I do hope you all are having a fun holiday season. I am rather busy these two weeks but surely enjoying it very much.
In the midst of all that chaos happening with Christmas and cake orders I was also interviewed by this very lovely Indian Magazine called Smart Indian Women.
It's a magazine of women, by the women and for the women. You get to read success stories of many mostly Indian women not just in India but everywhere in the world.
It's rather nice to read how a woman started off with her business, what inspired her and what helps her move forward. Believe it or not most women have similar inspirations, issues, challenges and yet very different outcomes. Mostly dependent on our vision, beliefs and circumstances.
If you would like to read the interview on the website here is the link - An interview with Veena - Fonder of Veena's Art of Cakes
If you would rather read it here or for those who are unable to open the link for some reason here is the interview..
Hi Veena, thanks for taking the time to chat with SIW. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
Veena: Thank you for taking the time to interview me and giving me the opportunity to be on SIW. My name is Veena Azmanov. I’m a wife to a wonderful kind man and mother of two beautiful kids; age 4 and 6. Cooking and baking have been a hobby for me all my life. I worked for Singapore Airlines as a flight attendant for 10 years during which time I did my degree in marketing and an MBA with the hope of becoming a marketing executive. However, I made my first fondant decorated cake for my daughters first birthday and fell in love with cake decorating. My passion for it led me to learn and practice a lot and few months later I decided I wanted to do this as a profession. Through word of mouth soon I found myself getting orders and making cakes on a regular basis. I loved every moment and have never looked back since then. I truly enjoy making cakes and watching the expression on people faces, first when they see my work and then again when they taste it. Just makes me happy that I can be a part of people’s special moments thru my cakes. Here’s a quote by Steve Jobs that I would like to quote – “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” (Steve Jobs)
What inspired you to start ‘Veena’s Art of Cakes’?
Veena: My passion is cake decorating. Veena’s Art of cakes is
not just about cake it’s about creating unforgettable moments in
people’s lives. It’s the whole experience – the excitement of the person
who orders the cake, the thrill and happiness of the person that
receives the cake. And I feel privilege in making it all happen.
Any challenges you face in this profession?
Veena: Starting a new business is always full of challenges
you need to overcome; cake decorating is no exception. The unique
challenges that I encountered were – how to distinguish my cakes from
the many other cake decorators out there. I needed to create a unique
value for my customers that no one else provides.
Starting a business in a small country where cake decorating is not very
well known and valued was also a unique challenge I encountered. I had
to find the right customer base that values decorative cakes and is
willing to spend for it. I also focused on creating a large following
of fans overseas.
What are your plans for the future?
Veena: I hope to be able to continue making my cakes; at the
same time would love to continue sharing my knowledge with other cake
decorators so I can help them pursue their passion.
How do you manage Professional and Personal life?
Veena: Professional and personal life balance is a myth. The
reality is that you have to decide what your priorities are and be
comfortable with that. Allocate your time appropriately to things that
matter most to you.
My priority is my kids and so I work from home instead of a shop and
take only that much work that would give me enough time to give my kids
the attention they deserve.
What are your favorite books that you recommend SIW Family?
Veena: I found these two books very inspirational and helpful to me.
‘Seven habits of highly effective people’ by Dr. Stephen Covey is a great book.
‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho
What do you think are the keys to professional and business success for women in India?
First – discover what is your passion, what is it that will give you
satisfaction and a feeling about you are doing something meaningful in
Second – get the support and encouragement of your family.
Third – recognize that your options are limitless and you can pursue
your dreams and not necessarily worry about what society thinks you
should or should not do.
What advice would you give to young women readers of SIW who are thinking about going into business? How they can start?
Veena: Find your true passion and what would make you proud of
yourself and feel like you are making a difference in the world. Based
on that you can decide what and how to achieve that. Here’s a quote by
From Steve Jobs, I like very much -
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s
life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of
other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown
out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want
to become. Everything else is secondary.” (Steve Jobs)
These six cakes included in the interview..
I do hope you enjoyed reading my interview. Feel free to let me know what you think.