By: Ms. K
Our #WCW for this week is Shertora Edlin one of my college friends from University of Maryland: Eastern Shore, she started her own bakery company “Prissy Sweet Cake Treats” in the Washington, DC metro area. I meet this amazing woman as my suitemate sophomore year in college, and I have witnessed her growth into a phenomenal woman. She defines a superwoman because of her drive, passion, and motivation to achieve.
What was your motivation to start your own business?
There were many factors that motivated me to step out on my own to start my own business with the biggest of them being discontentment. I grew tired of the “routine”…get up, get ready for work, put in my 8 hours doing something I was less than passionate about, going home and doing it all again the next day. To me, that life is like dying a slow agonizing death! There is more to life than working and since I have to earn a living, I might as well do it by doing something I love and am in control of… I want to leave my daughter her own empire!
What motivated the name of your business?
Those that know me know that I’m usually the prissy, ladylike, girly girl of any group I’m in. I want the lace, pearls, sparkles, and pink! Hell, champagne is my favorite drink for no other reason than the glass is tall and slender like a model and the drink is full of fizz and sparkle lol! I like for people to see me in whatever project I attach my name to and since my business was going to be cupcakes (started out as just cupcakes in the idea phase), they’d have to be the prettiest, girlish, daintiest cupcakes anyone has ever come across…Prissy Sweet Cake Treats would be where pretty & tasty meet!
What is your Ambition?
I aspire to grow into a full lifestyle brand. I don’t believe in saying too to the public about your dreams and aspirations, so I will leave that at that.
Use Three adjectives describe your strengths?
Motivated, Innovative, Hardworking.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
I’m not being modest when I say; I’m still working on the triumph that will bear that title. Until the grind continues.
What’s the single most important reason for your success?
Sticking with what works. I’ve added menu item or flavors that didn’t work and when they failed I removed them or asked what could make them better and improved them. One has to be open to criticism.
What’s the biggest thing you struggle with?
I struggle with patience and honestly sometimes time management because I, alone, do it all; baking, frosting, decorating, packaging, answering emails/calls, setting appointments, etc. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. That is by design. As my business grows, I do not want it to be a single area that I do not know the inner workings of even the accounting and legal departments.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Creativity & Control…simply put! I can be as creative as I want to be and be in control over it all from the amount of orders I take to the kinds of items I offer, and best of all scheduling!
How would you like people to remember you and your company?
I’m banking on them not having to remember, but always being able to go back to… I would like them to recall having awesomely uniquely delicious desserts!
If you can look at one influential woman for inspiration who would it be? Why? What have they done to inspire?
Bethenny Frankel. Like most, I learned about Bethenny for the first time on the Real Housewives of New York. As an avid viewer of all the Housewives franchises, I was one of the ones that watched Bethenny’s evolution from a cook/chef, an underdog on the show, to the Skinny Girl brand she is today. Bethenny has taken this cocktail that she would order on an ordinary outing with girlfriends and turned it into a powerhouse empire of wine, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, workout DVDs, recipes, gear, sweeteners, etc. She’s loyal to her brand, she knows her brand, and she stands behind her ever growing brand. Who knew?! I would also have to say my girl Paris Hilton. Paris doesn’t just take pictures and dress cute flaunting her last name. I advise anyone to check Paris’ resume…Let’s just say, MOGUL!
What keeps you going?
Vision. You have to have vision. Where are you trying to go? What do you want? When you get it then what? There should always be next step of success that you’re trying to conquer. I’m always setting short term and long term goals and I hate to feel defeated so I try my hardest to accomplish it all and that keeps me going.
Before you started your business what did you see your self-doing?
Honestly, being a corporate attorney and I cannot say that is a very far off notion. That may still happen. Law school will probably always be on my mind. I just may go ahead and take that leap in the couple of years once my daughter is in school full time. I love cake but I love the justice system. Being in a cake supply store is like Disney world for me but so is the Courthouse!
What makes you stand out from other dessert companies?
Operating out of the Washington, DC area, there are the constant comparisons to well known cupcake bakeries like Georgetown Cupcake and Sprinkles. While, I respect what the ladies behind those two brands have done for gourmet cupcakes on a national/international level, my brand is cake…small portions, but not just cupcakes. You don’t get the serving size at those places that you get at Prissy Sweet Cake Treats. Their cakes aren’t anything special to look at. When you decide to indulge in a Prissy Sweet Cake treat, you are indulging in a party for your senses! I’m giving you brightness, height, beauty, texture, natural flavors, freshness and bold taste! Georgetown Cupcake isn’t giving you that and their menu isn’t as vast. When Prissy Sweet Cake Treats opens a storefront location (Lord willing it isn’t extremely far), you will be guaranteed to have an entire dessert experience.
What’s the toughest feedback you’ve received and how did you learn from it?
The toughest feedback I have received came from a customer that was unsatisfied with her order. I hadn’t set aside enough time to properly prepare for the order and so I showed in the results post execution. Obviously, the feedback stung but it was expected. As someone big on customer service and product presentation, I vowed that could never happen again. QUALITY over QUANTITY!
Is your goal to make Prissy Sweet Cake Treats a household name?
Indeed! I must say that God the almighty is slowly but surely bringing that goal to pass! I wrote the vision and He has and continues to open doors for Prissy Sweet Cake Treats that I didn’t even imagine and foresee. I’m enjoying the ride too.
When you’re not working on your company what are you doing? Honestly,I may not be directly working on my company but I’m always increasing my knowledge by : reading a dessert book, watching a television show, and viewing videos, I’m always looking for new and creative ways to do things.
I know your amazing mother how do you find balance between work, mommy, and personal?
However, my NUMBER ONE priority is my little girl and so I have set aside days and times that are only for her. I prayed for God to give me a little girl one day and He did. So, I make sure to make a memory out of almost every moment. We play dress, take pictures, watch cartoons. She loves books so we do A LOT of reading. There are even times when I’m shoulder deep in executing orders but she clearly needs my attention. As a mother first, I drop what I am doing and give her that attention and return to what I was doing when she is content.
Besides the business aspect who is Shertora?
Shertora the person is a mommy, daughter, sister, devoted friend and hopeless romantic. I love all things girly. I love being a girl. I enjoy the simple things and things of “yesteryear” still bring a smile to my face like the handwritten letter for instance. I’m a hopeless romantic that truly believes that love can conquer all and that true love will ALWAYS prevail. I’m a girl’s girl too. While I am a doting mother and self proclaimed lover of love, I enjoy my time with my girls and will take it at every chance be it just girl talk over wine, manis and pedis, or a girl’s trip for some fun in the sun…I’m down, let’s do it, let’s book it! I’m goofy…maybe the goofiest! A believer of Christ and that there is divine purpose set for all of us. To many, I’m an outspoken, prissy pit-bull but I’m sensitive, a crier, a thinker…sometimes an over-thinker…a nerd that relishes in a good history book, documentary, and discussion about issues of the day. I like to think I am pretty well rounded.
Her website is: http://prissysweetcake.com
Location: Washington, DC metro area
Facebook: Prissysweetcake Treats
Phone orders: Sun – Sat 10am – 7:30pm