Baking up business


Junior Makenna Lulfs stands with a cake she baked and decorated.

Samantha Cohen, Website Editor

A lot of students have hobbies in their free time- whether in the arts, sports, volunteer work, jobs or other involvements. These activities may fuel creativity and create joy. 

For junior Makenna Lulfs, however, her hobby of baking and cake decorating went one step further. Rather than baking and cake decorating for only enjoyment, Lulfs decided to start her own business. 

Baking, for Lulfs, was a way to exercise her creativity. 

“Baking mostly started out as an after-school hobby. I am a very creativity-minded person and needed something different to express my ideas,” Lulfs said. “Decorating is the most time-consuming part of baking, but it is definitely my favorite part of the process. Sometimes I take inspiration from different baking designs that I have seen before, but mostly I just go in with a general theme and idea and see where it takes me.”

The hobby, however, didn’t stop there. Lulfs got her work out into the community. Soon, she was running a full-fledged business.

“I have been baking for several years now, but my business didn’t really get serious until about a year ago. I started having friends and different people in my community start asking me to cater parties and events, especially after I started posting some of my work on Instagram. The more orders I made, the more publicity it got, and it went from there,” Lulfs said. 

After sharing her talent, Lulfs continued to market herself through social media. The response to her work was resoundingly positive.

“Social media was a big help in getting my name out to people. I would keep up with posting pictures on Instagram, and my mom would post to Facebook which really helped with getting information to several age groups,” Lulfs said. “I am very fortunate to have a lot of great people who really support me, so the initial response was an immense amount of support. People would order small things for their families and post on their social media accounts, causing more and more orders to come in.”

Though the response to her business was positive, Lulfs is still learning what it means to be a small business owner. 

“The biggest lesson I have learned is that you need to hold yourself accountable in establishing what your abilities, availability and prices are. Being inconsistent or unreliable in any of these subjects causes confusion and stress when trying to run a small business by yourself,” Lulfs said. 

Along with learning what it means to be a small business owner, Lulfs has also learned about running a business while still being a teenager.

“My biggest struggle is time management and trying to balance school, sports and hobbies with my business. I also think that most people don’t consider the financial struggle of a small business. Budgeting money for supplies, raw materials, packaging etc. is an essential, but sometimes difficult aspect of owning a small business,” Lulfs said. 

Though Lulfs has learned many lessons and overcome struggles, being a small business owner comes down to one thing for Lulfs– enjoyment. 

“I love to see how special baking things for people makes them feel. I never knew how passionate I would become about baking,” Lulfs said.