Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeannette Henry.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was raised by a classic black southern lady, Espanola Turner. She set the foundation for my passion today. As a girl, I would watch her cook, bake, decorate and host events. She was the go-to person for family gatherings, church events, and more. My mom worked for a few restaurants, and eventually starting catering from her home. I observed and soaked up everything like a sponge.
Many thought I would take her place in the kitchen one day and continue her soul food cooking and catering. The truth is I made up my mind that I never wanted that baton. It wasn’t until after failing to save money to go back to college and having my son that I became concerned with exploring my options to make extra money. I had worked at all types of jobs trying to save money to go back to school. In 2011 I left a good job working for a foreign mission as a diplomatic chauffeur driver after having my son because the hours no longer worked for me being a new mom. I spent some time off, depleted my savings and moved a semi-stranger in my place to make ends meet. I was frustrated and no longer happy with being idle. I went back to working retail which is what I had the most work experience. It was at Macy’s working long hours with sub-par pay, that I decided I would start selling cake to make extra money. The dilemma however, was how to get my product to people when I worked so much? I was bagging a customers’ purchase when I ran out of bags and was left with the empty box when the idea hit me. I would make mini bundts and loaf pan sized cakes and sell them right from under counter and hide the cakes inside the bag box.
Once word got out I was baking like crazy but it began to be hard to hide what I was doing. I met my now ex-husband working at Macy’s in 2012 and it was watching him tackle his goals and passions that drove me to do the same. I made up my mind to make my business official in 2013. I hosted my close friend Kimberly Marshall-Webster’s baby shower and did all the decor myself and she was blown away. She helped me get my first paying job as DeCoR BaKes. I watched Youtube and self-taught my self to work with fondant decorating. I took a community summer baking course to learn gum paste flowers and buttercream icing decorating from a now close friend and mentor Milante Lee. I currently work at previously mentioned Foreign Mission, the Indian Consulate as an administrative assistant and event host full time and bake. I decalre I will have my own bakery in the next 1 or 2 years!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has not been a smooth one. I have almost given up several times, due to hectic work scheduling, a strained marriage, loss of drive, an over-saturated market and slowed peaks of business. But, somehow just when I want to throw in the towel business picks up and reassures me that I belong in this race.
DeCoR BaKeS – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
DeCor BaKes is your one-stop shop for your baking and party decorating needs. I offer event coordinating and decor. I am mostly requested for baking. I specialize in fondant decorating. I am most proud of my progress as a self-taught fondant decorator. I never turn down an order even if I’ve never done a particular design before and I’ll never tell a customer I don’t know how to do something I just tackle it and figure it out and get it done. What sets me apart from others is that I offer both traditional and non-traditional cakes and work with all budgets and regardless of price you will always get my best work.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success partly on customer satisfaction and partly on self-satisfaction. When you do something you love, you are your own worst critic. If you are not satisfied with the work that you produce and give up then that is failure. If you know you gave your best even when things didn’t go as planned that is success because you pushed through. I leave myself open for critiquing. I always ask my clients to leave a review and to be honest with me. I take all experiences and learn from them to keep striving to do better and the drive that is fueled by my client’s satisfaction is success!
- Address: 791 Bateswood Dr
Houston TX 77079
- Phone: 832-745-8546
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @decorbakes
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/decorbakes