I imagine that starting your own business is somewhat similar to being a first-time parent. Before the baby comes, you find yourself with hundreds of expectations and you daydream about how your life will be different – maybe even magically different – very soon. And then the baby arrives and it’s pretty much nothing like you anticipated. The challenges that crop up are things you didn’t even consider planning for and the ways in which it sucks and is awesome are surprising and new every single day. So it is with starting your own business, except there’s less crying – hopefully.
We’re all up in it. Bakin’ cakes, sweets and chocolate treats. We still haven’t officially opened yet. All that really means is that we haven’t had a moment in the last few weeks to take a deep breath and get our ducks in a straight enough row to begin encouraging orders from whomever wants a treat. (And it turns out everyone wants treats!) We have, however, been taking orders from anyone who asks to place one. I’m not actually sure how that’s any different than being officially open for business, but IT JUST IS, OKAY?
I was home in the Chicago ‘burbs (Crystal Lake, to be exact) this past weekend for my Aunt Lisa’s surprise 50th birthday party. It was great to be home – I always love hanging out with my mom and stepdad and slowing my pace down for a few days. They’ve done so much amazing work on the house I grew up in, it’s almost unrecognizable compared to how it looked when we moved in in 1989. Walls have been knocked down, rooms have been gutted – it’s now a great big comfy place.
While Faryn was back in New York making cakes and learning lessons, Kevin and I were in my mom’s kitchen baking ourselves crazy too. We spent hours and hours stirring, melting, icing, ruining, re-making, and taste-testing hundreds of sweets. We made a big party-assortment for my Aunt Lisa’s party, a special scandalous cake that’s too crass for me to detail on this blog and a bunch of sweets wrapped in their official packaging to share with my mom’s co-workers at the high school. (A handful of them read this blog. Hi everybody!)
Kevin was incredibly helpful, giving up lots of his vacation time to bake cookies, ice cakes, rearrange furniture and run errands. He actually has a real knack for baking (and rearranging furniture and running errands)! I was pleased with how well all the baking turned out and we’ve since gotten complimentary and constructive feedback from people, which is so important. I know hope that I will get better and quicker at making these sweets the more often I do it. And I cannot wait for that transformation to take place.
My Aunt Lisa’s surprise party was a huge success. She was completely shocked and so happy. Three of her four daughters live out of town and they all came home for the occasion, including the youngest who is currently studying abroad in Scotland! My uncle, my mom, my stepdad, my cousins, my grandparents and Lisa’s friends all did an incredible job of putting the whole event together: there was a delicious catered spread from Portillo’s, colorful party decor, a lot to drink and plenty of great conversation to go around. It was a crazy, loud, fun night that she will remember forever, I’m sure.
The rest of our time at home was spent relaxing, chatting with the family, eating and sleeping. I got very little exercise in, aside from an amazing hot yoga class my mom and I took together. (More on that tomorrow…) I also had some good conversations with my family about starting a business, including a really helpful talk with my stepdad, Tom, who has an innate understanding of this stuff. I plan to check in with him a lot along the way and I’ve already got some ideas brewing based on the facts and figures we discussed. Thank god Faryn and I have so many smart and generous people in our corner.
Kevin and I landed safely back in New York on Monday afternoon and I was as surprised as always that we didn’t die in a fiery plane crash. I’m chronically certain that every flight I take will be my last. I realize this is simply tempting death, but I can’t help myself. If death is planning to come find me mid-flight, I at least want him to know that I knew he was coming. So I rewrite the headlines in my head, “Young Woman With A Full Life Ahead Of Her Dies In Fiery Crash On Her Way To Visit Family / Attend a Wedding / Perform Sketch Comedy / Christmas.” Come on, like you don’t?
Anyway, here’s one last bit of news: My aunt’s friend and former co-worker really liked the Fanny & Jane spread at the surprise party so she placed an order with me for next week! Her daughter, Lisa E. Scott, wrote a book called “It’s All About Him” which is a self help book about “How to identify and avoid the narcissist male before you get hurt.” (The cover of the book is so cute and it looks like a fun and interesting read, so I’m going to order a copy.) The book is being officially released at a party in Chicago next Thursday and Fanny & Jane will be handling the desserts! We’re also making cakes and cake bites for a couple more parties here in New York, which means we’re looking at another very busy weekend…Yay!