Sweet taste of success

PETALING JAYA: The best part about being an entrepreneur, says co-founder of The Accidental Bakers Ee-Lyn Tan, is being able to wake up everyday knowing that she gets to do exactly what she loves – serving “mouthfuls of happiness” to people in the form of cakes and brownies.

“We are still very hands on in the production of our cakes and brownies and it is music to our ears when people enjoy our treats.

“The toughest part? Never being able to “switch off” or step away. We wear many hats simultaneously. Although we are bakers first, but we also take care of operations, finances, marketing, purchasing, business development and many other aspects of the business. Night or day, we are constantly tackling and handling the day to day operations. All this wouldn’t be possible if not for the teamwork between Hazwan (Yazit) and myself,” says Tan.

Tan and Hazwan quit their corporate jobs in 2014 to pursue their passion.

“As our name suggests, we were accidental bakers who’d bake after work or on weekends for family and friends. When our orders started increasing, we made the bold decision to give up our jobs and bake full time. It wasn’t an easy decision and the uncertainty of it all was very scary. But we pushed through and made sure we got enough orders to sustain ourselves,” shares Tan, formerly a journalist with The Star.

Today, The Accidental Bakers’ core business comprises cafe and wholesale supply of their desserts as well as making custom cakes and catering for events. They also operate the Brownie’s Bar, the only specialist brownies store in the country, located at Pavilion Elite and The Gardens.

“Our journey has been all trial and error and we wish we had more guidance, especially on money management as we expanded our business. Managing money is important … we initally thought we could handle business accounting and taxes ourselves but getting professional help has been very useful as it can get complicated.

“We have learnt so much and we are always happy to share our experiences with anybody who is interested,” says Tan.

Tan will be sharing the lessons she learnt in starting up The Accidental Business at the WOW! Fiesta on March 17 at the Starling Mall in Petaling Jaya. She will join other women entrepreneurs, the founders of social enterprise The Picha Project Tan and founder of fitness apparel brand Ash Be Nimble, Hui Matthews, in a panel session titled “What No One In Business Will Ever Tell You”.

The Wow! Fiesta, which will take place on March 16 and 17, is part of Star Media Group’s WOW–Women do Wonders campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Other sessions include a finance talk on March 16 by celebrity entrepreneur Chui Ling titled, “Unlocking Your Financial Power”, sponsored by Bursa Malaysia Bhd.

There will also be two health talks: Keeping Abreast of Breast Health by consultant breast and oncoplastic surgeon Dr Tan Gie Hooi and Screening Preconceptions and Beyond by Dr Jaspal Singh Sachdev, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, both from ParkCity Medical Centre.

The founders of fashion brand Mimpikita, sisters Nurul Afidah, Amirah Hanis, Fatimah Ani, and La Juiceria founder Anabelle Co-Martinent will also share their stories in the session, Living Life On Your Own Terms. Visitors attending the talks will be eligible for lucky draws.

The WOW! Fiesta will also feature more than 80 women entrepreneurs who will be selling a wide range of products from categories such as beauty, fashion, food, education, wealth and household appliances.

Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care and Bursa Malaysia Bhd are the sponsors of The Star’s WOW – Women do Wonders campaign. For details, go to http://Bit.ly/thestarwowfiesta.

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