Creating a piece of art with every cake she makes, Farah Tanki, a 26-year-old Kashmiri girl, has chosen baking as an avenue to showcase her talent. After completing her masters in dietetics and clinical nutrition from the University of Kashmir in the year 2014, Farah started her own business of decorated cakes, which initially was just a hobby for her.
"I have been baking since my college days, though, for my own satisfaction and never thought of it as a career option. Over the time, by word of mouth, the demand grew and I think it was a profession by accident as I was driven into it because of my motivation that came from family and friends," she says.
From baking, decoration and designing, Farah does it all alone as she is a home baker which permits her to practice quality control and experiment with new designs to add something unique to each of her creations. Along with expertise in designing techniques, her career depends on creativity and meeting deadlines. She has been receiving orders from faraway places with people desiring to commemorate their special occasions with her exquisite delicacies. She receives at least four to five orders in a day and the number goes up during festivities. "Working from home has provided me with more flexibility as I can choose my working hours according to my own will and it's like a convenience within your comfort zone. People place orders from various places and the distance they have to travel doesn't bother them at all," she says.
After doing a professional three-months course to learn the art and intricacies of cake designing from Delhi in 2013, Farah introduced fondant designer cakes in Kashmir for the first time.
She customizes them according to a client's taste and theme of an occasion like wedding, birthday, anniversaries or any other celebration. Her most popular items include the Chocolate Truffle Cake, Ferrero Rocher Cake, Fruit Cake, Naugat Cake, Fondant Cakes, Photo Cakes and the list goes on.
In 2014, with the motto of making people aware about her new designs, Farah started her official business page on Instagram under the brand name of 'Sweet Mixc Up by Farah Tanki', where she posts pictures of her customized, personalized and designer cakes.
"Since we are living in a digital world, I thought of using this tool to expand my venture as it's the easiest way of staying in touch with people. This is turning out to be a success given the kind of response I'm receiving from my clients," she says.
She has invested her own savings for buying the latest machinery and tools used for the making of cakes to attain the best possible results. Belonging to a business family, Farah claims that her parents have always supported and encouraged her to follow her passion.
As an appreciation for her work, she was awarded with the title of Young Female Entrepreneur at Rabita in Kashmir University in the year 2014, which further encouraged her and gave a boost to her confidence.
"When people start to appreciate your work, it strengthens your will power and you are encouraged to work harder next time. It shows that your work is valued and you start to work on polishing your skills with renewed zest. That's exactly what happened to me," she says.
For Farah the idea of being independent emotionally and financially is what inspired her to turn her hobby into a profitable business. She claims that the key to professional and business success is staying loyal to your work.
"You have to be loyal and passionate towards your work come what may. There are going to be a lot of opportunities disguised as hardships for you to show your worth and you should be courageous enough to utilize them. If your passion demands of you to work from dawn to dusk then work you should. This is what pays off in the end," she says.
Farah, probably the first female commercial baker of Kashmir, aspires to open her own bakery in future, which would help in the expansion of her business.
Terming cake decorating as an interesting and personally rewarding profession, Farah wants more people to consider cake designing as their career option.
"If you have the passion for it, you can become a cake decorator as no special degree is required for it. You can start a cake designing business and become a cake decorator right away. This venture lets you to use your creativity and design elegant cakes," she says.