Please also read below the fold for more about how this opportunity came about and what the implications will be for my own career and our marriage.
Some of these pursuits have proved more lucrative than others, but they’ve all demanded more time and energy from me than they’ve ever returned in monetary value. And while I’ve found them existentially fulfilling… well, let’s just say you can’t pay the rent with existential fulfillment. Nevertheless, I scraped by for a long time and managed to survive well enough in the city as a single 20-something.
We worked side-by-side for several months (she baking dishes, me washing them) and we were fast friends; before long we were dating. Seeing how existentially frustrated I was working at the coffee shop, she persuaded me to quit. She quit herself about a year later, during our engagement, with a dream to start a baking business of her own; but she took on a full-time nanny job so that she could begin planning and putting away some startup capital. Meanwhile, I took on another soul-crushing day job (this time in retail), along with some other odd jobs and even a well-paid temporary gig so that we could pay for the wedding. But we both grew frustrated during our first year of marriage as I floundered with some of the aforementioned creative pursuits.
As 2015 drew to a close, I insisted that things would get better, even as I finally refused to work any more day jobs such as those I'd acquiesced to in the past few years. I would focus instead on my art and I would seek out per-diem work, such as background acting or substitute teaching with the NYC Department of Education. Indeed, I stubbornly pursued my dreams while D'Lolly graciously continued to shoulder the financial burden for our family.
“2016 is our year!” I told her repeatedly. However naïve that mindset might be, I owned it. And as the year has proceeded, she's increasingly owned it as well.
For the first two months of 2016, D’Lolly had a baking order almost every week (though she’d been baking one-off orders like this in 2014 and 2015, they were never this consistent). Then she learned that another local coffee shop, Café Buunni, was seeking someone to provide wholesale baked goods on a daily basis. She jumped at the opportunity, even though she knew that she didn’t have the capacity to take on the job – she was still nannying full-time, after all, and where would she even bake such quantities? Basic google searches quickly revealed that no commercial kitchens were available anywhere near us. Nevertheless, she baked samples of a variety of recipes in our home kitchen and delivered to Buunni for their consideration.
Meanwhile, I quickly set to work, googling topics such as home baking business NYC (we’re now registered with the Department of Agriculture and Markets), wholesale pricing (we submitted our product and pricing lists about a week ago), and new business checklist (we’ve already checked off 12 of the first 17 items). I may not know anything about baking, but I knew that I could help D’Lolly with the administrative aspects of running her new venture. Plus I could help out by buying groceries, bookkeeping, managing the website and social media accounts, and – last but certainly not least – washing the dishes.
We can do this. 2016 is our year!
However, we do still have enormous needs going into this venture. D’Lolly will have to buy a countertop oven, new mixer, laptop computer, and lots more equipment, tools, and of course ingredients. I started an indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on D’Lolly’s behalf a couple weeks ago and we’ve already raised a significant amount; but we do still have a long way to go.
Please check out our campaign page and consider contributing to D’Lolly’s cause. There are lots of great perks on offer as well, which we hope will incentivize your investment in her business. But if making a financial contribution isn't in the cards for you, we'd also really appreciate any help in simply spreading the word on social media.
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And follow, like, mention, comment, etc on D'Lolly's twitter and facebook accounts @dlollybakes
Even as I take on the roles listed above, for D’Lolly’s Uptown Bakeshop, I’m also still writing songs, playing shows, auditioning for acting roles and bands, teaching music lessons... and as of this past Tuesday, I’m also officially working as a substitute teacher with the DOE! With my flexible schedule, working mostly from home, I now have the privilege to not only pursue and realize my own dreams, but I’m also doing all that I can, whatever it takes, to help D'Lolly realize hers as well.
Of course any help from our friends, family, fans and supporters would be greatly appreciated. You can help us to own 2016, and indeed our future, as we move into this new phase of our lives, careers, and marriage.