We had the good fortune of connecting with Diana Melgarejo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diana, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Since I was a little girl I grew up watching my aunt bake and that was something that was seeded in me and had a very special place in my memories. Although I took a different route professionally, baking became my ‘mental getaway’, my weekend activity and something I looked forward to during my days off. I took a leap of faith, and decided to create a blog where I shared all of my recipes, but never got to publish it. On 2018, a couple of years after becoming a mom, I decided to leave my job as an interior designer and began to stay at home to focus on my son. Little did I know that it would be the beginning of what Bakes and Bits is now. I was starting to lose myself in motherhood and that is something all moms I’m sure can relate to. My creative mind was struggling. I needed to have a creative outlet, somewhere I could escape to. At the same time, I wanted to show my son that I could be at home for him and yet achieve my dreams while he slept. It only took opening an Instagram account, and it bloomed from there. I specialize in custom cakes for all types of events, but also offer a variety of sweet treats. The support from local businesses and moms is amazing. I say this all the time, and I mean it, our community is truly magical.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Bakes and Bits specializes in designing and making custom cakes and treats from scratch. Pursuing an artistic career came natural to me. Art has been something I’ve explored since I was young, and has been key on how I externalize my emotions. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, so living a life doing something other than art was never in question.
Every little thing that goes into the creation of my cakes has been carefully thought out. I like to take the time to really pay attention to my clients requests, and turn their inspirational images into something better and something I can call mine. Every inquiry, big or small, receives my full attention. Every quote goes out with a sketch of what my vision is for the cake. I am a visual person, so I think it helps me and the client be on the same page and have a certain level of expectation.
I know that in order to create bigger impact in life, risks need to be taken. In terms of my business, the first risk I took was the day I said I was open to take orders. My biggest fear was to be rejected – a feeling that is always around. Every time I sketch a design for a potential client or when I create my pre-sale designs for a special holiday; my biggest fear is still rejection. It took some time to rely and place confidence in my designs/recipes at first, but as an artist that is growth.
I like to think of what I do as my way to better life’s celebrations. Every time I get an order, I like to give a piece of my heart and joy through my work. I know how much effort and time goes into planning events, and I want to honor that by designing and making the best cake. Owning my business has given me the flexibility of time. I am mom to two sweet boys and I am able to be present with them most of the day, every day. Bakes and Bits has filled my cup in many ways, and having my boys see that is the biggest blessing. I am a fulfilled mom, living life through my children’s eyes, yet holding on to the sweet things in life that make me, ME.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston is the best city if you are a true foodie! All of my must-go places revolve around food so my itinerary would look something like this:
Brunch at Hugo’s
Lunch at Le Colonial
Afternoon snack at Texas Shaved Ice Express (their king mango slices are to die for!)
Dinner at Rainbow Lodge
Late night bites at Los Tacos Famous Takeria
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my family and amazing community. My husband has been my rock from the very beginning, my children have been so patient and always excited to see how every creation turns out, and my parents are always there for me, so ready to lend a hand when I am overwhelmed with orders. God has blessed me with the most wonderful support team, my family. And none of my success would have been possible without the support and love from my clients and community. I’ve met the sweetest people through this business and for that I will be forever grateful.
I take all of my cake pictures myself. My photo portraits were taken by Daniel Afcha from Studio 1441.