HonestlyLucy – Hitting the Market?

baking, blog, career, childline, cookies, cooking, cupcakes, doughnuts, festivals, lifestyle, naughtiness, naughty recipes, nottingham, wellbeing

Recently I’ve been having a think about my career, and whether or not I’m on the path I want to be on. Not headache inducing at all, she says, words dripping with the thickest sarcasm known to man. The thing is I do enjoy my job. I like the team I work with and I’m pretty lucky to be given some quite cool opportunities. I’ve been working in my role for about 2 years and I like to think I’m pretty damn good at it. It’s taught me an awful lot about working in an office and at events, the importance of details and the art of juggling professionalism with a ‘quirky’ personality; and I’m really grateful for all of that. The thing is, as much as all of those statements are true, my job is largely an admin role, and it’s not really what I did my degree for. At uni I studied Psychology with English Literature, whilst volunteering as a counsellor at Childline and an assistant at The Stroke Association’s weekly group meetings; whilst also being a programme rep for both the Psychology department and the English department. It was hectic but I really, really loved it. I’m used to having a billion and one things to juggle, and right now I only have a couple, and it’s starting to make me itch. So it’s time for a new challenge.

The idea of selling the things I bake has been loitering around the jumble sale that is the back of my mind for months now. I’ve even got a food standards agency certificate for my kitchen to prove it – 5 stars I’ll have you know! I just haven’t known where to start. The closest I’ve ever got to studying business is watching The Apprentice, and I’m fairly confident that Sir Alan has no interest in my cookie topped brownies. I’ve had fleeting thoughts about maybe applying for a stall at Summer food festivals, which I’ve then shooed away. I’ve attended enough of those to know that they get busy as all hell, and I don’t know that I’m quite ready for that yet.

I’ve worked enough manically hectic Christmases in a discount store to know how to handle a queue of customers – I ain’t scared! The retail side of things I can solidly say, I have down – references upon request. It’s more the production I’m concerned about. How much of everything do I need to bake? Do I buy boxes to put customer’s stuff in, or are bags better? Do I need an adapter for my phone so I can take card payments? I have been knocking around good old planet Earth for long enough now to know that these are the kinds of questions that can only be answered with experience. I’ve also picked up and dropped enough hobbies to know that it’s all too easy to end up severely out of pocket with not a great deal to show for it if you move too fast, too soon. And hello, I’m a broke millennial, I ain’t got time for that!

When I first moved to Nottingham, Andy discovered a company called Phat Doughnuts (which swiftly changed to The Nottingham Doughnut Company after a few name related legal implications). Their premise was essentially: doughnuts on delivery. We ordered from them for my birthday one year and fell in love. In addition to the delivery service, they traded at local markets. That company eventually grew into a pretty massive business success story. Within about 18 months, they went from delivering doughnuts by hand, to running a hugely successful store and having several employees. These days I am 100% convinced that they are the sole reason I will never be a size 8. Seriously. If you’re ever in Nottingham you absolutely NEED to track them down and try one. Anyway, I find their story really inspiring. They really did start from nothing and build what has the potential to be an empire. Far be it for me to assume that every story will be as successful as theirs – this much I have learned from Sir Alan. But it certainly gives me food for thought – no pun intended. Ok, pun definitely intended.

So I had a think about the local markets they used to trade at, and paid a visit to the vegan version of Sneinton market which takes place on the first Saturday every month. I imagine the vegan market is a bit smaller than the regular market, but visiting helped me to realise that it’s not out of my reach. With all of that in mind, I’ve just submitted my application to trade there, which feels very bizarre. I’ll have to wait to hear back of course – maybe they have no use for yet another baked goods stand? But if they do, I shall be sure to blog about it.

 

 

Struggles

blog, career, food, Life, project

I’m struggling a bit at the minute. I seem to be stuck in this place of transition, but I’m not sure where/what I’m transitioning to. I find myself repeatedly struck with the thought that when I’m (hopefully) old and dying, I need to be able to confidently look back on my life and know that it wasn’t boring. I don’t know if there’s life after this one, so I want to make sure I make the most out of the existence I have right now. Carpe diem and all that.

Right now I feel like I’m not doing enough to inject excitement into my existence. I moved out of my parents house in April and I’ve been very cautiously finding my feet since then, not wanting to fuck it all up and find myself asking my parents for money for food two months into the journey. But it’s late July now and I feel like I’ve found my feet. I feel like I’ve found my feet, taken photographs of them from every angle, examined them for 18 hours a day and could teach a class on the structure and appearance of the sodding things. I think it might be time to lose my feet a little bit again.

This is why I’m starting a new project. Remember a few posts ago when I was talking about how much I wanted my foodie life to become more intertwined with my professional life? I want to try and lay some groundwork in that area. I know I’m not equipped to launch a business straight off the bat. I still don’t have enough know how or experience; and the last thing I want to do is naively sink a bunch of money into pro equipment, bulk ingredients, web design and a bunch of other overheads; when I really don’t have a clue. So I’m starting small, with a bit of ‘market research’. I’ve asked 3 of my closest friends to be taste testers for some of the treats I make on a semi regular basis. Once a month I’m going to send them a few different treats and ask them to evaluate how much they like them. I don’t know if this is exactly the right way to do it, but I assume that finding out what people enjoy isn’t a bad place to start.

This weekend is my first day of delivering goodies to people, so we’ll see what the initial collective verdict is. The plan for now, is to continue in this stage for about a year, and then see where I stand in terms of the products. I’m hoping that in that year, I’ll have picked up some skills from my professional life that I’ll be able to transfer when the time is right. I’ll probably talk a bit about the progression of the project here – because why not?

Aaaand if this project isn’t enough to help quench my thirst for excitement and learning, I guess I’ll just have to jump out of a plane or wrestle a gorilla or something.