18 Months to a Multi Six Figure Income

18 Months to a Multi Six Figure Income

In the spring of 2022, I finally decided to take the plunge and open my home bakery. I really knew nothing about business and nothing about making money outside of a traditional job.

All I knew was that I had recently left my traditional career and was determined to not return to a 9 to 5.

As I sit here today in 2024, I look back on that time with more wisdom and hindsight. I can now clearly see each distinct phase that I went through on my journey to financial stability via my small business. It wasn't zero to 100K. It was zero to $40, then $40 to $200, then $200 to $2000, etc., etc. Small, incremental income growth that kept building as I became more confident in myself as a businesswoman.

I've outlined each phase below in the hopes that it can serve as encouragement to anyone else who is where I was and might be questioning whether all of this is worth it. It is. Don't give up...if I can do this, you certainly can as well. 

Phase One: A New Home Bakery

Average Weekly Income: $0-$40

At this point, I was offering a ton on my menu, willing to make anything and everything and burning the candle at both ends.

I was desperate and happy to take any order that came my way which made it very difficult to be efficient or have any control over my schedule. 

By the end of the first month, I was confident in one thing...this was not going well and I even contemplated closing down.

Phase Two: A Tiny Bit of Success 

Average Weekly Income: $40-$100 

I decided to take 36 cake slices to a local community event.

I stood there awkwardly. But I did sell them and I finally felt just a bit of success.

I decided to continue to attend community events, even though it was WAY out of my comfort zone.

Phase Three: Go to Where the Customers Are

Average Weekly Income: $600-$900 

Around this time, something clicked in me and I realized I needed to go to where the customers were rather than wait for them to find me.

I signed up for my local farmer's market and attended twice per week for six months straight.

I took primarily cake slices and sourdough bread as well as brownies, cookies, etc.

THIS is when I began to earn a consistent weekly income and open my mind to the possibility that a home bakery COULD take me as far as I wanted it to.

FYI...I teach about all of this in my Farmer's Market Success Course if you are interested in attending a market.

As I write this today, I feel strongly that attending a market was the most pivotal moment in my business journey and one I will forever be grateful for. 

Phase Four: Working Smarter, Not Harder

Average Weekly Income: $800-$1200 

By fall of 2022, I was still attending the market twice per week and making a great income BUT I WAS TIRED.

And envious of the candle and t-shirt makers around me who hadn't spent 48 hours prior to the market baking their items.

I decided to replicate their business model in the form of what I like to call supplemental items. These were items that had a long shelf life or were non-perishable entirely and allowed me to have a fuller market booth without baking even more. 

Like the farmer's market experience, this phase in my journey was pivotal. My eyes had been opened to the concept of generating income beyond only baking.

Phase Five: Porch Pick-Up and Digital Products

Average Weekly Income: $400-$600 

During the holiday season of 2022, I began to really feel I was getting a grasp on being an entrepreneur.

My supplemental items had opened my eyes to the concept of working smarter, not harder and I began thinking about offering digital products. 

After careful consideration, I decided to shift to porch pick-up now that I had a stronger customer base.

This freed up some of my time that was typically spent at the market and I used that time to work on course creation as well as digital products that could help other bakers. 

Initially, my income went down rather than up while I shifted gears and my customer base adapted to my new process for purchasing my baked goods.

Phase Six: Semi-Passive Income

Average Weekly Income: $2000-$7000

By the end of February 2023, I had launched an online membership for bakers that included just four core courses.

In addition, I had two pick-up spots for my baked goods...porch pick-up via my home as well as a centralized location at a small business I was partnering with. 

At first, my membership plan provided just a small amount of extra income. 

Then it grew, and grew, and grew.

Phase Seven: Multiple Income Streams and a Cute Pink Bakery Cart

Average Weekly Income: a multi six-figure business

By summer of 2023, I had over 6,000 bakers who had enrolled in my membership program and I had launched a second membership, the Platinum Plan, focused on generating income beyond only baking. 

I also launched a cute pink bakery cart where I could sell my baked goods in a manner that was efficient for both me and my customers.

Around this same time, I decided to add a third income stream to my business in the form of bakery packaging.

Finding attractive and functional bakery packaging had been one of my own challenges as a baker and many other bakers were expressing the same.

In October of 2023, I launched my bakery packing line, Pink Design Co. This income stream combined with my home bakery and online community revenue propelled my overall income to multiple six figures.

Conclusion

As I write this, it's crazy to me that 18 months prior, I had stood at that community event table doubting whether a home bakery could provide a reliable income.

All of the twists and turns, the good and bad decisions, the successes and failures were all a part of the story and the learning.

I appreciate each one of them but I've also realized something very valuable...that none of this was part of a well thought out plan. 

At some point along the way, I just began to understand that I wasn't capable yet of creating a solid plan...I had to go EXPERIENCE entrepreneurship.

I had to be okay with not having everything figured out and commit to observing, analyzing, and adjusting as needed.

I encourage you to become a researcher and document your experience. Journal about it, jot down notes about it. Become an observer rather than a critic. Analyze aspects that are doing well versus not. Make changes and pivots.

And, most importantly, just take action. Make a decision about where you want to go and then take the action, and then the next, and then the next. Action always leads to wisdom and wisdom always leads to success. 

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10 comments

Thank you! I’m a pastry chef wanting to run away from the restaurant craziness and ready to do my own thing. I know very well hours involved in baking product etc. so your side-side gig gives me inspiration!💜

Cindy Sheptow

Thank you so very much for all that you do! I look forward to reading your instagram posts and being inspired. I am at the beginning stage of starting my home bakery business – your resources and your words of wisdom are amazing and greatly appreciated. Wishing you all the success in the world!

Michelle

Thank you for your inspiration, I was on the verge of giving up but you just gave me an idea on how to maximize my products

Phumelele Zondu

Thanks so much for your insights and inspiration! Can you recommend how to get around having a cart when you have a HOA? Thank you so much!

Nina

Thank you for being a blessing and sharing this information! I’m still working a full time 40 hour job so I’m hoping to start with something like your porch model and promote thru social media! You’ve given me courage and confidence to go ahead with my dream!

Donna B

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