Today we’d like to introduce you to Johanna Perez.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a child, I always loved to bake. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a working oven at home, so I would walk over to my uncle’s house to borrow theirs, but I didn’t mind. I just wanted to bake, and I was grateful they had an oven I could use. In return, I would bake a cake for them too. Seeing my family enjoy something I made for them was the best memory I have of baking cakes. Honestly, that’s still the best part about what I do. Knowing I made someone’s celebration a little extra special is such a reward.
I honestly can’t pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with baking, it was just something that came so naturally. I do remember, however becoming intrigued with the decorating side of cakes when Ace of Cakes started coming out on the Food Network. I was so amazed by their awesome decorating skills. I remember thinking, Wow!! They’re so awesome! I could never decorate like that!!
In 2015, my best friend asked me to make her kid’s birthday cakes and encouraged me to start my own business. I thought she was crazy! I knew I could bake a delicious cake, but I could not decorate. I felt that I wasn’t at a level where I could be charging. All types of thoughts filled my head. I knew I didn’t go to pastry school, and I didn’t want baking to become a stressful thing in my life when it has always been something I truly enjoyed.
Needless to say, after encouragement from my sister and my mom, that January I decided to go for it!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been the smoothest journey. I’m married and have three sons, so as you can imagine, I’m always doing something. I’m so blessed to have a helpful and understanding family, but there have been times when my business schedule conflicts with family time. Especially in the beginning, I really didn’t have a schedule for myself, and it was not something my husband was thrilled about. I think that was my most difficult struggle. Learning to balance family time, and business time, so that I could feel like I wasn’t disappointing my family by missing out on things, but also being able to feel fulfilled by putting this God-given talent to use.
As far as professionally, as I mentioned before, I didn’t go to pastry school or any school that would give me the training I needed, so I had to spend a lot of time researching. I would look at cakes online, watch cake shows on TV, and watch tutorials on YouTube. In the past four years, I’ve made so many cakes and buttercream recipes, some delicious, some not so much, and I’ve made some not so cute cakes, but each time, I learned something new. It sounds cliche, but each cake has been a learning experience, and I still continue to learn. There were times when I felt discouraged, and I would compare myself to other bakers, and just didn’t feel good enough. It didn’t help, that I had some people around me who were not so supportive. I had to pray, and remind myself to not focus on those nay sayers, but to instead be thankful for the supportive people I have in my life, and for the awesome customers that I’ve met through this journey.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
The advice I would give to other women is, to for sure buy a planner, and try to follow a schedule for themselves. Being organized really takes the stress out of things! Most importantly, for their mental health and well being, take time to enjoy the day with their loved ones, and take joy in even the little wins. Also, don’t feel discouraged when something doesn’t come out the way you saw it in your head, or the way you saw someone else make it. Keep practicing, assess your mistakes, and learn from them, because you can only get better! Don’t compare yourself to others! It will only stress you out… believe me… I’ve done it! The way you make things, and the style in which you make it, is uniquely special because no one else will be able to make it exactly like you. There is only one of you in this whole Universe. How special is that!!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sugar Dose by Johanna – what should we know?
My favorite part about Sugar Dose is working with a customer on their cake design. I like when they send me pictures of the party decor, colors, or other cake styles they’ve seen online and been able to bring to life something custom that will be the focal point of their event. Most importantly, I take pride in knowing that I’m providing a cake that is not only appealing to the eye but delicious as well. I tell people all the time, I don’t make a cake I wouldn’t personally eat or give to my family.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
My mom has been my biggest inspiration in life. She has always been a hard working woman, that still managed to have time for herself, and for her family. Growing up, I didn’t realize, how much of an impact her work ethic had on me, but as an adult, I see so much value in my mom’s actions. She left her home, job, and everything she knew to come to this country, and somehow without knowing the language or her way around, made a career for herself and a stable life for my sister and I, along with my dad. My mom didn’t have it so easy, but no matter what, she always showed up to work, had pride in herself and persevered. She is literally the strongest woman I know.
- Custom cake prices vary depending on design and number of servings. Most cakes are typically between $7.50-$9 per serving.
- Website: www.sugardosebyjohanna.com
- Phone: 832-554-7496
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/sugardosebyjohanna
- Facebook: facebook.com/sugardosebyjohanna