In an exclusive chat with SupportBiz, Purbasha tells us all about Sweet Nothings and entrepreneurship.
How long has Sweet Nothings been in operation?
As a brand, Sweet Nothings has been in operation for not very long. It was only in 2012 that I decided to go commercial with my baked goodies under the brand name of Sweet Nothings. Before that, I largely used to bake for my family and friends.
What were you doing prior to starting Sweet Nothings?
I have always been an architect, and I still hold a full-time job as an architect. Sweet Nothings is a side business of mine, fuelled by my love for baking.
How did Sweet Nothings come about?
I discovered baking about two years ago, and loved it immediately. It became a hobby for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed baking each cookie and cake that I made. Slowly and gradually, I began to bake goodies for friends and family at their request. Most of them found the cakes very professionally made, and suggested that I should start selling my products. I thought about it, and that is how Sweet Nothings was born, in 2012.
How do you balance your day job and Sweet Nothings?
I think that if you have a burning passion for something, you will do it, irrespective of the amount of energy and time you have to expend on it. The same is the case with me and baking. I love baking, and I like my present job as well. So, I thought of doing both side by side. Balancing both of these tasks has not been a problem for me so far.
What are your signature products?
I largely bake cupcakes and made-to-order cakes, that are highly personalised. I would say my chocolate cupcakes with chocolate fudge icing and chocolate cupcakes with coffee cream icing are my signature products.
What are your most popular products?
I think my cupcakes are the most popular.
Why did you choose Bangalore as your base of operations?
I was in New York for about five years, before which I had been in Bangalore. When I returned from New York and was ready to launch Sweet Nothings, Bangalore was a natural choice since it had become my hometown. Moreover, I have always felt that the people of Bangalore are more open to experimentation and visual art forms. Hence, the atmosphere of Bangalore was highly conducive to the kind of business that I had in mind.
Do you have a retail outlet where you stock your products?
No, at the moment, I do not have any retail outlets. I bake out of my home kitchen in Whitefield, Bangalore.
How big is your team, at the moment?
Presently, there is just me handling all the orders for Sweet Nothings. My family pitches in to help me whenever I am struggling with large orders.
What are your expansion plans in the near future?
I would definitely like to have a work space of my own, where I can bake without any constraints. In the long run, I would like to set up a boutique shop for my baked goodies. I do not want to set up a chain, since I am happy working with exclusive personalised products for my clients.
How do you get your clients? Do you indulge in advertising?
No, I do not do advertising of any sort, apart from the Sweet Nothings page on Facebook. Most of my clients come in through word-of-mouth referrals from friends, relatives and other satisfied clients.
How do you deal with competiton from other, similar businesses?
Honestly, I haven't had any problems with competition so far. I have never felt threatened by other bakers in the city. My products are unique and exclusive.
What are the major challenges that you face?
As I said earlier, I am the only person handling all the orders for Sweet Nothings. I do not have a retail outlet where I can stock my products. There is a limit to the amount of baking I can do out of my home kitchen, on my own. I would say that the lack of a retail outlet and the lack of a team are my biggest challenges at the moment.
What have been your proudest moments as an entrepreneur?
Each time I bake a personalised cake, and convert a client's fantasy into reality, I get to see a look of awe on their faces. Some of them hesitate to cut the cakes, as they are so pretty and are works of art in themselves. Some clients ask me to cut the cakes for them, as they are unable to do it themselves. Moments like these make me feel the most proud as an entrepreneur. They give me the satisfaction of a job well done.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
To an aspiring entrepreneur, I would like to say: 'Do what you love to do. Put in your all into it. Hard work and love definitely pays off, and your venture will take you places.'