Who is Cheryl Coutts, could you please introduce yourself?
Hi my name is Cheryl Coutts. My son is 22 and my daughter is 18. They both attend university. I have lived in Oakville for over twenty years. Previously I lived in Burlington and Toronto.
What is your business and when did you start?
My small home based business is called Sweets and Jazz. I have a passion for baking and love what I do. I began creating sweet and tasty treats for my family and friends. Almost two years ago I thought it might be a good idea to expand my creativity and make custom orders for clients.
What inspired you to start your business?
I grew up in the country on a 200 acre farm and was taught baking skills from a very young age. Practice makes perfect as they say! Baking allows me to be creative and express my passion. I love to make people happy and ease their stress especially during the difficult times that we have experienced this past year.
What were the challenges in the initial stages of your business and how did you overcome them?
I had some challenges of feeling confident in the initial stages of my business. The more orders and feedback that I received I felt challenged to create more custom orders. I also felt challenged by social media so I would spend time learning how to post photos and information about my projects. Each day is a learning process.
What motivates you about your business?
I love to make my clients happy and create custom baking orders for them.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. No one is perfect. We learn from our mistakes. Everyone has bad days and shouldn’t be judged. No one knows what each other is going through in their life.
Interesting fact most of the people do not know about you?
My favourite season is spring. I love how the warmth of the sunshine and the longer daylight hours. I enjoy taking walks and watching the buds bloom. Nature is at it’s best!
The best business advice I ever received was…
Not to stress myself out. When I feel stressed about an order, I take a break and come back to it when I’ve had time to relax. It always works out in the end.
My definition of success is…
Be the best you can be every day.
If I could go back in time when I started my business, I would tell myself to…
Be confident in yourself.
Three books I recommend for entrepreneurs are…
Reinvention: Changing Your Life, Your Career, Your Future by Arlene Dickinson
The Success Principles by Jack Cranfield
Driven: How To Succeed In Business and Life by Robert Herjavec