Sweet Spot's 2 Year Anniversary
Photo above: Sweet Spot's first Studio location (this is now the Supply Co. space)!
Two years ago, I experienced the first “pivot” in my time as a small business owner. I was already renting out my commercial kitchen space, and had a wedding cakes and dessert catering business called Sweet Affairs. On September 18th, we had our first public class at the Studio and the moment it was over I knew I would be shutting down Sweet Affairs to pursue Sweet Spot Studio full time. I found out how much I loved teaching, and the studio was quickly becoming a special place for many of our students.
Launching in September 2018, we entered the holiday season (our busiest time of year). Sales were amazing and I had false expectations for what the first year would look like. Things took a nose dive in February but we kept going. I had one full time employee, and one very part time. There were long days, and long weeks but I loved pretty much every moment of it. I tried everything to try to reach new students, and bring in more revenue. I tried every class I could think of, started our journey into retail, and hosted our first summer camp. If something didn’t work, I dropped it and moved on. I think this is a huge part of why we are where we are today.
That first year it was hard not to compare myself to existing established businesses. Why weren’t all of our classes selling out? Why were some classes popular one month but not another? I now know this is an unfair comparison, and a reason that causes most business owners incredible stress and self doubt at the beginning. The fact that we made it through the first year and our students come back over and over again was an amazing achievement!
The beginning of our second year we seemed to really hit our stride. We were seeing more and more classes sell out, and our list of repeat students was continually growing. Before shutting down in March my husband and I felt like we were finally reaching critical mass. Then COVID hit….
When we closed the Studio in June, I truly believed that we would not hold classes again. It was devastating. You can read all about what happened this past summer and how we ended where we are right now.
Now at the 2 year mark I find my role completely changing in a rewarding and wonderful way. I have a staff of 7 and am building out 4 unique brands under the Sweet Spot name. I will still be teaching royal icing and all of the cake decorating program, but I am passing the main teaching torch to our new team members Alyssa and Erin. They bring fresh ideas and perspectives that are bringing even more joy and learning into the Studio.
The creative side of things is very much a collaboration between all of the staff, and I am in a much more big picture role. Delegating and giving up full creative control has become surprisingly easy because I have such an incredible team. I am spending more time at a desk and less time in the kitchen, but everyday I learn something new, and create a new goal. I am a completely different person from 2 years ago. I am confident and pretty fearless when executing new projects and operations. Every day I push myself to be better (I apologize to all of the people who work with me who unfortunately get caught in my crazy plans and deadlines). My attitude is you will never know if you don’t try. Cautiously optimistic is how I’d describe my current mindset.
To our students who take classes every week, every month, who drive from other cities on a regular basis (I am looking at you Leisa), and to our students who are just taking their first classes, THANK YOU.
To Cat, Abby, Jessica, Blair, Laura, Alyssa, Mariana, Callie, Erin, Sam, Monet, Ella, and HC, we would not be here without your hard work, dedication, and passion. Watching you all grow to where you are today is one of the best parts of this job.
To my secret weapon, my best friend, and husband Tim, thank you for not divorcing me during this past expansion season 😜 For those of you who do not know, my husband Tim is a jack of all trades who literally keeps the studio running. If I have a crazy idea, he will find a way to execute it. When we had 1000 pounds of ovens to stack, he did it by himself at 3 AM. When we needed to switch how we were doing cookie club sign ups within 24 hours of launching he stayed up until 4 AM to finish the site. He has built the majority of our units. I would never have pursued any of this without his support, and it would be impossible to be where I am now without the countless hours he has poured into this business.
I can’t believe it has been 2 years and at the same time can’t believe its only been 2 years! Cheers to many more years of living the dream and paying it forward!