"I began playing soccer at the age of six, and so I spent majority of my childhood and teenage years balancing athletic and academic responsibilities. My experiences as a student-athlete at York have made my University experience something special and the years that I will cherish most after completing my degree. I always want to have pride in what I do, and how I perform, whether it’s athletics, academics, or even my small business. I know I won’t be an athlete forever, but I will carry over the traits I have acquired as a student-athlete into my small business and whatever else I find myself doing in the future.
Since the onset of the first lockdown, I have been out of work. Having to spend all of my time at home gave me the creative freedom to start experimenting in the kitchen. I don’t have any baking or pastry experience and everything I've learned has been through trial and error and watching tutorials online. I really only intended on baking for family and friends, but the reception that I received from them pushed me to establish Knead It Baked over the winter break.
I do my own social media marketing, planning, strategy, customer service, you name it. I launched my small home-based business after New Year's, and I was contacted by writers from TasteToronto and BlogTO and that’s when everything skyrocketed. On January 9th–the day the BlogTO article was posted, I received over 50 orders from people eager to try my baked goods. It was definitely a lot to take in at first. I was just about to head into my first week of the winter term, and suddenly I had to fulfill 50+ orders which would all be baked from my small kitchen! I am blessed to have such supportive parents and a sister who continue to help me with the process. My mom and sister help me with baking and packaging, while my dad handles the deliveries. Knead It Baked has become a part of me. As a small business owner, you are your brand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected small businesses all over the world. Now more than ever, local businesses need our help. I’ve placed it upon myself to buy Black and shop Black-owned businesses when I can. I think it’s extremely important to show love to people within the community. Buying from Black-owned businesses in Toronto is one way people across the city can help support and celebrate Black members of the community. Meaningful change needs to happen on a global scale, but we can start locally as conversations of systemic racism continue with the hopes of improving racial and social justice. This is a time to reaffirm and strengthen our communities and neighbourhoods."