Interviews · Small Business

Chelles Bakery

Good Morning Readers!

Today’s article is about Chelles Bakery, LLC a home based start up out of Winter Garden, FL.

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This is run by business owner Darimar M. Velazquez, a self-taught baker and cake decorator.  She specializes in Gluten-Free French Macarons and much more.

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I found out about this business through the Chelles Bakery Instagram page. She has such a variety of different macarons that all look incredible.

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When asked what made her chose this product Darimar responded, “The first time I tried a macaron was at the Bouchon Bakery in Rockefeller Plaza, NY. I became obsessed. I was fascinated by the range of colors and flavors that I instantly knew I had to make this treat. I researched a lot, read a lot, tasted a lot, and even threw a lot of macarons in the bin just to get them right. I chose this product because it has taught me one very important and valuable lesson: to not give up.”

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The decorating component of the business came about after Darimar’s sister-in-law used fondant for a cake for her daughter’s birthday. This experience propelled Darimar on her quest to learn everything she could about cake decorating through Google and YouTube. She became obsessed to learn how to create.

She then gained experience through small time bakeries and just trial and error. After some time, she knew it was time to take the risk and start her own journey. Originally selling her creations through word of mouth orders though her friends and family, she said that she would carry her phone everywhere and show pictures to anyone who was interested pictures of things she had created. Eventually, she made a Facebook and Instagram pages to market her delectable works of art.

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She says, “I knew I had to find a niche to be able to stand out from the crowd. That’s when I remembered how much joy I got from eating my very first macaron. I wanted to bring that same joy to others. I soon got to work on these delicate, little pastries that are notorious for enticing the hearts of people and drawing tears to those who want to perfect them. I started selling my macarons on December 2017 at the Winter Garden Farmer’s Market. It’s only been six months into the business but being at the market has brought me so much exposure. Since opening I have been commissioned to three weddings, Sweet 16th parties, and much more.”

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“Becoming an entrepreneur has enhanced my life completely. It has provided me with a new perspective. You begin to think as a business owner (which makes you feel pretty special, by the way).”

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When asked if there have been any challenges she replied, “I wear many hats. From being a stay-home mom of two young girls to running all aspects of the business by myself it’s easy to see that time-management might be one of the biggest challenges I face. What I have learned is to delegate. I consistently ask myself, ‘Is what I’m doing right now the absolute best use of my time?'”

Her tips for others to start their own business are to work hard and find your niche “Do work you care about and truly believe in. This type of business is very saturated and competitive, but it can also be very fun and rewarding.”

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Thank you so much Darimar for taking the time to share your story!

If you would like to learn more about Chelles Bakery, please visit the links below.

Instagram

Facebook Page

Pinterest Page

Due to the extreme heat in Central Florida she will be returning to the Winter Garden Farmer’s Market by the end of September or beginning of October. Follow her social media links to learn more about this and when she will be starting to sell her amazing treats online. While these will not be able to be mailed, she will be able to provide either pick up or delivery within Central Florida.

Thank you all for reading! Have an amazing day and remember to be uniquely you!

All pictures are graciously sent by Darimar M Velazquez and Chelles Bakery and are not my own.

Interviews · Small Business

Italian Hills

Hey guys! Today my article is about Italian Hills, a dairy importer and specialty cheese producer originally from Sardinia, Italy.Italian Hills 6This family has been in the business of dairy production for over 100 years. After starting in Sardinia, they recently expanded the business to the United States.Italian hills 5In their own words “Our story starts at the beginning of 1900 in Sardinia, an Island in the Mediterranean Sea (Italy). My grandparents were farmers. They had a farm where they bred livestock, mainly sheep, goats and cows. They also grew vegetables. In the farm there was a small room where the fresh milk was transformed into fresh cheese. When we were children, we used to help our parents. Before going to school, we took the goats and sheep to the pasture and when we came back we helped prepare the fresh cheese. It was lovely, because everything was so natural and fresh, the air in the fields, and the scent of the freshly made cheese that we made with our little hands.”Italian HIlls 4Italian Hills 3Now, they bring their passion and skills to our community through their small creamery in Orlando, Florida. “My life has changed and improved in so many ways coming to the USA. It has helped me be a stronger person.”Italian Hills 2Coming to America has not been without its share of challenges. Some of the challenges include the language and business practices here. For aspiring entrepreneurs, they offer this suggestion: research not only your product, but how to manage a business.  Learn about the process of doing business in wherever you are expanding because not all rules and regulations are the same.Italian hills 1Ultimately, this family business wants to share their passions with new communities and expand their reach. “The experiences we have with nature, sheep and goats was great it helped us make the best product in Sardinia, so we want to share our tradition in other countries, starting with the United States.”

