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

Hi Tesia, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Wow….so I would say that ever since I started my business back in 2013, balance wasn’t at all a priority. I worked 2 full-time jobs when I relocated to Atlanta and for the most part I worked 6am until 2pm and then 3pm until 1am. And honestly…I didn’t think twice about it. You know, it’s like with the industry I’m in it’s almost like bragging rights. Like I was conditioned to be the first in and the last out. Like that was the way to show how successful I was. And you know what, I don’t know what I was thinking. But when I tell you after I had my daughter a light clicked! It was a compete 180. Over the past 6 years work life balance has taken on a whole new meaning. Being a mother and small business owner has shown me that working smarter not harder is what is going to create longevity and growth in my business. After being blessed to experience being featured on Food Network and gaining the Chopped Champion title main priority now is making sure that I balance the anticipated growth of my business and being 100% present and intentional when it comes to me raising my daughter. After all, everything that I do whether it be sacrifice or success is to make sure that she is handed a firm foundation of generational success.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am currently a Culinary Director, Consultant and Personal Chef. I am looking into exploring different aspects of my industry with focus on creating online culinary courses and also building from the ground up an incubator kitchen. I want to be able to assist other women of color in my industry with getting through the infancy stages of starting a business. Lord knows that for me it was a struggle. And when I say struggle…you have no idea! I took more losses than gains for the first 5 years of my business because I couldn’t figure out how to balance. I was a FT corporate employee/Chef and a part time business owner. I learned quick that I had to get better at managing my time and priorities, and be real with myself when it came to setting goals to make my business and myself the priority. When people hear my story I want them to feel and appreciate the process and journey behind who I was then and who I am now. We live in this generation of thinking we’re entitled to success without having to work for it. But you know and I know that that’s the furthest thing from the truth. When you hear about Chef Tesia I want you to feel a genuine connection and understanding that when you put in work, remain faithful and anchored in God you can and will succeed.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Now that’s a good question. Let’s see. We would definitely spend each morning at a different cafe or brunch place here in Atlanta. At the top of my list during the weekdays we would stop at JuiceheadsATL for one of their organic juices, smoothies, or their acai bowl. Or stop at Breakfast at Barneys, Sun in my Belly, Buttermilk Kitchen, or Toast on Lenox for a nice breakfast bowl, stack of buttermilk pancakes, a chicken biscuit or salmon croquettes. And don’t forget about a nice handcrafted cocktail with local fruits and herbs! We would definitely visit The National Center for Civil & Human Rights, the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Beltline, Village Market ATL,  the Botanical Gardens or some hidden gem trails throughout the city. I’m not one to need to turn up every day or night of the week so it may seem boring but I absolutely enjoy it. I feel like when I left Buffalo, NY which is home I took a lot of the history for granted so when I live in different states I try to take advantage of the history and appreciate the culture that makes it up. You can go out to a club for drinks literally anywhere in the world; so why not find other things to do when you visit other states or countries that are unique to those places specifically? When it comes to meeting new people and embracing new experiences you have to think outside the box.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To be completely honest my daughter has unknowingly made me push myself harder than I thought I could. I know you may hear people with children say that and think in your head…..come on, please give a real answer. But when you become a parent everything changes. If you know you know. I wrote this for her awhile back but now a days it just hits different.

Symphany, before I had you my decision making was flawed. My motivation was minimal. I was stubborn, selfish, disobedient, prideful and immature at times. I felt unworthy and unwanted. I was so grateful that God allowed me to create something so perfect in a temple that was so broken. Because of you I understand and embrace growth even when it’s unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I pray that I continue to grow into someone great for someone who is greater than me. Sym, mommy loves you more than I love myself and I’m blessed that God chose me to be yours. God willing I am around long enough to show you better than I can tell you.

Website: www.cheftesiabunton.com

Instagram: @cheftesiab

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tesia-bunton-12476542

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cheftesiab?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChefTesiaB

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/queen-city-cuisine-buffalo

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFWHPmULKgkzIueCIFmUhQ

Other: https://symphanys-sweet-treats.myshopify.com/

Image Credits:
jennykelleyphotography serenfeels

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