We had the good fortune of connecting with Daneisha Simon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daneisha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Family means everything to me, so my biggest focus behind starting my business was obtaining the ability to make my own schedule. I am a mom to 4 beautiful boys and I love participating in their school and sport activities. It’s always felt uncomfortable “asking for permission” to watch my children grow and mature, and I knew I needed to take control of that aspect of my life, if not anything else.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Pastry Addict is my lovechild lol it’s the thing that drives me insane, yet also keeps me sane and humble. I birthed Pastry Addict in 2015 while trying to escape the regular employment world. I had gone through about 10 jobs that year (embarrassing, I know). My sister asked me something one day that honestly changed it all- if we put all your jobs on your resume, what would that say about you? The first thing that came to my mind was that I don’t want to work for someone else. While I liked some of my jobs, I hated leaving my family. I hated asking for permission to participate in my children’s activities. I hated asking someone else for permission to live my life. Once I had that figured out, I immediately knew I wanted to turn my hobby into a business. I’ve always had a thing for culinary in general, but the design and artistry that comes with desserts is unmatched. This is what I wanted to be my bread and butter. It wasn’t easy building my business to where it is today, though. I’ve definitely had my fair share of mishaps, disappointed clients, cake disasters, all of the above. There have been plenty of times when I’ve wanted to quit and settle with a regular 9-5, but the thing that keeps me going is the same thing that got me started- my family. My husband has always been my sense of peace so whenever I feel myself getting overwhelmed, he’s always the person I reach out to in order to talk me down from the ledge. A lot of what keeps my business thriving is consistency, patience and motivation. Being consistent with myself and my clients. Having the patience to see detailed and complicated designs through to the end. Having the motivation from my family to keep pushing when it gets hard. All of those things are key to long term success. Another lesson I learned is focusing on the basics. In my industry it’s very easy to get distracted by the big, lavish cake designs, especially as a beginner. You want nothing more than to be able to create those cakes you see in magazines and on TV, but what a lot of people (including myself) fail to realize is the basics are literally the foundation to this entire industry. You can’t master the complex designs without getting the basics down. I used to tell people I graduated from YouTube University because I was the queen of finding tutorials for the exact designs I wanted to create, not realizing that a lot of the reason my cakes still didn’t look like the other designer’s cake is because I didn’t master the basics. It’s like anything else in life- before you can learn to run, you need to learn how to crawl, then walk.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ok so I crave meat like others crave sweets, so when I’m going anywhere my biggest interest is food of course lol. My top restaurant picks would be: Two Urban Licks Mary Mac’s Tea Room Busy Bee Two Urban Licks is THE BOMB. I feel like they’re suitable for different outings, whether it’s a date night or girl/guy’s night. The ambiance is unmatched and the food tastes amazing. Mary Mac’s is an Atlanta staple, there’s no way you can come to Atlanta without visiting them. Busy Bee is on their way to becoming a staple as well. Both have the best southern comfort food in the city. I haven’t been anywhere else with better fried chicken. My favorite daytime activities would be the aquarium, Ponce City Market, Lenox and Phipps Mall. If I’m going out for the night, I always go to a hookah bar. I haven’t found a favorite yet but they’re usually pretty turned up with a nice vibe. My absolute favorite spot was Follies (RIP) but second to them would be a hookah bar.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I can’t speak on my business without thanking both my husband and my Auntie Thonyah. Both have been my biggest supporters, never losing faith in me or my dream, even when I’ve lost it in myself.
Other: Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/pastryaddictco