From Solopreneur Island to asking for help from her village, with Sugar Euphoria’s Randi Smith

Having grown up in the Bahamas, Sugar Euphoria‘s Randi Smith knew what it was like to literally live on an island. And sometimes as an entrepreneur, she felt stuck on her own figurative island – until she learned to start asking for help.

Transcript

Randi: You just have to do it. Cause if you sit back and you think of all the reasons why you shouldn’t, you can’t, you will never launch whatever it is that you’re trying to launch and you just have to do it. Yeah. You know, sometimes that may upset the people in your life because they have an image of you and this new journey or this new passion you want to pursue doesn’t fall in line with that. But you know, at the end of the day, yes, you may be a wife or a partner, a mother, a caregiver, but you’re also your own person first and foremost. And you can’t be what everybody needs you to be, unless you’re filling yourself up. 

Dana: Welcome to Hustle and Gather, a podcast about inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana, 

Courtney: and I’m Courtney, 

Dana: and we’re two sisters who love business. On this show, we talk about the ups and downs with the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey 

Courtney: And we know all the challenges that come with starting a business. Between operating our wedding venue, doing speaking and consulting, and starting our luxury wedding planning company, we wake up and hustle every day.

Dana: But we love what we do. And today we’re talking with Randi Smith, founder and lead designer of Sugar Euphoria, a boutique wedding cake and confectionary studio in North Carolina. Randi’s work has been featured in Style Me Pretty bride’s magazine, Martha Stewart, Borrowed and Blue Southern Bride and Groom, Munaluchi Bride, Wedding Sparrow, and Grey likes Weddings. And we’ve known her for a while in the industry and just absolutely love her. Randi, welcome to Hustle and Gather. 

Randi: Thank y’all for having me. I’m so excited. 

Dana: Us too, that was quite the list of things you’ve been featured in. 

Randi: Oh boy. Yeah, I’ve been doing this for a long time though. 

Dana: Oh yeah, well we love your work. It’s beautiful. 

Courtney: Yeah, it was so good.

All right. So getting into your story to hear all about it. So tell us about growing up and how and where you got your passion for baking. 

Randi: Sure. So I grew up in Nassau Bahamas, the land of sun, sand, and sea. And there’s nothing like growing up on the Caribbean Island for the good and the bad, like it’s absolutely, but the island is only 21 miles by 7 miles, and there’s nothing to do there. There’s only so many times you can go to the beach, and so one of the things I used to do to pass the time was baked with my mom and my grandmother.

We baked like traditional Bahamian stuff, but we would also make like seven-layer brownies or like something that she would pick up in an old magazine, like Good Housekeeping or something. Yeah, we did that every single Sunday until I went off to college. 

Dana: Oh, wow. That’s a cool memory. 

Randi: It was nice. And so then I went off to college and I have to confess, I didn’t bake a single thing while I was there. 

Dana: Did you miss it? 

Randi: No, I didn’t even think about it. 

Courtney: Like, I mean, I didn’t bake anything in college. 

Dana: Oh no, but you didn’t grow up baking. 

Randi: Yeah. I was like, what? I left Nassau with all the, I came here to all these restaurants like, oh, there’s cheesecake factory who needs to bake?

So, yeah, I didn’t even think about it until I was all by myself, living in Durham. All my friends had left after graduation and I started binge-watching Cake Boss, and I was like, I grew up baking. I can do this. Yeah, and if these guys can do it, like, surely, I can do this too. But the joke was on me and I, I was not that good starting out.

Courtney: So it was more like Nailed It and Cake Boss. 

Randi: Right. 

Courtney: I love nailed it. My seven-year-old loves nailed it. I’ve watched all of the holiday Nailed It like million times.

Randi: Oh man. Those Netflix shows that always asking me to come on. I’m like, I can’t do it. I’m not ready yet. 

Courtney: You got to do it. You wouldn’t be on Nailed It though. 

Randi: No, no, I can’t remember the name of the other one.

Dana: It was like, I had a friend who went to college. She owns One Belle bakery and she was on that TLC show, ultimate cake bake off or something like that. 

Randi: I don’t know all these names. They start to run together. 

Courtney: Maybe you have like a partnership one and you’re like, bring your favorite planner and you can bring me along. And I’ll help you and mess it up on the side and be some.

