Vaishali Kalal, a Bangalore-based IT professional started baking a few years back. However, her first try at baking turned out to be a complete disaster. As we all know the famous one-liner – “Failures are the pillars of success”, Vaishali too learnt a lot from that failure. Next day, she baked again and this time, she was successful. Gradually, baking developed into a hobby and then it became a serious passion for her. In 2012, Vaishali launched her home-based baking venture “Vanilla Spice” in the city of Bangalore. She specializes in 3D Custom Designer Cakes, Party Cakes, Designer Cookies, Homemade yummy decorative Chocolates, Mini Party Snacks and combos. Today, in this session, Vaishali tells us about her entrepreneurial journey with her venture Vanilla Spice.
Hi Vaishali, welcome to our platform conflatingVisions. Please tell us a few lines about you.
Well, I am a working IT professional with a degree in B.Sc. Also, mother to a 2.5-year-old girl who keeps me occupied more than my work. I used to do a lot of painting, art and craft work earlier but now time does not permit me to do so. Baking was something that started off about 4 years back as an experiment which later turned into a passion. I love my work and passionate about my IT profession. I also have a strong inclination towards baking and I hope I can devote 100% of my time sometime in the future.
What inspired you to start baking? How old were you when you first baked something?
I love cakes and always wondered how people made such wonderful cakes. I wanted to learn but there was no one to teach me and the baking classes were really expensive. I looked at online recipes and decided to bake myself which turned out to be a complete disaster. I did not want to give up and made up my mind that I am going to keep trying till I get it right. The next day I baked again after doing some more reading as to what went wrong. This time, it was an improvement and the cake was edible. After few more tries, I got better and my friends started giving good feedback. I realised it was not such a herculean task and with the positive feedback that I was getting, my dedication and my hunger to try something new every time I bake inspires to keep baking.
I was in my early thirties when I started baking.
Tell us about your baking venture Vanilla Spice.
After lots of trial and errors, Vanilla Spice officially took off in the year 2014. All the delights baked in my kitchen are out of PASSION and with LOTS OF LOVE. They are all homemade and organic, that keeps my products fresh and away from preservatives and artificial flavours. I am more into customized cakes and desserts.
These custom cakes are normally big in size and weight and requires delicate assembly of the parts at the client’s venue or Banquet halls.
Most of the time we are involved in entire dessert table setup at the parties on a larger scale that includes lots of delights like jar desserts, cheesecakes, designer cookies, cupcakes, cake pops, chocolate wands, homemade chocolates, mousse and the list goes on…
I even host birthday and corporate events as an anchor. I enjoy being part of the celebrations along with the kids. Makes me feel happy.
I also conduct baking classes occasionally for kids and adults, upon request.
How important is creativity in this field? In what ways are Vanilla Spice’s products creative?
Creativity is one of the most important aspects in this field. Anyone can learn how to bake a cake but it is the creativity that makes heads turn. People are bored of the same old round and square cakes. They want something different! They want their hobbies, super heroes, most loved possessions or dreams in the form of a cake. The cake should be able to express something, and that is what I do for my clients. My products are creative because I am able to give a 3D image to it and bring more life into it. My cakes are all customised as to my client’s requirements.
As per the latest trend, I’m currently working on sharpening my skills on hand painted cakes and Mirror Glaze Cakes which is in demand in the baking industry.
We know many entrepreneurs who have learnt a lot from their failures. What were some of your failures? What did you learn from them?
Oh yes, I have had a few and yes failing hurts! And yet, I brush myself off, get back up and try again.
I fail at keeping up my regular workout regime, but I keep trying. I have been seeing my dad since my childhood strictly following his exercise early morning without any excuses. I have read and noticed all successful entrepreneurs start their day at 4:00 or 5:00 am with a regular workout.
But now, I’m actually pretty good these days at sticking to a regular workout regimen and healthy eating habits, but I sometimes fail but try again. Will do repeatedly, for years till I become reasonably consistent.
Narrate some of your success stories.
Well, most of the cakes of Vanilla Spice are different from each other. The positive feedback that I get from my clients is a success for me.
But if I had to describe a few then it would be when I had to bake 800 cupcakes for Women’s Day in my organization. For 2 continuous days, I kept baking without any sleep. I did not even have anyone to help me with the baking. I don’t know how but I pulled it through but it was a success.
The other was in my initial days when I started baking I made a 3D Nikon DLSR camera cake for a client. This was a challenge as I had never made anything like that but it was a super success both tastewise and lookwise.
How challenging is baking as a profession?
It is very challenging and moreover competitive. There are a lot of good home bakers and everyone is getting innovative. The clients are also becoming demanding and is ready to pay the price. You have to be able to deliver and be creative and give your 200% if you want to survive in this profession.
What are your plans to further scale up your baking business?
I am working on getting a bigger place and commercial equipments.
Rate yourself on a scale of 10 as an entrepreneur.
5 – I am yet to go as a full time professional.
Rate yourself on a scale of 10 as a baking artist.
6 – I always feel there is scope for improvement.
And, one final question of this session, if you have had one wish…
Bring smiles on people’s face with my delights. Be a successful entrepreneur and a good human being.