings to just “get out”, but honestly I just don’t get that! Lol!
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE being at home!! Always have. Even as a kid I always wanted to stay at home. Sure, I was very insecure, but that’s not why I loved being at home. I love home now for the same reason I did back then.
Home is cozy, friendly, accepting and fun.
I can wear WHATEVER I want! A bad hair day has ZERO relevance. I can have dance parties while I’m baking and sing along to the endless string of musicals I watch on max volume. And NO, after 6 years I’m still not over it!
Along with this comes all the other perks of working at home like never sitting in traffic – like ever! Going for walks outside when I want. Having pets and a garden around (corporate doesn’t offer that benefit). Having peace and quiet. Knowing my bed is only 10 feet away at all times.
These are the kind of things that really boost life’s AWESOME factor for me!
2. I Can Decide How & When I Spend My Time
Want to know something REALLY cool? I pretty much never wake up with an alarm clock. Baking is a very physical profession, so I decided to grant my body all the rest it needs to recover from the day’s work.
I sleep till about 07h30, spend time with the Lord, eat breakfast on our couch in the sunshine, shower and only start working at about 09h30.
I realize that things are a bit more complex when you have kids. But I fully believe and have seen that God grants parents the physical strength they need to get through a day when they haven’t had enough sleep.
But the bottom line is that when you have a Home Bakery, you can decide what’s more important to you and structure your work day according to that.
When I have our car I can go shopping when the grocery stores are totally empty. Yes I totally do dance moves when a good song is playing!
If I have something urgent happening on any given day, I can just clear my schedule – simple as that.
When a friend or family member needs me, I can plan my work day around that.
I can work and stop working when I choose to.
I don’t take this for granted. It’s such a huge blessing to live this way and I wouldn’t ever want to change it!
3. Baking has Helped Me to Understand My Value
This is a more intense one. Have that tissue box close by my friend!
So, my life has not been easy – I mean, whose really has?
But here’s the true story.
I had a tumour (Astrocytoma) in my spinal cord and brain as a baby. It started developing when I was about 2 weeks old, but they only discovered it when I was 1 year old.
MRI scan technology wasn’t available yet in my parents’ small town. I kept on screaming my head off every day and my mom knew something was very wrong with me, but nothing showed up on the X-rays. The MRI when I was 1 year old revealed everything that was going on…
The doctors said that if they operate I’d be paralyzed, but if they don’t operate I’ll die because the tumour was growing rapidly and was already at the breathing centre of my brain.
Everyone my parents knew started praying. The church started a 24 hour prayer chain. My dad came into my room every day and rebuked the growth in the name of Jesus Christ and spoke life and healing into my body in the name of Jesus Christ.
The doctors could finally operate when I was 15 months old because until then I was just too small to operate on.
After a gruelling 8 hour operation, the Neuro Surgeon reported that they could only remove about half of the tumour and by some miracle I wasn’t paralyzed yet.
They recommended radiation, but my parents just didn’t have peace about putting such a small baby through that.
Everyone kept on praying.
My mom said that after the operation I was finally calm and she could see that having so much of the tumour removed definitely increased my comfort.
I made it past the one month mark, then 2 months, 3 months…
At the age of 2 (on my birthday) I started walking for the very first time, down the aisle at church while everyone celebrated and cheered at the Lord’s faithfulness…
I went back for check-ups with the Neuro Surgeon, but somehow the remaining half of the tumour had vanished completely. The Doctor wrote “MIRACLE” on my file.
If you look up case studies on Astrocytomas, the mortality rates are practically 100%. Because they usually grow back. After going for check-ups for nine years, the Doctor told us with a chuckle that he thinks we can stop coming!
So yes, that’s what Jesus Christ has done. He is alive. He is beyond powerful. He is 100% REAL and He loves us like no one has ever loved.
Where it gets tricky is that a lot of permanent nerve damage was done to the entire right side of my body. My whole right side is smaller and weaker. My shoes differ 2 sizes, I have scoliosis, limited function on the entire right side of my body and had a skew right leg (which doctors operated on when I was 12).