Dana: You don’t want Courtney and… oh, you’re a pretty good bakery actually. 

Courtney:  I made some amazing trifle. This Christmas. It was amazing. 

Randi: I mean, it would be good entertainment. 

Courtney: It would be good. I know we should do it. Netflix, if you’re listening. That’s where it’s at.

Dana: Well so obviously you just started baking with your friends, so what was your original, like what’d you want to do? What’d you go to school for? 

Randi: I actually left Nassau to go to UNC Chapel hill to be a doctor. 

Dana: That’s a very different life. 

Randi: Yeah. I was on the pre-med track and I suffered through anatomy and organic chemistry, and when I was getting ready to graduate, I made it to like the second round of applications for med school, pay them all that money, and then they started sending me letters back, like, hey, we just realized you’re not a US resident or citizen, and we don’t accept international students. Okay well, this is good to know now. Not four years ago.

Dana: Right. 

Courtney: And is there even in medical school in The Bahamas? 

Randi: No, there’s not. And so I said, hmm, this isn’t going, how I thought it was going to go, but I’m not going back to Nassau, so what can I do in the meantime?

And I ended up doing HIV research for a year at UNC Chapel Hill, and then I went to UNC Charlotte to get a master’s of science and public health. Yeah, and did more HIV research and like community health stuff. And again, I was bored and I was like, I’m going to let me take this up a notch. 

I started taking classes, baking classes, and yeah. During that time I also was applying to med school in the Caribbean, and then I was like, oh, I don’t think I’m going back. I love it here. So yeah, we just scratch that whole med school plan that me and my parents have been talking about since I was about six.

Dana: did you like second guessed that choice a lot? 

Randi: No, not at all. Especially not after working in the hospital and, you know, I was there with people during their residency and internships and the doctors who’d been there for decades and I was like, oh yeah, this is not the life that I want to live.

I do not want this for myself. So yeah, my parents were super supportive too. I thought they would disown me, but they’re like, alright cool. Like, yeah, but don’t come home, that’s all they say. Like, do not come back to Nassau, there’s nothing to do.

Courtney: It’s a one-way trip. 

Randi: Yeah, exactly. And so they were supportive of me getting my master’s and then I was like, hey, I’m just going to start baking.

I’m going to do this bridal show. And they’re like, all right, cool. That was in 2013. In 2013 I did a bridal show. So I made my business legitimate, paid the state all their money, like in 2012. And then in 2013, I was like, all right, I’m going to order these cake dummies, and I’m going to decorate them and make like 1200 samples of cake.

And I went to the forever bridal show. Like hi, I’m Randi, and I do wedding cakes. And that was like the launching. 

Dana: That’s great. 

Courtney: Nice. So your business was launched from that Forever Bridal.

Dana: I think it is, we’ve talked about this on past podcasts. I think it’s a great launching point for certain companies, and I think Baker’s typically do really well there too. And honestly you have such a talent, like I think you would have done well, no matter which one you went to. 

Courtney: How did you learn cake design? Like, how did you become so talented? Like what were some of the classes that you took? 

Randi: I took a bunch of classes at Michaels. And you know, they do those in store craft lessons. So that was an, it was a nice little starting point. I made some friends from that class. I took it in Charlotte, and I quickly realized I do not have the skillset to take this any further than making my own birthday cake. And there was a lady in Connecticut. She was a world renown in all of the magazines. She was teaching classes everywhere, and her name was Erica O’Brian. And she was doing these one-on-one classes. 

And so I said, well, I’m going to save up, I’m going to go to Connecticut and I’m going to spend a weekend with her learning everything I can about wedding cake. And it was an amazing time. We talked about like internal structures and, you know, getting smooth and sharp edges and rolling out fondant properly. And on the very last hour of my course, she unveiled her dough sheeter and she’s like, yeah. So now you know how to roll out fondant, but this is what I use. And I’m like, oh, okay. How much does this cost? Three grand? All right.

Yeah. But worth it, and I put that on my vision board. I was like, I’m buying a dough sheeter. I’m not rolling out this fondant. 

Dana: It looks like a lot of work. 

Randi: It is so tough. 

Courtney: Like I said, I’ve seen Nailed It. It looks like a lot of muscles to roll out that fondant. 

