Meet Lolade of the breathtaking Dainty Affairs Bakery & learn how to grow your business.

Meet Lolade of the breathtaking Dainty Affairs Bakery & learn how to grow your business.

Mrsceonaija (MCN): Today, we have Dainty Affairs Bakery in the house. When you see her cakes, you will agree they are breathtaking! Let us get to it! So, why the name Dainty Affairs?

Dainty Affairs bakery (DAB). I started off calling my self “ Sweet Peaches” after learning how to bake and decorate cakes as a Teenager. While at the University of Lagos where I got my BA {Hons} in English language, my mother enrolled me at Surprises, an Event decorating company to take Balloon & Floral decoration classes and on the final day of the training when she came to pick me up, she asked in excitement, “Now that you have added this to your skills what will you call your self?”. I had no clue what to say and she just said “Oh! how about Dainty Affairs? You bake and decorate cakes, you now arrange flowers and can decorate a hall, You know, you make cute things“. And that was it. I held on to that name since then and registered the name in 2001.Woodland wedding cake 4.jpg

The name must have been by divine inspiration.

MCN: Interesting. Before we talk more about your business, can we get an introduction. Who are you? How did you get into baking? How long have you done this? What are you most proud of at dainty affairs?

DAB: My name is Lolade Ogunjimi, married to Olusegun Ogunjimi and together we are blessed with 3 adorable children. I am a trained Cake Artist and Makeup Artist. My faith as a Christian, I must say is really is a major factor that has shaped my ideology. I love to create things with my hands, I love to do things properly & I really love to share this knowledge with anyone in my circle of influence especially teenagers and young mums who need direction and tutoring in this regard. I am also an “Encourager”.

-My mum, after my secondary school education enrolled me at a Cake baking and Decorating school.

-I have been baking and decorating cakes now for over 20years but as a profession, 9years.

  • It’s been really challenging and all my experiences and how I have overcome them and continue to overcome them have led me to where we are today, both as an individual and as a business owner.

MCN: Wow.. that is an intriguing bio and baking history. Can you please shed more light on what it takes to start cake business? What are the steps? Both on a small scale and a moderately large scale?

DAB:

-Training: You need to get trained by a professional baker and decorator and spend time to really learn and know the art.

Tools and Equipment: You need to buy quality tools and equipment that will make your work easier, faster and professional. Oven, Mixer, turn table, craft knives, baking pans, piping bags, the list goes on and on. We actually have a blog post where we have in detail what a start up bakery should have.

https://daintyaffairs.com/bakery/baking-and-decorating-tools/

-Cake Business Knowledge: It’s not enough for you to know how to make fancy and delicious cakes, knowing how to turn your passion into a profitable business is key. You have to set up processes that will give you sanity and fulfillment.

-Business name registration, branding, tax registration, food, health & safety rules, ordering & accounting system.

-You need to consider how and where you will purchase your ingredients, how it will be supplied and where it will be stored, your packaging, all the way to delivery.

-You need to consider how you will market your products. How you can get your family and friends to take your business seriously and most importantly how to get new clients and maintain old ones.

-You also need to consider your growth strategy.

MCN: I went through your Instagram page and every cake posted is distinct and extremely beautiful. What inspires your designs? And how do you advise SMEs to find their inner creative juices?

DAB:

Thank you. I am inspired by nature, how things look like in real life and I try my best to make edible creations that look realistic. I am inspired by excellence. My background as a floral & balloon decorator and my training as a professional makeup artist, play a major role in my artistic expression.

-SMEs can find their inner creative juices by reading books and articles that can inspire them. Google, go to Pinterest or have a look at websites that inspire you and give you a meaningful direction. Get the training you need to align your gift or passion in the right direction.

MCN: The cake industry is quite big in Nigeria. It is a highlight of every celebration- birthday, weddings, baby showers, naming ceremonies, promotions, TGIF.. name it! This has attracted a lot of entrepreneurs to this field. How do you differentiate your business inspite of the competition.