Unfortunately kids aren’t very tactful – especially when you look different.
So I was excluded, rejected, bullied, tripped, and ridiculed in public throughout my school years…
This made me believe that I am worthless, faulty, not good enough, unworthy, embarrassing to people and that I have no real value to offer anyone.
But baking was a haven. It’s something that I can do WELL. And somehow, cakes I made with my own two hands made people HAPPY… What a gift to bring HAPPINESS to someone’s life?!
It took a while, but seeing that I bring joy, comfort and inspiration to people’s lives through baking made me SEE that I have so much to share with the world and that I am incredibly valuable…
All that stuff that happened with those other kids was a total lie.
4. My Business has Helped to Heal My Confidence
A very interesting thing happens whenever you start any business; whatever is going on inside you WILL come out.
Over my last 6 years of full-time baking it’s become crystal clear that our baking talents or resources are not the key factors that determine our business’s success at all!
We keep thinking the reasons our Home Bakery is struggling are our recipes, abilities and lack of resources, but they are not to blame.
It’s not really everything outside you that’s holding your business back, but everything that’s going on INSIDE YOU.
Michael Gerber wrote this incredible book from his own experiences of working with struggling small businesses (The E-Myth Revisited). At one point he says:
“Your business is nothing more than a distinct reflection of who you are. So if your business is to change – as it must to continually thrive – you must change first. If you are unwilling to change, your business will never be able to give you what you want.”
The moment you decided to start a Home Bakery was the moment you agreed to a never-ending journey of personal growth and transformation.
There’s no escaping it and trust me, you’ll learn to love it!
YOU are the center of your business. Not your baking, but YOU as a person.
YOUR inner constitution directly shapes your business every single day. Your thoughts influence your feelings, your feelings influence your actions and your actions determine your results.
So when my business was struggling at first, it FORCED me to start opening up my issues. I had to! There was no way around it! So I gradually started releasing and repenting (because I’m a Christian) from my false beliefs that I embraced as “truth” for most of my life.
Actual TRUTH started replacing those lies and guess what? A confident, secure Aurelia started emerging on the other side 😀 How extraordinary, right?!
The Lord works in mysterious ways!
5. My Home Bakery has Helped Me to Mature
Now because of my difficult childhood, I subconsciously expected (even demanded) that the rest of my life should be smooth sailing.
Out of the thousands of kids in all the schools in my hometown, I was the only one that had to put up with such physical and emotional struggles.
I remember always feeling like I’m not disabled enough to get all the benefits and I’m also not normal enough to be accepted.
It was TOTALLY unfair.
And after my sister died… Man… That was just ridiculous.
The world owed me – BIG time. I was the victim and at a massive disadvantage.
I blamed God and the world for EVERYTHING. And when my business wasn’t doing well it was also obviously God’s fault.
It also seemed like everyone around me that had rich parents that pulled out their credit card whenever their kids want to start a business, or travel places or study anything.
Why can’t my life just be “easy” like everyone else’s? Why doesn’t God send me more clients? Why does everything have to be this constant struggle? I work super hard; can’t God just let it go WELL for me just once?
Oh boy I was so deeply snuggled in my twisted victim blanket…
Through the Lord’s mercy He never answered those questions directly. He patiently and faithfully SHOWED me, over time, what was really going on.
I blamed God for not sending me more clients and not “blessing” my business, when in fact He was not to blame.
Truth is, it was MY FAULT.
I’d been ignorant and didn’t educate myself in business, marketing and sales. A successful business doesn’t fall out of the sky for ANYONE.
Starting my business was one thing, but GROWING it forced me to start taking RESPONSIBILITY for my situation.
We all are dealt a hand of cards.
Are we going to spend our entire lives grumbling about our hand OR are we going to say: “Hmm, interesting. Let me humble myself and ask God what I should do next. Let’s be teachable and read a book on cards and interview and learn from some experts to see what a good move will be.”
