Five years ago, I wanted to send a cake to a family member and I ended up going with a popular chain and a simple cake. This is because I had no time to trail through Instagram or the idea of finding a baker in that particular area. There was nothing that I could think of that worked like other marketplaces like Interflora.
As geeks do, I bought a domain called findacakebaker.com and sat on it since (and pay the cost every year along with many other spur of the moment ideas!).
What happened next?
I then decided this year, it was an idea I wanted to execute because of the boost of Instagram businesses. Everything has it’s time! With Covid19, it gave me time to concentrate on pushing my own ideas but also, the trend of baking became more prominent.
The findbakers journey
I then changed the name to findbakers, it’s short, snappy and it was available. I knew the vision from the very beginning. It went through the whole agile thinking process and I wanted to build a test product to see how it performs in the market. If I could give any advice, get it all out there.
I built the site in WordPress using marketplace technology. I can safely say my entire WordPress dev skills have improved since. Why WordPress? It’s at low cost and does what I need it to as an MVP at this stage.
A huge element is also strategic execution including online marketing that comes with getting a product out there. So a website positions me for better SEO & content marketing as opposed to an app. Websites are widely accessible so for brand awareness, my job is one step easier. Testing through Prototype meant that I am in a position to flush out detail, where the product tech will constantly evolve.
As for the brand, the existing visual is the foundation of the company and something close to my heart. It’s more than a bakers network, if given the chance, this will become an epitome of support and give opportunities to those who are not shouting the loudest as well as upskilling for lower/working class backgrounds and supporting Black & Ethnic minorities.
My personal background
I studied Marketing Management as an undergraduate and then went onto to work in digital agencies working on Paid Media & SEO. I then geared towards more technical projects & I had an interest in development. I used to have a Piczo site as a teen, so that was my first insight into HTML & I used to build Adobe designed layouts!
So as a balance, I did a MSc in Computer Science & though I had no interest to be an expert developer, it certainly helped to work in product management & strategy. I then spent time in digital agencies on multiple clients, working for a global paints manufacturer, where I launched different platforms, I have also spent time in Dubai & then recently in Edtech. I’ve also had a freelance agency in between. As a result, I was gifted with a diverse background, but plenty of experience to think 360 in projects. Alhamdulillah.
My personal journey as a new marketplace founder
It’s been a tough start. Little old me trying to get in front of investors and the right people to connect with is tough and actually getting on the ladder is probably what throws many people off. You have many setbacks, days where I’m dismissing the whole thing and so on. Keeping motivation is hard as well as watching your content or ideas being replicated on social media. However keeping faith is one of the most powerful things you can do.
With unknown projects like these, I’ve had many people support me and much of that support has come through the Muslamic Makers network. There are some incredibly talented people in the community who are genuinely ready to help. Many of my current professional relationships stem from this network.
It’s also given me room to get back into baking & patisserie myself as a hobby. As I mentioned earlier, timing is everything. You can go check out my amatuer baking skills over on my instagram Yasminsii.
I really advise people to find safe spaces to grow and to find a mentor to guide you towards the best version of yourself. Both of these things are inclusive by being part of the Muslamic Makers community. (This is not an ad!).
The main thing is to really take time to understand your values and always make decisions that are in line with them. My biggest value is my faith and it’s taken me time to get there, but it’s the foundation to ensure that all findbakers decisions will be in line with it.
Finally, it’s all about mindset. You will always have tough, demotivated days but a positive mindset is really the answer to achieve your goals.
The plan is to InShaAllah grow into a fully fledged bakers marketplace & community. It’s also about innovation, which is part of the product and brand vision. I also have plans to grow the team and to expand the revenue streams. As a founder, I want to collaborate more with experienced founders and to get into the right spaces that will help grow the company.
Also, you can shop now on www.findbakers.com with different bakers across the UK