In a bid to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs, Chance-Media features on a weekly basis, successful female entrepreneurs in our #LadyFromNaija series. The aim, is for these successful ones to tell their stories in their own words and encourage many others facing similar or even lesser challenges.
This week we present our interview with Ms Catherine Johnson of Carthy Cakes and Creams.
Chance Media: Tell us about yourself.
Ms Johnson: I am Catherine Johnson, from Uruan local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. I am a graduate of Petroleum Engineering from Madonna University.
Chance Media: Tell us about your company.
Ms Johnson: Carthy Cakes and Creams is my brainchild. It was born out of my delight from watching my mum bake as a child (while she allowed me play with her batter and make my own pretty small cakes which were almost inedible – but she let me do it all the same).
Carthy Cakes and Creams is a growing brand which promises to thrill it’s costumers with exquisite tastes and designs. We care so much about our customers and we will do everything possible to satisfy them. We deal on all types of cakes, pastries, chops, we offer catering and rental services as well. Currently we are involved in a lot of training programmes as part of our corporate social responsibility.
Chance Media: What challenges do you face as a female entrepreneur in Nigeria?
Ms Johnson: One of my greatest challenges so far, is breaking through the teeming number of bakers and convincing potential clients that my job is one of the best they can get. The social media has been very helpful in helping me reach out to more people which has ultimately resulted in more clients. My only worry is the unnecessary competition amongst bakers, the earlier we realize we aren’t in a race with one another the better. We can all work in synergy and serve as a springboard for one another, we can still fulfill our God given potentials this way.
Chance Media: How were you able to raise capital for your business?
Ms Johnson: My mum was a baker so the basic tools were available. I did not have to exactly raise money to finance my business I made do with what was available.Today I use the profits to acquire new tools. I would generally say I have had a good start.
Chance Media: What are your expansion plans?
Ms Johnson: We hope to expand into a full confectionery store giving out lots of love and giving our clients memories that will last a lifetime.
Chance Media: Did your family support you choosing baking over the good fortunes of Nigeria’s petroleum industry?
Ms Johnson: I would say my family’s support is 95 percent. I grew up to see my mum bake all types of cakes for all kinds of occasion, so it actually gave her joy and fulfillment to see me take it up as a business and wear her shows perfectly. My Dad comes up with amazing ideas most times and he ensures that we see it through together.
Chance Media: Are you Seeking Investors?
Ms Johnson: Ha! Yes, I am o. I hope to equip young women and girls with baking skills that will help them survive and embrace their self-worth, hoping it will help curb the rising spate of women who remain in abusive relationships because they do not have any means of sustaining themselves should they decide to leave. Even with the expansion plans, I need investors to help me actualize it soonest, on my own it could take a while to accomplish all of these things. Investors are needed as soon as possible.
Chance Media: Do you have plans to further develop yourself educational or otherwise in line with your business?
Ms Johnson: Learning never ends at least not for a baker. I have also taken up advanced training on other skills as well that will compliment my baking, I believe in being the best in whatever on sets out to do. I make it a point of duty to as frequently as possible follow up on new trends and developments.
Chance Media: What is the secret recipe that keeps you in business?
Ms Johnson: I am open to learning always because no one knows it all. Each day brings new ideas, techniques and new recipes. I am friends with bakers who motivate me and whom I think are better and more experienced. I learn from them, we share ideas, recipe etc and this has really helped me grow in business.
Chance Media: Any advice for start-ups?
Ms Johnson: It is never going to be easy but you have got to keep moving. The aim shouldn’t be to be preferred over the other Baker, the aim should be to satisfy your clients and they will bring their entire family, friends and colleagues with them.
Chance Media: What does baking mean to you?
Ms Johnson: Baking gives me joy. Each munch comes with happiness. It is my way of spreading joy to people who may be torn by their circumstances hence I engage in a lot of charity.
Chance Media: Who are your role models/people whose achievement make you realise you can achieve whatever you set out to?
Ms Johnson: Soteria Cakes, CakesbyVeeandmore,Tattylove cakes these people are amazing, their jobs are quite beautiful and I spend my time on their business pages drawing inspiration.
Chance Media: Has your business affected other
aspects of your life(social, relationships, spiritual, academic etc)?
Ms Johnson: It sure has. My social life has reduced drastically. I have friends complaining that I don’t have time for them anymore and all that, but even at that I try my best to go see friends once in a while. My career doesn’t stand between me and God. I will always be in church whenever I need to. I do not have plans to further my education yet until my business is much more stabilized – so yes, it has affected my academics.
Chance Media: How can prospective clients can get to interact more and have a glimpse of what to expect from Carthy cakes?
Ms Johnson: I am active on social media platforms and can be reached at anytime. CarthyCakesandCreams or Catherine Johnson on Facebook, CarthyCakesandCreams on Instagram. I can also be reached on
CarthyCakesandCreams@yahoo.com and Whatsapp via 07067659191.
Chance Media: In your own words, tell the world what makes Carthy Cakes unique? What are they to expect when placing an order?
Ms Johnson: CarthyCakesandCreams is always a combination of Love, Happiness and Professionalism which yields customer satisfaction, so our clients should expect maximum satisfaction from us. Creativity, exquisite taste and touch of elegance is what our customers should always expect from us.
Chance Media: Are you open to delivering to clients irrespective of location or you are location specific?
Ms Johnson: I’m very open to deliveries anywhere. Delivery charges are applicable to locations outside Uyo.
Chance Media: How can you through baking reach out the numerous underprivileged young girls around you?
Ms Johnson: We are working towards organizing some trainings for the girl child, not just baking alone but other skills as well. We want to teach them how to fish rather than give them fish.
Chance Media: Thank you so much for your time ma’am. You can consider us as a partner to Carthy cakes.
Ms Johnson: The pleasure is all mine. We need to take our message to the world and I’m immensely grateful for this opportunity. Thank you once again.
* Are you a female entrepreneur(or know one) and wish to feature on our #LadyFromNaija series, feel free to contact us via any of our platforms.
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