Randi: Yes, carpal tunnel is a thing. Okay. Yeah. It’s not, it’s not my favorite part.

Dana: You don’t use a lot of fondant though.

Randi: I don’t, people here just don’t like fondant. 

Dana: Well, it doesn’t taste good. 

Randi: It does not. It’s horrible texture, but it makes it a pretty cake. It does. So I just went and I learned from her and came back and was like, all right, now I’m ready.

Yeah, between going to that in person class, again, not YouTube. And during that time, there were also a lot of platforms coming up, education platforms that you could subscribe to, and they were releasing Cate classes like. So that really helped. Wow. 

Dana: It’s a very like self-taught then. Yeah, I mean, you took classes, but I mean, still, like you still had to kind of dig deep and figure it out.

Randi: I do not have a pastry arts degree. Never went to culinary school.

Dana: That’s really awesome because I mean, you should see her work, but like you would think that you had some kind of like artistry background. Being a science background, that’s even more shocking. 

Courtney: Yeah. 

Dana: Do you think your childhood like inspire some of like your designs, like living on an island?

Randi: Yeah, both the design and the flavors. I don’t shy away from color and I’m always trying to get couples to give me more color. Please, what else can we put on this? And what are your flowers going to be like?

Courtney: White and green, and blush. Blush, very, very light pink, but almost white.

Randi: Right. And so, yeah, I don’t shy away from color and I’m, definitely grown up in the Bahamas has influenced that. I mean, if you’ve ever been, you know, you could go down Bay Street and you’re going to see greens and blues, pinks, oranges, and yellows. My parents hate it though. They’re very whites and green people. 

Dana: They’re not your client. 

Randi: They’re not my ideal client. No, they’re not my ICA. So yeah, so I don’t shy away from color. And then in terms of flavors, I love, love the floral and the fruity. Yeah, which is great because I feel like a lot of my clients embrace it too. And I have a lot of people that are from different countries or come from different parts of the, of the US. And so they’re like, oh yeah, give me the mango and the passion fruit and coconut, like, yes. Yeah, and don’t get me wrong, I love almond and strawberry, but we could do something different. Let’s do it. 

Dana: Yeah. I agree with that. I think it’s fun. Like, I think weddings too, are a place for guests even, to try something different. Yeah. Like kind of out of the box. 

Courtney: Are you like a one man show? Do you bake them all? Decorate them all? 

Randi: So I have had my fair share of interns, but recently a lot of the culinary schools in the area have closed. So that’s just reduced the hiring pool tremendously.

Um, and then I recently got another assistant. I had an assistant up until COVID actually. Yeah, and then everything I did through COVID I was doing by myself. Which was not bad cause the cakes were smaller, but then coming into this year, I was like, oh, the cakes are getting huge. Like I was like, oh, we’re back to the five tiers.

Okay, so I can’t do this by myself anymore. And I’ve put out some calls for hiring reached out to the culinary schools, but I haven’t gotten a lot of people lately, so that’s been really difficult getting folks in because from what I gather a lot of times when they graduate, they’re trying to get into like the hotels or the big restaurants, or they want to do it on their own.

Like, you rarely find people that want to come work for like a small boutique, right? Yeah. 

Dana: That is tough. 

Randi: So I’m hoping that people are realizing like weddings are back and they’re moving. Like you can go, you can get a job in the wedding industry. It’s okay now, right.

Dana: I know, right. 

Courtney: I think it’s going to be okay. 

Dana: It is, but I think there are definitely, people that are gun shy. I think everyone’s a little gun-shy to even like, say those words. I mean, because even pre pandemic, like we would’ve told you, like nothing could have stopped this industry, right? Like a recession is not going to stop it. It might look a little different, but it like crippled it. It was just shocking

Randi: Yeah, and I was like, oh, on the other side of this, 2021, we’re going into the roaring twenties. Like people are going to be spending all the money on weddings. And I am starting to see that, but I’m like, I can’t do it by myself. Let’s get this party started in my kitchen with like two or three more people. 

Dana: Right, right, right. Like, does your husband help you at all? 

Randi: Not at all. Not at all. 

Courtney: You didn’t rope him in for any of it? 

