While some people choose art for expressing themselves, others have passion for food, technology, social work to provide an outlet to their creative selves.
However, 20-year-old Sana Imtiyaz merged both art and food to present her creative best in the form of home-made designer cakes.
Despite securing 99 percent in her 12th grade biology subject, Sana could not let go her passion for baking. While preparing for MBBS entrance exam, she also did couple of courses in cake making and bakery production.
‘Sweet Temptations by Sana Imtiyaz’ has become a favourite name in the city for the people who want to celebrate special moments of their loved ones like weddings, birthdays and other events. Sana’s designer cakes earned a reputation in Srinagar during short span of time.
But she says that her brief journey to success wasn’t a cake walk.
“It invited lot of criticism when despite being a science topper, I choose home baking that was my passion over being a doctor or an engineer,” Sana says, but hastens to add that support from her family including, her cousins, and friends boosted her passion for baking.
It was not an easy choice to decide between doing MBBS and following her passion for making cakes.
“It was a time full of discouragement, anxiety and bumps for me. But I continued with baking which I later thought of turning into a full-time profession. Thank God I am happy about it. My love for food and my courses in baking and cake designing gave me an edge to turn it into a full-time thing in my life,” she says.
Her professional courses in baking include a diploma from one of the prestigious cake designing schools in Delhi. She believes that through her home baking and decoration, she is trying to make people happy and also at the same time she is trying to be self sufficient and do something different that can pave way for other young girls to pursue their dreams.
Sana, who would not receive even a single order for days earlier, have to handle more than four orders on daily basis now.
“Most of the time I have to work overtime to meet the deadline because my customers put a lot of trust in me and I do my best to keep their trust,” she says.
When it comes to quality and professionalism, Sana says her education in the field comes handy to keep it all classy. “There are bakers at every corner in the city, so there has to be something special and out of box in my products that will make customers to choose me. I try my level best to make their moments special by an artistic way of making their orders,” she says.
Sana at 20 is one of the youngest home bakers of the city, who specialises in themed cakes, designer cakes and other contemporary gift cakes. She claims to have introduced new types of products like cakesickles (cakes in shapes of little decorative ice-creams) in Kashmir. She maintains that her new way of baking has attracted a good number of people and has earned her many loyal customers over a short period of time.
Other than conventional bakery products she specializes in chocolate boxes which are made by using dry fruits like almonds and dates.
Hampers, themed cup cakes are some other type of products which her customers can order for special occasions.
“I make sure not to compromise with my quality and the way I do my work, I make sure to bring best ingredients even if that means to buy my raw material from outside the state,” she says.
Other than some ingredients for her products, Sana says whether it is “wrapping” or other raw materials, she buys it from outside the state as she wants to give out the best products without compromising her quality.
This young girl who has passed her 12th class less than two years back is doing everything single handed without any assistance.
“I don’t posses any outlet or any staff so far, my home is my office and I work from there,” she says.
However, she makes full use of social media to promote her business and connect with the people.
From placing order to updating costumers and delivering orders, her pages on Facebook, Instagram along with her Whatsapp business account has proved backbone of her business.
Sana runs an Instagram page by the name “Sweet Temptations by Sana Imtiyaz”. The page has more than 2,000 followers. She also uses her Facebook page for keeping her followers up-to-date with her work and latest offers and work.
“Social media has helped me a lot. Although I don’t have a full-fledged unit but due to the help of social media I am a text away from them. Social media platforms have helped me a lot in growing as an entrepreneur,” she says.
Apart from social media Sana Imitiyaz often participates in cake making competitions and exhibitions. “These events help me in exploring new ideas and also makes me help to understand new trends. On these exhibition I get chance to interact with new entrepreneurs and get opportunity to learn and share my ideas,” she adds.
Sana has recently started home delivery by collaborating with a local home delivery provider.
“I’m trying to add new features and facilities to my customers so that they can benefit from all that I offer,” she says.
Taking cue from Sana, young girls, who want to follow their passion, can start the business from their homes without investing in huge infrastructure.