Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet: a cake. And people get to remember the occasion because it’s all about the memories.
Campus years are probably the hardest of our entire lives. You’re always broke and looking for new ways to make an extra buck. Eve Wairimu Kihia, a third-year student at Technical University of Kenya, figured it all out. She found a simple way of turning a hobby into a business. Growing up, she always had a sweet tooth.
She loved cakes so much that she would have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That love for cakes drove her to venture into the baking industry. Baking to her is therapeutic, even though heartbreaks from failed cakes are really painful. She says you could spend an entire day on a cake and it won’t turn out as desired.
However, thanks to YouTube and a lot of practice, she has become a master of her craft. Eve has been baking since April last year. Never in a million years did she think that her hobby would actually grow into a business. It all started with a few requests from her friends and family. She later saw that she could actually make money out of her cakes.
And that was the beginning of ‘House of Tuck’. Eve moved from being just a basic campus girl studying Food Science and Technology to a business lady. “The name was inspired by the desire of wanting my simple baking business to sound like a big cake house so I gave it a big name,” Eve explained the inspiration behind the name.
Recommendations from friends and family and posts on Instagram made her business to grow to what it is today where she can get up to seven clients a week. The most exciting part of her job is coming up with new creative ideas and themes.
Dealing with different clients has challenged Eve to always have a new way of presenting her cakes. She never wants her cakes to look the same. Eve has also mastered how to juggle both school and work. Most of her orders come during the weekend.
So, from Friday to Sunday she is busy baking and during the week she will be occupied in school. Her biggest fan, her mum, also helps her with some things like deliveries and most importantly, support. One thing to note is that the baking business is not a piece of cake – pun intended. It can take you up to half a day to get one cake done. After that, sometimes you have to deal with customers who want complex cakes but are not ready to part with the money required.
Just like any business, baking has its fluctuations. One week will have a lot of orders and others will have none. Eve advises anyone who wants to venture into the baking business not get into it for the money. “Let the passion drive you,” she says. She also says that you don’t have to be perfect to begin. It takes time for you to master the craft. The most important thing is to have fun.
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