I’ve had to GROW UP and MATURE in order for my business (and relationships) to grow and mature.
And for this I’m DEEPLY GRATEFUL. Maturing has meant throwing away and repenting from my victim blanket.
And you know what – I don’t miss that blanket AT ALL. In reality it just WEIGHED ME DOWN my whole life.
Maturing has brought freedom and joy.
6. My Home Bakery Eliminated the Need for Anxiety Meds
Back in 2012 I worked as an Architectural technologist for about 7 months and it was one of the most challenging times of my life. The work itself was totally fine, but the office environment was absolutely horrid.
You see, the Architecture industry is intense in its very nature. It’s kind of a given when millions are at stake. But this pressure unfortunately brings out the worst in people and my boss was no exception.
She was in a difficult position with starting her own company and securing great projects to sustain her new business.
The pressure she carried on her shoulders hung like a thick cloud in the office on a daily basis. Whenever something didn’t work out the way she wanted, she shouted; at herself, the printer, the phone – whatever wasn’t cooperating.
Fortunately she never shouted at ME, but every day I was petrified that she would. This is what caused my anxiety to rage out of control, keeping me lying awake every night, completely unable to sleep – for up to 3 nights in a row. And so I had to go on medication to help me cope.
I remember it so vividly; crying while swallowing my anti-depressants, thinking… “I’m only 24. Is this going to be my whole future?? I used to be happy and enjoy life. How did I get here?”
I was completely stuck. And I didn’t feel like I could go on like this for another 40 years. I was only at the 6 month mark now!
Looking back I realize it was my boss’s first experience having an employee so she didn’t necessarily know how to interact with me or how to be a good boss.
She was incredibly hard on herself and that completely dominated the office environment every day.
My negative first job experience as an Architectural technologist is not necessarily the rule for every architecture firm, but come on, it’s not exactly a low-stress job or industry. PLUS, I’m a softie! And that’s not “weak” or “bad”, but just different.
I basically had to choose:
High pressure job with secure income and meds, or low pressure job with more risk and without meds.
I chose the latter.
And it’s BAFFLING to me how the first option has become “normal”?
I decided to take the road less traveled – with less prestige and less security, BUT also with less (in fact NO) meds.
I had baked after hours to keep me sane while I was working in Architecture and like you, perhaps, I dreamed of baking at home…
Baking at my own pace, surrounded with beautiful aromas and the calm of home.
But I had NO training or any idea how to start a business or if anyone would even PAY for my goods!
But I gave it my all, educated myself through books and constant practice and my Home Bakery steadily grew into a full time Home Bakery Business (YES, I’m still baking).
And also a Home Bakery Blog so that I can support you in your Home Bakery goals!
I’m BEYOND GRATEFUL that I took this road.
And in the process I learned that WE HAVE THE CHOICE to remove ourselves from abusive situations… Be it work or relationships. We always have a choice – if we are open to it.
7. My Business has Connected me With Others in Unexpected Ways
Wow. This is a big one…
Most of my life I’ve felt misunderstood – it happens to so many creatives.
I didn’t (and couldn’t) follow the traditional path of studying and working my way up in a prestigious job.
So many family members and friends were really awkward about me baking from home. They thought I was “capable of so much more”.
My husband, late sister and cousins were always SUPER SUPPORTIVE!! And they mean the world to me.
And although they were always supportive and eager to help at Markets, Events, etc. – I wasn’t able to share my PASSION for home baking with anyone.
That is, until I finally started an Instagram account…
I never realized HOW MANY dear, amazing home bakers there are right around the world!
Connecting with all of you on Instagram has literally changed my life and I’m so grateful to now have friends who’s hearts are also made of butter.
And honestly – I never feel lonely or misunderstood anymore. And it’s all thanks to all my baking friends on Instagram! Love you guys!
8. Baking Lets Me Express My Creativity
Back when I was working as an Architectural Technologist, the only day I got excited was Thursdays because Thursdays it was “Cupcake Night”! I baked after work, late into the night and LOVED every second of it!!
