Turning your hobby into cash – part 12

This week we talk to Hester and Karen who are ‘The Chocolate Ladies’ who have turned a passion in cooking into their business and who extol the virtues of working together to ensure on tap support.
1) What is your hobby?
Hester – Children take up most of my time, but I love long walks with my dog  
2) Was this a hobby you started when you became a mother or something you have always done?
Karen – I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but you definitely do more as a mother, trying things out for the children and for friends coming over for a meal.
3) What motivated you into monetising your hobby?
We both started talking about our love for chocolate and making brownies and it just blossomed from there.
4) How did you develop your hobby into something more?
We started slowly, taking stalls at a few local events.  Once we started getting such positive feedback we refined the items that we wanted to sell and cut down on the variety, making it just brownies & fudge.
5) Do you consider what you are doing now to be a business or a self-funding hobby?
Its a small business that we are trying to grow – it would be wonderful if it could be come a solid business in a couple of years time
6) What do you gain from this venture?
We love the feedback from our customers, especially when we’ve really made someone’s day.  But actually we love the cooking as well, and trying new recipe’s. We have to admit that it is great doing this venture together – it means we support each other and give each other confidence in what we are doing.
7) Who is your target audience/customer?
We are the alternative to flowers and traditional gifts, yet at a reasonable price.  Therefore our target audience is probably 80/20 female to male, with a lot of people sending brownies as a congratulations on a new arrival or a happy birthday gift.  We are also growing the wedding side of the business, with people looking for alternatives to the traditional wedding cake.  Our brownie towers are proving a great success as people can select a variety of flavours and make the tower their own with all sorts of different decorations.
8) What advice would you give to another Mum who was thinking about turning a hobby into something more?
Go for it and enjoy it.  If you stop enjoying it then its not worth doing, but if you love it you’ll find a way to fit it around children! There are always ways to start small and not commit your self too much financially, so try things out and find the way that works best before you invest too much in it.
9) How do people contact you/find out more about your businesses?

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