Welcome to Flourish Friday!
If you’re new to How I Flourish in Des Moines, this blog series shares the stories of local women in business. Get ready to learn more about these passionate women, how they started businesses in the Des Moines area, and advice they have to share.
Today is all about Brittney Ledford and her delicious business, One Sweet Kitchen. Brittney has a strong reputation in the metro for baking up some of the best cookies and pies. I’ve been fortunate to call on her goodies as a customer. They make the best gifts for celebrations!
Read on to learn about Brittney’s experience running One Sweet Kitchen for a little over a year.
Introducing Brittney Ledford and One Sweet Kitchen
1. What is your business, and what do you do?
I own One Sweet Kitchen and help people create memorable moments for clients and loved ones by baking unforgettable cookies and pies.
2. How long have you been in business?
One Sweet Kitchen became an official business, instead of my years-long side baking hobby, in September 2017. May 5, 2018 was my first day as a fully self-employed baker and business owner.
3. What sparked your interest in becoming a small business owner?
There wasn’t one specific thing, and I’m generally more cautious and risk averse than most business owners, but small business ownership was eventually the next logical step in my life. It started as a whisper, and I eventually let it get to an in-my-face scream before I acknowledged that what I was baking for fun was something people very much wanted to pay me for. I talked myself out of full-time self-employment for so long, but it finally came down to believing in my product 1,000%, being the hardest worker I know, and having an incredible support system around me.
4. What gap does your business fill?
My treats are really good. Not only are the cookies decorated beautifully, they taste even better than they look. So many people have told me they used to think all sugar cookies were hard and dry, but then they tried mine and realized they could be fun to look at AND eat. I’ve had people say they hate pumpkin pie, but then gobbled up mine! I love eating the things I make, too, so have perfected my recipes. I’ll never sell something that I wouldn’t enjoy myself.
5. What do you enjoy most about operating a business in the Des Moines metro?
I’ve most enjoyed the opportunity to connect with and champion other businesses in Des Moines. It’s been a joy to meet others who are on fire about what they’re doing, whether they’re working for a nonprofit, killing it in the corporate game, or starting their own business. I’d much rather strike up conversation with a stranger at Exile about what to order at Taco Hangover, how to be my guest at an upcoming Pure Barre class, or where to buy the best granola in the world (made right here in Des Moines!) than I would about cookies.
6. What is the best business-related advice you’ve received?
Right now, for my day-to-day business, it’s “If it’s not an automatic yes, it’s a no” (thanks, Whitney!) I so often ignore my gut reaction in order to please people, and saying yes to too many things is never worth the amount of time it all takes away from my non-baking life. On the flip side of that, for the longer term strategic side of my business, it’s lately been “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
7. What tip do you have for other women in business?
DO IT. You have an idea, you don’t know where it’s going to go, it seems scary and hard and will probably cost money before you make much of it. Do it anyway! The world wants what you have to give. You don’t want to be hitting retirement in your safe job wondering “What if?” It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.