VENDOR SPOTLIGHT: To Di For
Diana, affectionately known as “Di”, has always loved cooking and baking. After years of sitting on the counter, “helping”, and licking the beater as a child, she earned the freedom to start experimenting in the kitchen. Only once did she get her sister’s hair caught in the stand up mixer!
Tell us about yourself! How did you come to start To Di For?
Oh boy, where to begin... I've always LOVED baking but I never considered that it would become my career. I had my heart set on being a Physician's Assistant. After earning a bachelors in Biology and spending several years working, shadowing and volunteering in healthcare, I got nothing but rejection letters from the PA programs to which I applied. All the while I kept baking for fun, sharing treats with friends and neighbors. After much convincing from friends & my sweet husband, I decided to start To Di For as a side-gig. I was still working full time in the Operating Room at this point, and baking at crazy hours of the night/morning.
Less than a year after starting To Di For, I decided to walk away from the hospital and pursue my business full time! That was July of 2017. To Di For has continued to grow at a steady pace since then!
What has been the biggest lesson learned since starting your business?
Its all an experiment. All of it! Sometimes certain things/products/locations don't work out how you planned and that's okay! Experiences like this are not an indication of failure, but a tool to help you focus your efforts on what IS working well for you/your business.
What are you exciting goals for the future?
I hesitate to even say this out loud (or type it) because I'm scared of failure. But that's stupid, so I'll just say it anyway. I dream of having my own little coffee shop/cafe. A cozy place where people like to come, meet friends, bring homework and stay a while. I don't have a specific location or time in mind just yet but I'm crossing my fingers, working hard and saving every penny!
What do you love most about running your own business?
I love getting to set my own schedule. I like to work hard when I work, and be done when I'm done. One thing that drove me CRAZY about working for a big corporation was the wasted time when the work was done but you were just waiting to punch clock! That environment was not very inspiring/challenging.
Is it bad if I say that I like working alone 90% of the time too? Because I do!
What makes To Di For shine?
Probably just the heart that I put into everything. Thankfully this IS my full time job now, so I invest the time and effort to create really unique and quality cakes/cupcakes. I haven't been doing this for 40+ years. For better or worse I have a fresh perspective and innovative ideas. I'm not afraid to try something crazy and different!
What advice do you have for someone who is in the beginning stages of event/wedding planning?
At some point (when it's a wise move) you just have to GO for it! Don't stress about having everything be absolutely perfect before you launch your business. I guarantee that even if you plan everything out "perfectly", there are still certain things that you are going to have to learn as you go. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about how you have to love the process and grind more than the pay off or end goal. He is spot on!
Finally... tell us a SUPER fun fact about yourself.
My husband and I were engaged for less than 3 months! And no, it wasn't a shotgun wedding. When you know, you know... you know? So when my couples are stressing out during their tastings about not having every detail decided 6 months before the wedding I reassure them that we can plan a wedding within any timeframe!
To learn more about To Di For, click here.