Why did you choose to study advertising?
After starting an internship at Epting Events, I chose to study advertising. I absolutely loved the Event Planning industry because it heavily revolves around organization and sales. Advertising gives me the skill set to be able to market to clients and make those sales. I wanted to be in Grady because of its incredible reputation. I decided to add the Entrepreneurship certificate after I started my business and realized that it has potential to go somewhere big. I wanted to be able to learn as much as I could about things that pertain to my future while in school.
What is your most memorable Grady experience?
My most memorable Grady experiences are just the creative classes that I’m able to take on a day-to-day basis. Being able to learn strategies that improve my businesses feels so rewarding.
What motivates you?
I live for serving other people and seeing them happy. I will not rest until everyone in my life is content, and that will always make the all-nighters well worth it.
What is your dream job?
My dream job would be running my own businesses. Ideally, I would work on Baylee Bakes with a large team during the weekdays and coordinate weddings with a smaller team on the weekends. Weddings are more of a hobby for me, but I’d still like to approach it as a job.
Can you talk about the process of starting your own business as a college student?
Last year, Baylee Bakes started as a joke on a second Instagram account. I made it so I would have a creative outlet for my baking and wouldn’t obnoxiously post on my regular account. It was just cupcakes and cakes and other fun pastries until my summer roommate asked if I had ever done decorated sugar cookies; her boss was looking for some for a baby shower. I told her I hadn’t, but that I’d certainly try. After posting a photo of them on my second Instagram, I received multiple inquiries. As a result, I just started doing them as favors for people and posting photos as content. About a month of this goes by, and I’m getting more and more requests. I recognized the growing need for something like this. So, I set up a pricing guide, a logo and ordered a few business cards to start running it intentionally as a business. At three months in, I was turning down orders regularly, while still pushing out about 300 cookies a week. I applied to do the Summer Launch Program, a program but for viable businesses, and won the competition at the end of the summer. By this point, I was generating over $10,000 in revenue monthly with cookies, while still a full-time student and working part-time with the Epting Events. It was getting absolutely exhausting, and I slept maybe 3-4 days out of the week. Last month, I hired three employees that help me bake, decorate and run my digital media outlets. A little over a year ago, I would have never imagined I’d start a business, let alone be running one while still in college.
In what ways does having advertising knowledge help you run Baylee Bakes?
My knowledge of advertising from the Grady major program has been 75% of starting and running my business. Having the skills to plan and start an effective social media campaign on Instagram and Facebook keeps my business running. Almost all of my customers have come from people sharing my work in Facebook groups.
What or who is your favorite band or musician?
I’ve been a huge fan of Taylor Swift since her first album came out in 2006. I have stuck around for all of the changes she’s made. I love everything that she comes up with and puts out into the world. She’s seriously a lyrical genius. My boyfriend and I flew up to Boston to see her on tour last year.
What do you do when you’re homesick?
I don’t ever get homesick. I’ve always been a super independent person, and I love being out and doing things on my own. I do enjoy a quality FaceTime call with family members every now and then, though.
Do you have a favorite creative outlet?
It depends on the mood that I’m in. If I’m calm and just looking to fill time, I love to decorate cookies. I don’t care for the busy work of baking the cookies, but I love sitting down for hours and watching designs come to life on a cookie. If my mind is racing and I feel excited, I love to plan trips and weddings, whether real or pretend. I love doing extensive research on flights, hotels, wedding venues and vendors, and making PowerPoints and spreadsheets of my findings.
Dog or cat person, or both?
I prefer dogs over cats because I love their personalities, but I have nothing against cats. I have a beautiful 1-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever named Bryzzo, and it warms me up to see how excited he gets to see me. I also love how well-trained a dog can be.
Favorite local coffee shop?
I love the atmosphere and feel of Buvez, as well as their fresh food and coffee. The caramel latte is amazing, and they always offer a different cheese plate to buy. I also love that they get treats from other local businesses, like Independent Baking Company and Condor Chocolates.
Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.
For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.