Business lady Evie Waxman shares with us her experience of starting a business and what she has learnt from starting Raw Bake Station.
The crossroads of finishing my A-Levels was probably the most daunting part of my educational years.
Faced with pressure on all sides – parents, teachers and even grandma joined in – to go to university straight from school, I found it difficult to choose a course I thought I would find interesting enough.
The idea of uni really excited me for all the wrong reasons: the social life, the parties and, of course, the freedom.
In my head, however, I couldn’t justify spending £9,000+ a year on a course I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to follow through on. So it was at this point I decided to take a year out before taking the plunge, to do some travelling and find out what really made me tick – in the real world, not the classroom.
My business was built on the foundations of passion.
From what was meant to be 6 months of travelling around Australia ended up being closer to 3 years. And it was during this time, with my fair share of life’s lessons, I can honestly say I ‘found myself’ (All with the cringe).
My love for fitness and health grew whilst I lived my years in that sunny land, and my interest in healthy sweet treats was cultivated. What was on the market then was either healthy and tasteless, or marketed as healthy but in reality was high in sugar levels, natural or unnatural.
Having always enjoyed writing, I decided to start blogging.
‘The Cleanline’ was born and, after a few posts, I started to gain some traction with it. It was really touching to receive messages from friends and strangers to say they’d found my post interesting, useful and motivational. Without realising it, I was building a platform for myself, which later became useful for the career I have developed.
Every day I feel successful in what I’m doing. Because it’s what I love.
Many drunken evenings with my best friend were spent sharing our dreams and plans for the next few years. And the idea to set up my own healthy sweet treats company (and potentially a health-galore café) was a recurring theme.
When I realised that this could be something I could bring to life, the fire in my stomach started to grow. I began my research.
Eventually, visa permitting (or not, as the case was), my time was up in Australia and I came home just in time for my 21st birthday (well-timed, I know). It was then I shared my ideas and plans with my family, who were supportive but I’m sure not entirely confident.
Three years on, Raw Bake Station products are stocked all around the country.
I have created a fully functioning (and now with-profit) business on the back of sheer determination, drive and passion. With the help and advice of family, friends and mentors, I have built a brand that is fun, fast growing and building a big following. Absolute madness!
Not having a business background has had its problems at times but I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by supportive and helpful people. I also enrolled in a business accelerator course in Manchester (E-Spark), which taught me a lot on the fundamentals of a business and also put me into a social situation with other entrepreneurs.
My message to people is to find something you are passionate about and follow that dream.
If that’s in academia, that’s great, and you should go for it full throttle. But if it’s not, and uni isn’t for you, don’t worry. With grit and determination, your love for that something will see you succeed.