Fortunate Chiratidzo Mandizvidza is living our her dream one tasty treat at a time. The Weight She Carries reached out to Fortunate to find out how she got her start.
Tell us about Chelsea Cakes!
Chelsea Cakes is a company which seeks to create golden memories through delicacies. I have always had a passion about baking from a tender age, and it passed through to high school where I did food and nutrition. So right after Form 4, I went to a family friend who owned a bridal company and she taught me more. From there, the journey began.
What were your fears when starting out?
I started baking at home where my mum would be the one going out to sell. After moving out from home, I had to continue baking, but I was fearless. In 2008 during the economic crisis where there where bread shortages, I made my first batch of buns and sold them door-to-door which to me was a lifetime experience and humble beginnings to my business. I had different responses; some people loved my work and referred other clients while others unfortunately shut me out.
Did you have any experience?
I do not have formal experience [with] baking. This comes back from home. During family events, I would help out and my mum and her sisters all love cooking and hence my experience. I also learnt from a family friend who has a bridal company.
What were some of your biggest challenges before, while you built your business and now? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge is having a vision and expecting family to be there for you, but it’s not always like that. In rare cases, you find family, friends and your circle supporting your vision. My assumption is as family or friends, people have big expectations out of our lives and if you start your own hustle, it is viewed as ‘mahumbwe’ or child’s play.
I overcame by not letting anything deter me. I had to do it for me. I received an award at one time and I was so happy to receive a message from Mum congratulating me and telling me how proud she was of me.
What keeps you going on the tough days?
I love what I do and I do what I love; that keeps me going. I live by the motto ‘I would rather be tired than broke,’ so those [words] keep me going. Even after a hectic day, I am happy to have achieved something.
What would you say are the keys to success?
- Perfecting my skill and continuously learning because if you stop learning, you start dying
- Operating and running a business using Godly principles
What is your advice to women who want to pursue the same passion you have?
Follow your passion. It will never be easy, but if you love what you do, you won’t backtrack…that love you have for something will keep you going.
Be open-minded and willing to learn always. Accept positive criticisms as well. I remember one friend of mine would always tell me, ‘Stop making Shoprite cakes,’ and this pushed me to learn and better my products and upgrade.
Get out of your comfort zone, get up and go to another level. I have tried new cakes for clients and I have been amazed at the responses and results.
Operate your business under Godly principles this will take you very far.
To see more of Chelsea Cakes, follow the company on the following platforms:
Facebook: Chelsea Cakes Bulawayo
Twitter: Chelsea Cakes