Cake, Cake, Cake...
Interview with Taylorr Mack. Owner of Snob Sweets
1. Tell me a little about yourself and your business? What service (s) or product (s) do you offer/manufacture?
I bake. I am also attempting to coordinate baby showers, bridal showers, etc. but not with your traditional, huge, fondant cakes type of thing. More so, down home/ homemade cupcakes and all of that good stuff! So really anything that you can think of in that home style. Cake pops, pies, cupcakes, cookies, etc. I like the more soulful, homey, warm types of things.
2. How long have you been in business and How did you get started in this business?
I’ve been in business for 3 years now. It wasn’t really something that I planned to do. My friends would come over on Sundays, they call it “SunTays” lol, and I would always cook and bake for them. Everyone was always like “Soo…when are you going to start selling this? You really need to sell this!” So, they really pushed me into it, because I’m very introverted in that way and as Erykah Badu says “keep in mind that I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my…” lol so I started and now I can’t stop! Even when I want to lol
3. How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I’ve been baking since I was about 3. As a child, my Aunt would always pick me up the day before Christmas eve. I would spend the night with her and we would always bake cookies and cakes all day. All of Christmas Eve would be spent baking and decorating cookies. My family got so used to it that we still do it to this day. At a young age, I was used to rolling the dough, kneading it, and all of that stuff. Really tradition turned into business.
I haven’t really taken any classes however, I did go to UB for Marketing. I often follow marketing trends but I love to promote through word of mouth. I do follow two black, female, chefs who I’m obsessed with and I’m learning from them how to blend different things together and broaden my techniques. It’s really teaching me how to market towards a different audience.
4. What is unique about your business?
EVERYTHING is homemade. #noshade but I make everything by hand. I am very specific and I make one batch at a time and I take my time. It’s made in my kitchen, by hand, by me. Piping each cupcake with no team. And again, my products are very small and homey. I personally don’t think you see a lot of that, but more so the big and super glamorous type of cakes. I am focused on visuals and aesthetics, but I don’t want it to be pretty and taste horrible.
5. What is the most common misperception people have about your job/occupation?
That it’s easy! That it’s not as time consuming as it really is, that it’s not stressful, that I’m just happy go lucky, twirling in my kitchen with powdered sugar and sprinkles! Lol People want very specific things and at the cost that they think it’s worth and they often don’t always consider your time. People sometime don’t want to pay their deposits because they don’t understand the purpose of having availability and setting specific time aside for each order. One other challenge is being pleasant all of the time because sometime people will try you. I try my best to be as accommodating as possible and sometimes people just don’t understand all that goes into it.
6. If you could pick a mentor to shadow, who would it be?
Oooh, it would have to be two people! and don’t judge me, lol because I’m a libra and I always have scales! Lol, the first would be Chef Resha. She is just amazing! I was listening to The Read podcast and she was featured on there. I checked out her website and everything that she made was delicious!
The second would have to be The Cake Boss because…. HE’S THE CAKE BOSS! Lol I went to his bakery in NYC and everyone flocked to it! He does everything and he is amazing!
7. What are the biggest challenges that you have experienced as a black business owner? (Or as business owner in general?)
Trying to do it all and grow at the same time. I honestly feel very stagnant in my business right now, which is why I’m trying to open up the market and figure out what exactly will take me to the next level. The other thing is being a fulltime business owner and working a full time job, to pay my bills. That’s very challenging, working 9-5 and then coming home to put that same, if not more, effort and energy into my business. My main goal is really seeing what I need to do and how to do it, to progress. Also, taking the leap and taking the risks! I am very content and I don’t often take big leaps and finding the time to challenge myself. Lastly, I would say learning what is your actual profit is.
8. Tell me about a time you've failed and overcame?
I don’t think I’ve failed yet in business, but I know that it will happen and I think I’m prepared for it. I’m still new in my business so, I have not had many failures. Personally, I would have to say moving to Charlotte and having to move back home was very challenging.
9. If you had to recite any 90s jam, word for word, to win a million dollars what song would it be?
Ooooooooo. It would probably have to be Faith Evans “Soon As I Get Home” ad libs and all! RUN ME MY MONEY! LOL
10.Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?
Well, this year I will be 30! I’m really hoping to grow my blog and business simultaneously. Doing more pop-up events is another thing, and challenging myself more. Really just having fun and enjoying my last year in my twenties.
11.If you were given time off to volunteer, what type of work would you choose? Why?
It would have to be working with children and the elderly! Always! I feel like the elderly are the most forgotten about and you still have to care for them! Seeing underprivileged children just tugs at my heart. They are so impressionable and just need a good path to follow.
12.When the going gets tough and you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” what is your answer going to be? B.) what keeps you motivated?
MONEY! I’m not even going to hold you. I know that I want so much and it costs money! lol
13.Tell me something good about yourself that you think I should know about you - something I wouldn't know unless you told me.
I’m really not that interesting however, I really like Disney movies! Oh, people pull my black card a lot because I don’t eat watermelon, I don’t like hot sauce and I don’t eat potato salad! LOL other than that I’m an open book! Lol
14.Describe an accomplishment that you are really proud of and tell me how you achieved it?
Even though it was a failure, moving to Charlotte. I talked about it for a long time and then I just did it! So, actually making it happen, I learned so much.
15.What was the last thing you learned?
If you feel like you want to do right by somebody, even if they don’t reciprocate, do what’s in your heart! Be you and don’t let anyone change your heart. Be who you are and they will be the ones who’ve lost out.
16.What words of wisdom can you share with readers who want to start their own business?
Practice your craft and get a group of friends who will support, uplift and encourage you. Friends that will post your stuff, share your stuff and catch all of the smoke for you! Just do it!!