We had the good fortune of connecting with Kittsie Klaes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kittsie, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
In regards to I Need Some Dough, I’m inspired by the people that try my products. I love seeing photos of people sharing dessert or eating my rolls at their family dinner. After a particularly busy Thanksgiving week, my fiancé said, “Isn’t it crazy to think about how many Thanksgiving dinners you were “at” this year?” I hadn’t thought about it, but once he said it, I couldn’t get the notion out of my head. It’s an honor to serve people every day, and I’m encouraged and privileged to have the support, especially when people can get bread and baked goods from so many wonderful places in Houston. This is never lost on me, and I genuinely hope to keep sharing with people through the joy of carbs.Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Starting I Need Some Dough has been such an unexpected but remarkable journey. When the lockdown first occurred, I was in the middle of my final semester in the graduate program at USC. I came home for Spring Break and am still here almost a year later. I was studying for my MFA in Film and Television Production and ended up finishing the semester and graduating online. With production hiring on hold, I stayed in Houston and started baking during my free time. I’ve always loved baking and even spent part of the Summer of 2019 in Paris working on and studying pastry and bread techniques. My family supported my baking but got tired of always having fresh goodies tempting them, so they suggested I keep baking but get rid of the items before we could eat them. I did a baking weekend for Search Homeless Services and sold my items in exchange for donations to SEARCH. I ended up raising over $2000 and many of the friends that ordered inquired about re-ordering. That inspired me to open a for-profit business, though I have continued to support SEARCH and plan to continue doing so. During December I held a blanket drive where any customer that brought a blanket for SEARCH received 20% off their order, and we received such a positive response. Suffice it to say that running a home baking business was nowhere in my game plan, but I am so proud of what I’ve accomplished in these past few months and am immensely grateful for the support my family gives me daily. In a creative business, I have to attribute my success to my creative, albeit sometimes crazy, ideas. I have a very vivid imagination and love trying new recipes, experimenting in the kitchen, and working with my graphic designer to come up with fun menus! I think all of this is so important in keeping customers interested and keeping things fresh and exciting. This creativity would not be possible without the nerdy side of my heart that loves spreadsheets and tracking my expenses, ingredients, and orders. When I first started my business I had a recurring nightmare where someone showed up for their order, and I didn’t have it prepared (such a truly horrifying dream, I know.) I started pouring over my excel documents to make sure I tracked everything thoroughly, and I’m grateful that I actually enjoy organizing and paying attention to these details because it’s a tedious part of the process, and while it may sound simple, I Need Some Dough wouldn’t be possible without it. However, the most important factor in I Need Some Dough’s Success is authenticity. I aim to stay true to myself and my ideas in all that I do. Anyone that has seen my logo and sees me with my wild glasses knows that I am undoubtedly the woman that made what they’re about to enjoy. I serve both friends and people I don’t know, but my hope is that they both have the exact same experience. As cheesy as it sounds, a lot of love – long hours on my feet, working dough by hand, late night grocery store runs- goes into my products, and just as I started baking for my family, I want I Need Some Dough to feel like a continuation of that, just a happy gal continuing to do the thing she loves for people she loves, whether you’re family, a friend, or a completely new customer.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?
This is actually a really challenging question for me! I was born and raised in Houston and absolutely adore this city, but pre-Covid, I’d spent the past seven years away. I did my undergraduate degree in Scotland and have been in Los Angeles for the past three years. This is the longest part of my adult life that I’ve spent in Houston, and for a lot of this time, things have been looking pretty different! That being said, I’d absolutely have my friends visit during rodeo season, what a staple of Houston culture – I’m so sad that it was cancelled this year. However, during a regular visit, we would definitely hit the Original Carrabba’s several times… my family already eats there about four times a week, it’s both excessive and understandable. We’d need to grab some chicken salad from Relish, sushi from Izakaya Wa, bahn mi from Roostar, and ice cream from the flab (Marble Slab). Oh, and Shipley’s. I love Shipley’s, I literally named my puppy Shipley. Okay, I’m seeing a food theme here, but that’s expected from a baker, right? We’d need to stop by River Oaks Theater to watch a movie. I worked there for a brief time during one of my college breaks, and it is such an adorable picture house with the best popcorn (okay, food again). I also always love checking out the exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts. This would maybe be the most boring visit of all time in terms of activities, but boy would we be well fed!Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would be absolutely nowhere without the support and love of my family. Especially in regards to I Need Some Dough, I owe an endless amount of thanks to my entire family, but I would like to thank three people in particular. My mom, for always being willing to taste new experiments. Dakota, for always giving me his honest opinion and always being right, even when I don’t want to hear it. Davis, for keeping me calm and going on many early morning and late night grocery store runs. I love you all.