Randi: No. When we first started, he went with me to deliver a wedding cake. And we showed up and part of the cake was fake and he underestimated, like, he thought it was going to be heavier than it was. And so he put too much force under it and he like pretty much almost threw it up in the air. And thankfully nothing happened to the cake and it was like his brother’s best friend’s weddings.

So even if something happened, it would have been fine. But ever since then, he’s like, absolutely not. I am not going on. Terrified, he was traumatized. And he has a moving company and he owns many box trucks and transit vans, and he refuses to help me. The most that he’ll do is like come to the fridge and be like, this cake is too heavy.

I don’t want you to lift it. Like, especially whenever I’m pregnant, he’s like, I will lift this for you. He puts it in my car and he said, so who’s who at the venue is going to help with this? I was like, yeah, I’ll find somebody. Yeah, it’s me and my cart. And I, can’t hand over delivering cakes just yet. I’m like, I will let people come in and meet clients, bake and design, but that delivery. 

Dana: It’s that one last step. It’s so important too.

Randi: So important, and even though I have the cake safe, and multiple cakes saves almost like, no, I will trek all over North Carolina with my cakes by myself.

Dana: So what are some things like, you know, we’re moms too, obviously, and it is a whole different ball game being an entrepreneur and then also being an entrepreneur and a mom. What has been like the most, like shocking, hardest thing about balancing it all?

Randi: Yeah. So when I first started out, I had a bakery in Morrisville, which was like 45 minutes from my house without traffic and Finley was just born, and she, like, she grew up on the countertop in a Bumbo. Technically shouldn’t have been on the counter top

Dana: all our kids had Bumbos on the countertop 

Randi: countertop on the countertop.

Courtney: We made it through. 

Randi: Yeah, she’s fine. She’s a smart kid. But that was just a really hard time. I was like, oh, she’s not really getting any interaction from me. She’s just on my hip or in the Bumbo, and thankfully she’s well adjusted. But yeah, that was really difficult. And then just learning how to lean on people to help.

Jeff comes from a large family. He’s one of five and everybody lives here. And his, like, his mom is amazing, but I just had to get over my own ego and be like, all right, I can’t do this by myself. Here are my kids and the diaper bag. I will see y’all in a few hours. So just letting go. 

Y’all can tell I have some control issues. Delivering cake, delivering children and dropping them off. So that was really difficult. and I feel like Finley didn’t get most of, of the attention out of the kids, even though she’s the first born and, you know, everybody’s first born, it’s like you lavish attention on them.

And she’s like, oh, she’s over here in her bouncer while clients are coming in and like doing consultations, but yeah, I had to quickly let that go. Yeah. And so now, thankfully I have my mother-in-law and sisters in law who will gladly take them, yeah. Any day, all day. 

Dana: That’s great. 

Randi: Sometimes I have to fight to get them back. I don’t fight too hard, but I do fight to get them back.

Dana: Well, that’s awesome. I love that idea. We’ve talked about this, too about like, just community. And I do think it’s really hard and I don’t know I don’t think it’s, I had like an ego attached to it. Like it wasn’t pride that I could ask for help, it was just more of, maybe it was pride, I don’t know. 

It was just more of like; I shouldn’t need help. Like, I should be able to do this. Like this shouldn’t be so hard. Or, I don’t know, or you can rationalize with people, other people have it harder, right? Like I have a wonderful life, why is this so difficult for me or whatever?

I don’t know. I struggled with that too. I still don’t ask for help. I mean hardly ever. 

Randi: No. I ask for help in everything now. 

Courtney: Oh yes. I distinctly remember one time Dana looking at me and saying, I don’t need help. Like you do. She literally said that to me and I was like, 

Dana: Oh, it’s true. We’ll go with that. 

Courtney: She needs help in other ways 

Dana: but it was just very different. Like, I mean, I have, I have a little better, like a family support. Cause I have my in-laws to help with the kids. More like you don’t really have in laws to help. So it’s just very different. So like I’m, Courtney’s backup where she’s not always, my backup but she’s becoming more and more.  I think as my in-laws have been stressing me out so.

Randi: Listen, I have been like my, mother-in-law say to me, like, I know you have a lot of laundry. I remember what it was like having all those kids and laundry never left my couch.

Courtney: You do your laundry? 