Thank you so much Italian Hills for sharing your story, beautiful pictures, and your expertise. If you would like to learn more I have the link to their website and Instagram pages below.

www.italianhills.org

Instagram: italian_hills

Thank you for reading! It is my hope to publish more articles on a consistent basis. I appreciate your support! If you know of any small businesses in Central Florida that would like to be featured on this site, please contact me.

As always, thank you for supporting small businesses and have an amazing day!-Amy

Interviews · Small Business

Natural Beauty: Wildflower Beauty by Jessica

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Hello!

This week, I am writing about Wildflower Beauty by Jessica, a small business located in Winter Garden, Florida. A local shop that differentiates itself by creating natural, handmade bath, body, and skin products. They hand-make all their products so they know exactly what goes into them. As Jessica herself says, “What really makes us unique is that our products truly are 100% natural. Most ‘natural’ products aren’t 100% natural… there are still fragrances, preservatives, etc.  A product doesn’t have to be 100% natural to be called natural, but we really are.”

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A Personal Commitment

Wildflower Beauty was started by Jessica as an answer to a personal need. As one who has sensitivities and allergies herself, Jessica would spend a lot of money on products that claimed to be natural but, with further research, she realized that these products still had harsh chemicals in them.

Jessica then started making products for herself so that she would know exactly what they contained. She said, “I came to find that other people had this need as well, and only a few months later Wildflower Beauty by Jessica was born.” This came with a promise to their customers to never use harsh chemicals or preservatives, only natural and organic ingredients.

Jessica now gets to be creative with her products and fill a need. She does this by listening to her customers and evolving her product, all while never compromising on the mission of the company.  As with any business, Jessica hopes that her business continues to grow, but she never wants to sacrifice quality to do so. “The most important thing is to have a positive impact around us.”

This positive impact can be seen through their partnerships with other local businesses as well as through their generous donations to local organizations.

One noteworthy example is her partnership with Axum Coffee, a local coffee shop. Jessica uses their coffee in certain products, and Axum Coffee sells her products at their Winter Garden location. “By partnering with others in our community, like Axum for example, we are keeping the purchasing as local as possible and supporting Winter Garden in a financial way too.  Every little bit helps and we are always trying to find opportunities to partner up with local businesses.”

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Jessica’s story is an awesome example of the commitment it takes to become an entrepreneur. She saw a need in her community and is doing her part to fill it.

What started out as a hobby turned into a full-time job and, as is often the case, this comes with benefits as well as some challenges along the way.

“It took me almost 3 years to quit my very amazing full-time job as a project manager at a college… with wonderful benefits, hours and salary.  I gave that all up though to be genuinely happy, but it was a challenge and a scary jump I had to make.  It’s also very hard to not only run the business just like other business owners, but personally MAKE my inventory as well. Plus, with a 9-month-old baby, my hours are maxed out.  Trying to balance being a mom and the business is tough, but I did it exactly for that reason – to be able to have a family and be at home.”

Now she gets to do what she loves for a living. She also now has the ability to be active and involved with her family and the community around her. “It has been my life-long dream to own my own business, and I finally have that and all of the perks that come with it.  Even those nights of working til 3am is worth it to me.”

Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

“The biggest thing is commitment.  It is all or nothing, and if you aren’t 100% in then it will be much harder.  You also must be willing to grow, take feedback and possible criticism without taking it personally.  Anyone that is willing to give you feedback is actually helping you, and listening to those around you when it comes to feedback is important.”

She also advises that aspiring entrepreneurs will need to learn more than just their craft. There are many aspects to running a business that require time and patience. For Jessica, this was taxes and bookkeeping. “I am a creative person and learning about all of the licenses, taxes and things to file was a lot of learning.”

Through all of this, Jessica really embodies what it means to be an entrepreneur. She saw a need, learned how to make a product better, and partnered with the community to make her brand truly unique. Her own words say it best: “We really are different than the rest! Just read our ingredients.”

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Thank you so much Jessica for your time and willingness to share your story!
If you would like to follow Jessica, her social media accounts are listed below.

Wildflower Beauty Instagram

Wildflower Beauty Facebook Page

Be sure to check out her site to find natural products that can be beneficial for you, too! Treat yourself to an all-natural spa day with her spa collection. Also, in mid-March she will be re-releasing donkey milk soap, a very rare product with incredible natural properties for your skin including natural retinol. Jessica partners with a local farmer who supplies the milk, ensuring freshness and it is exclusive to her shop in the area.

Previously this amazing product sold out online in only ten days! Follow Jessica to find out when this anti-aging gem will be released and shop her online store in the link below!

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Link to Shop
You can also visit her shop in person at: 100 W Plant Street, Winter Garden Florida 34787

Thank you, everyone, for reading!

Remember to shop local and stay beautiful.

Have an amazing day!

-Amy

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All photos are graciously taken from the Wildflower Beauty Instagram page or from Jessica’s online shop.