Vanessa Edwards had a challenging upbringing in Bakersfield, California, and was emancipated at the age of fifteen. Through all of her struggles, she always knew that she wanted to be a success, so she worked hard to put herself through school, learn to manage her finances, and become self-sufficient. She purchased her first home at the age of eighteen.
A mother of nine children, Vanessa has always loved baking and being creative. She knew early on that she wanted to start her own bakery, but she also wanted to be debt-free, so she purchased the equipment in cash, one piece at a time, until she had what she needed to get started. She created her vision of a shop with a comfortable setting, friendly atmosphere, and quality baked goods. Vanessa wanted her clients to feel like they were visiting her home, hence the name Home. boutique and bakery.
Vanessa met with Norma Dunn, Deputy Director and Business Consultant for Mission Community Services Corporation (MCSC) Kern Women’s Business Center, for a free consultation. At that meeting, she discussed her ideas and concerns, and gained confidence knowing she had a support system to guide her along the way. Additional consultations were conducted to follow up on her progress.
Home. boutique & bakery opened on June 15, 2019. Vanessa wanted Home. boutique & bakery to be a place where people can come and sit, chat and be at home away from home. Her kitchen has large windows so her clients can see how she bakes her delicious desserts and cookies. Vanessa has created an atmosphere that is comfortable, welcoming and customer focused. “It’s Home - everyone is family!” she says.
In addition to her love of baking, Vanessa has a heart for local creative talent, so she shares her boutique and bakery space with local artists who are just starting out. She has created a space where entrepreneurial women can sell their wares and create an income for their families. The boutique now hosts six local vendors who sell their home goods, clothing, snacks and jewelry. She also wants to create a learning environment, by offering baking classes, financial literacy classes and professional development. She calls this “Learning Saturdays.”
Home. boutique & bakery will be working with the MCSC’s Kern Women’s Business Center to obtain her Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification, in order to gain additional opportunities with State and County departments that may be interested in her baked goods. She also works with several real estate agents who purchase her gift baskets and home signs for new home buyers. Vanessa believes that having multiple income streams has been a key component in her success.
Congratulations, Vanessa you are an inspiration to all of us!