So it’s been a little while I catered to the 3, 2, 1 Series category of the blog *sigh* It’s not because I misplaced the list of people I need to interview, it’s just because…..because…
I’m back to it anyway (thank you for always coming back with me), and I’m introducing a twist to it I’m very excited about! While the 3, 2, 1 Series focuses on interviews for their sake alone, the thrust of this new sub category will be young entrepreneurs! Called, ‘The Entrepreneur’, we’re kicking off with a very beautiful, talented young lady whose story is not only an inspiration, but I have literally ‘tasted and known’ that she’s absolutely amazing!
Say hello to our pioneer Entrepreneur, MISS FAIZAH!
D Fairy GodSister: Let’s start with, who is Faizah?
FAIZAH: Well Faizah is baker, and a very happy one at that!
D Fairy GodSister: Has she always been a baker?
FAIZAH: Ironically I started out wanting to be an architect but I wasn’t able to complete my studies abroad because of cash so I moved back to Nigeria and stayed home for a few years before finally entering the business administration department of the University of Abuja. You know Nigeria, apply for one thing, and get another; I just took it because it was better than sitting at home.
D Fairy GodSister: True
FAIZAH: Good thing is I was done in three years thanks to direct entry. And then there was NYSC after that…Which cemented the thought in my mind of never working for anyone because it’s just too hectic and a drag!
D Fairy GodSister: When did you graduate? And when did you make the switch from business administration to ‘managing’ cakes?
FAIZAH: 2009. I’ve always had a passion for it, just decided to take the leap last year. Especially since I didn’t see myself working in an office and I’ve always been very independent so it was a no brainer for me.
D Fairy GodSister: So effectively you’ve been baking for three years?
FAIZAH: Longer even, but I only turned it into an actual business last year.
D Fairy GodSister: Who was your first client? Their first order? Were you nervous?
FAIZAH: Mostly family and friends when I started but the first non-family order was for a birthday cake. I was pretty cool about it; it’s the feedback I was anxious about. Thankfully they loved it!!
D Fairy GodSister: Yay!!
D Fairy GodSister: What’s the biggest order you’ve taken?
FAIZAH: A wedding order for a dessert stand for 400 people. I had to make a tower of cupcakes, cheesecake and crumbles!
D Fairy GodSister: Oh wow! Why didn’t you call me to help? And I totally love cheese cake!
D Fairy GodSister: Speaking of which, the icing you use on your cakes is very different. Tell us about it?
FAIZAH: I use cream cheese instead of the regular butter cream icing. It’s less sugary, and very creamy. My cakes are also made with less sugar; that’s what makes them different… I figured I might as well try to make them a less guilty pleasure you know, and most of my customers’ mothers love me especially for that!
D Fairy GodSister: Lol!! My mom loved the cupcake I gave her!
FAIZAH: You see!
D Fairy GodSister: On guilty pleasures, how do you not eat the cakes when you’re baking? Cos I remember when I was younger and my mom would make chinchin and we’d end up eating most of the dough!
FAIZAH: Lol! I try my best. Sometimes I have to taste them for “research” lol, but I try to eat in moderation. Besides my family like to stand in as my guinea pigs…
D Fairy GodSister: Ha ha ha, bless them! Have you had any formal training for this business?
FAIZAH: Nope, I just watch a lot of videos online and I’m a BBC Food/Food Network junkie
D Fairy GodSister: Ok… Do you make only cakes? Or are you an ‘any-kind-of-pastry’ lady?
FAIZAH: I also make cheesecake and crumbles. And cinnamon rolls too!
D Fairy GodSister: I love cinnamon rolls!
FAIZAH: Cookies and brownies as well but most of my orders are for cakes. I used to have a special on Tuesdays before but orders weren’t much so I had to scrap it. Pastry Tuesdays…..you could get a box with two cinnamon rolls, two slices of crumbles and two slices of cheesecake for three thousand naira.
D Fairy GodSister: Wow!! I should stay away from you Faizah!! I’m never going to lose weight….
D Fairy GodSister: What has the biggest challenge for you as a baker been?
FAIZAH: Shortage of ingredients sometimes…sometimes there’s a cream cheese scarcity. Then there’s PHCN as always, and sometimes difficult customers. I’m lucky though because I usually get good ones.
D Fairy GodSister: What’s a regular day for you like?
FAIZAH: Well my day starts from the night before (lol); I start baking orders from midnight, get into bed between 3-5 am, wake up at 9/10am to frost and decorate the cakes. Depending on the orders I can be busy till 4pm…then I rush to the market/supermarket if necessary…finally wind down if I can from 7pm watching TV or hanging out with friends or family, then repeat the routine @ midnight.
D Fairy GodSister: Wow. Must be pretty rewarding for you to keep doing that; didn’t see any slot for a ‘special one’ though. Is there a ‘special one’?
FAIZAH: He he. Yes there is, he lives in Lagos but comes to visit occasionally
D Fairy GodSister: Awwwww!!! Where do you see Faie’s Pastries by 2015?
FAIZAH: Hopefully having a few cafes in four major cities, where I can tend to customers sweet treats need
D Fairy GodSister: Looking back now, would you have been this fulfilled as an architect?
FAIZAH: I doubt it…dated an architect for 6 years, I think that got me over the whole dream lol!!
D Fairy GodSister: Ha ha ha!!
FAIZAH: This is a lot of work, but it is the one that brings me joy
D Fairy GodSister: Final question babe; what does Faizah mean? And a little obvious but where did Faie come from?
FAIZAH: Well Faizah is Arabic for “victorious one”, and Faie is one of my dad’s nicknames for me. My customer’s nickname for me is ‘The Cupcake Fairy’. I initial broadcasts with it. And sometimes I have to remind them that I’m the cupcake fairy, not cupcake ‘winch’
D Fairy GodSister: Lol!! Thank you so much for a lovely interview babe…..
FAIZAH: The pleasure was mine!
Want to get in touch with Faizah? 08160355320, or add her on BB, 21AB1A43. Thank me later!
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