We had the good fortune of connecting with AJ DeDiego and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi AJ, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Originality and authenticity definitely matter most to me. These are two things that have carried me from starting my brand to where I am today with merchandise and a more successful social media presence. Something I have been told from the beginning is that you can tell I genuinely enjoy what I do and it comes across in my content. When you are watching someone online and feel like their content is forced and unoriginal, it makes you less excited to be spending your time on that and you’re more likely to click on something else. For me, I always wanted to make sure my audience knew this is what I’m passionate about and that they are learning from someone who is very happy to be teaching them something new.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider baking as a form of art. You are creating something from nothing and it involves many steps and processes to achieve the best result. I am most proud of my progress I’ve made with developing my own recipes and creating desserts that are terrific but still easy enough for others to try at home. My process of recipe development not only involves baking, but it involves filming, editing, photography and writing, all of which I have grown passionate about in my journey over the last 5 years. Learning how to produce videos and pictures that could compete with the other professionals online was definitely my bits obstacle as all of this was self taught and took time to get the hang of. There were many times I felt discouraged because I would put so much work into a recipe and it either wouldn’t turn out, or the video was messed up, or I just couldn’t get a good picture. I always have to remember my end goals to get me through the tough days, and I tell myself that my end goals don’t seem so far out of reach anymore.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Food is always my number one. If you visit a city and eat something truly delicious, you’re going to remember it. That’s how I am when I travel, so anytime I have friends in town, I like to take them to the places I enjoy eating. I would make sure they’d experience a variety of food at the best places possible so they can leave having so many delicious things to remember. In terms of activity, I love to spend time outside. Hiking is a favorite pastime of mine and there are a few great places to do it in my area. I enjoy taking friends on leisurely hikes so they can enjoy a good view and spend some time in nature, because I believe that is the ultimate therapy and method of healing, even if you don’t need it. It’s always good for the soul.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to shoutout my mom. She has provided the ultimate support and encouragement for my journey with baking as long as I can remember. She is a baker herself and has never failed to show me how proud she is of me and the effort I put in to share my passion with the world.

Website: www.bakeitwithaj.com

Instagram: bakeitwithaj

Youtube: Bake it with AJ

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