Well, hello! Welcome to The Passion Lab. Alexa, introduce yourself!
My name is Alexa Andanar, and I’m from the Phillippines! I’m an incoming junior at Boston University, studying Public Relations and International Relations. Due to COVID-19, I’m currently back at home in Manila, where I’ve recently just started my own homemade baking business.
Tell us about Lexa Bakes! What inspired you to start?
Lexa Bakes is a small baking company that I’ve recently started from home. I’ve always had a passion for baking ever since I was young, but it’s something that’s been pushed aside since I began college. Being in quarantine for the last three months has allowed me to revisit my passion for baking – more specifically, an old chocolate chip recipe that I’d always make for family and friends. It’s always been a quiet dream of mine to have some sort of baking venture, and I couldn’t think of a better time to start!
That sounds exciting Alexa, what has the process been like?
Around late May, I was baking almost every single day! School was coming to an end, and I wanted to try out something new and exciting. As mentioned before, I’ve always had this idea to start a small cookie business on Instagram. So, I began finding suppliers for different ingredients, spent time creating packaging for cookies, and even sent cookies out to family and friends for trial – every single detail mattered! At this point, I didn’t know what I was doing; everything was a first for me! But, as things started to come together, I launched the social media platforms, and began accepting orders!
Wow! So, do you have a culinary background?
No, I don’t have a culinary or professional baking background. I’ve just always loved baking and experimenting with different recipes. I’m a huge foodie, and I always used to watch the Food Network! My family also loves to cook and eat, so it was quite common growing up to see my grandma, mom, and aunts in the kitchen.
What does a typical day look like for Lexa Bakes?
I usually wake up around 8 am, bake until noon, or until orders are out for delivery. I spend the rest of the day fixing orders for the week and managing Lexa Bakes’ social media accounts.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced so far?
I’d say the hardest part for me is juggling everything – from taking orders, baking the cookies, taking care of packaging and delivery, and finally, managing social media! I realized the hardest thing about starting a small venture is logistics. It truly is a one-man show taking care of everything from the start-up to the very last detail.
No, absolutely! So, how do you cope with the pressures?
I definitely try to give myself a few rest days. I take 2-3 days off of the week from baking and taking orders. This really helps me from experiencing burnout, and helps keep me refreshed and excited about baking again!
Self-care is definitely important! Is there any advice you’d give to your younger self?
I’d probably tell my younger self that good things take time and that some doors close for better ones to open. Since I was young, it’s always been a dream of mine to bake for other people because I’ve always loved doing it! So, it’s crazy to believe that a small hobby and passion of mine followed me up until today.
Any advice you’d give to someone hoping to start their own business?
I’m not an expert myself, but one advice I’d give is – don’t expect everything to run smoothly right away. It’s tiring at first, but you have to learn to trust the whole process, and treat it as a learning process!
Definitely! Is there anyone that inspires you?
Definitely my dad! He’s one of the most and passionate people I know, and I really look up to him!
Alexa, where do you see Lexa Bakes in the next five years?
In the next five years, I’ll be a college graduate which definitely scares me! I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be doing, but for Lexa Bakes, my dream is to expand and open a physical cookie shop or bakery.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in less than 10 words?
Stay passionate, learn from the process!