Kim “Daisy” Nelson turned her family’s heirloom cake recipe into a million-dollar business. Her Pauline, S.C.-based bakery Daisy Cakes is known for its hand-sifted, made-from-scratch cakes, which are now shipped nationwide.
Find out how this entrepreneur and mom-of-three turned her bakery business into a source of some serious dough.
Q: Every great business idea starts with a spark of inspiration. What was your spark?
My spark was ignited when I decided that I no longer wanted to work for someone who wanted me to figure out a way to bake and ship cakes for her and her business. Since I am a wonderful cook and baker, and already had a great “work” kitchen that my daddy had built me to cater from and teach cooking classes in, the transition to the commercial bakery was a not such an ordeal.
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Q: What is the one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your business?
Because I’ve owned a catering business, cooking school and a couple of restaurants, I knew the amount of time and work that would be involved in starting a new business. I wish someone had told me to never let anyone other than immediate family become involved in the business. No one is going to do things the way you, the owner, is going to want things to be done. No one is going to run your business the way you want it to be run.
Q: How has parenting informed the way you run your business?
Sometimes parenting skills come into play when dealing with employees. You need to listen to all sides of an issue. You need to be as fair and impartial as possible. But in the end, the need for a firm decision to be made, that is clear and concise and enforceable, needs to be the main objective. After all, your business and livelihood depend on it.
Q: Are you sick and tired of people asking you how you balance being a mom and being a boss?
To me, balancing being a mom and being a boss puts entirely too much pressure on yourself. It’s trying to follow a blueprint of someone else’s idea of how you need to live your work and family life. This idea of balance will have you yelling at your kids and employees and pulling your hair out.
Owning your own business requires a huge time commitment to your business and a lot of time away from your family. But the rewards are huge when it comes to the quality time you get to spend with your family on vacations and long weekends. You will not take any of these moments for granted and will definitely make the most every minute.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you would give another mom who was starting her own business?
If you’re starting your own business, I hope you like roller coasters because starting your own business is exhausting but energizing, frustrating but fulfilling and about as stressful as anything you will ever do. Yet, in the end, we are all hoping for our journey to be successful.
You need drive, stamina and determination. You also need help and support from family and friends. You need someone in your corner to be your cheerleader, to help you figure things out. You need someone who wants to go on this ride with you. Starting your own business is not something you want to do alone. You want someone to celebrate your successes with and someone who will lend a shoulder to cry on when you need that too. Just make that crying thing limited to five minutes before you get back up, dust yourself off and show everyone, especially yourself, exactly what you’re made of.
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