Step 1. Graduate College, Step 2. Start Your Own Bakery - An Interview with the Women Behind Sundays Bakeshop
by Mistral Salas
Sundays Bake Shop is the brainchild of three recent college graduates. We interviewed them to hear about who they are and what it is like to transition from college to running their own bakery. Check it out.
1. Hi friends! Let’s start with a bit of an introduction. Tell us who you individually, and as Sundays Bake Shop.
Ciara: Hi, I’m Ciara Ray. I’m a recent OU grad, and I am the talent. Just kidding. Kinda. I’m the baker/decorator/all things hands on with cookies. I do real estate to pay the bills.
Emily: Hi, I’m Emily Enders. I recently graduated from OU as well, and I am a creative project manager at Victory Family Church. Additionally, I do all of the creative things for Sundays Bakeshop. AKA the Chief Creator/Designer/ Marketer, etc.. you get the point.
Kayla: Hi, I’m Kayla Hawk. I’m also a recent OU grad. Bossing people around is my jam, and that’s how I acquired the title of “Boss Lady.” I keep the other two organized and I do all the business stuff/admin work. I also side-hustle on Poshmark.
2. How did Sundays start? Who came up with the idea for it?
Once upon a time, we (Emily and Ciara) were freshman roommates in the dorms at OU when we joked about how cool it would be to own a bakery together someday because we loved and bonded over food. Sophomore year, Kayla insisted that we all own a business together someday. Junior year, we all moved in together and Ciara started baking multiple times a week trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. As we all grew closer as best friends and roommates, Kayla kept insisting that we own a business together, and our “bakery joke” started to become more real. Senior year we started having those scary “what am I doing with my life” moments, so we started sitting down and having real life discussions about what we actually want to do with our lives. We started praying together about our futures and realized that our bakery joke was a real goal for all of us, and we each have a really important role to play for it to work. Ciara kept baking, while Kayla and Emily kept taste-testing and posting on social media, then people started to request cookies. One of Emily’s good friends, Chloé, came over one night in July 2017 and INSISTED we start a baking Instagram immediately. (This all JUST happened.) As soon as we made an Instagram, real orders started coming in like a flood. It was wild. Sundays have always been our favorite day. We go to church together, Ciara bakes, we watch the Kardashians, just the the stuff we love. That’s where our name comes from.
3. What is it like to be owning your own business post-grad?
One word: WILD. It’s not something we expected to happen this quickly at all. We didn’t even think this would be possible 3 months after graduation. Financially, it’s incredibly scary and a risk. We’re freshly post-grad and honestly we don’t have a whole lot of money and certainly not a lot of margin to be risky. BUT, we feel super called and orders and new breakthroughs come every single day, and it’s so worth it. It’s a little easier to risk financially when you don’t have much, I think. Probably one of the hardest parts is getting over the social norms and expectations of people thinking we have college degrees in these certain fields, so we need to be doing these certain things or it was all a waste. But on the upside, we already see that this is literally what God has called us to do. It’s just so crazy that we are already our own boss and are learning all this business stuff together through trial and error. It’s dope only being accountable to each other. We can wear whatever we want, say whatever we want, listen to trap music in the kitchen as loud as we want with no one really telling us we can’t...except for when Kayla and I (Ciara) are left alone with the insta stories, and Emily deletes them for being too wildly inappropriate.
4. What is that transition like from being in school to the “real world?”
We all feel differently about being out of school. There’s a lot of emotions, a lot of goodbyes, kicking ourselves a little for not going for an extra football season, but at the end of the day it’s a huge relief not having to do school anymore for now.
5. What is your goal for the rest of the year? Beyond that?
One of our main goals for the rest of the year is to be able to ship nationwide because we don’t see ourselves having a storefront for awhile. We would love to gain enough momentum to pull off a couple of pop-up shops by next year. Beyond that, we have a pretty big vision for what we would like our bakeshop to initiate. Our goal is to run a life-giving organization that serves the underserved. We want to leave people better than we found them.
6. What is one thing you want people to know about Sundays?
The most important thing about us is our 3 Why’s, it’s not about us, it’s about this. 1. We are passionate about feeding people. 2. We are passionate about leadership and serving the underserved. 3. We are firm believers in giving more than receiving.
7. Your cookies look heavenly. What is your favorite cookie or your favorite thing to bake?
Ciara: The OG, aka Chocolate Chunk is my BABY. I spent years trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is my jam.
Kayla: The Koko, aka Salted Dark Chocolate. It’s the most stubborn and difficult cookie to make. Which perfectly emulates Kayla in cookie form.
Emily: The Cinnamon Roll because I’m not a huge chocolate fan. Still waiting on the Salted Caramel’s big debut, and then that might win me over.
8. If you had one piece of advice for girls with their own business or side hustle who are just starting out, what would it be?
Something our pastor, S/O to Adam Starling, said that really stuck with us is “don’t let anyone hijack what God has called you to captain.” We didn’t share our dream with anyone but ourselves for a long time because we wanted to protect our dream and not let anyone tell us it was stupid. Wise counsel is a must, but block out the haters with a 1-800-I-DIDN’T-ASK.
9. Biggest influence in your life right now?
We’ve been seeking out mentors in our church who have gone before us, and we’ve been trying to make a point of studying leadership materials and podcasts. We also do the typical social media stalking on our favorite bakeries around the globe and try to pick up tips and tricks from them from afar.
10. Did we miss anything? Anything we should be expecting to see from you guys soon?
Shipping is coming in HOT. We’re almost there. And currently, we have a couple local organizations we are giving to, but we would love recommendations for other organizations to support and get involved with. Peep our insta @sundaysbakeshop to keep up with flavors of the week, giveaways, or just to connect and let us know about a population we could be serving.
These ladies are the coolest. Check them out on Instagram & maybe order some cookies while you're at it.