DAB: We’ve been able to differentiate our self by our unique brand. Dainty Affairs is a youthful and fun brand known for excellence. We have great customer service and have been able to create a strong social media presence that is knowledgeable, warm and friendly.

MCN: Running this business must have it’s own challenges. What are the biggest challenges in running a bakery business and how do you handle them?

DAB:

-I would have to say at Dainty Affairs bakery, finding our unique Identity as an Online cake store that makes and delivers freshly made and impeccable Home-made cakes and treats as well as getting the right staff to work with us was one of our main issues.

  • Power supply as well.

Solutions:

-We run as a “Virtual” Cake shop, not a “Walk-in” Cake shop. We make all the cakes from the Bakery but it is strictly a work location where my staff and I create all the edible creations you see, from Birthday Cakes to even Wedding Cakes. Our Clients don’t have to physically meet with us.

Once this was clear in my head, I took time to invest in an effective e-Commerce website, I learnt everything that made our uniqueness acceptable and reliable.

I took courses that strengthened my weak areas as a Cake Artist and a business owner, I took Photography classes to learn how to take good pictures of our work and I learned basically how to do regular Techy things like manage our website, make graphics on a phone or laptop.

-We partnered with professional logistic companies for efficient delivery services. I have an admin department that takes care of phone calls, emails and general office duties. These helps us run smarty and more efficiently.

-For staff, after searching endlessly for Professional cake bakers and decorators, Most Cake Artists in Nigeria will know what I mean. We started to employ and train staff from scratch by creating a template that trains our employees on the art of working and growing efficiently in a bakery.

-For power supply we have a Generator and Inverter.

So in general I would say, know your uniqueness, what part of Baking do you want to concentrate on for now at the stage you are in your life and baking career.

For example, a mum who has just had a baby or has toddlers may not take the work load of a someone who has a lot more freedom, more work space and more staff.

MCN: Specifically, how do you advise small businesses to create awareness for their brands/products.

DAB: Let your brand identity be clean, precise and consistent. Let people know you for what you do easily. Let your customer care be impeccable. Give people something they will remember you for. Let them have a pleasurable experience. Social media is important today, but I would say “word-of-mouth” is even better. Let people tell their friends and colleagues about their wonderful experiences.

-Learn how to use Social media and apps that will help you properly. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, photoapps etc . Run promos, do “giveaways”, think of things that have attracted you to particular brands and see how you can do the same for your brand.

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MCN: Please, can you share more information about how you built a strong social media presence. You have over 30,000 fans on Instagram alone.

DAB:

  • We post content that is properly taken and engaging. We call it “capture the true essence of your work”
  • We put up an average of 3 to 10 posts in a week
  • We do a lot of giveaways on our page
  • We post “How-to” videos of behind the scene at the bakery. How we make cakes and other edible creations
  • We respond to comments: appreciate and answer questions asked
  • We also go to other pages that we love what they do and like their work and comment on what they do as well.

MCN: Many graduates are getting more entrepreneurial by the day. How can they learn about cake baking? What is the fastest and most affordable approach you recommend? Do you also train people?

DAB: Fast??? Nothing good comes fast. Nothing at all. I started from scratch and worked my way up. After my initial training as a little girl just before University, I also interned at a bakery for almost a year after my University degree, I worked at a multinational, Virgin Atlantic Airways for 5 years as the Liaison Officer and a Corporate Client agent before I launched out on my own.

These unique experiences have a way of training and shaping you, building character and professionalism in you.

In my opinion I would say a fresh graduate should find a structured Bakery that aligns with their aspiration and dedicate time to learn and work with them for some time.

Yes we have Online and Hands-on training. Details are here. We also have Free Youtube videos tutorials as well.

www.daintyaffairs.com/bakery/trainings/

Wow! We are sure you have enjoyed every bit of this conversation. So please, share, drop a comment and most importantly, LOOK OUT for the concluding episode that covers how to get capital, how to handle delivery of goods, regulatory requirements and a lot more.

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