BY JULIE IBOK
|Oritsetsemaye Bibi Ibok|
Oritsetsemaye Bibi Ibok is a Professional Baker. She has mentored and trained a lot of students in baking artistry.
In 2020, she was hosted by Nigeria Info Port Harcourt 92.3 fm, where she discussed about her profession and the competition in the baking industry. Also, in 2021, she was hosted by Vendorsyard on Instagram.
In this interview, she speaks of her career story as a professional Baker and what women can take from her journey.
What is it like for you transitioning from the corporate world into an entrepreneur?
The process was gradual. I worked in a secondary school for a while, later on I resigned and opened a poultry through an NGO program. I wasn’t really happy with the poultry I had, so I made a full transition from poultry to baking.
Transitioning into an entrepreneur was very easy for me because I’m very apt and creative in crafts and vocational skills. Also, I had an intuition that working for someone wasnt in the cards for me. So without wasting much time, I veered into the path of pastry making and pursued my dream of becoming a professional baker.
What inspired you to step into the baking industry?
I love baking for people. I derive joy in it. I find fulfillment each time I did a job. So I decided to start doing it professionally. Initially, I was just into events planning. Later, I started getting lots of cake orders, and I hadn’t attended any training. The cake orders I got motivated me to undergo cake trainings and I have kept honing my baking skills. My cakes are top notch right now.
What career lessons did you take that has helped you in your entrepreneur journey so far?
I constantly go for cake trainings: scintillating cakes, cakes by Bella, Zion cake, five and six creations to mention a few are places I have been to sharpen my skills.
I also went for business training. I learnt a lot from Niyi Adesanya, Olujimi Tewe, Ibukun Awosika, Ubong Essien in how to grow your business. I read lots of books too.
How do you manage interns in your bakery and orders from clients?
I have a business structure that works for me – train students and accept interns. When my student is done with their trainings, if they are willing to work with me, I employ them. The same applies for the interns. As for my clients, I always make sure that I take accurate information about their orders and deliver above clients expectations and my customers are happy thereafter.
Tell me how you organize, plan and prioritize your work in the baking industry?
I set time for everything and have a team for every task-- from baking to decorating of cakes. Also, I take my time to offer something different from the crowd.
What advice will you give to women that want to venture into entrepreneurship?
I’ll say pursuing your dreams or vision is not as easy as it seems because it comes with a lot of challenges. Don’t jump into any business because you see your neighbor succeeding in that business. Know what you are good at and establish yourself in it. Take time out to rest and reinvent yourself, and finally, always trust in God that your plans will work out.
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