After years of working in corporate banking, Tessa of Cake For Breakfast took a huge leap to open her online shop. She had loved what she was doing, but needed something new, fresh, and more creatively fulfilling. Now, she takes pride in offering gorgeous pieces to make girls feel glamorous – to kick up their heels, pop some champagne, and throw a little confetti! We were so thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with Tessa in this exclusive feature photographed by Taya Photography. Read on to find out more about Tessa’s journey to finding her passion, and grab great tips on creating your own dream job!
Before blogging and owning your shop, you were a corporate banker – what a change! How did your former banking career help with the planning and launching of your shop. What do you know now that you wish you would have known then?
Two completely different worlds right?! I think all the positions I held with the institution I worked for aided in the success of Cake For Breakfast. I think the biggest impact it’s had has been on my customer service. When I worked for the bank I spent about a year as a manager of customer service, and I learned quickly just how important the customer is and how just a smile and some nice words can completely change someone’s day. I loved turning people’s days around, and I think I’ve carried that forward to CFB.
I definitely had a difficult time a few years ago when I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I was working for a bank, studying marketing at university, and trying to pursue Cake For Breakfast all at the same time. I think what I wish I knew then would be to not be so scared for the future. The day I quit my job I thought I was going to be sick as I was so terrified thinking ‘what if I made a huge mistake’, but it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s really true that you can make your passions your career and sometimes you need to take some risks to live your dreams.
When it comes to style, who do you consider to be your biggest inspiration? What details and trends are you most excited about?
It’s difficult for me to pinpoint just one person that inspires me in terms of my style. I’d have to say the blogging community in general keeps me continuously inspired! From fabulous girls like Kristen of Suburban Faux Pas, to Alicia of Cheetah is the New Black, to Carolina of Closet Full of Nothing. My style and what inspires me is continuously changing, and I love following all different styles and groups of fabulous women to see what they do next!
I think for the fall season I’m most excited for obviously graphic tees layered with fabulous coats, chunky knits, wool felt hats, and lots of touches of gold and leather!
We know that Cake For Breakfast girls are all about celebration, about confetti, heels, and glitter. What is your mission at Cake For Breakfast? What do you hope girls are feeling when they wear a piece from your line?
I think our mission at CFB is to just bring out the sparkle in every girl. We want women everywhere to feel oh so special and beautiful when they wear our pieces. We say that our collections should make girls want to kick up their heels, pop champagne, and throw glitter in the air, and I think they do just that!
We know you’re based in Vancouver, which is definitely one of our favorite cities! Tell us about your favorite places to see, shop, eat, etc. Where do you go to daydream?
Vancouver is definitely a fabulous city with a lot to do and see! With my husband being from Mexico we always have family visiting and we love touring them around the city. One of my favourite things to do is bike around the sea wall. It’s such a gorgeous ride with incredible views, but save this for a sunny summer day as it can get chilly in other months! I love all the little areas that make up Vancouver: English Bay is gorgeous with a fabulous restaurant right on the beach, Yaletown is pretty swank with a wonderful bakery called Sweet Bake Shop where you can stop in and grab a cupcake (or two). Gastown is another amazing area for great food and fun nightlife – The Sardine Can is a great Spanish tapas place with traditional food and wine. One of Danny and I’s favourite things to do is go into the city for breakfast. We absolutely love cafe medina (delicious lattes and yummy waffles), and acme cafe (diner feel with big plates and the most amazing stuffed french toast). For lunch it’s so bad but we love Cactus Club! It’s a chain restaurant here but the food, drinks, and service never disappoint!! For dinner, Chambar is a lovely little restaurant with delicious mussels, Havanas is a great cuban spot for yummy mojitos, and Hapa Izakaya is a wonderful Japanese tapas place with unique cocktails and a cool feel. In terms of shopping, Robson street has lots of great shops – on a fall day, grab a coffee and peruse the windows of Zara, Aritzia, and JCrew!
While you were in banking and marketing, I’m sure you were able to create a separation between work and fun, but how does that compare now? How do you find balance as a business owner? How do you handle any bumps in the road?
When I was working in the finance industry and studying marketing it was crazy finding that work-life balance. However, now, I find work isn’t really even work. Cake For Breakfast is so rewarding, and it’s so wonderful to know that everyday I’m building something for myself and my future. Because I love what I do I could work from 8am to 8pm everyday and never mind. From social media to packaging orders so perfectly to chatting with my customers I love every aspect of what I do. I am the type of person to get easily stressed however so I find it’s so important to at least try to stay super organized and handle tasks one at a time.
What’s your best piece of advice for young entrepreneurs? What should everyone who is thinking about starting a business know?
The best piece of advice I could give is to take risks, and to not be so scared for the future. I spent five years of my life unsure of myself and unsure of my career path. I knew I loved fashion but my career in the finance industry paid the bills and kept me moving. For the last year or so of my career I found myself daydreaming of Cake For Breakfast everyday, and everyday coming home from work and confiding in Danny, telling him how much I wanted CFB to be my full time career. One day I decided to bite the bullet, quit my job, and follow my dreams. I was so incredibly scared the day I quit to the point of almost getting sick right in my boss’ office! But it turned out to be the best decision I had ever made and I will never look back. It’s so important to pursue your dreams and really love what you do, or else, what’s the point?
Photography exclusively for Best Friends For Frosting by Taya Photography