Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamia Coleman-Hawkins.
Hi Tamia, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My mom has always encouraged me to be my own boss growing up because of how she felt about her job. She wasn’t happy and she had to miss a lot because of her work schedule. I took an economics class in a program I was in called Galactic when I was in the 3rd grade and we created our own business. They taught us the basics about running our own business and I thought it was really cool. When the class was over, I went home and told my mom that I didn’t want to wait until I was an adult to start my own business and that I wanted to start it now. She was surprised but asked me what kind of business I wanted to start and when I told her a bakery, we went to the store and bought everything I needed in order to make cupcakes. She told me that if I wanted to have a bakery then I would have to learn how to bake from scratch so she found a cupcake recipe online for me to try and they came out really good! My mom posted about it and one of her friends offered to buy them and I made my first sale that night!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have been many struggles along the way. The initial one was learning the hard way that we weren’t pricing my products correctly. They were WAY underpriced. I was basically giving my treats away! Even some of my customers told me that I needed to go up on my prices. At the time, my mom was buying everything I needed for my business, but after reaching out to a baker I interviewed with in Florida, we were able to determine how much I needed to charge for each item. This REALLY helped because I was then able to begin paying for my own ingredients and supplies and even had money to put in the bank and keep for myself! Another struggle is balancing a business and going to school. It was really rough the first year. I was about 10 months in and I remember telling my mom that I didn’t think I wanted to run my business anymore because I was so overwhelmed. I was getting more and more customers and at the time it was just too much. After talking to my mom, she suggested that I take a month off to really think about it and get settled in school and if I decided to keep going then she would help me a lot more. The month break really helped and as you can see, I’m still going 😊 My mom jumping in helped out a ton and I was able to keep up with all of my orders without it stressing me out. I still struggle sometimes trying to balance my business and school, but my mom is always there to help when I need it.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am the founder and CEO of Mia’s Treats Delight where we offer gourmet cookies, brownies, and cookie cakes. I started my business when I was 8 years old on October 25, 2015, and I’m now 14 years old. Our mission is to combat homelessness, build a legacy, and inspire other young girls and boys to not only dream big, but to dream BIGGER!
I’m mostly known for my cookies. They are hands down, my best sellers. I have 14 cookie flavors and we’re working on a few more flavors now so stay tuned!
Cookie cakes are the newest addition to my menu. We actually replaced my cupcakes with cookie cakes. My mom and I made the decision to take cupcakes off the menu because they weren’t requested as much as cookies and brownies. Some people were really disappointed, but so far, I think this was the best business decision because cookie cakes have really been a big hit! I think my cookie cakes really set us apart from others because I not only make chocolate chip cookie cakes, but I also make specialty cookie cakes which include cookies n cream, turtle, and birthday.
I’ve been baking with my grandma since I was about 4 years old, but sometimes we would bake from the box. When I told my mom I wanted to own a bakery, she told me that I would have to learn how to bake from scratch because anyone can bake from the box. She doesn’t bake so she asked one of her baker friends if she could mentor me and she agreed! Ms. Danielle came to our house one Saturday out of the month to mentor me and show me how to make different things. She also gave me tips and showed me different techniques when it came to baking. Now that I think about it, I have a mentor for quite a few things. My mom connected me with Dr. April, founder of Liberated Genius, to help me with public speaking. I still get a little nervous, but I’m a lot more comfortable with it now. I find that I’m way more comfortable speaking to other kids because I always feel like I’m just talking to a group of my friends or something.
My mom also connected me with Mr. Jared, founder, and CEO of Kylar.io, who taught me how to code. Because of this and his guidance along the way, I was able to build my own website. That’s probably one of the biggest things I’m most proud of. It took a while, but I got it done!
I’m also proud of my logo. We rebranded the beginning of 2020 and my mom’s friend and founder of Valentine Handmade, Mrs. Tamika Valentine, created what is now my logo. I absolutely love it and I always get compliments on it too! I told her the colors I wanted and she came up with the cutest design.
I’m also really proud of being known for our good customer service too. I think that has a lot to do with how personable we are with my customers. My customers are more like family than customers.
My goal is to raise money so that I can get a food truck. I love to travel and I want to be able to travel with my business. I want everyone in the US to be able to try my cookies! I also love meeting new people so having a job where I can travel AND meet new people is the ultimate dream job. I was able to travel to Paris to attend a conference for my business. That has been my dream place to visit since I was 6 years old and I was able to pay for it myself!
I also want to start teaching cupcake and cookie decorating classes. My goal is to get to a point where a percentage of each sale goes towards sponsoring a child residing in a shelter so that they’re able to take my class for free. This is where my long-term goal comes in at because not only do I want a brick and mortar, but I want it to have a space where I can teach these classes.
I look at myself as being a social entrepreneur because I want to use my business to help people. It’s just me and my mom right now, but whenever we do begin hiring, I would like for my employees to have the desire to help others.
Other than baking, I love to draw! Actually, I just love art! I have a sketchbook that I keep close by so whenever I do have a little free time, I open it up and draw different characters. I also love anime and the Japanese culture. It’s really cool! I take a French class in school, but I’m teaching myself Japanese on my phone. In addition, I LOVE animals! All animals☺️ My mom calls me the animal whisperer because whenever we deliver to a customer’s house and they have a pet, I can always get them to lay in my arms even when they usually don’t go to strangers😅 My customers are always amazed at that!
If people would like to order, they can visit my website at www.miastreatsdelight.com. They can also go there if they would just like to donate to my food truck cause. We do offer delivery for a fee so if you’re worried about COVID or just don’t feel like leaving the house then we can come to you!
What are your plans for the future?
My future plan is to have my own food truck. That is what we are saving and raising money for now. My long-term goal is to have my own brick-and-mortar. That’s the big stuff! In the near future, I’ll be releasing new cookie flavors🤗
- Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
- $9/half dozen; $18/dozen
- Specialty Cookies
- $12/half dozen; $24/dozen
- Cookie Cakes – $35 Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie; $45 Specialty
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.miastreatsdelight.com
- Instagram: @miastreatsdelight
- Facebook: Mia’s Treats Delight
- Twitter: @MiaTheKidBaker