MANY of my University friends that have remained in Architecture often express how the REALITY of working as an Architect is so much different than the IDEA we were presented with while we were studying.
In our studies we could go crazy with our creativity! But in the REAL world, it isn’t like that at all. Your creativity hardly ever gets expressed – especially when you’re starting out.
What’s also been awesome in this journey is that you get to be creative in MANY different areas, not just in your baking. This includes graphic design, website design and food photography!
All of them are so fun and definitely satisfy my need to be creative in my work.
I’m just SO THANKFUL that I have been in a work setup where I get to be as creative as I want to be. My Home Bakery Business is a platform for my creativity – what a blessing and JOY!
9. My Work Environment Smells INSANELY Amazing
There are so many creative careers out there, BUT there are very few that smell like Butter, Cinnamon, Chocolate, Berries, Caramel… Wow, let me stop and wipe the drool off my keyboard!
Geez we are SO LUCKY to do work that smells so incredible!! Smells are therapeutic man. Working in such an environment every day does something to your happiness.
I’m quite convinced that my bones smell like cinnamon rolls by now. And that’s why I have little dance parties while I bake J
10. My Skills & Experience have Grown Like CRAZY!
I was under the impression that I would just BAKE in my Baking Business and therefore only grow my BAKING skills. Wow – I was so naïve!
You see, what most bakers don’t realize about Starting a Home Bakery is that they are willingly stepping into the BUSINESS WORLD. We’re not just bakers anymore! When we don’t learn how to become GREAT businesswomen/men, we stunt the growth of our Home Bakeries.
So I have learned WAAAAYYYYYY MORE skills than I bargained for (once I stopped being stubborn and whiny and finally became TEACHABLE) – and I’m so grateful!!
I’ve learned all the following skills since I started my Home Bakery:
Social Media Strategy
And of course my Basking Skills have also grown massively!
When we don’t have money to employ pro’s to do all these things FOR us in our business, we inevitably need to LEARN how to do it ourselves! And I honestly see that as an INCREDIBLE opportunity!
Other businesses (outside the world of baking) started approaching me a while back to help with their Brand Strategy, Website Design and Marketing – SO RAD!
So yes, starting ANY Business is an opportunity to dive in and become excellent at a whole range of new and INCREDIBLY VALUABLE skills. I got way more than I bargained for and my skillset has grown way beyond anything I ever imagined was possible.
11. Starting My Business has Helped Me to Discover Who I REALLY am
I guess this one ties in a lot with point number 4 (My Baking Business has helped to heal my confidence).
When you start any business, whatever is going on inside you WILL come out.
So just as much as it is an uncomfortable process of growth, it’s also incredible to see all the AMAZING things that were was hiding inside you – often your entire life!
I’ve discovered that I can be confident in my baking abilities for what they really ARE – a talent from God that truly makes a difference in people’s lives and brings them joy.
In the process of embracing this talent, my desires to please people (instead of expressing my creativity) started to fall off me.
Slowly, but surely my own style started to emerge. Who knew I had a style?!? I still find it hilarious, but also awesome!
I discovered that I do actually have a voice… And that’s it’s a valuable and interesting voice. Yours is too. I’m 100% convinced of it.
Through being exposed to (and learning) so many different skills in growing my Baking Business, I’ve discovered many other hidden talents I never knew I had! And they are also part of me.
We all have so many hidden talents – many of which might never see the light of day – but starting a business has done the inevitable…
It has crushed me (in a GREAT way) and refined me so that everything that was false and oppressive could fall off me.
This gradually uncovered the TRUE Aurelia and I just feel so free, humbled, grateful and excited!
Starting a Home Bakery has Changed My Life.
If I had to do it all over again, I would.
Lamentations 3:23 -24: “Because of the LORD’s loving devotion we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!”
And that concludes my story 🙂 Feels good to have finally written it down!
If you have any fears or doubts about Starting a Home Bakery Business, I’d love to help. Share your thoughts below in the comments section.