Randi:  She w she would tell me, like, just bring the clothes over here and I will do it. I will sort the socks. And I am like, no, cause you’re already making dinner and watching them and like doing arts and crafts and all of that. So, no, you’re not going to do my laundry, but I have hired a laundry service.

 Dana: That’s so amazing though. 

Courtney: It takes a village. I mean, literally it does. I just don’t think that you were meant to do it alone. Like it’s not possible to be in like your house. Years of life that you’re supposed to be earning like your high earning years. And then also be in that like child rearing, bearing years. Like, that’s like what grandmothers are for. Like, let’s like, I think that’s like how the social construct was supposed to be.

And somehow in America, we’ve gotten it twisted, right. You know what I mean? Like we really have. I was talking with my best friend Krista and she’s doing a book on, the grandmother hypothesis. There’s very few animals in the wild that, have grandparents basically like have adult members of their society that don’t reproduce.

Like once they’re done reproducing, they basically die because they’re no longer useful to their species. And they’re talking about, she’s researching about this like grandmother hypothesis and there’s like a certain bug that I can’t remember what it was an insect, bug, whatever, if they’re two different things, I don’t know.

They make like, they’re basically like their pouch or their, like where their larvae are and it is the grandmothers, the ones that are in like a childbearing year that basically guard this pouch or whatever. And when a predator comes, they like secrete this substance that basically like freezes them. They sacrifice themselves and the predator for the larvae that are like growing and like that’s their role, right. She was talking to me also about, there are some, whale societies, like Orca societies that, the grandmother’s job is basically to like hunt and provide food for the pack. 

And it was really interesting, just kind of looking through like the role of grandmothers is actually very much to care for the younger generations while the people who are in the like more fit or whatever, go out and either reproduce or go out and get food or whatever. But I don’t know, I think we’ve just kind of gotten that, like that lost in the United States that we don’t have a grandmother-based society. It was just a mother-based society. 

Randi: Yeah. I would agree, a hundred percent. Just thinking about like all of my friends, they’re like what? I cannot believe your mother-in-law has your kids four days a week until like nine o’clock some nights. Yeah, and my sister-in-law has them the other day, and sometimes on Saturday when I’m delivering cakes.

So I definitely couldn’t do it without them, but they’re also very protective and territorial.

Dana: They’re secreting their substance, protecting your pupae.

Randi: They’re going to freeze themselves because I’m like, oh, well, I’m about to reach out and find a nanny for a few days a week. And they’re like, absolutely not. No wait, but you’re not available, so what am I supposed to do here?

We’ll see how that goes. One fight that I’m in the middle of. So hopefully we can get it squared away. Cause I’m like, oh no, Tuesdays? I need Tuesdays. Tuesdays are consultation days. Somebody has to watch these children. Yeah. 

Courtney: So we heard laundry service. Yeah. What other advice would you give other moms that maybe have like a passion or some like creative purpose that they’re pursuing and they’re too scared to kind of make that jump?

Randi: You just have to do it. Cause if you sit back and you think of all the reasons why you shouldn’t, you can’t, you will never launch whatever it is that you’re trying to launch and you just have to do it. Yeah. You know, sometimes that may upset the people in your life because they have an image of you and this new journey or this new passion you want to pursue doesn’t fall in line with that. But you know, at the end of the day, yes, you may be a wife or a partner, a mother, a caregiver, but you’re also your own person first and foremost. And you can’t be what everybody needs you to be, unless you’re filling yourself up. 

Dana: That’s so true. And I think that’s true, like even I know mostly of entrepreneurs that listen to this, but even as a non-entrepreneur, someone who’s just has a passion and a for whatever they do, whether they’re they want to be their teacher or they’re climbing that corporate ladder or whatever, that there’s always this stigma. 

And I saw the other day on Facebook, there was some, you know, if something like, oh, if you want it to be a chef and make a five-star meal and be like more power to you, but if you want to be home and like watching your kids and cooking the meals and they’ll tell them you’re a fifties housewife or something like, just very like, when is one right and when is one wrong? Like when did that become such a huge divide in our society that you had to justify it one way or the other. It’s just a stigma that you have to choose and you can’t do both because something’s failing either your career is failing or your family’s failing, right? And I don’t know if that’s true, but no one asks the dads about it. 

