PASSION FOR BAKING IGNITES BUSINESS
by NAZUIN ZULAIKHA BINTI KAMARULZAMAN
GOMBAK: From passion to bake turned to a blooming business. Final year architecture student from International Islamic University Malaysia and a baking enthusiast, Marsya Khairunnisa Kamarulzaman, 23, started her business, MarsxBakes, at 18 after finishing her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) in 2013.
“I love baking and I have a lot of free time on my hand. So it just started from then on.” While waiting for offers to continue her studies, Marsya started her baking business. She started by introducing her business to her family and close friends. “I also have a lot of leftovers from baking a lot, so I took orders to let my energy flow.” she continued.
Her family is one of her main supporters for her business. “My parents helped me in terms of finance when I was starting out.” Being a student who just finished school with no income, she had to start somewhere. After getting more orders from people and a lot of saving from the profit she made, she stopped relying on her parents for financial support. Her family’s encouragement and support made her continue doing business.
Marsya was also motivated by the positive feedbacks she received from her customers, when they enjoyed her baked goods. “I feel so content knowing people loved what I baked for them and came back for more.” she said excitedly. She started her business slowly, by approaching the people close to her and with their help and encouragement, her business grew and grew.
“Earlier I used Facebook to promote my business.I was a bit shy back then to use Instagram to promote my business because there were already top bakers and and my cakes were only simple cakes back then. But then when words started spreading about my cakes, good ones that is, amongst my friends and faculty members, I then opened up an Instagram account for MarsxBakes.” Marsya explained on how she promotes her business. She now mainly focuses promoting on MarsxBakes’ Instagram account although she still monitors her Facebook page.
Upon opening up a business and making sure it goes the direction you plan it to go, every business owner faced challenges in their business. Marsya had to deal with ‘fussy’ customers who want things to only be done in a certain way and also ridiculous requests. Like others in the food business, they all felt the impact when prices of fuel rise as the items they use to cook or bake also rise in price. “A block of butter back then when I started costs me around RM 6. Now, a block of butter costs me RM10.”
Marsya who is now a final year student, in her final semester, studying architecture, she stated that her business doesn’t affect her studies at all. She will only accept orders when she is on semester breaks or when she is not occupied with assignments of her own. “I do take orders when my classes are on but only if I am confident that I will be able to get my works done before completing cake orders. Plus, I am passionate in studying architecture and also baking.”
Marsya definitely encourages students who are thinking of starting their own business. The main things to keep in mind when starting a business according to her experience is to always be sure that your business is based on your passion so that you will love what you do and never get comfortable once you’ve reached your goal. “Life is a learning process, don’t stop learning and don’t stop gaining new knowledge. Always follow your instincts and never doubt your potential or self worth. Failures are a possible but you’ll learn to avoid those mistakes and learn from them.”
She’s planning on expanding her small business by putting her cakes for sale in cafes and restaurants. “Maybe I would open my own bakery or perhaps a book bakery or book cafe.” infusing both her love for books and her passion for baking in one idea. MarsxBakes has gotten a lot of attention from her university, from accepting a few simple cake orders to fancy wedding cakes, MarsxBakes together with it’s owner have definitely grown. “Never stop seeking experience, don’t be shy and just leave your influencer a message, whether they reply to you or not, at least you’ve tried.” she added positively.