How can a mother make a career from home? Mother of two, Nazia Ali Sarfaraz who runs her own venture, Baking Express, from home shows us how.
Nazia believes a woman has the power to change the world. She can beautifully balance both her career and home. A woman can be a dutiful daughter, a responsible woman, a loving wife and a successful entrepreneur all at the same time.
“I am optimistic, creative, and hardworking — these three words describe me best. I am a mother of two ‘little munchkins’ aged four and one. Baking Express, my new business venture of homemade customized cakes and cupcakes in Bangalore is my new-found dream and passion.
Since Nazia was a meritorious and studious child, it is impossible for people in her life to believe that she would venture into something so different. “This is totally the opposite of what I am and what I did. My parents still can’t believe that I am doing this especially since I dreaded cooking. I think God had different plans for me,” she says.
Nazia has studied in various schools in different parts of India like Notre Dame Academy, Patna, Sri Shikshayatan School, Kolkata, and St Vincent Convent, Balasore. She did her graduation and Post-Graduation in Microbiology from Garden City College, Bangalore.
“In 2006, I got married to a software engineer. I was working as a Medical Coder till 2009 in Bangalore, but after two kids, a full time job became a distant dream for me,” she says. She further adds, “Motherhood was taking most of my time. I wanted to do something for myself too. When I saw one of my friends bake a cake for her son I was bitten by the baking bug. I too wanted to do one for my daughter. I had never imagined that just this small new-found passion for baking would lead to starting up of Baking Express.”
Her biggest challenge has been to find a way to balance her family’s responsibility and her dreams. She says, “I try to give time to my relationships too. Yes it is difficult at times but then they understand.”
Her greatest source of strength is her firm belief in Allah and his plans. “I am quite a spiritual person and believe that whatever God decides for us it is always good,” she adds. Love, support, encouragement and appreciation from her family and friends made her believe that she could take up this challenge.
“My parent’s blessings and my hubby’s support has been a constant source of energy pushing me to move forward with my dreams. My father and my husband are my strongest pillars of support,” says Nazia.
She further adds, “To some extent I also owe all this to my sweet baby sitter who takes care of my kids when I am busy baking.”
She says about Baking Express, “As a startup from home it is going quite well. Initially, it was word of mouth that brought me orders. Later, I officially launched my startup on 15th January 2014 through my page www.facebook.com/bakingexpress. I get almost 3-4 orders per week. Sometimes, I am unable to take up more orders due to some other commitments. The time invested every week varies upon the orders I get. It is dependent upon the designs I have to make.” She usually promotes her business through her page, and exhibits her products at various events. “Startups like these do need good investment. Yes I have burnt my hubby’s pocket to start this venture,” says Nazia.
She got started with no formal training in baking. “I would surf the Internet searching and trying out different recipes. This helped me start this venture. I also made a few friends online who are into baking and they helped a lot with feedback and suggestions. I did attend a small workshop on basics of fondant decoration.”
Baking is an art. You create a visual and mouthwatering treat. Nazia says, “More than money it gives me immense satisfaction to make someone happy and make an occasion special for them. Directly or indirectly, I feel part of their celebrations.”
She has done cakes for some big names too. Fashion Brand Identiti’s Commercial Street store anniversary, NVT quality Lifestyle Group and for a reunion and founder’s day at the Garden City College, Bangalore.
In her free time she tries to relax by playing with her kids and uses the time to give her full attention to them. She catches up on sleep and searches for more recipes on Google.
She sees a future for home bakers. Nazia believes, “If one has passion for baking, then this is one venture where you can balance your family life and your career too.”
Few years down the line she plans to enroll for some professional baking courses and cake decoration workshops. “Maybe one day I will start my own workshop/or baking studio. In this vast ocean of the baking world with so many talented bakers around I am still a tiny drop. I have a long way to go,” says Nazia.
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