Randi: Nobody ever asked them. nobody.

Dana: No one. 

Courtney: Well, that’s not seen actually nature either. There’s no like patriarchy society, it’s always the women.

Dana: But I think it’s, and I, and I don’t, I don’t have that experience in my life necessarily, cause I have like a really great partner in life and he takes on a lot of the brunt of parenting and stuff like that.

But it’s never like whenever we talk to anybody, it’s always how do you do it? Just to da and like, he can have a whole conversation and be like, what’s work like? Like no one asks, like, how did you get through the pandemic? How are your kids doing in school? And I’m like, and they asked me, I’m like, I don’t know, ask Sam. He’s the one who dealt with it wasn’t me. Like that wasn’t my, that was not my domain during the pandemic. I was not the school teacher. It’s not what I did, you know. 

Randi: Yeah, you’ll never be able to please everybody, right. I mean, that’s just the long and short of it. So yeah, I don’t have that. Like right now I called Jeff. I was like, hey, I have a podcast at one be there at 12:20. And I called him back and I was like, hey, I need you to do something. And he was like, no, we’re watching Minnie’s boutique, like call you back. And I was like, oh, well, that’s cute, but I do need the tax return. Please send that over. 

I mean, and there are times when he’s like, oh, wedding show on Sunday again? I thought Sunday was family time and I’m like, yeah, except for one there’s wedding shows, except for bridal open houses, we can make some exceptions here. So we’re really good at making the exceptions, but yeah.

There’s just so much that goes on every day and I’m like, yeah, I can call him to put a load of laundry in the washing machine, but none of us really have time to do the laundry. So just going to get on this here app and have somebody come and do it. Pick up my trash bags from, by the door. I’m awful nice and folded and smelling good. And I just go and put them away. 

Dana: I love that. 

Courtney: That sounds amazing. Maybe Sam will do that for me. 

Dana: Yeah, he does that for me. Actually, I drop off my laundry. He has like these crazy meetings on Tuesdays and they’re like three hours long and he gets just like, get on the phone and you just that’s what he does. He folds clothes and then I put them away, which is fair. 

Randi: Oh, that’s nice.

Dana: Well We like to ask this for every guest. Did you have what we call an oh shit moment? Like where you’re like, oh my gosh, I’m in over my head or a moment when you’re like, I shouldn’t be doing this.

Randi: Previously it was getting the studio space or the bakery that was so far from home only because the original plan was just to have a studio. And then they left all this equipment here and I was like, oh, I should do retail too.

And I did not, I, Finley was an infant. I didn’t have the staff. I was running around with a bunch of interns and I just got burned out so quickly. So quickly. We had one of the most profitable years that year, but I was like, I can’t do this anymore. And I just put it up on Craigslist, like bakery for sub lease, please come and take this off my hand, and I was out. I cannot do this anymore. So I was like Finley suffering, our house is suffering, I’m so tired all the time, and then I found out I was expecting again, and I was like, well, that’s it. Like throw in the towel. 

Courtney: The universe is speaking to you. 

Randi: Seriously, I was like, I’m not doing this anymore. 

Dana: I love the thought that even though it was the most profitable year and the success of it, it’s still like, it wasn’t worth the mental, like sanity essentially. 

Randi: Yeah, it was terrible. 

Dana: It’s such a brave choice to make. 

Randi: Oh man. Every day I would get there and be like, what? No shade to the interns, but what do I have to stay until two o’clock in the morning to fix before this cake goes out and then Finley’s crying in her car seat as we go through rush hour traffic down 40.

So, it was a harrowing time in my life. And so I made the decision that at this juncture, while the kids are here, I’m not going to do retail. I’m just going to focus on the orders and we’ll see what happens a few years down the line, but I’m not going back. And yeah, you know, I just think about the money we spent, like trying to upfit this building.

Dana: I remember the building. 

Randi: Yeah. Just trying to make it work. And I was like, it’s not working and I’m out. Yeah. Sorry, landlord. You’ll figure it out. Took enough money anyway. 

Dana: Yeah, I don’t know, I love that, I love the freedom of that choice where you don’t have to, cause it’s hard to walk away from money. It’s hard to walk away from big profits and say like, oh, this is just too hard.

Courtney: Hard to walk away from money spent, like she’s like invested. And you’re like, like seeing it as a sunk cost, you know? 

Randi: Yeah. That’s Jeff’s favorite term, sunk costs. Always trying to walk away from something. No, Truck’s not working, it’s gone. Sunk cost, yeah. It’s like what? I would never be able to do that, but yeah, I had to let it go. Now I feel that I’m at another, not a make-or-break point, cause I always be able to make it, but I’m like, oh no, we need another spot and we need more employees. So now I just have to shift again, figure that out.

Dana: Yeah, figure it out. So yeah, what’s on the horizon. Just finding a store, expanding? 

Randi: Yes. Trying to find this, finding a studio and consultation space, and I have a few leads, but if anybody’s looking in the Raleigh area, particularly for commercial space, it’s really difficult. And it’s even more difficult to find something that can be outfitted as a kitchen. With the grease traps and all those things. I think we have a few leads and hopefully by the time this episode airs, I’ll be at my new spot. so that’s it. 

And then I’m launching a course for cake designers because despite 2020, we in a dumpster fire and a shit show, it was also a very profitable year. just learning what was working and what wasn’t working and acting quickly. 

So it, yeah, it’s really hard. and you know, people always like, oh, nobody’s going to eat the wedding cake, or I don’t really care about cake, but I mean, it can be a focal point of your wedding, so you want to invest. So just kind of getting people more confident to charge what they need. 

Dana: The reason why I say that is I believe, and I tell these people all the time, like if you serve good cake, like one person can eat it you can be like, oh my God, you had the cake? It was amazing, and that cake will be gone. But if you serve crappy cake, then no, not everyone’s going to eat it.

Randi: Yeah, and when you bring sheet cake from Walmart and Sam’s Club then yes, it’s going to be left on the table. I’ve seen it a few times when I was a guest at a wedding. So that’s another thing that I’m planning on doing. I just need to sit down and record it. And yeah, and just doing more speaking engagements and networking. So I’m feeling a little bit more confident, about going out and mingling with people. So I have a few conferences that I’ll be attending towards the end of the year. And I’m excited about that. Yeah, get back out there. 

One of them is happening in Nassau, so I was like, I can’t go. I just emailed and I was like, do I need to stay in the hotel? Cause my parents literally live six minutes away. I pass it on the way to town every day. So I’ll be there and I’m excited.

Courtney: So would you ever do something like that Connecticut lady, like one-on-one classes? 

Randi: Oh yeah. I taught a few one-on-one classes before. But I would probably look at, if I get the studio, when I go to the studio, into doing some intensive courses because I’ve done a few like, oh, this is how you can do a six-inch cake and make it cute for your kid’s birthday, but not like, hey, you need to know all these things before you deliver your first wedding.

Dana: I would take that class. I would take like a how to make a birthday cake. 

Randi: It’s fun. 

Dana: It is fun because truthfully, it’s actually really hard to find a birthday cake for like a well-designed one because they don’t, they don’t have the time to make it. They’re like, oh, Like I don’t make birthday cakes anymore.

Randi: I love birthday cake. 

Dana: They’re so fun, I’m a birthday person.

Courtney: That would be a blast to do some sort of like workshop, you could use the Bradford.

Randi: as if I’m not there all the time anyways. So that’s, that’s the plan. Studio first, and then all of those other things, I think kind of fall in line. I like 

Dana: it. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for coming today. It’s been so fun. 

Randi: Yeah. So excited that I was able to be here. 

Dana: Thanks everyone for gathering us today to talk about the hustle. For our episode with Randi, we pick a Bahama Mama cocktail. We hope we get the chance to make it this week and cheers to those who will sort your socks. To learn more about Randi and her business, visit sugareuphorea.com or follow her on Instagram at sugareuphoria.

Courtney: And to learn more about our hustles visit canddevents.com, thebradfordnc.com, and hustleandgather.com or follow us on Instagram at canddevents, at thebradfordnc, and at hustleandgather. If you liked the show, be sure to subscribe and leave us a rating and a review.

Courtney: This product is a production of Earfluence. I’m Courtney. 

Dana: And I’m Dana.

Courtney: And we’ll talk with you next time on Hustle + Gather.

Full Episode Transcript

Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence.  Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.

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